Avoid These Top Internet Marketing Blunders

Internet marketing is a very fragile business because it’s very competitive, and takes a lot of patience. However, there are cool ways you can improve your marketing by researching your niche, and applying the strategies you learn at the same time. Over the years, whenever I start a blog, I’ll always research my niche and the top bloggers in my market to learn what I can from them. Since they have been in the business longer it helps me avoid the mistakes they have made along the way. Avoiding these mistakes will help me grow faster, and build my brand quickly. Next,

We have so many cool ways to market our blog which were NOT available before. For example, we have social media which will excel the rate of blog growth 10 fold. The top social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ have enormous niche relevant visitors which can build momentum quickly to your content. However, the secret is to know how to use these networks, and avoid the common mistakes made by rookie bloggers. So, what have I decided to focus on today? Simple…

I searched for the biggest mistakes authority bloggers have made when starting out, and want to discuss them with you now. This is great for those just starting, or those who have been in the business for years. It’s never too late to tweak your style so you optimize your marketing and blog growth. Let’s get started and your feedback will be greatly appreciated.

Growth Rate Failure

You’ve started a blog, and want to make sure it grows over the years, however fail to focus on the growth rate. This is one of the worst mistakes anyone can make in the industry because you won’t know what has worked or what has stagnant your growth. In blogging, you always want to make sure every decision you make will increase your brand, and growth over a certain time period. This is why it’s important to make sure you have the right tools in place which will give you a better overview of your growth rate. For example, you should always ask yourself these questions going forward.

  • How much has my blog grown over the last month?
  • What has optimized my blog growth?
  • What tools should I use to track growth?
  • How have I drove traffic to my blog in recent months?

Answering all these questions will help you implement the right strategy going forward making sure you keep growing. For example, ask yourself how much content should you be writing to keep your blog fresh because we all know how unattractive a blog with old content is…right?

I suggest you install Google analytics to your blog so you can trace where your visitors are going, and then can focus on those same avenues going forward. You’ll still want to try new things, however this way you can focus on what has been working at the same time.

Very Small Niche

It’s tough building your business in a very small niche. It’s even harder generating profit when you have a very small audience which is why it’s important target a big enough niche. Focusing on a wide enough niche will give you the leverage to try different things, and build a brand around a specific topic. For example, “make money online” is a huge niche, and I can keep narrowing it down even further. I can focus on keywords like:

  • Blogging
  • Advertising
  • Content marketing
  • eBooks
  • Social media
  • Etc

This will just give me the flexibility to try different things, and you won’t run out of ideas. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner or even search to find cool markets which haven’t been tapped into. Then start to narrow down each topic by looking at sub-keywords and products which you can focus on. Many times I have head over to Amazon.com, and started looking at the best sellers within a niche. The fact that many people have been purchasing a specific product means it’s a very HOT niche. It’s important to think outside the box, and choose a niche which has a huge audience, and isn’t competitive.

If you head over to Google and type in some keywords, you’ll be able to find some awesome niches which haven’t been tapped into by a wide range of bloggers.

Not Marketing Enough

It doesn’t matter if you just started out, or have been in the business for a long time because you have to keep marketing. The thing many people don’t understand is times are much different now, and you have to battle others to get ahead in the line so use what’s available to you. The fact so many social media websites popped up is a good thing, but can work against you too. Let me explain this a bit better…

Years ago starting a blog, writing content and generating a following was easier. It was simply based on first come first serve, and the search engines didn’t have complicated algorithms as they do now. This meant you were ranked based on start date, and how many keywords you had in your content relevant to a search phrase. However, now you have over 200 rankings factors which determine your place within the SERP’s. Here are just some of them:

  • Content freshness
  • Depp linking
  • Domain authority
  • Page authority
  • Social signals
  • Internal linking
  • Keywords
  • LSI
  • Long-tail
  • And many others

Since things have gotten more complicated I encourage all of you to try different marketing avenues available to you. For example, start investing in banner advertising, CPC, content marketing and others. This will allow you to outshine your competition within your niche if necessary. A lot of this will obviously depend on your niche, and how many others are dominating within it, but choosing to actively market will increase the likelihood of conversions. Start by doing a quick search in Google, and creating a list of marketing platforms. This way you can start to try different ones and keeping track of the long term conversions.

Retention vs Acquisition

As a blogger you have to pay close attention to customer retention, and acquisition. For those of you NOT familiar with these two phrases, let’s take a quick look at each:

Acquisition: This is where you continue to grow your visitors by getting new customers.

Retention: This is where you hold on to the visitors you already have visiting your website.

It’s important you continue to do both, but more importantly focus on your existing customer or reader base. Why? If you start to lose readers, this means you have a deeper underlying problem. It means you have a problem with new content bring published or have LOST the quality of your product or services. No one wants to lose customers especially when they have been active readers of your blog for several years…right?

Here is my point….

One of the biggest blunders I’ve see bloggers make is NOT focus on acquisition and retention enough. They take visitors for granted thinking they’ll stick around forever once active readers of your blog. This mentality will get you in trouble in the long run because losing readers mean you are failing to do something important which you did when starting.

As a blog owner make sure you keep a close eye on why your blog grew, and going forward make sure you continue to focus on the same things.

Delaying to Grow or Blog

For my final point I want to discuss something very important. You have to make sure you blog and write content every day. We are at a time where we should be focusing on content marketing because this is what search engines and people are looking for. More people turn to the internet to find solutions to their problems, and they expect to find them when searching through Google, etc. As a matter of fact, Google has made this clear numerous times over the last few years. Let’s take a look at what they’ve done in recent years.

Algorithm Changes – You’ve seen more changes in the recent years then ever before. These are focused at bettering search results, removing poor quality sites, and those which use manipulation to rank keywords.

Ranking Factors – You’ve seen a huge change in what now ranks your content compared to before. For example, more emphasis is given to content, social signals, domain and page authority.

Bounce Rate – Google tracks user experience by looking at bounce rate differently. They time pages more accurately which will show them the quality of your content.

Internal Linking – More important now then ever before because a solid linking patterning increases the authority of other pages. Google looks for “total” authority instead of single page when ranking websites.

These are just some examples however you can imagine how many other factors matter when ranking your website. I recommend you have a solid content writing schedule so you can keep writing up-to-date content. Google has build their reputation by focusing on providing accurate information, and one way to achieve this is by writing content people actually want to read.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have a solid list of common blunders made by bloggers, it’s important you start implementing what you’ve learned above. Start by reading over this content one more time and making notes along the way so you understand the material. Many times, you’ll still continue to make the same mistakes because you haven’t understood what I’ve mentioned above. This can be avoided by readings the content above one more time, and writing out the fundamentals in point form.

The next time you write content you can start applying these strategies and always have a way to track statistics. The thing you should do is track what’s been working so you can continue to use those and avoid the ones which produce little results. Remember, in the final point I discussed the importance of retention and acquisition which should always be your ultimate focus. Keeping both these elements in mind will allow you to keep writing content to build a bigger following, and keep those who have already been loyal readers.

Here’s something else which I forgot to mention above that I’ll go over now…

Social media is a great way to keep building readership because it taps into a huge amount of people everyday. However, you have to know how to use certain networks. For example, find out how to use social media tools which allow you to focus people in your niche. In Twitter, I use a tool called hashtagify.com which gives you a list of the MOST popular #hashtags in your niche. You start by typing in your main keyword, and the tool will generate a table of popular #hashtags which you can then implement into your tweet. For those of you unaware: #hashtags are Twitters way to sort information being shared on their network, and it’s been a valuable way so far. Learn how to use different strategies for other networks so you can get your content found on social networks which will generate enormous traffic to your blog.

Remember, having a tracking tool which will tell you where your traffic is coming from so you can continue to use that avenue going forward for blog growth. At the same time, you should be focusing on blogger retention through existing content marketing, etc.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

SEMrush vs MOZ: Which is the Best SEO Tool?

With tools such as SEMrush and Moz, you get to take your SEO game up a notch and come out with truly astounding results for your blog, business, and clients. If you’re reading this, then you’re probably deciding whether to invest in one of these SEO tools. You may have tried the free version of one of these or both these SEO tools and are now considering whether it’s worth it to upgrade to the full version. Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Even if you’ve never tried any of these SEO tools, please read this post to learn more about their features and how you can leverage the power of these tools to improve your site’s search rankings.

In this post we will compare two of the most popular SEO tools and see how they compete against each other on features, ease-of-use, and pricing.

Basic Plans (Comparison) SEMrush Pro Moz Pro
30 Days Free Trial SIGN UP NOW SIGN UP NOW
Pricing $99.95/Month $99/Month
Users Included 1 2
No. of Sites to Track 5 5
Total Pages to Crawl 100,000 250,000
Tracked Keywords 500 300
PDF Reports 5 5
Tracked Social Media Profiles 50 NA

SEMrush: Overview

Just giving a search on Google with the keywords “SEO tools” will show you exactly how complicated and crammed up the SEO world is. There’s a tidal wave of resources out there and while most of these tools are loaded with features, they can make our lives complicated. But most bloggers, SEO gurus, and agencies will agree that SEMrush probably provides the best bang for buck.

I use SEMrush for pretty much everything I do. I use it to find new keyword opportunities, do backlink analysis, and to spy on competitors’ keywords. (To learn more about how SEMrush can help you crush your competition in search rankings, read this post)

If you know the current state of SEO, you know just how important long tail, low- competition keywords are. And that’s exactly what SEMrush allows you to do. Paired with Google’s AdWords Keyword Research tool, you can truly obtain a few very lucrative low competition keywords and create/optimize content that ranks well in search engines.

How to Use SEMrush

If you’ve never tried SEMrush before, then you can read this section to know how to start. Others can skip this part of the post and move on to the next section to read the rest of the article.

To get started, you’d need an SEMrush account. If you don’t have one, you can register for a free SEMrush account using the link below. This will give you 1 month free access to SEMrush PRO (actual value – $99.95).

Save $49.97 on SEMrush PRO with our Exclusive 14-day Free Trial

SEMrush Dashboard - How to use SEMrush

Once you’ve registered and logged into your free account, you’ll find the default search bar like the one shown above. From here, select Organic Research from the left sidebar. Next you can type the domain name of your competitor to see the keywords they are ranking for. For this example, I used SEMrush website to check the keywords they are ranking for. The results for your search should look something like this:

SEMrush vs MOZ

The next step is to set filters to find the top 10 keywords for which your competitor is ranking for (this is just an example. You can set any parameters you deem fit for your competition analysis). Make sure that the monthly search volume for these keywords is at least 10+. Once you’ve applied the filters, the results page should look something like this:

Which is the best SEO tool: Moz Pro vs SEMrush

Once you have the data for top 10 keywords that your competition is ranking for, you can optimize your own keyword strategy and content to make sure your website ranks well for each of these 10 keywords.

In some cases, your competition might be already a big player in the market with several backlinks and other SEO factors to back them up. In this case, what you can do is chase ‘low hanging fruits’ aka long-tail keywords with low-medium competition. These are the keywords where the search volume is low, but the traffic is high since there is little to no competition. For example, instead of trying to optimize your site for the keywords ‘meditation retreat’, you can optimize your site for keywords ‘buddhist meditation retreat in singapore’ which is a long-tail keyword with low search volume, but good traffic.

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With your free trial account, your searches are restricted to 5 per day and the results are limited to 10. The best part about SEMrush is that you can check not just Google ranking results, but also Bing (US). You can also check how your website and your competitors are ranking in 26 countries. Below is the list of countries where you can do competition and keyword analysis.

SEMrush vs MOZ Pro: Best SEO Tool

With the paid version of SEMrush, you get the following features:

  • Site Audit: This is one of the best features that SEMrush offers. You can do a site audit to find and fix the issues with your website. SEMrush offers ‘health percentage’ of your site and notifies you via email whenever the health percentage of your site is at risk.
  • Position Tracking: With the pro version of SEMrush, you can select up to 100 keywords and see how your website is ranking on search engines for these keywords. You can frequently monitor your site’s performance and do the necessary optimization to make sure you rank well for all these keywords.
  • Backlink Audit – You can conduct deep link analysis of your own site as well as your competitors’ site. By doing a deep link analysis of your competition, you can uncover a few backlink opportunities. The more relevant backlinks you have, the better will be your search ranking.

You can do all these and more with a PRO subscription of SEMrush. My suggestion would be to first try their free 30-day trial and use all these features yourself. You can click here to get a complete list of their features.

Verdict: SEMrush is the best SEO tool which is highly recommended by most SEO gurus. If this is the first time you’re investing on an SEO product, then SEMrush is the tool you should opt for because it that allows you to do organic keyword research, spy on competitors’ data, and build powerful backlinks. Is it worth the $69.99 per month? Yes and it’s worth every penny. When used to its potential, the ROI is pretty strong with this one.


MOZ: An Overview

Started way back in 2004 by Rand Fishkin, MOZ first started as an SEO consulting company before they developed their first SEO tool. Fishkin has established himself as a thought leader in the SEO space and is one of the most resourceful and respected marketing gurus you can follow on Twitter to learn some very important SEO and content marketing skills. But when it comes to their flagship SEO tools, I’ve mixed feelings.

To get started, let’s talk about some of the good things that Moz offers. The best part about Moz is that pretty much everything good about it is FREE. So if you’re on a shoestring budget and don’t want to invest on SEO tools yet, but still want to ensure that your site ranks well, then the free services offered by Moz are industry standard.

All of these tools below are free and you can use them to improve the search visibility of your site:

  • Open Site Explorer – You can track your link profile and uncover link building opportunities using this free tool
  • Keyword Explorer – Helps you find the best keywords in your niche
  • MozBar – Perhaps the best among the free tools offered by Moz, MozBar is a Google Chrome extension offers you a glimpse into your site’s Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA), both crucial metrics, on a regular basis. Your site’s PA and DA change on a monthly basis, so it’s important to keep a watchful eye on how your site is measured in these terms. Moreover, you can perform keyword research and link analysis of the sites you visit right from the browser bar (like shown below) without having to access the dashboard. You can get your Moz Bar Chrome extension for free here.

MozBar: SEMrush vs Moz

If you’re using Moz for free, then you can give up to 3 searches per day. For the example below, I gave a search on Moz.com to find their DA and PA and to get a fair idea about their backlink profile.

Moz vs SEMrush: Which is the best SEO toolNow to the part that isn’t that good. Having been impressed with the free services offered by Moz, I decided to take the plunge for paid subscription and found myself a little underwhelmed.

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I didn’t mind paying the $99 per month price for standard subscription as long as the tools offered were worth that sum. Being a fan of Rand Fishkin, I so wanted to like Moz Pro, but it fell short of my expectations. I found myself using it less and less and cancelled the subscription to look for better and cheaper alternatives.

Having said that, Moz by no means is a bad SEO tool. I still use their free tools such as Open Site Explorer and Moz Bar for SEO to keep a track of my sites’ PA and DA. Moreover, Moz has some incredible SEO and content marketing resources which you can download for free from here. If you’re a beginner, then Moz has some of the best resources which you can read to familiarize yourself with SEO tactics. Their Beginner’s Guide to SEO is perhaps the best SEO guide I’ve stumbled upon in recent times.

They also have an amazing blog which I visit regularly. Whiteboard Friday, a video series featuring Founder/CEO Rand Fishkin, is something that you should tune into every week.

But if you were to ask me if I’d ever subscribe to Moz Pro for $99/Month, my answer would be No. I’d like to emphasize that this is my personal experience with Moz. There are people who swear by Moz and they may be able to elaborate more on the paid services offered by Moz. Perhaps they have been able to find time to use it to its full potential. For me, everything good offered by Moz is free and if you had to invest in an SEO tool, it’d be SEMrush.

Try Moz Pro FREE for 30 days


SEMrush vs MOZ: Which SEO tool should you buy?

(Update: SEMrush revised the pricing of their plans in Jan 2017. Their standard plan which was priced at $69.95/month is now worth $99.95/month, Guru plan which was priced at $149.95 is now worth $199.95, and their business plan which was priced at $549.95 is now worth $399.95)

If you were to compare the free tools offered by each of these, both have their own strengths and limitations. However, MOZ offers a free 30-day trial which is akin to Moz Pro’s full version.

With SEMrush, you are required to register an account to get your free 30-day trial which has several limitations. Your searches as well as search results are limited to 5 and 10 per day respectively. But if we were to compare the features offered under paid subscriptions, then I’d highly recommend SEMrush over Moz.

I use SEMrush for pretty much every SEO task that I do.

The sheer amount of data available on SEMrush can be overwhelming at times, but they have excellent training materials and product guide to help you every step of the way. Their support team is really helpful and they organize weekly webinars which you can participate in to hone your SEO skills.

Moz, on the other hand, is expensive for the features it offers. The best thing to do would be to try the free 30-day trial of Moz and probably then decide to take a plunge if you like the product. Like I said, your experience with the product may differ and you may find value in the paid services which they offer. On the other hand, if you had to invest in a powerful SEO tool, then SEMrush has all the features you need and more. Give it a try!

Moz Pro Pricing

These are the Moz Pro pricing plans as of October 2017. You can save 20% by switching to annual pricing.

Moz Pricing: SEMrush vs Moz

SEMrush Pricing

These are SEMrush’s pricing plans as of October 2017. You can save up to $800 by switching to an annual plan.

SEMrush vs Moz - SEMrush's pricing plans as of October 2017

Links to register free accounts with SEMrush and Moz:

Click here to get 14-day free access to SEMrush PRO

Click here to register your free account with Moz

So who is the WINNER ?
SEMrush or MOZ ?

If you ask me go with SEMrush if you want to go PRO !
It gives you the most for the lower price !




How to Measure Individual Link and CTA Clicks On Each of Your Blog Posts (For Blogger Only) 2018

Conversion Rate Optimization Tool

Everyone wants to build a high-converting CTA for their website that makes them tons of money. But the reality is that while a single element of your site may be the focal point, it’s not the only part that leads visitors to make a purchase. Often, a visitor will come to your site multiple times before they decide to buy or initiate any meaningful interaction with your brand. So the real question is, how do you track those people and optimize your content so that you can still capture them in your sales funnel? That means you shouldn’t just focus on the big CTAs. You should also focus on how elements like links and “smaller” CTAs perform on your blog posts. But that requires a lot more effort on your part and will likely require some solid justification.

Is tracking individual links and CTA clicks worth it?

And how do you even accomplish that?

I want to help answer those questions for you in a way that will help you grow in the long run.

So let’s start by tackling that first question – is all of this worth it?

Do individual clicks really matter?

Think of all of the different elements on a blog post.

Just to name a few, you have internal links, external links, images, CTAs, social sharing buttons, and comments.


When you consider how all of these elements work together to create a cohesive blog post, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by how many moving pieces there are.

And then you have to answer one very important question:

Which of these elements is actually being clicked and contributing to the overall “macro” click-through rates and revenue?

When it comes to optimizing your website, click-through rates are the metric that marketers look toward to help evaluate the overall profitability of a page.

And depending on what you’re selling, your click-through rates will vary drastically.

cta ctr

But knowing click-through rates for a page as a whole is a very dense metric.

It shows end behavior, but it doesn’t tell you anything helpful about how each element of the page contributes to the final click-through metric.

That means you’re getting a very limited picture of your customer’s actual experience on your blog.

So when it comes to getting valuable data about your click-throughs, you have to start with an understanding that links and CTAs contribute to the overall customer experience.


Customer experience focuses on how users interact with your website.

If they have a good experience, they’re more likely to turn into happy customers.

Happy customers are easier to retain, promote your brand more, and ultimately buy more from your business.

But if you don’t know which elements of your content are contributing or detracting from your customer experience, you’ll never be able to create the kind of blog posts that truly bring conversions.

And content is a vital part of every phase of proving ROI when it comes to customer experience:

cx 2

So individual links and CTAs on your blog post are a matter of your customer’s lifetime value.

And knowing the rate at which each individual element of a blog post is clicked can help in a variety of cases.

For one, it will directly benefit your CTAs and links that are goal-oriented.

If you have a CTA for a product or service in a blog post that isn’t getting clicks, it may be because your visitors are getting distracted by other links or elements on the page.

Not knowing what’s actually getting clicked will leave you in the dark though.

And if your brand relies on affiliate links to help share content and increase your brands reach, then not knowing how many clicks you get will make it impossible to divvy up revenue appropriately.

affiliate link structure

So there are layers to individual link and CTA tracking that are certainly worth your time, attention, and investment.

Your goal is to find a way to track these clicks and actions on your blog posts so that your content, links, and CTAs all work together to help elevate your sales.

And that means starting with copy that converts.


Then, you need to start building an understanding of which actions drive your marketing efforts.

This will help you track ROI and improve in the future.

But as with everything else in business, budget, time, and your own expertise play a role.

It can be daunting to know where to start.

But thankfully, there’s a one-stop-shop answer on where to start, and I want to share it with you in this post.

The answer you’re looking for is to find a solid reporting system that will let you track and attribute clicks appropriately.

Finding a reporting system

When it comes to finding a reporting system that will allow you to track individual link and CTA clicks, you’re really looking at two options:

  1. An overlay report system
  2. A direct link-tracking system

Overlay report systems are typically more robust, collect deeper analytics, and provide you with more actionable data based on overall user behavior.

A link-tracking system will be more lightweight but will still able to give you useful insight on your link and CTA clicks.

I want to show you a couple of options for both of these systems.

Whichever one you pick, you can start using it to collect insightful data and optimize your customer experience on your blog.

First up is a very robust overlay system that can start providing value immediately.

Option #1: Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg is a premium service that allows business owners to create helpful overlay reports on their website.

These overlay reports show a variety of helpful data points that allow you to assess quickly where your blog post is getting clicks.

For example, one of the most popular overlay reports they offer is a simple heatmap of user behavior on your site.


This gives you a visual representation of where users are actually interacting with your blog post.

Every time a user clicks, it creates a spot on your heat map that gives you insight into their intent.

And if that’s not enough information for you, you can also switch over to a confetti overlay to find out where your visitors are coming from.


This lets you not only see where users are clicking, but it gives you insight into which geographical location tends to use different elements of your site.

For example, you can break down your users into visitors from the United States versus the United Kingdom.

If they behave differently, you can use this tool to optimize your posts for a wider variety of audiences in the future.

And then if you want to take it even deeper, you can record user sessions on your site to see their scrolling behavior, clicks, and much more.


That means you’ll never be in the dark about how people are actually using your site.

You can track clicks and optimize your site from the data you gather.

And if you doubt whether this could work for you, you should know that plenty of brands have used this successfully,

For example, Nurse.com made good use of Crazy Egg’s platform according to one case study they’ve shared.

ce cast study 1

They were able to analyze the elements of their blog posts where users were attempting to click.

In the end, they found some competing CTAs and a non-clickable area that was getting lots of clicks.

More importantly, they discovered that no one was actually going through and clicking on the links in their copy.

Using the data they gathered from Crazy Egg, they revitalized their blog and saw an impressive 15.7% increase in sales.

If they hadn’t taken the time to see where users were actually clicking, they would never have been able to optimize the user experience accurately.

I’ve even used Crazy Egg on my own website with impressive results.


I started by analyzing the different clicks on my site and seeing what people were actually interested in.

Using this data, I was able to revitalize my CTA and strategically place links so that users would be more likely to click on them.


The result is that I saw an almost 24% increase in form submissions when I used this tool on my own website.

So using Crazy Egg as a tool to help you track the clicks on your CTAs and individual links is a great option that will allow you to optimize and grow your blog’s engagement.

It’s not the only overlay tool around, though.

So I want to show you another option that will help you just the same.

Option #2: Visual Website Optimizer

Visual Website Optimizer, or VWO, is another overlay report tool that lets you analyze the individual performance of your links and CTAs visually.

Much like Crazy Egg, VWO allows you to create recordings of individual sessions on your site.

vwo 1

This lets you see exactly where users are scrolling and clicking and even provides a traceable line to show you your user’s progression over time.

This helps you know if your user is really reading your content or just skimming to see what you have to offer.

VWO also offers dynamic heatmaps to help you dive further into user behavior and track individual clicks.

vwo 2

Again, these are very similar in functionality and application to the heatmaps used by Crazy Egg.

But in addition to the insightful heat mapping, VWO also tracks and reports on the various clicks your users make on both your links and your page as a whole:

vwo 3

This includes some helpful element list breakdowns that show which parts of your blog post are getting what percentage of the clicks:

vwo 4

So all things considered, there’s a lot going on with VWO that you can track, analyze, and optimize for.

By utilizing the tools it has to offer, you can quickly and effectively discover any pain points in your blog content that are pushing users away.

And since VWO offers a free month to let you try out the platform, you can start using it without a commitment to see if it works for you.

Once you’ve set up an account, simply input a blog post’s URL and start using their system to see what it has to offer.

vwo 5

You’ll find that the process is fairly intuitive, and you won’t have to look far to find the different heatmaps and settings that VWO uses.

vwo 6

But again, don’t just take my word when it comes to these overlay systems.

There are plenty of examples of brands using a platform like VWO to help track link clicks and grow their content in the long run.

Take CORGI Homeplan, for example.

The UK-based insurance company felt their site wasn’t performing as it should.

They used the scroll maps, recordings, and heatmaps VWO offers to create experiments on their site that drastically changed the look and feel of it.

Here’s the original site:

corgi original

And, after much testing, here’s the site design that they ended up settling on:

corgi variation

On the surface, these look like minor changes.

They swapped out a few colors and changed their header a bit but otherwise left most elements unchanged.

But these changes saw a 30.9% increase in conversions.

And all of them were based on changes that VWO gave the insight for.

Without a doubt, overlay reports can be valuable to a brand that wants to shake up their content and track which links and CTAs are actually performing.

But as previously mentioned, overlay reports aren’t the only option.

So next, let’s look at a couple of link tracking options that are much more lightweight but still practical.

Option #3: Google Analytics

It may surprise you to learn that Google Analytics actually allows you to track link clicks on your site in a way that lets you fine-tune your copy and increase your overall click-through rates.

You can find file downloads, video engagement, external and internal link clicks, and even email link clicks all under the Behavior tab in your Analytics.

Start by clicking on your Behavior tab, then select the events and overview options.


Under the Event Category section, you can see how often links are being clicked in relation to other events that you’ve set your Analytics to track.

eventtracking link

And when you look a little further, you’ll find a more detailed breakdown of which links received clicks on your blog post.

linkclicks eventlabel

Compared to the overlay reports we’ve been looking at, this information is pretty basic.

You get a breakdown of which links get clicks, but it’s not quite the same level of in-depth user behavior analysis that overlays offer.

But for a marketer on a tighter budget, this information can still be used to your benefit.

When links or CTAs aren’t receiving clicks according to Google, you can still conduct experiments on your site to see if they improve your results.

Even conducting A/B tests over time with this data can yield good results.

Another way you could potentially use Google Analytics to track links and CTA clicks was recently shared by Amanda Gant from Orbit Media.

She tracked a campaign using Google’s URL Builder and saw some pretty impressive results.


Using these links, she created campaigns around her content that Google Analytics was able to track.


If she emailed a link in a newsletter, or if a visitor to her site clicked on a link tracked by this campaign, Analytics would be able to give her direct feedback.

At the end of her campaign, Analytics also broke down the performance of each link:


Once again, this is surface-level information about which links are getting clicked, but it’s still helpful.

Analytics allows you to know whether or not your links and CTAs are actually getting clicks, which helps you determine where you need to focus your optimization efforts.

But Google Analytics isn’t the only option available if you just want basic link tracking.

And that brings us to our final link-tracking option.

Option #4: Bitly

There’s a good chance that you may have seen Bitly before and it’s just flown under your radar.

But if you’ve ever clicked on a URL through social media that starts with a bit.ly address, you’ve used Bitly before.

Or at least, you’ve experienced a brand that uses them.

Bitly is a URL-shortening service that tends to target social media marketers who want to save character space on their posts.

Before Twitter transitioned over from 140 characters to 280, many brands used Bitly to create shorter links to include in their posts.


All you had to do was input your URL and Bitly would give you a URL that contained fewer characters.

Bitly now offers tracking capabilities so you know how often your links are getting clicked, which makes them much more useful to a general marketing audience.

And since it works well on both browsers and mobile devices, it’s the perfect tool to help you track link and CTA clicks on any page of your website.

Using Bitly is fairly simple.

Start by signing up for a free account.

bitly 2

Once you get to your dashboard, you’ll notice in the top-right corner there’s a drop-down menu that says “Create.”

If you’re using the free service, you’ll only be able to select the Create Bitlink option.

bitly 3

That’s OK because a Bitlink is really all you need to get started tracking your URLs.

In the menu that appears, input the URL of the link or CTA that you want to track.

bitly 4

Bitly will give you a customized link using their bit.ly format that you can then copy and paste into your blog post or CTA.

bitly 5

Once you’ve inserted the new URL, Bitly will track the clicks on that individual link for you and provide some basic analytics that let you assess your overall performance.

To show you what that looks like, I went ahead and gave myself a click on my Bitly URL.

bitly 6

You’ll get a breakdown of the day, time, and number of clicks that your link or CTA is getting without having to wade through any additional data.

So again, while this isn’t as in-depth as an overlay report, you can still use this as a method of checking your individual link and CTA performance on your blog.

And it’s been successfully used by many popular brands, like Beats by Dre.

They started using Bitly to help them share branded shortened URLs and track their link clicks.

bitly cs

By using these shortened URLs to track performance, they were able to change up their content and achieve a 34% increase in click-through rates on their site.

It may require a bit more manual inputting of these Bitly links, but the results can certainly be worth it if you want to maintain a low budget for your link-tracking efforts.


Clicks matter.

If you can’t correctly determine which links and CTAs are getting clicks in your content, there’s no way to accurately know if your content is doing what it’s supposed to.

And more importantly, there’s no way to actually create insightful experiments that lead to growth.

And with internal links and CTAs contributing to your overall customer experience, this could mean the difference between a successful website and one that simply doesn’t perform.

To help you track links, you can either use an overlay reporting system or a link tracker.

Both have their pros and cons, but will ultimately provide you with actionable information.

Overlay reports from sites like Crazy Egg and Visual Website Optimizer can help you discover and analyze actual user behavior on your site.

Link-tracking systems like Bitly or those native to Google Analytics will give you less specific data, but can still empower you to create experiments that lead to growth.

Whichever option you use, the ability to track links can help your brand grow and your content thrive.

What methods do you use to track clicks on links and CTAs for your site?




Content Maintenance – How to Ensure That Your Old Blog Posts Remain Evergreen (For Webmasters Only) 2018

evergreen content marketing website blog posts

Content marketing is a tool that anyone can use. It can be niche specific. It can be in any format imaginable. It can also be absolutely free. But not everything about creating content is easy. There are elements that can bog you down and bum you out if you’re not too careful. And then far too often, there are elements of content marketing that we tend to ignore altogether. In this particular instance, I’m talking about the maintenance phase of content marketing. Even though updating old content has been proven to help your SEO, it still doesn’t get much attention from an Internet that’s always on. I want to make a case for why that trend should change.

So let’s talk about the black sheep of content marketing.

Content’s unloved final stage

Content creation takes place in some very defined and often repeated stages.

It usually starts with a researching effort, followed by a period where a plan is formulated to help create new content.

Once the plan is established, writers and designers are hired and told what to do.

After the editing process is done, the content is published on blogs and shared in social media.

But then comes a phase that marketers like to include but don’t really practice.

That phase is called the maintenance phase.

And you’ll usually see the whole process broken down to something like this:

csi content lifecyle version 2

If you’ve worked with content for a very long time, you’re probably familiar with each of these stages, at least in theory.

But therein lies the rub.

Content maintenance is often discussed but infrequently delivered on in the neverending push to create fresh content.

Marketers seem to prefer to skip to the end of the life cycle where we decommission old content in favor of new ideas.

But this tendency cuts out one of the most effective cohorts of your content and leaves it hanging out to dry.

I’m talking about your evergreen content.

This is the content that you created to have long-term value.

Specific Examples of Evergreen ContentSpecific Examples of Evergreen Content

These are the pride and joy of your site.

They’re the pieces you created years ago that still ring true and help guide newcomers to your brand.

Do you really want to neglect that content?

And do you want to neglect content that you could update to create more valuable pieces?

It doesn’t make sense to neglect maintenance when you think about it.

Because if anything, the value of maintained content can magnify over time.

Some brands have seen astronomical success, like this company whose traffic grew 1,800% when they started focusing more on maintaining their old content.

evergreen content seo 768x411evergreen content seo 768x411

That’s a pretty impressive feat from one simple change, and I think that every brand can see similar results from their own content.

Think about some of the benefits that evergreen content bring to the table.

It drives traffic to your site over a longer period with authoritative keywords and backlinking, as this post from Lifehacker shows us.

It was originally published in 2013, and years later it’s still picking up backlinks and organic traffic.

LifeHack Organic Search EvergreenLifeHack Organic Search Evergreen

And if you create a thorough and helpful post, it can be a backlink magnet.

It also helps create continuity in your content through the years, which is helpful for establishing authority with Google.

That means that over time the right evergreen content will even help you boost your search position.

And as I already mentioned, this type of content usually helps you attract and educate newcomers to your brand.

These are the pieces of content that Hubspot calls a Pillar Page.

New structure 2

These evergreen and constantly-maintained pieces act as central nodes on your site that help establish and grow your authority on a certain subject.

In turn, this mitigates any need to constantly feel like you have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to sourcing or backing your newer content.

But since maintenance lacks the urgency that creation and publishing have inherently, it’s often overlooked.

And if this is true of your content, it’s to your detriment.

Content maintenance is about creating a sustainable relationship with an ever-growing audience by keeping your posts reliable.

If they find an old post that isn’t helpful, it can show you in a negative light.

So while attempting to create expansive guides like this post of mine from Crazy Egg is a good place to start, you have to revamp your efforts to be more than just creation.

Because what you may not know is that this post actually started years ago as a guide with only six tips.

Due to changes that have happened since I created it, I needed to update and add more information.

So now, this post can stand the test of time.

But that’s the catch.

Posts like this require time, research, and frequent updates.

And the only way you can ever reach that amount of success is if you put the same amount of effort into your own content.

That means creating a plan for both creation and maintenance.

And that means you need to find out which posts are worth keeping around and what actions will help you keep them useful for years to come.

So let’s look at some methods to help you update and maintain the older content on your site.

Method #1: Update for technical issues

As with anything else, your website will start to “decay” over time.

Whether it’s an early 2000’s style background or a broken link, there will be technical issues that you have to tackle when you start going back to your old content.

Even if you published your content in peak condition for its day, I can guarantee that you’ll find at least one element that’s changed in the subsequent years.

And I bet that you’ll find more than one.

For example, Google recently made some sweeping changes to their meta descriptions.

The previous limitation of 160 characters is now behind us, which means that optimized post from years ago are now no longer as optimized as they were.

This screenshot of a post from 2011 shows how ironic this can turn for you.

meta descriptions

While it’s debatable whether or not the length of your meta description is relevant to overall SEO performance, it’s still worth giving your older pages a refresh if it’s been a while.

At the very least, it’s recommended to treat meta descriptions as a conversion factor, and in that way, they will help your overall SEO.

As long as you stay up-to-date on best practice for meta descriptions, it’s worth the effort to go back and maintain this information on your older posts.

When SEMRush went back and updated older, shorter meta descriptions for one of their clients, they found that the longer version performed better.

meta description test variations brodie clarkmeta description test variations brodie clark

Even though the new description was cut off at the very end, it had more organic traffic than the original variant.

Process.st even recommends checking your meta titles and descriptions as part of your overall website maintenance routine.


So starting with a simple update of your meta descriptions is a great place to start.

Since we’re talking about meta descriptions, it can also be a good idea to experiment with new title tags to help boost engagement with a refreshed post.

But there are plenty of other areas of your site that might show some signs of wear too.

For example, your old post may have broken links or links to outdated or out-of-business tools that ultimately hurt your credibility.

The easiest way to audit your content for broken or outdated links would be to use the Chrome extension LinkMiner.


If a link is healthy, it will be highlighted green.

But if it’s not, it will stand out with red highlighting.

Since broken links hurt your SEO, leaving an older link that “used to be good” in your content will actually end up hurting you in the long run.

Thankfully, it’s a simple fix.

Just find newer studies or statistics that help emphasize your point and link to those instead.

You can also take this opportunity to move up the “last updated” timestamp, if your posts have a published date, like this:


This makes your content feel fresher for a longer period of time, and it allows you to make updates that will draw your audience back.

But if they don’t know it’s been updated, it’s less likely they’ll return.

Seigemedia saw a 61% increase in month over month traffic on their site simply by including a “last updated” tag.

Screen Shot 2016 05 17 at 4.44.43 PMScreen Shot 2016 05 17 at 4.44.43 PM

As long as you’re providing substantial updates, this strategy can work for you.

Just don’t think you can “update” your page without really changing anything.

There’s a good chance people will notice and that won’t turn out well for your brand.

But yet another change that you may encounter with an older piece of content is due to upgrades and shifts in how we upload and consume media.

For example, the death of Flash has caused the subsequent downfall of many pieces of content that were created to rely on it.

Flash is down to a mere 17% usage, and Adobe has announced they’ll soon be pulling the plug altogether.

And since most tech sites just recommend users turn it off, it’s really just a formality at this part.

xcsu 7.png.pagespeed.gpjpjwpjwsjsrjrprwricpmd.ic .KwZh5fXIR2xcsu 7.png.pagespeed.gpjpjwpjwsjsrjrprwricpmd.ic .KwZh5fXIR2

But if you have older content that relies on Flash, it’s not going to survive much longer even if it is good.

Finding a way to renovate that content for a modern audience could help it remain evergreen for years to come.

Another trend in media consumption has to do with something a little more technical, but just as important.

Many SEOs recommend ditching hard to download JPEGs in favor of PNG files to help optimize load times.

01276a43 edee 4135 a693 d9e1d73a09c4 720x720

And as you can see in the image above, the PNG on the left has a slightly higher overall quality than the same JPEG image on the right.

Simple things like this can affect your site’s load time, which subsequently factors into your SEO.

If your old pieces are slow to load, they won’t do you much good.

But a few upgrades can keep them relevant and useful for years to come.

It’s also worth noting that recent trends in semantic search markup can lead to exclusions of older, less-maintained pieces of content as well.

While most semantic search markup efforts focus on correcting simple user errors like misspellings, these are also the elements that drive the results of more conversational queries:


Because an older page may not have the structured data that makes pages SEO friendly for these types of searches, your content is less likely to rank as high as it should.

Giving the content and structure a refresh can do wonders for your SEO, but you have to put in the effort.

For example, this blog post from Backlinko receives an annual update and reportedly brings in close to 100,000 organic visitors for their site with each update.

That’s a great result from one update per year.

I’ve also found that simple elements like URL structure make a big difference in how Google crawls your site.


Dating URLs can mean Google will take older posts and deem them “irrelevant,” which is bad for your old evergreen pieces.

And while it’s an intensive task, accomplishing it could keep your evergreen posts relevant for years to come.

Each of these technical elements plays a role in your SEO and organic traffic and requires a bit of digging to discover.

But if you take steps to correct these changes as they happen, your maintenance efforts are almost guaranteed to pay off.

Method #2: Focus on revamping your most popular old posts

It should be said that you can’t and shouldn’t update every old piece of content.

If I were to go back and find the first few blog posts I ever wrote, I probably wouldn’t even want to read them.

So you can forget about updating everything.

But you can focus on updating your most popular posts if you want a place to start.

And it shouldn’t take long to find your best pieces, even if they’re old.

Start by checking out your Google Analytics.

You’ll want to go to the “Behavior” section and click on “Overview.”

On the bottom right side of your Page breakdown, you’ll want to click the link that says “view full report.”

You’ll see a more detailed breakdown of every page’s performance for the history of your website.

This will help you know which posts have been the most popular throughout the years, which means you’ll have your shortlist of maintenance-worthy pieces with a simple search.

You’ll also want to make sure you scroll through or expand the rows tab of your report too, as the results will likely only show ten initially:

scroll throughscroll through

If you focus on maintaining and revamping these pieces of content, you have a good bet that you’ll be able to continue leveraging them in the future.

You can also check out a backlink checker like Majestic, which lets you ensure you’re revamping pages on your site that are already well established.

It’s also to your advantage to take time and really consider the why and the when of what makes these pieces successful.

cm curve compare

Each piece of content you create has a purpose, and that purpose should be kept in mind in your long-term efforts.

An evergreen piece might take a few months or years to really gain traction, so evaluate your performance regularly and with a grain of salt.

Even if it’s not getting the views that your news-oriented posts get, remember that it can benefit you more in the long run.

And if you feel like your content could be doing better, you can always check out different ideas for revamping your pieces in a new format.

This is also called “upcycling” your content.

And one of the simplest ways to accomplish this is to take an old but popular post and turn it into a video.

Hubspot uses this type of approach all the time with blog posts like this one on productivity.

It’s the same information, but it’s been presented in a way that revitalizes the content and brings it back into the limelight.

If you focus on ways to recreate and leverage your most popular posts, you’ll never neglect content maintenance again.

Method #3: Treat relevancy as the new bar for quality

No matter what you do, time will make even your best posts irrelevant.

news curvenews curve

Even if your post was at the cutting edge when it was posted, the time will come when it falls into the category of “old news.”

And despite what you may think, this does apply to your “evergreen” content.

The result of this time-based decay is that you can approach your content maintenance with a different perspective.

That perspective is one of relevancy instead of popularity.

What that means is you take an older piece of content that used to perform well and update the information to make it relevant again.

This is a slightly different approach than focusing on popularity because it opens the door for more “underperforming” content relative to a post that was originally made to be evergreen.

But depending on your needs, it can provide an actionable content maintenance plan that helps you grow the effectiveness of your evergreen content.

To get started, you need to familiarize yourself with the triangle of relevance.

content strategy triangle of relevance by angie schottmuller 300x263

This method forces you to evaluate your old content from three sides:

  1. Does it still have the ability to pique user interest?
  2. Is it timely?
  3. Will it actually serve a purpose for your business?

If the answer to all three questions is yes, then you have a piece of content that can be updated.

And since your most relevant content is going to be viewed and shared more, focusing on creating and revamping relevant content can improve your overall content lifecycle.

Once you’ve determined if an old piece can indeed be updated, I recommend giving the topic one final check by looking at Google Trends.

interest over time

This tool lets you evaluate if there is any interest in the topic of the old post you’ve chosen to update.

If you see spikes or dips, it may be worth waiting until you can get the most out of your renovated piece.

But if your verification carries through, go ahead and start your maintenance efforts.

You can even A/B test elements like titles and imagery with your subscribed readers to help you find and keep the content that works best.

What is AB Testing 568x406

This approach is a little unconventional, but it’s another way to continually test the relevance of the information you want to update.

If even your subscribed readers don’t favor a piece, it’s likely a signal that you need to move your maintenance efforts elsewhere.

Another way you can evaluate relevance would be to analyze how your content is used and what actions are taken from it using heat maps.


Again, while not necessarily the most conventional way of determining which old blog post should get the evergreen treatment, this can be useful.

Say for example you have an older post that doesn’t get much traffic anymore, but your heat mapping and analytics show it had high click-through rates in its prime.

That could be a signal that it needs a little upgrading to be relevant again.

At the very least, viewing your old posts through the relevancy lense can give you signals about what your audience likes and dislikes.

And that can help you find more ways to renovate or create pieces that will resonate with them.


You may not like it, but you can’t just ignore your old content.

If you want to create the kind of evergreen content that grows your brand, you have to keep putting effort into it.

And that means staring deep into the eyes of content maintenance and actually taking action.

Go back to your best old blog posts and find out if there are any technical issues holding them back.

Even if it’s just a few JPEGs, you can update them to help create an optimal load time and boost your SEO.

Then take a good look at your most popular pieces. If you can rework them to make them even better, don’t hold back.

And take some time to evaluate how relevant an older post might be.

You may be surprised when a post from years back actually surfaces as a winner.

If you really want to get serious about maintaining your content, commit to sacrificing some of your time to it.

You can’t have an overnight success with evergreen content. It’s just not possible.

But with the right approach, you can create a powerful content library that will stay relevant and boost your brand for years to come.

What do you look for when you’re evaluating an older piece that needs updating?



SEO Clickbait – How to Write Website / Blog Headlines Everyone Must Hit (for Webmasters only) 2018

clickbait seo headlines everybody must hit

SEO Website headline. Clickbait Website headline. Which one wins? If you ask me, you don’t have to choose. The battle between SEO and clickbait headlines has raged far too long. If you optimize for both people and search engines — which we know works in body content — you can’t lose. Google has one goal: please its user base. If people are happy with the content in the SERPs, the search engine generates more advertising revenue and enjoys more traffic. Similarly, people click on content because they’re enticed by the headline. If your headline is written strictly for search engines, your prospective customers might ignore it entirely. That’s bad for everyone.

So how do you marry SEO and clickbait website headlines? What makes a great headline — both for searchers and search engines?

Before we answer those questions, though, we need to figure out how people and search engines evaluate content.
Search intent and Google rankings

You know how I feel about SEO.

It’s essential for your website if you want to rank the content you create.

However, that doesn’t mean you can ignore your audience in favor of search engines.

That’s like getting people through the doors of your restaurant and serving bad food.

We know from Google itself that search intent is one of the most important factors in ranking specific types of content.

When people search for a particular phrase, Google wants to know their goals.

2018 04 20 18 51 35 Keyword Strategy A User Centric Approach to Keyword Research

Do they want to compare different products? Do they want to know how to find a particular business? Might they be ready to buy a product today?

From this, we can determine that Google and searchers are looking for the same things.

They want to know whether your content will help the searcher find what they’re looking for.

Informational intent means the user wants to learn something new.
Navigational intent suggests the user wants to visit a local business.
Transactional intent demonstrates a desire to buy.

There’s also one more type of search intent: Comparison intent.

We know that comparison shopping has become extremely popular.

2018 04 22 14 39 29 Comparison Shopping eCommerce Infographic

Comparison intent means the searcher wants to compare one or more products of a similar nature.

So what does search intent have to do with writing SEO-optimized and clickbait headlines?

If you can get into the minds of your searchers and figure out what they want to learn, you can respond with better headlines — not to mention better content.

Fortunately, clickbait and SEO don’t have to get in a headline war.

Let’s look at several ways to unite them both for maximum growth.
Get the keyword in your title

Perform any old search on Google.

For this example, I’ll go with my standby: “content marketing.”

If you scroll through the results, you’ll see one pattern remains consistent. The headlines (or titles) all have the keyword “content marketing” in them.

2018 04 20 18 55 22 content marketing Google Search

That’s pretty telling, right?

Clearly, Google wants to serve up content that’s obviously directly related to the keyword or search phrase.

You have to work your keyword into the title — preferably at the very beginning.

But what about the somewhat nonsensical searches we conduct on a daily basis. For instance, if I need to hire a plumber, I might type “plumber Seattle” into Google.

2018 04 20 18 57 20 plumber seattle Google Search

Google’s a lot smarter than it was 10 years ago. It understands contextual searches.

The results you see above have related keywords in the headlines, such as “Seattle plumbing,” “Seattle plumbers,” and “Plumbing in Seattle.”

One has “Plumber Seattle,” but that isn’t necessary.

When you happen upon a prime keyword that doesn’t make grammatical or logistical sense, feel free to add a stop word (such as a, the, by, or in) to ensure it makes sense.

For instance, if I wanted to rank for the keyword “plumber Seattle,” I’d probably include the phrase “plumber in Seattle” in the headline.

The stopword “in” won’t make a difference in terms of SEO.
Make something shocking, unbelievable, or amazing

It’s incredible to me how adding or changing one word in a headline can turn it on its head.

You go from boring, SEO-optimized headline to instant clickbait.

One option is to add words like “shocking,” “unbelievable,” or “amazing” to the headline.

But here’s the rub:

What you reveal in the article must actually be shocking, unbelievable, or amazing.

You see these words on the website BuzzFeed all the time.

2018 04 20 19 05 44 10 Unbelievable Facts About Third World Countries

Don’t abuse this clickbait trick. Only use it when you can back up your claims.

I’ve used it myself on occasion, such as for my article on how to write better articles.

2018 04 20 19 07 48 How to Create Amazing Articles Even If You Suck at Writing

Statistics and relevant news stories can often be turned into articles with this type of clickbait headline.
Add crazy-high numbers

Everybody’s impressed when you can walk out a huge number.

It could relate to money, percentages, or anything else.

I got a ton of engagement on my article about YouTube advertising spend.

2018 04 20 19 09 47 Why I m Spending 144000 on Video in 2018 And Why You Should Too

In fact, I actually used two forms of clickbait in this headline.

First, I trotted out that huge number — $144,000. Second, I proved that I could be transparent.

If you’re not willing to be nakedly honest with your audience — metaphorically speaking, of course — you’ll struggle to build a following.

People want to engage with people who don’t mind sharing the details.

Is my entire life an open book? Heck no. But I’m willing to put some things out there.
Make controversial claims

Controversy isn’t always good for business.

However, sometimes it can get you more attention.

You don’t want to start controversy just for the sake of being controversial. That’s silly.

However, if you have an opinion that’s contrary to the status quo, go ahead and share it.

I did that very thing recently on a podcast I co-host.

That’s a pretty controversial claim, right?

During the podcast, though, Eric and I back up our claim. We explain why we feel marketers often exaggerate their claims.

Sure, we used an inflammatory statement, but that’s clickbait.

It’s also good SEO.

If you Google the title, our podcast ranks in the number-two position.

2018 04 22 14 19 25 marketers full of shit Google Search

That’s out of nearly 500,000 results.

Clearly, you can use clickbait titles without sacrificing your search rankings.

Assemble a list of simple tricks

We know that listicles work really well — not just for clickbait but also for SEO.

One way to jazz them up is to use adjectives to describe the tips, tricks, or things you’re going to list.

5 simple tricks to…
10 crazy ways to…
8 foolproof strategies for…
31 magical fixes for…

You get the point. Add an appealing adjective to the listicle headline to make it even more clickbait-y.

A little while ago, I wrote an article that combined two of the suggestions in this post: the adjective added to the listicle and the crazy-high number.

2018 04 22 14 25 07 7 Proven Strategies to Increase Your Blog s Traffic by 206

Compare two versions of this headline:

7 Proven Strategies to Increase Your Blog’s Traffic by 206%
7 Strategies to Increase Your Blog’s Traffic

Which one do you find more appealing? The first one, right?

That’s because I started with a compelling adjective. “Proven strategies” sounds better because it suggests I have evidence of my claim.

I backed up that assertion with the crazy-high number.

No, I’m not just going to teach you how to increase your blog’s traffic. I’m going to show you how to do it by a whopping 206%.

Revisit old-school ads

If you think “clickbait” some new strategy that came about because of the Internet, you’re wrong. It’s been around forever.

In the past, though, clickbait-style headlines were used to get people to turn the page in a magazine or to buy a product advertised in the newspaper.

Consider this ad from the early 20th century.

2018 04 22 14 43 26 Quit Work Someday Ad by John Caples Swipe File Archive Marketing Copywri

Look familiar?

It should. The same headline format has been used on thousands of blog posts to sell get-rich-quick schemes.

Studying old ads can help you formulate new clickbait headlines for today’s consumers.

Beef up short headlines with teasers

We’ve all seen the clickbait headlines that call out some revelation in the article.

Consider this article from ViralSlot:

2018 04 22 14 54 27 15 Actual Things People Learned At An Embarrassingly Late Age. Number 13 Is Hila

It’s too long for an SEO-optimized headline, but you get the picture.

This is considered clickbait for three reasons:

The use of adjectives like “actual” and “embarrassingly”
Listicle format
Teaser for “Number 13”

Why does the third example matter?

Because it encourages people to read more of your content. They know something good awaits at number 13, so they’re going to read at least to that point.

And by the time they’ve invested all that time, they might as well finish it.

It’s an ingenious strategy, but only if number 13 is truly “hilarious.”

If you’re writing a short, SEO-optimized headline, you can transform it into clickbait. Here are a few examples off the top of my head:

20 Ways to Boost Traffic by 206% (You Can’t Miss #18)
32 Tricks for Better Lead Gen (Try #30 First)
7 Simple Strategies for Better Social Engagement (#7 Can’t Lose)

You get the point. It’s like a movie trailer — tease what the audience has to gain by watching (or, in this case, clicking).
Start (or end) with “this is why”

People are hard-wired to look for meaning in even the smallest of things.

They don’t want to just know that something happened. They want to know why.

Adding “this is why” somewhere in your SEO-optimized headline can transform it into effective clickbait.

You have two options for this strategy.

The first is to begin with the phrase “This is Why.”

That sounds good, right?

It employs a leading question to get people to click, but it incorporates a popular keyword.

However, modern SEO best practices involve moving the most important words in the headline to the beginning. All we need is some fancy rearranging.

See the difference?

We’ve changed “This Is Why You Can’t Grow Your Blog Traffic” to “You Can’t Grow Your Blog Traffic (This Is Why).

The second might prove even more compelling because it’s a declarative statement.

If I write this article, I’m assuming my target audience struggles with low blog readership.

Plus, I’m naming my audience in the headline. That’s a compelling way to get people to click.

Use “will make you” in a headline

In June 2017, Digg analyzed some of the most popular phrases used in clickbait headlines. (“This Is Why” came in second.)

2018 04 22 15 11 09 This Analysis Of The Most Popular Clickbait Headline Phrases Will Make You Cry

It also highlighted some of the examples it had featured on the Digg website.

Digg measured the headlines by Facebook engagement. The winning phrase was “Will Make You.”

2018 04 22 15 07 44 The Ad For The First Portable Computer Will Make You Appreciate Your Busted Ol

This is a great construction for an SEO-optimized title because it allows you to put your most important keyword at the beginning of the headline:

These X SEO Tricks Will Make You 300% More Money
Check Out X Social Media Hacks That Will Make You Insta-Famous
Our New Paid Search Service Will Make You Sigh With Relief

Evoke a trusted celebrity

No, you shouldn’t turn your website into a tabloid rag. Put that thought out of your mind.

However, you could use a well-known name in your industry to combine clickbait and SEO in your headline.

Consider this recent headline from Market Watch:

2018 04 22 15 14 24 Seth Godin reveals the secret to boosting your productivity. SectorWatch Mar

Seth Godin is arguably one of the most trusted experts in marketing, entrepreneurship, leadership, and productivity.

In this case, the website posted a video of Seth Godin during an interview, but you don’t have to take that approach.

After all, we can’t all sit down for a chat with a celebrity.

You could use quotes from your subject’s latest book or recent blog posts, for instance.

Show how that person’s statements uphold the statements you present in your article.

Alternatively, look outside your industry like AboveTheLaw.com recently did by evoking The Beatles:

2018 04 22 15 17 53 Making Rain Prepare Like The Beatles Above the Law

Genius, right? The Beatles weren’t lawyers, but author Cordell Parvin managed to tie their legacy into the article’s topic.

I’ve read lots of articles in this vein. You can write them, too, if you’re creative enough.

Stumped? Write two titles

When you can’t transform an SEO-optimized title into clickbait, you have another option.

What you might not realize is that you can put two titles in a single article or page:

Title tag: This is the headline that goes within the <title></title> tags on a web page. It shows up in search engines and in the browser bar when someone clicks on it.
H1: The H1 tag goes within <h1> tags and appears at the top of your article if you decide to put it there.

If you use WordPress, you can easily differentiate your title and H1 tag using Yoast. It’s a plugin that gives you more control over your SEO.

After you install the Yoast plugin (free or paid), you get lots of extra options in your WordPress install including an SEO title and a URL slug.

You can also add a custom meta description and a focus keyword.

Why does this help?

Let’s say you have two headlines for your article. One is optimized for SEO and the other is geared toward clickbait.

You would use the SEO title in the headline field on your WordPress post page. Then, you would add the clickbait title to the field in the Yoast section.

This way, search engines will see the SEO-optimized title embedded in the H1 tags, but searchers will see the clickbait title when they peruse the search engines.

Win-win, right?

If you’re writing plain HTML, you can change these two tags, as well. Just alter the text between the <title> and <h1> tags.


People are always looking for ways to see things in black and white.

As for me, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with mix-and-match marketing.

You find two things that work, like SEO-optimized and clickbait headlines. Then you mix them together to see what you come up with.

Start with user intent. When writing a page or post, think about what searchers might actually want to learn.

Once you know that, figure out a way to get the keyword in the title. If it’s at the beginning, even better.

Add some pizzazz to your leadlines. Words like shocking, unbelievable, and amazing work well, but feel free to get creative.

Transform a boring SEO title into clickbait by adding some extravagant numbers. If you have the data to back it up, you might as well flaunt it.

Make controversial claims if you want to stir the pot. Alternatively, add gripping adjectives to nouns in your headlines to give them more interest.

You can also learn from the past by revisiting old headlines or beef up short headlines by adding teasers to the end.

Of course, falling on the old standbys is a great way to craft a perfect headline. Start or end your headline with “This Is Why” or incorporate the phrase “Will Make You” into the headline.

If all else fails, work a celebrity into the headline. Talk about his or her opinions on a topic, but relate them to your own ideas.

Finally, if you’re still stuck, use H1 and title tags to craft two headlines. You get the best of both worlds.

What’s your favorite way to create a headline that will please both people and search engines?

19 Quick and Simple Ways to Increase Amazon Affiliate Earnings [2018] for Webmasters only

During my online “career” I have built several sites monetized with Amazon Associates. In fact, 3 of the largest case studies. All involved building Amazon affiliate sites from scratch. During my years of building these sites, I’ve picked up a few tactics and techniques to help me earn more in affiliate commissions from the Amazon affiliate program. Some of these strategies are simple on-page “hacks”, while other are bigger pictures ways of thinking about your business.

I originally published this list near the beginning of 2015, and while many things haven’t changed I thought I should share some additional strategies that are working in 2018 and beyond.

First Things First

I’ve heard stories of different marketers who have had their Amazon Associates accounts banned because of violating terms of service. While I’ve done my best to ensure this guide is up to date and all of my tips are in compliance with their latest requirements for the Amazon affiliate program, here are a couple of excellent articles to check out that help clear up some of the mistakes people make (sometimes unknowingly) that result in a banned account:

Marketing With Sara – Anchor Text and Link Cloaking

Marketever – 16 Common Mistakes That Get People Banned

Now that we’ve moved past the disclaimer portion of the article, let’s talk about how you can maximize your Amazon Associates earnings:

Use Eye-Catching Comparison Charts

When I first started my site, I wanted to make my site better than the others that were ranking at the top of Google. One of the ways that I decided to make my site stand out was by creating a comparison chart of the top competitors on the market.

This produced great results for me not only in terms of quality content, but I found that more people starting buying as they compared using the chart I had created. Since then, I don’t know if I started a bit of a trend, but nearly every Amazon affiliate site I see now uses many of the same comparison chart tactics.

Personalize Your Recommendations

One strategy we’ve implemented this year on a site that currently makes over $3,000 per month is actually “quizzing” our visitors to find out what kind of product would suit them best.

By using Thrive Leads (made by one of our favorite theme developers) we set up a multi-step pop-up box that starts by asking a question about a problem that we know many of our visitors have. If they say “yes” we then ask a couple more clarifying questions about their personal preferences, and then at the end we drop them on a landing page that delivers a personalized product recommendation (Amazon affiliate link) based on their answers.

While it sounds complicated, setting up a multi-step opt in is actually fairly simple with Thrive Leads. The beautiful part about it is that you’re also giving yourself a chance to not only get a click, but also convert better since you really are delivering value to the reader by showing them a product that can help.

Follow-up via Email

While adding Amazon affiliate links directly into an email is a no-no, that doesn’t mean you can’t and shouldn’t follow-up with your readers and drive them back to your blog (where you do have affiliate links).

We actually use this in tandem with the first strategy of quizzing our visitors and delivering personalized recommendations.

So at the end of our 3 question quiz, we ask people to put in their email address in order to see their results. When they do, we take them straight to a landing page, but we also use an email auto-responder to deliver an email.

The great thing is, you don’t have to deliver a generic email because you do actually know a few things about your visitor and what they want. So you can send an email that says something like “Thanks for sharing what your needs are in a gas grill! We hope our personal recommendation was a winner, but if not click here to read our full guide to buying the right gas grill.”

By doing that, you’ve got another opportunity to show products to that person who is a very targeted visitor.

If you don’t already have an email service, click here to check out one of my favorites, Mail Chimp.

Target “Buying” Keywords

When people shop online, they go through a process of general queries to more specific queries. You want to target phrases that people are searching for when they are closer to that buying stage.

For example, let’s say you have a site about sleeping bags. Instead of targeting phrases that are more general like, “sleeping bags” or “what is a sleeping bag”, you should target phrases where you know people are likely shopping…such as “best sleeping bags” or “sleeping bags under $100”.

These searchers are clearly looking for more information in order to make a purchase decision. You will get a much higher conversion rate (commissions!) when you get this kind of traffic on your site.

Another great buying keyword is one that compares one product to another. 

For example, “iphone camera vs. samsung galaxy.” 

As a member of the Amazon affiliate program, you could put together a really in-depth comparison of the camera features on each of these leading smartphones and then simply link over to Amazon for whichever one they choose to buy. 

Again, if a searcher has already narrowed it down between a couple of different products – that usually means they are ready to make a purchase.

If you can get them on your website to compare the key features, that might just end up with some more money in your pocket!

Target Long Tail Keywords…Even with Low Search Volume

Yes, this is similar to the first point; however, it’s important to take this one step further. Don’t just stop at “best sleeping bags” or “sleeping bag reviews”! You should target phrases that are even longer tailed, which could mean going after keywords with very low search volume.  I do that here on Niche Pursuits and every blog or website I’ve built.

That’s okay! Even though you may get less traffic per article/keyword, these are HIGH conversion type keywords.

For example, we could be targeting “best sleeping bags under $100” or “cheap sleeping bags for toddlers”. These are some excellent long tail phrases that people would be using that are close to a buying decisions.

As an FYI, I used SEMrush to find these long tail phrases in this sleeping bag example.

Don’t Miss International Commissions

If you are using only the standard Amazon US affiliate link, then you’re missing out on potential commissions when you get clicks from international visitors from countries like Canada, the U.K, and many more.

Fortunately, the newest version of EasyAzon 4 includes automatic link localization. We’ve also tested a product called Genius Link which handles that as well.

Also, the Amazon affiliate program has their own free version of this link localization called “Amazon One Link.” While it’s pretty straightforward to install, I know of some people who question how well the official Amazon plugin actually works.

Either way, it’s certainly something you could try and then go with a paid option like GeniusLinks if it isn’t working well on your blog.

By using these services, your affiliate links will automatically change based on the location of your visitor. So a Canadian reader will click your link and end up on Amazon.ca, and you can still earn a commission if they purchase.

Jake actually used this for one of his sites when he discovered that he was getting about 14% of his visits from the UK and Canada:

Amazon Link Localization Example

I know Jake uses the aforementioned Genius Link on his site and just by signing up for Amazon Associates UK and Canada he has made hundreds of dollars that would have been completely missed.

Note: You do have to sign up for each country’s Associates program individually, so it might not make sense to do every single country/region you get visits from. However, check out your Geo Location report in Google Analytics and you just might find that you are leaving big money on the table.

Affiliate Link to Images

A simple but often overlooked tactic to improve you Amazon affiliate sales is to link to Amazon using all the images in your post.

When people are reading your product review articles, they will very often click on the image. If the image link simply pulls up the image file on your site, that’s potentially one less visitor you could have sent to Amazon.

However, if your image is actually an Amazon affiliate link, you increase the chances that more people will end up on Amazon looking for products to buy. The more clicks you send to Amazon, the more buyers you will end up with.

If you have ever tried to upload images, position them, label them, and then add an Amazon affiliate link, you know how time consuming this can be. It’s worth it. However, luckily there is a tool that makes adding Amazon affiliate image links much easier.

I have been using EasyAzon for a few years now, and it honestly just makes building an Amazon affiliate site much easier.

Use In-Content Links

Similar to using affiliate links for your images, you can send more people to Amazon by using in-content links on your niche site. In fact, these in-content links are the most likely links to get clicked!

Unfortunately, many people think that just inserting an amazon banner or an image link will be enough to make decent sales; however, this is not the case. If you are writing useful content, then people will actually read it and will click on your links within your content.

All I mean is this: If I was talking about sleeping bags, I might simply say…”And to see the my top recommendation of a sleeping bag for a toddler under $50 click here. The link in that previous sentence is an “in-content” link.

I also use EasyAzon 4 to make inserting these types of in-content links much faster. (The above link was inserted with EasyAzon).

Rather than going over to Amazon, finding the product I want to link to, going through the process of finding the affiliate links on Amazon, and then pasting into my website; I can just stay in my WordPress backend and pull up the product and add the link using EasyAzon.

I really like the fact that I don’t have to leave my blog post to find and insert product links.

Use Heat Maps To See Where People Click

Heat maps are a tool that show you very clearly where people click when they are on your website. Something that stuck with me from a conference I attended last year was a speaker who was talking about heat maps and said “I guarantee people are clicking on things that aren’t clickable.”

Your heat map will start tracking clicks on a given page and then you can check out the results like this:

Heat Map For More Affiliate Clicks
Image Source: AppSumo.com/heat-maps/

Whether it’s making your images clickable like I mentioned earlier, or even just getting a sense of what might be the best place to put your ads and comparison tables, it certainly won’t hurt to have this knowledge.

There are a number of solutions out there, but an easy one I’ve used is from SumoMe. (They also have some other cool tools for your website.)

Test Using “Add to Cart” Option….Longer Cookie

Did you know that you can get a 90 day cookie when you send someone to Amazon through your affiliate link? When you use a regular affiliate link, the cookie is just 24 hours.

However, if you create a special link that automatically adds the product to someone’s Amazon cart when they go through your affiliate link, Amazon will lengthen your cookie to 90 days! (If they buy in 90 days, you still get the commission).

Now, I would like to clarify that I think you should test this option. It may or may not work better in your niche. Each market and website is different, so this option may or may not be the best for you.

To be honest, I don’t know how to create an affiliate link that auto-adds a product to someone’s cart without using a tool. This is just a simple option in EasyAzon that you can turn on or off.

Here’s a screenshot of several of the options in EasyAzon; including the Add to Cart Option:


Produce Quality Content

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that if you produce great content for your niche site, not only will you rank better in Google, but more people will actually buy from you.

This is an entire process in and of itself. Luckily, Perrin has written a few ideas on creating content that engages and converts right here.

A big part of creating “great” content is just understanding what your audience is really looking for and meeting those needs. Some of this can be done through highly targeted content and research; but part of it also just comes with seeing what your competitors are doing and deciding what you can do better.

A couple of simple areas that you can often do better than your competitors is creating comparison charts and best seller lists.

Create Fair Comparisons

Another long tail keyword we like to use is Brand A vs. Brand B or doing articles on which type of product you should choose. When you write those, do your best to be very fair and honest with your readers.

Trust is a big part of conversion, so the more people feel like they can believe what you say, the better your chances are that they’ll actually make a purchase based on a recommendation.

Most people understand that products aren’t perfect, so don’t be afraid to make a list of “cons” or things that could be improved about a product when you’re review it or comparing to another model.

The odds are, if you write about every product like it’s the best thing since sliced bread, readers will tune you out because you just sound like someone who really wants them to buy something.

Don’t be that person!


Create Best Seller Lists

Another way to increase your amazon affiliate earnings is to create best seller lists within your blog posts. This is a bit different than a comparison chart. A comparison chart might only focus on survival knives under a certain price point for example.

A best seller list will focus on the products that sell the most in your given category.

For example, let’s say I wanted to create a list of the top 5 selling point and shoot digital cameras on Amazon. One option is to go to Amazon.com/BestSellers and select the correct category to start creating your best seller list. This is the current list of best selling point and shoot digital cameras:


You would then have to take the information from each of those products and insert some kind of list on your site. This could get time consuming.

Or you can use the BestSeller Azon extension for EasyAzon 4 (it’s sold as an upgrade after initial purchase). I don’t know of any other simple ways to create these best seller lists.

I could create a much more comprehensive best sellers list or change up how the links act. But overall, I was able to quickly create a list of the best selling products on Amazon for my chosen category, and they are immediately inserted into the post with my affiliate link.

Cash in on Competition

As you may know, one of my affiliate sites  makes some of its money by promoting my own brand of products sold via Amazon FBA. However, we don’t hesitate to talk about and even recommend some of our top competitors on Amazon.


Because people aren’t going to buy my product 100% of the time.

So in addition to having articles that feature our own products, we also have articles where our product really isn’t a good fit based on the topic. In those cases, we don’t hesitate to recommend different products on Amazon via our affiliate link. Hey, if someone wants to buy from a competitor I’d rather get 7 or 8% of that money than 0%.

So if you also sell products on Amazon in addition to using Amazon Associates, don’t get stuck only writing about/promoting your own products.

Curate Deals

There are some big time sites out there like Dealnews.com that pretty much do nothing other than scour the internet for discounts and deals and then list them out for their readers. In most cases, they are affiliates of those sites so when people purchase, they make money as well.

This model works because we all love getting a good deal!

So you can do a smaller version of the same thing by checking out Amazon on a weekly or monthly basis and finding products that fit your niche which are being sold below retail price.

You can even have a dedicated “deals” page on your website in your navigation menu so visitors can easily find it. Plus, sending a regular deal alert email using an auto-responder service like Mail Chimp to make sure the people on your list get used to coming back to your site on a regular basis to find the best deals on products they’re interested in.

Don’t Forget the Small Fish

While most people spend their time focusing on higher dollar products, it’s also important to not forget about the ‘smaller fish’ low dollar products that people buy.

It’s true that Amazon changed its commission structure awhile back and instead of basing your commision rate on the quantity of items you sell, it’s now based on the category of the item sold – selling small items still makes sense. 

If you think about it, most of the big competitors are targeting people who are buying expensive things like electronics, appliances, etc. – so you might find some really easy wins in terms of traffic by just creating some content that’s focused on a low dollar item. 

While the individual commission on an $8 product isn’t much, if you sell a few hundred $5 – $10 products per month in addition to the big money items, your overall commission goes up.

So be sure to have a nice mix of products, both low dollar and high so you can maximize both volume and commissions.

Know Thy Category

Amazon shook up the affiliate world in a big way in 2017 when they changed their commision rate structure. Virtually every affiliate was affected in a negative way – some much worse than others. 

Here’s the current Amazon Affiliate commission rate chart as of today: 

Amazon affiliate commission rate

As you can see, if you’re an affiliate focused on furniture then you can earn a healthy 8% commission on your sales. 

Confused About Niche Websites?

Join Webmaster Knowledge Insider to Get Access To Our Niche Site Training Blueprints + Get Your Questions Answered In Our Members-Only Facebook Group.

However, if you’re selling toys then you’re only bringing in a 3% commission.

Under the old structure, those toy bloggers were still able to get 8%+ commission – so their earnings were more than cut in half overnight. 

What’s the solution? 

Quite simply, the quickest solution is to now think about the category of your product before you decide to create content. If you already have a blog, then it might be a matter of pivoting slightly to add a category of content that you didn’t have before. 

For example, a toy blogger could starting blogging about toy storage & organization products which would likely fall under the “home” category and earn the 8% commission rate. 

A site about PC’s and computers getting 2.5% commission could do some posts about the best headphones for PC gaming and earn that 6% rate on headphones. 

The possibilities are really endless, it just takes a little creative thinking and perhaps evaluating competitors to get fresh ideas for your content. 

What If I’m Brand New? 

If you’re just picking a niche and about to start a website, then how does the Amazon affiliate commission structure affect you?

Clearly, you’re better off going in a direction where you can still earn a higher commission.

That doesn’t mean you should completely rule out lower tier categories if that’s really what you know and are passionate about.

There are certainly many ways to monetize a website beyond the Amazon affiliate program like pay-per-click ads, physical products, non-Amazon affiliate programs, and much more.

So don’t let a low Amazon advertising fee be the sole reason you move away from a particular niche.

Focus On High Converting Products 

In the Amazon associates program, you only get paid actual money when you make sales – not just drive traffic.

That’s a somewhat obvious, but very important distinction.

While you don’t want to be overly salesy on your website and really push people into purchasing, you can control which products you give the prime real estate to on your website.

Ideally, the products you highlight should be the best converting and best selling products on Amazon for their category.

If an item is a best seller, you know that it’s popular and people are more likely to buy it than a product that has a very low sales rank on Amazon (meaning it doesn’t sell well)

How Do I Find High Converting Products?

There’s a browser extension you can add called Jungle Scout which will show you approximate sales data for any product on Amazon.

Let’s say for some strange reason you decided to compare the best fidget spinners on your website.

You could go search “fidget spinners” on Amazon, click the Jungle Scout button in your browser and see this:

Jungle Scout For Amazon Affiliates

Notice that Jungle Scout takes the sales rank in the category and shows you which products are currently selling the best, and even gives you an approximate sales revenue number.

All else being equal, you want to send your visitors to the products that are performing best on Amazon so you can make sure that when they arrive at Amazon, they are viewing a top product that they are most likely to buy.

Other Signs Of High Converting Products

While Jungle Scout gives you some estimated numbers to go on, there are some other things you should look for when deciding which Amazon products to feature on your affiliate website:

  1. High Quality Images. Images sell. That’s on Amazon and just about every other ecommerce website. So if you see a product that only has one or two images and they are low quality, that is typically going to hurt their conversion rate. Look for competitors who have professional photography. 
  2. Prime Shipping. Amazon Prime members spend almost double of what non-Prime customers do in a given year. They also love and prefer to buy things with Prime shipping, so use that to your advantage and avoid seller fulfilled items as an affiliate when possible. 
  3. Review History. Amazon reviews matter to buyers. So if you’re featuring products that have no reviews, or worse – really poor reviews – you’re losing out on affiliate commissions. Stick to products that have lots of reviews, that are mostly positive when at all possible. 

Amazon Affiliate FAQ

While we’ve talked about some strategies for boosting your Amazon affiliate earnings, I want to start wrapping up by covering some common questions we hear from members of the Amazon associates program (both new and old).

Are Amazon Associates and Amazon Affiliates the same thing?

Yes. The program is officially called “Amazon Associates” but when people refer to the Amazon affiliate program – they are talking about the same thing.

What is an Amazon affiliate?

If this is all new to you, then I’ll simplify by saying that an Amazon affiliate is someone who earns money from Amazon by referring people to Amazon who buy end up buying stuff.

What is the Amazon affiliate commission rate now?

The commission rate is based on category – so there isn’t a single rate for all affiliates. The range is from 0% – 10% depending on what people actually buy. Click here to see a chart and explanation on Amazon.com

Can you put Amazon affiliate links on Facebook?

This is a little complicated, because you’ve got 2 different terms of service to deal with: Facebook and Amazon. Generally speaking you CAN use your Amazon affiliate link on Facebook as long as it’s not a paid ad/boosted post.

For example, if you have a page for your brand and you want to recommend a product that sells on Amazon, you can post your affiliate link to that product.

That said, you should be disclosing that your link is an affiliate link, so people know you could be compensated when they buy something. Read more about affiliate marketing on Facebook here.

Can you put Amazon Affiliate links on YouTube?

Yes, again using the same disclosure rules we mentioned for Facebook where you tell people that the link is an affiliate link. As long as you disclose it, you should be in the clear for adding an Amazon affiliate link on YouTube. Click here to read more.

Amazon affiliate cookie – how long does it last?

The Amazon affiliate cookie means how long do I have after a person clicks my link to earn a commission? The simple answer is 24 hours. So anything that person buys on Amazon in the next 24 hours you are eligible to earn a commission on.

The one exception to this is the 90 day cookie we discussed earlier when you use the “add to cart” link as your affiliate link. This doesn’t mean you get a commission on everything that person buys in the next 90 days, just a 90 day cookie on that particular product.

For myself, I usually just stick to the normal Amazon affiliate link that comes with a 24 hour cookie.

Can Amazon affiliates make money from the Amazon Bounty Program?

Yes! The bounty program can be an interesting revenue source for niches where people consume a lot of books and music.

Amazon’s Bounty Program will pay you a flat rate for getting people to sign up for all kinds of Amazon services like a free trial of Kindle Unlimited, Prime Unlimited Music, and many, many others.

Usually you can earn $3 for each person that takes the free trial, but certain actions can earn you even more. Click here to see the full bounty program breakdown.

A Few Closing Thoughts…

Overall, hopefully some of these tips that I’ve shared can help you increase your affiliate commissions on Amazon. These little tactics can ensure that you send the greatest number of people to Amazon.

Amazon has such huge brand awareness and trust that once you get people to the Amazon page, you just let Amazon do the rest.

In addition to the tactics and strategies I’ve mentioned, I do think a tool like EasyAzon can be quite valuable in speeding up the process of implementing lots of these strategies. Just so you know, I have been using EasyAzon for over 3 years now, and I’ve never had an issues.

Version 4 of EasyAzon is just being released for the first time this week. Chris Guthrie (the creator) has given me an advanced copy of v4 and I’ve been very happy with the updates I’ve seen.

In addition, the 2 extensions I mentioned (TableZon and Best Seller Azon) are only available to buyers of EasyAzon 4. These 2 extensions are some great upgrades that can just further streamline the process of managing your affiliate links.

As always, I’d love to hear any comments or questions that you might have in regards to increasing affiliate commissions on Amazon. Do you have any other tactics that you use that I haven’t mentioned here? Let us all know!

WordPress Theme und Plugin Scanner (Plugin for WordPress 2018)

wordpress theme and plugin scanner


Download it now right here

Easy to install:


It will look just like that:

Give it a try and enter a URL.


How to find out what Themes and Plugins a WordPress Website uses (2018)

wordpress theme and plugin scanner

Have you ever wanted to find out which WordPress theme or Plugin a website is using? Often I get emails from readers asking us for help in finding the exact theme that a certain website is using. In this article, we will show you how to easily find out which WordPress theme a specific website is using.

When you are starting a new website, choosing the right theme is a very important decision.

Often you have ideas and inspirations that you have seen on other websites. In some cases, you may want your website to have almost the same layout and features as another website that you saw on the internet.

This could be possible specially if that website is using one of the thousands of free and paid WordPress themes available in the market.

And thankfully, it’s quite easy to find out which WordPress theme a website is using.

Method #1: WP SCANNER

One of the easiest way to detect WordPress theme used by a website is using our very own WordPress Scanner. It is an online tool that allows you to look up plugins and themes used by a WordPress website.

First, you need to visit WordPress Scanner website and enter the URL of a website you want to check.

Do you want to know what Themes and Plugins a WordPress Website is using?
Check our WordPress Scanner for free !

Get ist now right here

wordpress theme and plugin scanner

WordPress Scanner will first check if the website is using WordPress. If it is a WordPress powered website, then it will check which WordPress theme the website is using. It will also try to detect WordPress plugins used by the website.

After that, it will show you the results with more details about the plugins and theme used by the website.

Method #2: Manually find out

Sometimes website owners change the WordPress theme name. This stop tools like WordPress Scanner to detect which WordPress theme they are using.

However, there still might be plenty of clues hidden in the code that you can detect and find the WordPress theme they are using.

Let’s get started.

Each WordPress theme is required to have a style.css file. This file contains theme header which tells WordPress the name of the theme, theme author, URI, version, etc. It also contains CSS styles used by the theme.

To locate this file, first you need to visit the website. Right click anywhere on the screen and select ‘View Page Source’ from the menu.

View page source of a WordPress website

This will open the source code of the page you are viewing in a new browser tab. Now you need to find a line in the source code that looks something like this:

<link rel='stylesheet' id='themename_style-css'  href='http://example.com/wp-content/themes/theme-name/style.css?ver=1.1.47' type='text/css' media='all' />

You can click on the URL in this line to open the style.css file.

On top of the style.css file, you will see the theme header block which contains information about the theme used by the website. Typically, it would look something like this:

Theme Name:     Theme Name
Theme URI:      https://example.com
Author:         ThemeAuthorName
Author URI:     https://example.com
Description:    My Theme is a flexible WordPress theme designed for portfolio websites
Version:        1.1.47
License:        GNU General Public License v2 or later
License URI:    http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.html
Text Domain:    hestia
Tags: blog, custom-logo, portfolio, e-commerce, rtl-language-support, post-formats, grid-layout, one-column, two-columns, custom-background, custom-colors, custom-header, custom-menu, featured-image-header, featured-images, flexible-header, full-width-template, sticky-post, theme-options, threaded-comments, translation-ready

You may be able to find the Theme’s URL or Theme Author’s URL here which will lead you to the theme used by the website.

Finding The Parent Theme

Many WordPress websites use child themes to customize their websites. In that case, their theme header will contain information about the parent theme they are using.

Theme Name:   My Child Theme
Description:  Just a child theme
Author:       Peter Smith
Author URL:   Write here the author's blog or website url
Template:     hestia
Version:      1.0
License:      GNU General Public License v2 or later
License URI:  http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.html
Text Domain:  my-child-theme

In the above example, this header block has an extra ‘Template’ parameter in the theme header block. This template is the parent theme used by this website.

You can also find out the parent theme by looking at the website’s source code. There you will find another style.css file loaded from another theme. This other style.css file is the parent theme’s stylesheet and clicking on it will tell you which parent theme a site is using.

That’s all for now, we hope this article helped you learn how to find which WordPress theme a site is using. You may also want to see our ultimate list of the most wanted WordPress tips, tricks, and hacks.


6 Month SEO Link Building Plan for Established Websites (2018)

link building plan for established websites 2018

You’ve probably seen the extremely comprehensive noob guide to online marketing by Oli Gardner, or the companion noob guide to link building from Mike King, you’ve also likely seen one of the many posts or presentations on SEO for startups (here, here and here) – suffice to say there is plenty of reading material for building new web properties but what about link building for an established website? If you have an already established website or blog and need a good SEO Link Building Plan keep reading.

There are an abundance of link opportunities (and challenges) that are pretty unique to an established website.

I decided to compile a public Trello board which is based on some of our internal boards for clients to help you to visualise the process I am about to run through.

Please bear in mind that this is not a six-month SEO plan so we won’t be covering site audits or keyword research for example (although you should read this post if you are planning to conduct an SEO audit), I will be focusing on the acquisition and optimisation of links and content for links.

This is how we approach established websites where we are given a full link building brief. I welcome any feedback and additions to this plan. In any case, this is simply the “ideal” scenario, so we don’t do ALL of this with every single client because each situation is different and because realistically we might not have the budget or even the project scope to implement all this. That being said I do hope that this post will give you some avenues to explore. The idea behind the Trello board was that so anyone could copy it and then edit as they see fit, dragging and dropping the various elements and scaling up or contracting the task list as appropriate. I have divided the elements into the following four areas:

  • Content Tasks
  • Research Tasks
  • Link Tasks
  • Other Tasks

On the Trello board, I have put them into our recommended order but as I say, the reason for doing this as a public board is so that you can move elements around as you see fit.

Remember to copy the board before you can start making it your own!

Month 1

Link Profile Audit

The ideal way to start any link building campaign for an established website is to take stock of the existing link profile.

At this point, we’re not even drawing comparisons between competitor link profiles and our own but merely understanding what we have and how closely that aligns with A) the clients goals and B) recommended best practices. I’m not going to get into a white hat/grey hat debate here, when I say best practices, I am talking about what is generally accepted within an educated audience as ‘sensible’.

A blissfully unaware client, and a website with a closet full of forum profile spam for example is something that you need to be aware of (and make the client aware of) before any further work can be carried out. You are not nit-picking at the work of the previous agency but from here on out you are likely to be responsible for the performance of that website in the search engines (and links making up a big part of that performance) and it would be pretty hard to explain to a client with any amount of credibility why their website has dropped off the face of the planet three months into your engagement if you didn’t bring issues like this to their attention. It may well have been links acquired in days gone by, but the client is probably going to blame you to a certain extent.

What to look for?

  • Type of link
  • Anchor text
  • Clusters of similar IPs
  • Link position on the page
  • Quality (defensibility) of the site link originates from
  • Is the page where the link originates actually indexed?
  • Asses internal link structure as well

Some of the above can be automated and that should help you to reduce the number of links that you need to audit by hand.

Action steps:

  • Talk to the client – get previous reports, lists of links developed and understand what has been done up until now
  • Listen to the client – to understand their goals and their current appetite for risk
  • Fire up your favourite link analysis tool

Some recommended tools for the job

Recommended reading

Market Landscape Analysis

This is far less “corporate” than the name suggests. Essentially there are two elements:

  • Competitor Link Profile Analysis
  • Opportunity Mapping (link opportunities and topic areas)

Competitor Link Profile Analysis

You should follow near enough the same process for analysing your key competitors’ link profiles as you did for your own. Not because you want to help them identify their bad links but rather because it enables you to spot their weaknesses, steal anything they have been doing well and frankly, see who is probably swimming naked when the tide goes out.

If a competitor ranks above you but their link profile turns up something which is considered less than ‘best practice’ by all means take this into account but don’t take it as gospel that it will work for the website you are working on.

The key to using your competitor link research to identify opportunity is to think in terms of direct and indirect opportunity. For example, if you spot a strong link that you’re competitor has acquired that you could potentially also earn then this would be a direct opportunity. If, for example, you identify one or a set of links from a particular type of site or niche then this could be considered an indirect link because it might open your eyes to other potential link opportunities from corners of the web you and the client have never been before.

Sometimes though, analysing a competitor’s link profile brings up next to nothing useful that’s fine, just demonstrates that you have the opportunity to stand out in the market long term by doing things the right way.

Opportunity Mapping

Work ‘outwards’ from core customer groups to try to identify key opportunities and niches to target both with the content that you are going to be producing as well as the outreach and promotion you have planned. Communication with the client is key at this stage because it can help you to really understand their various customer segments and branch out from there.

You are aiming to:

  1. Find link opportunities/identify the niches
  2. Discover topic areas

My favourite tool for this is Mindmeister which is a nice, easy-to-use, web-based mind-mapping software. The reason we prefer mind-mapping to say a spreadsheet is because it allows us to visualise the client and then explore different branches, connect niches and even help them to identify new market segments.

Action steps

  • Understand who your competitors really are (not necessarily the businesses your client thinks they compete against).
  • Analyse competitor link profiles – using the methodology described in the previous exercise
  • Benchmark your link profile versus competitors – does your profile stand out in comparison to average figures based on competitors?
  • Identify key opportunities based on competitor link profiles (direct and indirect)

Strategy Development

This is where you turn the MLA into something actionable. Set the course of the rest of the campaign with a clear and focused link building strategy which takes into account your identified weaknesses (i.e. closing the natural search gap) and exploits the obvious opportunities both internal and external. I’m not one (in fact we’re not a company for…) 500 page strategy documents.

A concise set of actions and time-frames that fit onto one A4 sheet of paper is generally how we work.

Never base your strategy entirely on competitor actions; 1) It just isn’t good business sense to be clinging to the tailcoat of the competition because usually that’s where you’ll remain and 2) Just because it worked for them, does not mean it is going to be effective for you.

That’s it for month 1 – it might seem like an awful lot of planning and not much doing but remember that PPPPPP so it will be time well invested. If you have additional time and budget of course you could always bring some activities, scheduled for month 2, forward.

Month 2

Link Removals & Updates

There are two schools of thought here; some say that although certain links might be harming your website you can outweigh the negative impact by focusing on developing good quality ones.

The other school of thought says that you should focus on getting rid of your bad links before you even contemplate acquiring new ones.

Whichever side of the fence you sit on comes down to your opinions and experiences but I personally feel that in a number of situations, a round of link removals and profile pruning is a wise way to spend your time because there is little doubt that some links and in particular those really artificial and spammy links may well be holding a website back – with no amount of good karma going to shift those misdemeanours of the past.

If you are going to embark on a spot of profile pruning and/or link un-building then luckily there are quite a few tools out there to help you. What kinds of things are you going to want to change or update? The anchor text is a common one but consider also URL destination (is there a more natural page that this could link to?). If however you feel the link just doesn’t align with your strategy moving forward then a removal may be a more suitable option.

Tools for the job

  • Link Management Tool from The Link Auditors – free software, makes it really easy to manage your progress, automatically checks the status of links so no need to send a chaser email to see if a link has been removed. All round fantastic tool and my favourite.
  • SEOgadget – Data Gathering Tool
  • Remove’em – self-service link removal
  • rmoov – the backlink removal tool

Content Asset Identification

New websites require new content but the beauty of established websites is that very often they have a catalogue of content assets at your disposal. With a bit of tweaking, repurposing or even just using as they are, the existing content assets can be put to work attracting links naturally (and almost passively) over time and as a reason for proactively contacting webmasters, bloggers and journalists. What kinds of things are you looking for?

  • Whitepapers
  • Long-form blog posts
  • Mobile Apps & tools
  • Free resources & downloads
  • Guides

Think about the customer groups and refer back to your opportunity map. If it is a very large website it can sometimes be worth using Google to perform a site search in order to find an asset which perhaps even the client themselves has forgotten they produced (we’ve done this a few times and turned up something which the client would then say “Oh yeah that old thing…”).

This is a largely manual process but we’ve found Social Crawlytics to be quite useful at identifying content assets which perhaps got ‘a bit of love’ but not really the amount the content deserved. These would be prime examples of assets in need of a facelift or just an update because they are outdated. In essence you are looking for content assets to use ‘as they are’, as well as assets that just need a bit of improvement to get them up to scratch. Identifying content assets rather than just creating new ones obviously saves you some time and the client some budget (since you are optimising what they have) which means other activities can be carried out.

Action steps

  • Talk to the client to understand any content production they have done in the past
  • Dig through the archives of the site (use site: search in Google)
  • Look for pages on the site which have a fair number of links (and ask if it could perform better after a bit of TLC?)
  • Try Social Crawlytics to uncover hidden assets

Gap Analysis of Content Assets

This is one of the simplest analysis methods at your disposal (read how to perform a Gap Analysis) but it is also very effective in forcing you to consider where the asset currently is, what you want to achieve and the specific way you are going to get it there.

For example, you may have uncovered a guide to ‘growing an email newsletter database’ for your email marketing software client. The guide is about 1000 words long and includes some fairly generic tips. They created it because their previous agency told them they needed “great content” on their website, the problem is that “great” means much more than just spelled correctly.

Anyway, the bigger issue is that it doesn’t align with the client’s brand of being a market leader in the space and a competitor has produced a far more comprehensive guide, not amazing but still leading the way currently. Your content asset needs a reason for existence; if you’re not aiming to make the content asset the category killer then you may as well not bother. Go big or go home I’m afraid.

So we now have “the future state” and “the current state” – how do we fill in the gap? We identify all the ways we could lead the market with the asset e.g. enhancing our guide to make it more detailed, paginated for better user experience, add videos, action steps, screenshots and templates that clients can use.

You’re not aiming to match your competitor’s content assets, you need to surpass them. I’m not so naive to believe that you can create this “awesome content” and then Google will rank it where you’d like but having a solid reason to rank is definitely a required starting point. It will also help you answer the question “why would someone link to this?” – it’s pretty hard to answer that when you have the second or third best resource in the market…

Internal Link Optimisation

Arguably this would come under the remit of whoever is performing the site audit but more often than not we will discover opportunities to optimise internal links simply by performing a link profile audit. It could be that every page has a link to itself within the body copy using the keywords the page is trying to target.

From our experience, the SEO benefit of including a keyword link from the page right back at the page is almost non-existent and in most cases it can harm the user experience as a visitor lands on that page looking for something around that keyword phrase, they will likely click on a highlighted link containing the keywords only to find themselves confused when the same page reloads.

In fact you could even argue that stuffing keywords into internal links is going to harm your search engine performance.

Update old guest posts

Only applicable if your client has previously embarked on guest blogging. Identify any guest posts that currently drive referral traffic then look at whether these could do with updating or enhancing.

Remember that if a guest post worked well for the client the first time it was published, there is a strong chance it will be well-received by the audience a second time, particularly if the post is quite old or outdated. It is a good idea to include old guest posts in your plan because updating these can help to preserve your brand reputation should a prospective customer find your website via this post – you don’t want them to think your ideas and expertise are outdated (even if there is a date on the blog post!).

Pro tip – look at ways to promote old guest posts that perform well. See here for more on second tier link building.

Link reclamation

The theory here is that over the years as domains change, staff come and go, site structure evolves, there are very often hundreds if not thousands of pages that get left behind without a redirect.

Many of these have links pointing at them which now that your page 404s are likely to be doing very little for your website. Link reclamation involves you taking back that link equity, no real extra effort required, you are just making the most of what you already (in theory) have. Still don’t believe me that established websites offer incredible link opportunities?

Garrett French covers this process spectacularly in his 7 ways to find your long lost links.

As Eric Ward rightly points out, the bigger and older the site, the more opportunities for link reclamation there are likely to be.

Month 3

At the half-way point in the plan, now it’s time to get on to the really fun stuff. It is going to be a busy four weeks…

Take control of social

This may not be a possibility with some larger clients as many will have either a dedicated agency or in-house department that looks after social but link building and social media are becoming more and more intertwined so the need to have access to a usable social media account is essential.

In some situations we are able to utilise the main social media account of the client, and where this isn’t possible, we’ll establish a sub-account usually based around an individual within the business who we are working closely with – they’re going to become the public face of the business for the campaign.

It is important to have access to some form of social presence (ideally Twitter) because it enables authentic communication with the higher-value link prospects that might need warming up before the email outreach. It also gives a further avenue to push out blog content and promote guest posts so that as time goes by you have an extra carrot to dangle in front of link prospects in the form of social traffic to their website.

Taking control of social is never easy, we have had situations where we couldn’t tweet a guest post because it was on a site that wasn’t owned by the client!

Improve the content assets

Back in month 2 we conducted a gap analysis to identify any content assets in need of some attention and more specifically what it is that we needed to do to bring them up to scratch.

Here we are in month 3 and it is time to get to work. When it comes to improving the content, consider whether what you are doing is going to benefit your prospective customers, or whether you are just padding out an already mediocre piece of content.

I am a big fan of creating content that helps to attract links and simultaneously helps to support the sales process in some way either through attracting attention and bringing targeted visitors into the top of your funnel, or helping a user in a buying state of mind choose between which printer they need.

Don’t add bulk to your assets just for the sake of it. Align closely with your Gap analysis to ensure your asset is going to be the indisputable top dog in the space.

Link Repossession

This element can be broken down into three areas:

  • Images
  • Words
  • Mentions

The overall aim is that we are trying to get the links that are ‘rightfully’ yours because someone is either ‘borrowing’ your content, using images without attribution or mentioning your website or brand without linking to you (potential missed opportunity).


Using Google’s Similar Image Search or the seriously cool TinEye you can quickly find other places around the web that use your images. These may be corporate photography that you paid to be produced or it could be charts and graphs. Basically another website publisher is using your image (knowingly or not) and you rightfully deserve an attributing link. You can work your way through the image collection on the website (ignoring stock photography that you don’t own the rights to…obviously) and building a list of webmasters that you need to be contacting. TinEye also offer a number of products and services for doing this on a larger scale.

We have experienced a fair response rate to our emails simply by being friendly and explaining that we’re glad they’ve chosen to use our image but that it would be really great if they could just include a link back to our website so that people know where it came from. Nothing heavy or involving legal action…most seem amazed that they have either been caught out or that this kind of thing is even monitored and in their state of shock are more than willing to include an attribution link (hint: don’t go for keyword rich anchor text).


You can also employ a similar tactic with all the words on the website, by using Copyscape you can quickly identify text from your website that has been “borrowed” by others. A big, established website with oodles of content perhaps as a knowledgebase or a series of blog posts will find that a lot of content has been pinched by others without attribution.

Let me be perfectly clear here, many websites who pinch content are just doing it to essentially steal your work for their own purposes. A polite email is unlikely to score an attributing link from them but there are a small sub-set of content copy and pasters who overlooked copyright issues and were simply referencing your work to support something they have written. These are the ones that will likely result in a link.

To try and prevent this in future consider deploying Tynt which allows you to automatically add attribution to any chunk of text that is copied from your site and pasted elsewhere.


If you are working on the website of a large established brand then there are likely to be an abundance of opportunities on almost a daily basis to seek a link when nothing more than the brand name or URL is mentioned – bloggers and journalists do this all the time.

It’s not a guaranteed link of course because some purposefully haven’t included a link and don’t forget to be polite because the mere fact they have mentioned the brand or website is worthy of a thank you 🙂 Getting a link in this way can help improve user experience because if the reader wants to find out more then they would have to Google it or manually type in the URL – you get the link, the reader gets a better experience.

To try and prevent this in the future consider setting up Google Alerts for key brand mentions so that you can strike the prospect whilst they are warmed up and ask for that link.

Get blogging

This is a link building plan right?! What’s blogging got to do with building links? We see blogging as central to a link building strategy because from the blog so many opportunities can come:

  • Directly earn links with solid content
  • Establishes credibility to help with outreach
  • Gives you a platform to get the attention of link prospects

When it comes to this particular link building plan, it is a good idea to co-ordinate your content calendar with your guest blogging targets for the month ahead. This allows you to include links to any websites that you might be targeting and also gives you a highly-relevant post that you can showcase to link prospects if they are unsure of the calibre of your work. I have produced a fairly comprehensive and regularly updated guide to blogging for your business and I would encourage you to have a read of this for more detailed thoughts and advice on corporate blogging.

Acquire direct competitor link opportunities

Back in month 1 you researched and analysed the link profiles of competitors and now it is time to put into action some of that research. Any opportunities that were labelled “direct” e.g. worthy of you also acquiring should be acquired at this point in the campaign. There are all sorts of justifiable business reasons to go after links that your competitors have, not just because it is a case of “they have it, we want it” but rather because you don’t want to be missing out on referral and even sales opportunities when your competitors are clearly taking advantage of them.

Recommended tool: SEMrush

Use your best judgement when it comes to acquiring competitor links because replicating their link profile is unlikely to be a good idea and more importantly you want to make sure that any links you are developing are going to align with your current strategy and help to support the achievement of your goals rather than hold back the site.

Month 4

As we pass the halfway point for this plan, month 4 involves fewer activities but they are often more involved and require more resources.

Guest blogging

In month 3 the blog published content that was tailored towards a specific niche (tied back to our opportunity map in month 1) ideally linking to a few prospects. Now we are looking to push out some guest posts to bring in some fresh links and boost referral traffic. I have published quite a few posts and guides around the topic of guest blogging and so I won’t go into too much detail here but essentially you can break the process down as follows:

  1. Identifying link opportunities (use your opportunity map)
  2. Sifting and evaluating opportunities
  3. Researching prospects
  4. Contacting prospects
  5. Writing content
  6. Facilitating publication

Reading to consider

Yes, these were all written by me (hence why I said “reading to consider” rather than “recommending reading” – I don’t have that big an ego) and whilst there is other content out there on the topic, most describe “how to do guest blogging” in a different way and I prefer to only talk about what I know. Guest blogging makes up quite a large part of the plan for Month 4 so ideally you will pick your largest and most opportune topic area from your opportunity map.

Keep blogging

Very simply this is a reminder to keep your blog on the map. Tailor this month’s content calendar to the guest blogging campaign a month ahead. This will give you the same advantages as before when it comes to targeting a new topic area in month 5.

Blogger outreach to content asset 1

In month 3 we improved a content asset and with the best will in the world this takes time so it is only really likely at the start of month 4 that you will be able to start putting the asset to work in the form of promotion. We typically separate outreach and promotion to bloggers (and journalists where applicable) and webmasters. We target the former first as many prefer to talk about fresh topics whereas a webmaster including a link to your guide will still likely do so as the guide becomes more established.

Telling a blogger that you launched something three months ago is unlikely to evoke a feeling that they are important to you. Reaching out to a blogger to promote a content asset is different to the pitch you make to secure a guest post spot and in many ways it can be more challenging. We recommend a two-pronged approach to blogger outreach

  • Social outreach – taking control of the client’s social account suddenly seems like a good move 🙂
  • Sending emails

It need not be any more complicated than that. The devil is in the detail though because it is how you do these things which affect the results that you see.

I think Mike Essex‘s contribution to this post (see the section on ‘push content’) is a really solid example of a good outreach email for this kind of thing. Your social efforts should follow suit in the sense that it needs to be specific and targeted towards what the individual is likely to be interested in and how it helps them. I would add to this that the success comes in selecting your prospects and developing a relationship over time.

Perhaps connecting the practices of guest blogging and blogger outreach to make the most of your connections and be specific in all communication, call to actions are essential if you want to get things done. Don’t leave them wondering why you emailed or what they need to do.

Additionally, the campaign is made or broken by the targeting, if you have for example 3 clear niches to approach it encourages the systematic acquisition of all available links, thinking that your content appeals to “everyone” is going to result in you poorly targeting everybody.

Month 5

Webmaster promotion to content asset 1

In month 4 we promoted the content asset to bloggers (and potentially journalists), now we are going to be pushing the asset to other webmasters with the view to securing permanent links on resource pages and the like to really cement the asset as an authority resource and ensure the long-term visibility of it (in the search results) after the initial buzz and social traffic subsides.

How to find opportunities

Link prospector from Citation Labs

One of our favourite internal tools for identifying link prospects for further qualification. This tool has a “links pages” report type which allows you to discover authentic resource pages within your market.

Competitor analysis

Your asset may well be the market leader now but before it came to existence there was a competitor earning all those links. Using your favourite link research tool, you need to track down all the links and look for direct opportunities as well as the indirect opportunities such as “this type of website linked to the resource, let’s look for more of this type of website”. A key reason we divide outreach rather than do it all in one sprint is because it allows us to tailor our approach based on what is working rather than exhaust our prospects right off the bat.

Guest blogging

As before, but targeting a new segment from your opportunity map.


As before, but focusing on the area you intend to target for month 6 with your guest blogging.

Add a new content asset

There are several approaches you can take when it comes to creating a new content asset and the reason I wanted to include within this link building plan was because in reality even established websites won’t necessarily have usable content assets at your disposal when you walk in the door. There are multiple ways to approach this and here are a few of our preferred methods:

  • Publish content they already have – large established websites usually have established businesses behind them and frequently established businesses have mountains of content that they aren’t really putting to good use. In your quest to create linkable assets, you might decide to repurpose something that they already have – (think optimising what they already have).
  • Look for opportunities in your market centred around customer questions – if you really are working from scratch then it is advisable to return to your opportunity map from month 1 and explore each of the market segments in detail to help build a picture of the type and theme of your content. (Read HubSpot’s excellent guide to creating content centred around buyer personas).
  • Find content assets of competitors that you could really do better – identify opportunities in your market by looking through the content your competitors have created, chances are they haven’t done it as well as it could be done then do it better.
  • Look for pages in your competitor’s site that 404s but has link equity (from external links) – this is a long shot and to tell you the truth we have only managed to do this once. Essentially you perform link reclamation on your competitor’s website but rather than help them with their redirects, you create your own amazing version of the page that 404s on their site and reach out to all the webmasters that link to it. It isn’t that this can’t work, it is that the opportunities are rare but I felt it still merited a mention.
  • Outsource something – a content asset could be more of a linkable asset for example a mobile app, a bit of free software or a handy tool, if these things fall outside of your expertise then you may consider hiring someone to take care of it.

Month 6

You made it, six months of link acquisition and link optimisation. By now you should be really seeing the fruits of your labour paying off. Just one more month of activity then time to benchmark performance…

Influencer outreach for new content asset

Based on all your activities in the market over the previous half a year, you should have developed some relationships with influencers such as bloggers, curators, editors and maybe even journalists. Both they and the market as a whole should now have a feel for what you or your client is about and have some sense of goodwill towards you.

This activity is about enhancing this goodwill but also leveraging it because you will be seeking the help of the influencers you are now acquainted with to help you launch the shit out of this new content asset.

There’s no template outreach email for this one…subtly interweave some egobait into the asset and just ask for people’s help. Most (because they now know you) will probably help spread the word with links, tweets, +1s etc.

Repeat activities

  • Webmaster Promotion to the new content asset
  • Guest Blogging (to the new content asset) – target a portion of your guest blogging efforts towards building links and raising awareness for your new content asset. You can even rework some of the content and tailor to specific blogs to save time when it comes to writing the guest posts.
  • Guest Blogging – as before, this time targeting a new niche from your opportunities map.
  • Blogging – once again think ahead in terms of the content you produce, align with any plans you have on the horizon.

What do you think to the plan? Obviously one-size-does-not-fit-all when it comes to link building but this is just designed to be a loose template to give you an idea of how we work and also some food for thought. How would you improve it?

20 Best Google Adsense Monetizing Optimized WordPress Themes For Blog, Magazine and Business Websites (2018)

best google adsense themes for wordpress

Adsense Monetizing Optimization with the Best Google Adsense Themes 2018 is a great way to boost your click-through rate, by engineering little details which really make a difference. Things like placement of adverts and the size of the ads themselves are vital, even though it might seem like a trivial matter. Several companies have been working hard to deliver WordPress themes which are optimized to boost your click-through rate. The trick is to get the perfect balance between adverts and content. The adverts must be present but not obnoxious; the content must still be king.

Adsense is by far the easiest monetization method for a simple website such as blogs, niche websites, magazine, news and forums because it doesn’t require any technical knowledge to setup and use. It is also the best paying CPC/PPC network du to its high popularity and high competition between advertisers. We use it for VGI as well but it is not our main income because webmasters, developers and web designers are not ones who likes to click on the ads.


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If you have just started your own blog or are looking to monetize it I highly recommend to use AdSense. However, if you are from 3rd world countries (not going to name them) then this option won’t be for you because you are not going to get approved unless your website actually gets thousands or even millions of visitors a day.

AdSense and SEO goes hand in hand and you can get much higher CPC from organic traffic that comes from Google than from social or direct traffic because organic traffic is much more targeted. In that in mind you might want to check these awesome SEO friendly WordPress themes.

Enough about AdSense itself because you are here looking for a AdSense Optimized WordPress theme and here you will find the best ones. I kept out spammy looking themes that are built to trick people to click on ads and left those that are well designed with great user experience and with a good code base. Enjoy!

AdSense plugins for WordPress

Most users don’t want to change theme in order to maximize their AdSense revenue. Therefore, here is a list of best WordPress plugins for AdSense ad management on your website.


If you are searching for an excellent WordPress AdSense theme, look no further than Newspaper. This product specializes in generating revenue for its owners by increasing the site’s view count and popularity. With Newspaper 8 we are introducing to a brand new page builder, called tagDiv Composer, designed to power up your creativity. Now, you can create layouts just by dragging the elements from the list and dropping them in the page, wherever your heart desires. You can do this with your ads, too.

Packed with enticing features, Newspaper is definitely one of the best themes on the market. Users will benefit from 13 beautiful layouts for every post and countless incredible Big Grid style combinations available to highlight pages and categories, making sure that your content will never look mediocre.

With every online business, a fine balance must be struck. You must generate revenue from advertisements without downgrading the reader’s experience. Thankfully, Newspaper has implemented a modern, intelligent ad system. Now, every ad location on your website has a specific box where the ad code can be inserted. For Google AdSense, the theme will automatically search for the corresponding banner size. Newspaper 8 comes with 18 different ad locations that will help you maximize your revenue stream.

In today’s online landscape, list articles are some of the most attractive content formats. However, it takes a lot of time and effort to publish a well-researched list. Newspaper clears your schedule by implementing a ground-breaking smart list system which can automatically create top-quality lists. This AdSense WordPress theme offers a large number of useful tools, and it should certainly become an indispensable part of your business strategy.

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The online world is the new frontier for ambitious entrepreneurs. Many popular websites manage to receive millions of views, and that attention can be marketed. Divi is an AdSense Optimized WordPress theme that understands online advertisement and ad placement. Its excellent design and gorgeous layouts will be able to attract scores of customers and followers. With Divi, the sky’s the limit! When attempting to generate revenue via online advertisement, you must attempt to gain mass-appeal. Divi allows site owners to target foreign demographics, given that it is fully-translatable. It even supports right to left writing.

With this theme, you can rest easy knowing that resizing errors were eliminated. Indeed, your content and ads can be showcased on the screens of smartphones, desktop computers, laptops and tablets. Cross-browser compatibility was included as well.  Basically, Divi is a flexible solution for any talented businessperson. In terms of customization, the owner is given absolute freedom. There are literally hundreds of possible settings and options for your pages. You can either construct layouts from scratch, or import pre-made versions. Regardless of your choice, the result will look incredible. For those who wish to sample Divi without having to spend any money, a live theme preview was included.

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Gillion (Most Popular)

Gillion is an incredible WordPress theme designed for news, writing, magazines and blogs. It serves a communication tool by all means. It comes with 7 demos, premium support and awesome plug-ins. Gillion uses Visual Composer and Unyson. It also features an admin panel built to make users comfortable. Gillion requires no coding and it has been SEO optimized. Layout is responsive and makes this theme mobile friendly and all screens adaptable. Use its colors pallets to customize unlimited colors and introduce up to 5 blog pages. Post with 6 different formats and share it through its integrated social media icons. Gillion is the trendy, simple and smooth theme made just for you! Go for Gillion!

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CheerUp is a WordPress theme fully oriented to blogs, magazines and story writing. It comes with over 200 awesome handcrafted layouts. You will get it with several demos and more constantly on the way. CheerUp is flexible and adaptable and all browsers compatible. Use its live customizer and admin panel advanced options to change things quick and easy. Design is also responsive and retina ready. CheerUp uses high resolution graphics and yet it is light weighted and fast. Set up your businesses with subscriptions and stores. Use MailChimp and WooCommerce, completely integrated.

CheerUp has lots of headers and footers styles available with icons to add. Social media sharing buttons and search tool bars are also found. Play with 5 beautiful sliders and tons widgets.  CheerUp aims for versatility and visual appeal to make readers crazy. If you are looking for a new edge on your business or site, this is for you. CheerUp features multiple sidebars, an off canvas mobile menu and logo space settings! It is SEO and Contact Form compatible too! Have fun with its lots of typography and icons to choose from. It uses well known Typekit and Google Fonts. Get its premium support and documentation to get started! Start using CheerUp!

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jevelin-minimal-wordpress-blog-themeJevelin is a colorful and creative, serious and professional, stylish and classy, tech-savvy and readily responsive WordPress premium multipurpose website theme. This theme is the perfect solution for webmasters in need of a sturdy and robust platform for designing amazingly unique, personal or professional websites in no time at all and through a completely visual interface that requires absolutely no coding knowledge. Jevelin is a fantastic theme for those looking for a way to distribute and disseminate their precious content to a massive, heterogenous online audience in the most attractive and relatable presentation possible, with a multitude of deep customization capabilities to choose from and a number of handsome and handcrafted demo websites and page templates to help you hit the ground running.

Jevelin’s features include over ten different and imaginative portfolio layout combinations you can import with a single click to showcase your finest visual works, greatest professional accomplishments, your most delicious dishes and meals or any other content you want to show off to the world at large. With multiple portfolio overlays as well as multiple portfolio single ítem layouts you can fiddle with, you’ll never run out of ways to impress your audience. Try Jevelin today, and see for yourself!

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MagPlus is a clever and modern responsive WordPress blog and magazine website theme. This theme is the ideal platform for putting together eloquent websites for any industry. MagPlus is an intuitive framework for coding-free design of effective business blogs. Visual Composer makes customization quick and seamless. A range of premium plugins provide plentiful functionality for your every page. 150 handcrafted elements let you build anything you can dream up. 40 demo websites, dozens of templates and headers, and infinite layouts await within. Fast and lightweight, MagPlus keeps server loads low with fast-loading, optimized code. Responsive Bootstrap coding lets you reach every user on any device and browser. Best of all, MagPlus is AdSense-ready out of the box. Monetizing your content has never been easier or faster. Grow your audience with powerful SEO enhancements and maximize your AdSense profits. Get MagPlus today!

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Newsmag PRO

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In many ways, the web is like the Wild West: only those with an entrepreneurial spirit can survive. GoodLife is an AdSense WordPress theme for users who understand the demands of the market.  It allows you to craft jaw-dropping websites that are sure to impress many visitors. A fine balance must be struck with advertising, because too many ads can actually discourage people from frequenting your page. Successful owners realize that the placement of ads is the most important factor. Thankfully, the Visual Composer plugin makes it easy for site owners to organize advertisements and customize their layouts.

Upon installation, GoodLife will have perfect Jetpack and Social Integration. Social media profiles are retrieved in intervals which are determined by the administrator. You can even track your position on search engine rankings, due to the Rankie WordPress plugin. Despite its $16 price tag, it was added free of charge. In addition, this theme has the Essential Grid plugin, which allows users to showcase multiple content formats in a personalized grid. GoodLife is compatible with any device, regardless of its screen size. Your content can be displayed on smartphones, laptops, tablets, or desktop computers. Be sure to access the theme preview, for more information.

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The Voux

the voux clan magazine theme

The Voux is a highly responsive, retina-ready and comprehensive magazine theme for WordPress. Pages are fully customizable through the Visual Composer from which user-friendly headers may be created, together with mega menus which make use of tags, sub-categories and/or categories as a source. Position the ‘Home’ header either at the center or on the left of the page and also include an ‘In news detail’ page header.

Browsing through news articles on the page is conveniently designed for users as the next article loads while they scroll down. The link on the browser also updates as the page being viewed changes. This feature is possible courtesy of infinite scrolling. Besides news articles, the theme also showcases stylish full-screen galleries.

The Voux also incorporates social networking plug-ins such as facebook, twitter, google plus, and pinterest which is a first for ThemeForest. Sharing data is stored via WordPress and is visible even on the backend. Cache period for the data and preference of social networks to be used can be modified through Theme Options. Finally, the theme can be viewed on all devices without compromising the quality of the page or any of the elements.

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Interactive is a down to earth, affordable WordPress theme that enables anyone to easily design their ideal, high quality website. The design philosophy behind Interactive is suited for webmasters that have a need to express themselves in an intimate setting to their readers, allowing for a pulsating interaction.

A veritable cornucopia of practical options and features are available for enhancing your website. These powerful, versatile tools will definitely make a mark on your viewers, enticing them to subscribe to your content. If you wish to get a feel for the theme itself before shelling out anything, there is a live demo of it implemented currently available.

Options for making your website stand out are endless and guarantee that no two websites using this theme will look alike. Infinite permutations of color schemes, an amount of Google Fonts exceeding 630, automated language translation features to globalize your impact and influence across latitudes and longitudes, this theme definitely has it all. And a peculiar feature; the off canvas mobile menu that hides automatically when not in use will delight your users.

In addition, Interactive is designed to have minimal bounce rates and no discernible lag, parsing at light speed. Loading times are rather rapid, to the great benefit of your search engine rankings. A hybrid of performance and convenience with the best of both worlds, this theme is certainly one to watch.

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WordX is an elegant, understated WordPress theme, best employed by online magazines, content aggregators, travel blogs and perhaps photojournalists. It’s built to handle massive amounts of content and large, high resolution images and media, building blocks of content-based websites.

The general design philosophy behind WordX is complete user control of matters as diverse as color, fonts, styles, child themes, and pretty much all that can be clicked (or hovered) can be changed to suit your website’s aesthetic or tone. Building on this extreme customization capacity, WordX then integrates a series of features for building your website from a catch-all of customizable tools to a shining beacon of content for all your intended demographics.

Right off the bat is the language translation feature, which instantly offers your content in dozens of languages spoken in hundreds of nations by billions of users. Add to this WordX’s potent SEO optimization, and you’ll have a myriad of new users each day, stumbling upon your content on their favorite search engines. WordX’s famously low bounce rates will keep the majority of these in your website, where the Carousel feature will show them the very best you have to offer, gaining you early subscriptions easily. And all of this feeds into WordX’s native AdSense integration, turning this entire venture into a profitable once, all of a sudden!

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Newspaper is a stunning WordPress Theme that is designed to be both adaptable and responsive. It is ideal for content-rich sites like blogs which it organizes well in different ways in different categories. It has advanced typography and multiple fonts, colors and backgrounds. Its sleek look and feel is sure to impress. Now for a small amount of money anyone can have a professionally looking website.

NewsPaper offers various post layouts and media rich features which can showcase a wide variety of content. There is a demo available which shows what a beautiful site it can make. The layout is neat and adaptable, working well on all devices. The creators optimized this theme for speed and for it to work well with other sites using its search engine optimization.

You can quickly translate your content into other languages so your site can be accessed by anyone, anywhere. It has an intuitive navigation with tabs which makes it easy to find your way around. With the amount of options and features there’s no end to the things you can do with it. It has many useful sections such as a feature section to showcase your best new content and an author section so people can follow their favorite contributors.

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TruePixel is built on MyThemeShop’s trademark framework, which is brand new and was released not long back. The benefits include improved loading time on the page and with the widgets, amongst other nice bits of information including the fact that it has been handwritten with HTML5 and CSS3, and cleaned up for added readability. The site, of course, is responsive and Adsense optimized as well as SEO optimized and every other kind of optimisation you can think of. In short, it is optimal. It is a very clean and minimalistic theme, and costs only $35. MyThemeShop also offers the chance to get all 67 of their themes for $67. I don’t expect many people buy just one.

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nominal magazine theme
Well, with this theme they certainly know how to appeal to the lazy Adsense user. They say “No more tinkering around with confusing ad inserts and theme editing. The ad spaces are all widgetized, meaning you can just click and save for ad placements”. Sounds wonderful. Written in HTML5 and CSS3, this responsive, optimized theme will stay fresh for a few years yet. It has social media compatibility and supports unlimited colours and backgrounds.  They’ve even added some nice extra features to the back-end of the theme, allowing you to fully customise your own dashboard to make it “prettier to look at”. The site is fast and SEO optimized, ensuring that after you’ve drawn your customer to the site you don’t bore them with waiting times. It costs $35, or comes as part of a pack of 67 for $67.

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Sahifa is the WordPress equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife. The developers packed this theme with amazing features, each implemented in order to improve your site. Sahifa offers the best of both worlds, as it is powerful, yet beautiful and intuitive. Such innovation usually comes at a cost. With other themes, many complex site elements can have trouble adapting to the smaller screens of mobile devices. Thankfully, Sahifa has eliminated all resizing and compatibility problems. Tablet and smart phone users will be able to easily access your content. In addition, the layout will work with any browser and operating system. There is no limit to this theme’s adaptability.

Also, your site layout will have 3 variations: Boxed, Wide, and Framed. You can swiftly change these settings at any time. For many online companies, merchandising is an important part of their business plan. Moreover, Sahifa has incorporated the WooCommerce plugin, allowing for the creation of online commerce stores. This is a very reliable product, given that thousands of sites from across the world have chosen WooCommerce.  Massive pages can only grow if they can accommodate a large number of users. With WPML capabilities, you can now target people from non-English speaking audiences, in order to increase your view count.

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ramble-adsense-optimized-wordpress-blog-templateRamble is a slender and stylish, unique and unencumbered, expansive and easy to use, readily responsive WordPress multipurpose blog website theme. This theme is the perfect platform for the modern webmaster in need of a flexible, versatile and mobile friendly framework that facilitates the design and construction of resourceful blog websites in a matter of minutes, without touching a line of code. Ramble has been decked out with the latest and greatest plugins, widgets and shortcodes that furnish you with everything you’ll need to blog in the most legible, relatable presentation with plentiful visual enhancements and graphic customization available through the Redux Framework, while offering an enormous array of creatively designed layouts and template pages that cover just about any blog website niche, interest or purpose you can think of.

You can also use over 200 unique pages and 150 layout templates spread across over 100 amazing demo websites by just availing Ramble. Even blog-based online web stores can find what they need within Ramble, with full-fledged integration of the WooCommerce ecommerce plugin suite that allows you to market your wares of any kind directly from your website right out of the box. Give Ramble a try today, and see for yourself!

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Developed by an elite author, Herald is an excellent AdSense theme for WordPress websites. It offers a modern and charming design, with more than 500 articles listing layouts.  There are also numerous customization options, and there is no need for programming knowledge. Even novice users can install Herald by simply following the informative setup and installation videos.  Additionally, the creators built this theme for speed and lightning-fast loading times. Moreover, users can easily upload images for articles in various formats and aspect ratios. You can either select a pre-determined size, or implement custom parameters. Of course, there are many monetization settings. It is possible to place ad banners on the site homepage, articles, or posts.

Readers will also be able to access content directly from their laptops, desktop computers, tablets and smartphones. The layout is fully responsive, Retina-ready and cross-browser compatible. Writers no longer have to be tied to their desk chairs, as Herald allows them to work from their phones, while on the move. You can also create your own professional online store by using the popular WooCommerce plugin. Selling your merchandise has never been easier. Every category can be assigned a different layout color, making it easier for readers to navigate your page.

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Truemag: AD & AdSense Optimized Magazine

truemag adsense optimized themes
Truemag boasts ultimate monetization; at $55, you’d certainly hope so. In practice, the adverts do slip in and out, weaving between the content and edging into your peripheral vision. The theme is responsive, ensuring the presence of ads regardless of the device being used. It comes with two different skins, depending on the tone of the site you might want to either use light or dark. What’s more, the theme is compatible with WooCommerce – how’s that for ultimate monetization? They also written the code properly and made it conform to W3C standard so you can tweak the theme right at the source. In fact, most of the praise received is regarding their incredibly clean code. That makes a change from some other theme providers.

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goliath - classic magazine WordPress theme

Goliath is fully responsive and resizes sleekly different kinds of devices and screen sizes.  It offers users easy-to-customize theme layout, thanks to its powerful framework powered by Twitter Bootstrap technology. Goliath allows you to set up your website just the way you want through the Planetshine Control Panel.

The theme’s beautiful typography helps you gain the attention of your target web visitors as well as send your brand message across the web. It comes with powerful shortcodes and widgets, customisable sidebar and let website admin edit the appearance of Goliath using live visual editor. It also offers a unique particle parallax background to make your site background come alive. Moreover, you can quickly and easily create, arrange, and organize certain elements in your website using the Visual Composer integrated in the theme. Adding visually appealing sliders to your website is also trouble-free because Goliath WordPress theme comes with Slider Revolution plugin.

Furthermore, this modern and adsense-optimized theme includes a drag and drop mega menu to improve the design of your website and enhance the navigation in your website. Goliath also includes Product Review feature designed for reviewers. Additionally, it’s WooCommerce ready so you can set up an online shop within your website without a fuss. With its bbPress plugin integration, you are able to make your website become more social and interactive. This theme is also WPML Ready, includes PSD files, modern photo galleries, Auto hot articles and Smart Sidebar. It comes with brilliant ads management feature that lets you set up and organize the banners or Google Ads in your website. Lastly, this theme features a strong social media integration and fully optimized for Search Engine Optimization.

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pinstagram elegant magazine theme
Pinstagram is a responsive, widget-ready, SEO-ready, multi-language, WordPress 4.1+ compatible theme. In short, it has everything that every other theme has too, making the most important questions regarding whether the person who is buying it actually likes how it looks. Or is that true? Well, Pinstagram actually claims to be loaded full of psychological trickery which forces readers to engage with the material. The creators also combined the theme with Adwords optimization that sounds like a real demon of a theme. For $35 it makes it sound like you’d get that back the next day from Adsense. Or maybe that’s just psychological trickery. Anyway, it is a very nice looking theme so you wouldn’t be ‘losing money’ in the strictest sense of the term.

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hotnews viral wordpress theme
This is a newspaper theme which is optimized for Adsense. It promises to skyrocket earnings, which would be an attractive concept if Adsense earnings didn’t almost entirely depend on how popular your site is in the first place… Anyway, maybe the typography, unlimited backgrounds, colours and responsive layout will help you get popular in the end so you can finally benefit from the Adsense perks. Built with HTML5 and CSS3, this theme is nice and freshly up to date. It was handwritten with clean code which must be one of the most important things there is, even if it is assumed to just be a load of nonsense under the surface. It’s an appealing theme to look at, with an appealing price of $35, or $67 for all 67 of the themes in MyThemeShop’s library.

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flick photography centric magazine
Flick is a media orientated theme from the cut-price MyThemeShop. Despite their low prices, these themes come with exactly the same possibilities presented by the developers from other firms, save for WooCommerce, since it is to be expected they are too far in competition with WooThemes to want to pander to them. The theme is, like every other theme right now, Adsense optimized, featuring a responsive layout and a clean, customizable design. Gone are the days of those rigid designs which were not optimized for anything and provided only one font (Times New Roman). This is the new age, and this theme keeps up with that very well. For $35 or $67 for all themes from the developer, it’s definitely worth a try. You’re likely to see something you think is worth having.

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sensational news magazine theme
This is a personal blogging theme which promises to “transform your average looking website into an absolute stunner”. I wouldn’t like to be the one to tell them that this actually looks exactly like an average looking website. No matter how optimized it is, it is a little bit dull to look at. And not in a passive way, in a way that makes you think this is actually just old looking and actively annoying. Maybe it’s the colours and pictures used on the demo theme, and if that is the case, there is the usual option to choose from unlimited colours and customize the theme so it is entirely unrecognizable in its original form.

This theme would look a lot worse with ads on it, so that could hardly be called optimized. There isn’t even any space for them. This theme costs $35 or $67 as part of a pack of 67 other themes from MyThemeShop.

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MH Magazine

mh-magazine-wordpress-themeMH Magazine is a modern and flexible WordPress magazine theme well suited for tech news, fashion, travel lifestyle, news or any other magazine style website. This theme features several widget areas to place your AdSense or other banner codes. MH Magazine theme is SEO friendly and that will help to grow your AdSense theme better than any other theme on this collection. This theme is also highly customizable and it has 25 widget areas, several custom widgets, unlimited color options and much more. This theme is all you need to skyrocket your AdSense revenue while maintaining good user experience and clean design.

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MH Newsdesk

newsdesk magazine wordpress theme

MH Newsdesk is a modern and dynamic WordPress themes with outstanding flexibility and powerfull features. The theme is great for news, magazine or other content rich websites. MH Newsdesk also features a clean flat design and vibrant color scheme that makes it look novel. Moreover, you can use several banner spaces available on this theme for AdSense and other contextual ads. Developers have made sure theme is SEO friendly and fast to load thanks to its clean code base. You can highly customize and change MH Newsdesk using the WordPress Theme Customizer that allows live preview for all changes you make before you even save them.

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The Top 25 SEO Friendly Most Popular WordPress Themes on ThemeForest (2018)

best top wordpress themes 2018

When it comes to Top WordPress Themes, ThemeForest is by far and away the most popular place to find and buy premium products. At the time of writing, they currently offer a staggering 34,915 premium templates and top themes — almost 10,000 of which are for WordPress! Below, we’ll be taking a look at the 25 most popular of these Top WordPress Themes: many of which have quite literally become some of the most popular premium WordPress themes ever created!

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Without further ado (and in order of popularity), let’s get to it…

1. Avada | Responsive Multi-Purpose Theme

Avada WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • Top selling theme for 5 straight years.
  • Advanced options system and fully importable demos allow creation of any design without knowing any code.
  • Can choose any site width in boxed or wide format, responsive on all screen sizes.
  • The Fusion core plugin combines different intuitive tools like visual page builder, shortcode generator, MegaMenu, slider and more.
  • Beautiful pre-built layouts, dark and light skins, advanced header options, custom backgrounds.
  • Layer Slider, Revolution Slider, Parallax Fusion Slider and Super sleek elastic slider included.
  • Advanced blog, typography and portfolio options, numerous custom widgets.
  • Optimized for speed, SEO base built-in, auto theme updater, integration with major popular plugins.
  • Child theme compatible, multisite tested.

Total sales: 324,351

– by ThemeFusion

2. X | The Theme

X The theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • Intuitive page builder designed for fast prototyping, with regularly updated elements, templates and third party tools.
  • Dozens of premium plugins worth upward of $1000 included for free.
  • Change from boxed to wide layout with a click, custom backgrounds and sidebars.
  • Multiple unique portfolio layouts, pre-built page templates, custom post formats.
  • Multiple unique designs categorized into 4 Stacks, numerous stack specific options.
  • Cutting edge theme options panel, child theme compatible, multisite tested.
  • Slider Revolution included, customized approach to social sharing.

Total Sales: 152,560

– by ThemeCo

3. Enfold – Responsive Multi-Purpose Theme

Enfold WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • Default demo contains more than 100 pages, posts and products, easy setup with pre-defined content.
  • Layout editor with live previews, step-by-step tutorials and video narratives.
  • 20+ pre-defined skins, unique drag and drop template builder with a ton of unique elements like columns, accordions, pricing tables and more.
  • Wide and boxed layout, advanced header options.
  • Sidebar Manager, shortcode editor.
  • Multiple slideshow options – 2D /3D /layered /fullscreen /parallax.
  • WooCommerce integrated, WPML ready, 20+ language files included, search engine optimized.
  • Ajax instant search, supports ajax portfolio.
  • Child theme support, multisite enabled.

Sales: 123,920

– by Kriesi

4. Bridge – Creative Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme

Bridge WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • Best selling creative theme with 210 demos. Demo can be imported with a single click.
  • Includes Visual Composer, Layer Slider, Slider Revolution, and TimeTable plugin.
  • 500+ powerful shortcodes and options, modular shortcodes.
  • 24 layout concepts, multiple header and menu styles, packed with portfolio lists, sliders and single project layout, 15+ blog list templates.
  • Section video background, vertical split screen sections, full width carousel slider plugin.
  • Interactive elements.
  • Ajax animations on or off, search functionality on or off, smooth scroll.
  • WooCommerce compatible, translation, WPML and RTL ready.
  • Intuitive, easy to use powerful admin interface, child theme ready.

Sales: 71,134

– by Qode Themes

5. BeTheme – Responsive Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme

Be Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • Intuitive website installer, 250+ pre-built websites, one-click installation, online user guide.
  • 20 customizable header styles, subheader background image support.
  • 12 pre-made skins, one click skin generator, awesome layout generator.
  • Maintenance mode and blank page, unlimited Google Maps styles.
  • Built-in MegaMenu, different menus for different pages, built-in breadcrumbs.
  • 200+ shortcodes and muffin builder items, shortcode generator enables addition of any element anywhere on the site.
  • Tap to call for mobile devices.
  • Child theme included, XML file with demo content.

Sales: 65,350

– by Muffin Group

6. Salient – Responsive Multi-Purpose Theme

Salient WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • 150 professionally designed section templates to mix and match using page builder, one click demo import.
  • 500+ shortcodes and configuration options, graphically intuitive shortcode generator, 4 icon packs.
  • Multiple custom tailored sliders with smooth parallax scrolling, image / video backgrounds.
  • Advanced adaptive images, powerful lightboxes, fullscreen rows.
  • Premium WooCommerce integration with Ajax cart, custom gallery and advanced layout options.
  • Multiple page transitions, multi layer mouse based parallax, high performance animations.
  • MegaMenu built-in, off canvas menu, Ajax search.
  • Translation ready.

Sales: 62,580

– by ThemeNectar

7. Jupiter – Multi-Purpose Responsive Theme

Jupiter WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • 140+ website templates, one click template install, 18 header styles.
  • Modified Visual Composer, header customizer, background selector with Live Preview, 100+ customizable elements.
  • Multiple navigation and pagination styles, adaptive image resolution.
  • Typekit integration, 1800 icons.
  • Ajax portfolio with 6 hover styles, 3 portfolio sites.
  • Online shop with WooCommerce.
  • Multi language, RTL support.

Sales: 63,346

– by Artbees

8. The7 — Responsive Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme

The7 WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • 26 pre-built dummy websites that can be installed with a click.
  • Visual Composer with ultimate add-ons, Slider Revolution, Layer Slider, Go Pricing Tables and ConvertPlug.
  • Design Wizard feature to help customize features and then simply click create, 750+ theme options.
  • Advanced unique page templates system with over 230 other settings. Create landing pages, microsites and site-in-site.
  • Unlimited header layouts, 4 mobile header layouts.
  • Slideshows, grids and popup lightbox to showcase creative work.
  • WooCommerce compatible.
  • Multilingual and translation ready, already translated into 10+ languages.

Sales: 61,854

– by Dream-Theme

9. uDesign – Responsive WordPress Theme

uDEsign WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • Importable demo sites.
  • Search engine optimization is a priority in the design of this theme.
  • Slider Revolution with image pre-loader, unique transition effects, video embedding, autoplay and more options, and jQuery sliders.
  • Load background images on a per section basis, 2000+ fonts.
  • 11 widgetized areas that span the width of homepage dynamically, many custom widgets.
  • WooCommerce integrated.
  • Translation and WPML ready.

Sales: 47,258

– by AndonDesign

10. Flatsome | Multi-Purpose Responsive WooCommerce Theme

Flatsome WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • Multipurpose WooCommerce theme with one click demo content.
  • Designed to sell, with user experience as priority.
  • Frontend custom page builder and large element library to build any website.
  • Built-in slider and banner system, drag and drop image grids.
  • Parallax scrolling, single page navigation, sticky sections.
  • Live theme options panel and drag & drop header builder to customize anything.
  • Built-in live search.
  • Translation ready, 12+ languages included, WPML support.
  • Smart image lazy loading.

Sales: 45,270

– by UX Themes

11. Newspaper

Newspaper WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • 20 unique pre-defined templates that you can import with a single click, dark and light versions.
  • Best selling blog and newspaper theme of all time, built-in translation support.
  • Integrated with bbPress, BuddyPress, and WooCommerce.
  • Supports videos from YouTube/ Vimeo custom playlist, video thumbnail downloader and features a rating system.
  • Intuitive interface with freedom to customize, advanced block system.
  • Dozen header styles with top bar and custom ad spot.
  • Supports responsive Google Ads and AdSense, 13 pre-defined ad spots, optional 5 custom spots.
  • Theme detects the default Google AdSense or banners and makes them responsive.
  • Many custom widgets – weather widget, exchanges widget, Instagram widget, social counter widget, popular category widget, ad box widget and author box widget.
  • News ticker, lazy loading, custom made lightbox and sticky menu.
  • Ajax login system, Ajax search option.

Sales: 41,417

– by tagDiv

12. Karma – Responsive WordPress Theme

Karma WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • Powerful admin panel, one-click demo import.
  • 60 color variations, header and footer shadows, unique page layouts.
  • Built-in MegaMenu, 7 header and footer transparent overlay patterns, with custom image upload.
  • Parallax sections.
  • Fast loading pages.
  • WooCommerce integrated.
  • WPML compatible, pre-loaded with 13 languages, RTL ready, child theme included.

Sales: 29,158

– by True Themes

13. Impreza – Retina Responsive WordPress Theme

Impreza WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • One click demo import, professional pre-built layouts.
  • Header builder add-on to give flexibility for header, footer builder and portfolio popups.
  • Visual Composer, Slider Revolution and Ultimate Add-ons for Visual Composer included.
  • 1300+ icons, multisite compatible.
  • Parallax effect backgrounds, animated appearance of columns and images on any page.
  • Full design integration for WooCommerce, WPML, Gravity Forms, Contact Form 7, bbPress and Table Press.
  • Translation ready, RTL support, child theme support.

Sales: 25,957

– by UpSolution

14. Brooklyn | Responsive Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme

Brooklyn WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • 20 pre-made demos, one click demo importer, fully customizable.
  • 86 pre-defined page layouts, multi header variations.
  • Custom backgrounds, parallax effects, multi hero slider.
  • Shortcode generator to create stunning elements, 3 built-in custom widgets for Flickr, Twitter and video.
  • Table Manger, Portfolio Manager.
  • Child theme included.
  • Multilingual ready, compatible with WPML.

Sales: 25,724

– by United Themes

15. KALLYAS – Creative eCommerce Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme

Kallyas WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • One click demo installation, with many demo websites.
  • Visual Composer with 100+ pre-built elements, with powerful Live Search.
  • Revolution Slider with full visual editing, timeline layers to manage animations.
  • Smart loader that loads only the resources your page needs.
  • Built-in modal window system with auto triggering and multiple window types.
  • 12 homepage designs, hero scenes, custom page designs, pricing tables.
  • WooCommerce integration, functional MailChimp integration.
  • Multi language and WPML ready, translation and RTL ready.

Sales: 25,543

– by Hogash

16. Sahifa – Responsive WordPress News / Magazine / Blog Theme

Sahifa WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • No.1 selling blog and newspaper theme with one click built-in demo importer.
  • MegaMenu with mega icons, smart sticky navigation, off canvas mobile navigation.
  • 10 custom page templates, custom backgrounds, multiple homepage sliders, Grid Slider, Flex Slider, Elastic Slider.
  • Post views system, Fly Check Also box, Ajax Live Search, built-in review system.
  • Customized categories, customized posts and pages.
  • 35 custom widgets including Social counter widget, Rating plugin with add-ons, Instagrammy and iLightbox plugins, 40+ shortcodes.
  • Translation ready, RTL ready, compatible with WPML.
  • Responsive Google AdSense.
  • WooCommerce, BuddyPress, bbPress and WPML ready, compatible with Infinite Scroll plugin.

Sales: 24,198

– by TieLabs

17. Total – Responsive Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme

Total WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • Built-in demo importer and live customizer settings help build layouts easily.
  • Visual Composer with 40+ custom page builder elements included. Templatera helps save the layouts you build.
  • Custom footer and header builder, custom black and white filter option.
  • Most theme features can be individually enabled or disabled.
  • Custom post types, Symple MegaMenu and custom hover effects included.
  • Select specific navigation menu per page and add icons to menu.
  • Custom parallax image backgrounds, custom header video support.
  • Custom logo, favicon, iPhone & iPad icon uploads.
  • Child theme compatible, built-in social sharing for posts.
  • WooCommerce, bbPress and translation ready, WPML certified.

Sales: 24,061

-by WPExplorer

18. Uncode – Creative Multiuse WordPress Theme

Uncode WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • 40+ concepts, importable with a single click, pre-built pages included.
  • Tailored Visual Composer, unique content block to create headers, content sections, footers and custom archives.
  • Impressive Media Library to handle any kind of content, extensive thumbs variations, adaptive images.
  • 6+ menu styles, single page menu, automatized built-in MegaMenu, Innovative grid system, exclusive equal heights.
  • Custom iLightbox, custom maintenance page.
  • Infinite Fonts including Google Fonts, Typekit, Font Squirrel and Fontdeck, 1000+ handpicked icons.
  • Smart cascade options, smooth scroll, one-page scroll.
  • Fully integrated WooCommerce.
  • WPML certified, RTL support.

Sales: 21,910

-by Undsgn

19. Striking MultiFlex & Ecommerce Responsive WP Theme

Striking WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • One touch demo content install function, WooShop demo included.
  • 7 different homepage sliders, 7 page templates, 3 custom post types, 404 error page.
  • 110+ shortcodes, shortcode generator, 16 custom widgets.
  • Slideshow for pages and posts.
  • Multiple sortable portfolios with ajax navigation and lightbox galleries.
  • Icon fonts, Google fonts, Font Awesome, Cufon, @fontface and more.
  • WP multisite capable, includes child theme layout.
  • Customization for WooCommerce integration, run WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads and Image Share at the same time.
  • WPML approved theme with extra WPML related functionality.

Sales: 19,399

-by Kaptinlin

20. KingSize Fullscreen Photography Theme

Kingsize WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • No 1 selling WordPress photo template.
  • 7 unique galleries, full screen backgrounds, custom homepage slider post type.
  • Custom widgets, 35+ shortcodes included, full width audio player included.
  • Optional image resizers, easy gallery management.
  • Custom portfolio post type.
  • Theme options backup.
  • WPML integrated and language localization via Poedit.
  • WooCommerce ready.

Sales: 18,867

-by OWM Labs

21. Stockholm – A Genuinely Multi-Concept Theme

Stockholm WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • One click import, 40 demos, fully customizable.
  • 7 customizable pre-defined header styles.
  • Video slider, parallax image, video background sections, interactive infographics.
  • Customizable MegaMenu, full screen menu, sticky content menu and anchor functionality in menu.
  • Ajax Page Transitions with 4 different animations, can be controlled globally or at page level.
  • Full width carousel slider plugin, multiple custom sidebars.
  • WooCommerce and WPML integrated, child theme ready.

Sales: 17,968

-by Select-Themes

22. Modernize – Flexibility of WordPress

Modernize WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • Page builder, Drag and drop slider manager.
  • 15 pre-defined background patterns, 6 footer layouts, font uploader, logo uploader.
  • 3 image sliders, 4 custom post types.
  • Cufon uploader to upload your own fonts.
  • Built-in shortcodes, price tables.
  • 4 thumbnail options, thumbnail management.
  • Built-in translator, WooCommerce ready.

Sales: 16,556

-by GoodLayers

23. Inovado – Retina Responsive Multi-Purpose Theme

Inovado WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • One click demo installer, 25 pre-configured layouts, multiple custom post types.
  • Multiple header designs, sticky headers, custom backgrounds on every page.
  • 7 custom title bar styles on per page basis, Premium sliders worth $44.
  • Numerous touch optimized shortcodes, easy to use shortcode generator, built-in custom widgets.
  • Built-in MegaMenu, custom page templates and page options included.
  • Premium icons, 40+ retina social media icons.
  • Filterable portfolios, lightbox integrated for images and galleries.
  • Full WooCommerce integration, full translation support, child theme included.

Sales: 15,352

-by Minti

24. Oshine – Creative Multi-Purpose WordPress Theme

Oshine WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • 27 demos, one click demo importer.
  • Fast and intuitive fully visual page builder, packed with features for photographers and other creatives.
  • Pre-built section concepts for prototyping, 50+ styling modules, more than a dozen header and menu styles.
  • Video backgrounds, parallax and full screen sections.
  • Hero sections, numerous single project styles.
  • Optional mobile visibility controls.
  • Child theme support.
  • Powered by WooCommerce, compatible with WPML.

Sales: 14,595

-by Brand Exponents

25. KLEO – Pro Community Focused, Multi-Purpose BuddyPress Theme

Kleo WordPress Theme

Details | Demo

Standout features:

  • One click installer for pre-made websites.
  • Integrates with BuddyPress as a complete package, amazing BuddyPress shortcodes.
  • Live Ajax BuddyPress notifications with auto refresh.
  • Sensei elearning system plugin included, 700 Fontello icons included.
  • rtMedia ready, allows media encoding, privacy, sharing, frontend uploads and more.
  • Customize portfolio using shortcodes, included K elements helps create awesome pages.
  • Membership ready, different membership and access levels.
  • Facebook login integration, WooCommerce ready.
  • Custom post types, post formats and 40 inner pages.
  • Ajax search shortcode element that allows you to search all the pages and posts.
  • WPML and translation ready, RTL compatible.

Sales: 14,443

-by Seventh Queen

In Conclusion

There you have it, the 25 top selling WordPress themes on ThemeForest (note: need help choosing a ThemeForest theme? – see a previous article of ours: Starting with WordPress. There are, of course, plenty of other places to search for premium WordPress themes, but Themeforest is the #1 source for WordPress Themes.

Used any of the above themes? Thoughts? Comment.


8 Simple Tips to Increase Your Adsense CTR (Click Through Rate) and CPC (Cost Per Click) (2018)

howto build a website / homepage

The biggest mistake I see with people using Adsense as their monetization strategy, is they forget that Adsense is a CPC based network. You get paid per click, not by impression. Yet over and over again I see people not laying out their ads on their sites to maximize their income potential. Forget traffic for right now. I’m going to show you 8 effective Adsense tips on how you can double your income from your existing traffic with a few optimization tricks I’ve picked up over the years.

The following CTR/CPC advises can of course also be used with Google Adsense Alternatives. Checkout my article about Google Adsense Alternatives. For more ways to monetize your website also read this article.

1. Use all your ad blocks, and make them big

Starting off simple.

Use all your ad blocks. In addition to increasing your chances for a click, this increases the ad spaces on your site advertisers can bid on and gives you a better overall RPM. You’re allowed to use 3 ad blocks and 3 link units for each page of your site. While I don’t normally use link units at all, I do use 3 ad blocks no matter how short my content is.

Forget all the other size options that Adsense gives you. Bigger is better. Forget trying to blend it into your content, just make them visible so people can’t miss it. I’ve done extensive testing colours and came to one conclusion: blending is not always the answer. As long as people can see them, they’ll click on it if it’s something they’re interested in.

2. Place at least 2 ads within the post content

I know, it’s ugly to have ads mixed into your content, but it’s where your ads can get the most exposure. I like to place at least 2 ad blocks within the content itself: 1 at the top and 1 at the bottom.

What works best for me is to put the first ad right below the first paragraph, and the second one right after the content.

3. Use Red Instead of Blue

For the longest time, I had the same colour scheme to my site: black text and blue links. It worked.

But I noticed that using red links throughout my site instead of blue worked so much better. Maybe it has something to do with people’s natural blindness to blue link ads, but red far outperforms blue.

red links

Try making all the links on your site red, and then use the same red colour for your Adsense ads. Don’t use a bright red, but more of a maroon colour so your site doesn’t look like it was built in 1999.

4. Use a Scrolling Ad Block

Google does list this as not-allowed in their policies. However, I’ve been using it for years and have even passed a manual review on my site. Use this at your own risk. It may be a case-by-case basis. If they see you are using it to manipulate clicks, you are putting your account as risk.

Ever visit a website and see the ad follow you down the page as you scrolled down? Implementing that into my websites dramatically improved my CTR and overall RPM.

sticky sidebar adsense ad

Even if you do get permission to use it, it’s only against the policy if you hover it over your content. For example, if you had an ad block above your post title and it covered your content as you scrolled down, that would be against the rules.

If you have it in the sidebar, away from any content on the site, you’re allowed to use the feature.

For this, I like to use the Q2W3 plugin, which is free for WordPress users. Just activate the plugin, and you’ll see an option in your widgets to make them sticky.

Sidebar ads really suck for Adsense. But with this scrolling plugin, I improved my sidebar-ad CTR by over 150%.

The best ad unit for this? The giant 300 x 600 large skyscraper ads.

5. Use Text & Image Based Ad

With Adsense, you’re allowed to choose whether your ad unit is image based or text based. Unless you’re seriously in love with one type of ad, try using Text & Image based.

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 1.28.01 AM

Using both text and image options allows more advertisers to bid on it (text ad bids and image ad bids) and increases your overall Cost Per Click.

Don’t expect to see an instant jump in CPC. From my experience, it’s not a huge increase, but over time, it does pay more per click than an only text or only image ad.

Increase your CTR instantly by using the Newspaper WP Theme, the highest converting Adsense WP theme I’ve ever used.

6. Create a Shortcode

For WordPress users.

This involves editing some PHP files, but don’t freak out if you can’t code. This is really simple stuff.

What it does is it allows you to create a simple shortcode that allows you to add in ads wherever you please.

So while you’re writing an article, all you have to do is type in [ads] wherever you want the ad to be, and it will place it there. This is useful if you want to control your ad positions on shorter and longer posts, or for different kind of posts such as a video or image heavy posts.

Here’s how to do it.

1. Go into your WordPress editor and open the functions.php file.

2. Paste in this code:

Don’t forget to delete the line that says ERASE-THIS-PART-AND-PASTE-IN-YOUR-ADSENSE-CODE-HERE and paste in your Adsense code.

You can put in styling along with your Adsense code to center them, float them, place 2 ads side by side, etc.

It’s awesome.

Now, when you’re writing or editing your posts, wherever you type in [ads], it will show the Adsense code and whatever styling you applied to it.

7. My Favourite Ad Position: Under 1st Paragraph

My best performing ad position is usually the large rectangle or regular 300×250 ad block placed right under the first paragraph of the post or page.

From my own testing, these performed better than floating it to the right of the first paragraph or having it right under the title.

Here’s a simple function you can add to your functions.php file. It will add in your Adsense code right after “x” amount of paragraphs. For me, I choose 1 to put it right after the first paragraph, but you can choose any number you want.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Go into your WordPress editor and open the functions.php file.

2. Copy and paste this in:

Don’t forget to delete the line that says ERASE-THIS-PART-AND-PASTE-IN-YOUR-ADSENSE-CODE-HERE and paste in your Adsense code.

Just like the first one, you can also apply any styling you want to it.

8. Control Your Sidebar Ads Depending on What Page You’re On

Maybe a sidebar ad performs well on the homepage and archive pages, but not in your individual posts. Well, this can easily be fixed with a free plugin called Display Widgets.

display widgets

I use it for almost all of my Adsense sites because sidebar ads don’t perform the same on every page of the site.

Simply install and activate the plugin. After that, just go into the WordPress Widgets section of your admin and you can control each individual widget and on which pages it’s hidden and which pages it’s shown.

Note: If you select “Show on Selected Pages” it will hide it on every page BUT the ones you select. If you select “Hide on Selected Pages” it will show it on every page BUT hide it from the ones you select. You don’t have to configure this for every single one of your widgets, only the ones you want to control. If you don’t touch it, it will just go with your theme’s default settings.


As you learned from these Adsense tips, there are a lot of things you can do to increase revenue off of your existing traffic.

If you’re serious about your site (i.e. it’s making you a lot of money and you want to squeeze every penny out of it) then a one-position-fits-all ad layout isn’t the best option. You may be leaving a lot of money on the table by just installing a plugin that lays out the ads at the top and bottom of every post.

While a lot of things with Adsense are out of your control, you can use these Adsense optimization tips to experiment with your own site.

Bluehost vs HostGator: Choose the right Hosting for your WordPress (2018)

bluehost vs. hostgator best webhoster webhosting 2018

Bluehost or HostGator? Which one is the best web host and why? Bluehost vs HostGator; two of the most well known companies in the web hosting industry. Here is a head-to-head comparison where we look at 5 of the most important features when it comes to choosing a web hosting company. Choosing between these two providers, however, is no easy task as they both offer great features and fantastic value for money. Continue reading to learn the ins and outs of HostGator and Bluehost and find out which web host is the best, and why.

  1. Ease of Use for Beginners

Here in this section we look at Bluehost vs HostGator ease of use, beginner friendly and easy to get started with in regards to money back guarantee, domain name registration, website transfer/migration, installing WordPress and website building tools.

  • Moneyback guarantee

Bluehost‘s money-back guarantee is 30 days. You should be aware of the fact that this guarantee does not apply to add-on products, such as domain names. If you cancel within 30 days you receive a full refund. If you cancel after 30 days you receive a prorated refund for the remainder of your hosting term.

  • Domain name registration

Bluehost gives you a free domain name when you sign up for hosting with them. The domain is registered for a year and the domain will be renewed when you renew your web hosting plan.

  • Website transfer or migration

There are two options to move your site. You can either do it yourself for free by manually transferring your files over to Bluehost. Alternatively, you can use the Website Transfer service to migrate up to five sites and 20 email accounts from your former hosting company. This service costs $149.99. Don’t forget; you’ll need to add the FTP option to your hosting package before you can migrate an existing site.

  • Installing WordPress

Installing WordPress can seem like a daunting task. Bluehost has worked hard to make the process easier by using the MOJO Marketplace for all of its installations. Now you can install WordPress straight from your cPanel dashboard.

With Bluehost, you decide how to build your site. You can choose to utilize the on-site builder that is powered by Weebly. You can install WordPress. There are other options available in the Mojo Marketplace, as well.


  • Moneyback guarantee

HostGator offers a 45-day money-back guarantee on hosting plans with them, and as with Bluehost it only applies to hosting (not domain names etc). If you are not completely satisfied with their services within the first 45 days of your service, you will be given a full refund of the contract amount.

  • Domain name registration

HostGator does not include a free domain name name, however domain transfer is always free with HostGator. A new domain registration currently starts at around $12.99 for a “.com” domain.

  • Website transfer or migration

HostGator states their commitment to making transferring your site over to HostGator as easy as possible. HostGator will migrate all website files including databases, scripts, and one domain registration transfer for free with each new hosting account within 30 days of sign-up, as well as to newly upgraded account.

  • Installing WordPress

HostGator offers the MOJO Marketplace quick install for existing WordPress sites. Also, they offer tutorials on their site for easy “how to” install WordPress manually. There is a separate “how to” offered for installing a WordPress Optimized site.

  • Website Builder tool

HostGator has a free proprietary site builder for easy creation of a basic site. It features an intuitive interface with drag and drop WYSIWYG functionality that includes the following:

  • 100 or more mobile optimized templates
  • Pre-built site sections
  • Six pages included in the free basic plan

There are upgrades to this service available for a fee.

Visit HostGator.com
  1. WordPress

WordPress powers more than 25% of all websites on the web. Meaning if you want to build a site or blog, you want to use WordPress. Any web host that you thinking of using should offer value for money, hassle-free and secure hosting options when it comes to WordPress, plus the host should make it easy to install and get started with WordPress.



Bluehost offers beginner friendly WordPress hosting starting from $2.95/mo, as well as VPS powered and fully managed WordPress plans starting from $19.99/mo.

  • Officially recommended by WordPress

Bluehost is recommended by WordPress.org, and has worked closely with WordPress since 2005.

  • Installing WordPress

You can easily and instantly install WordPress with a click-of-a-button and manage all your installations from an enhanced cPanel control panel, so you can start building your website immediately.

  • WordPress security

Comes with a free SSL certificate, a WordPress custom designed control panel and CloudFlare CDN is built directly into your account for free without any coding. Premium managed WP hosting comes with pre-installation of ManageWP, advanced security features such as daily scans for malware and vulnerabilities. SiteLock Security, Advanced CDN & SiteLock WAF. Dedicated backup storage and automated backups.

  • WordPress speed

Bluehost‘s managed WordPress hosting is built on a VPS platform with custom architecture engineered to deliver unprecedented performance:

  • VPS powered platform
  • Advanced NGINX architecture
  • Custom PHP-FPM configuration

Visit Bluehost.com



HostGator offers WordPress Cloud Hosting, that comes with 2.5x speed, advanced security, and free site migrations – starting at just $5.95/mo.

  • Officially recommended by WordPress

HostGator is not recommended by WordPress.org

  • Installing WordPress

If you already have a WordPress powered site, a free migration service will transfer your existing WordPress site to HostGator. You can easily and instantly install WordPress with one click and manage your site from an enhanced cPanel control panel.

  • WordPress security

No free SSL certificate but global CDN, automatic malware removal using SiteLock security is included for free with HostGator’s managed WordPress hosting plans, which gives you HackAlert monitoring service that checks your website daily and immediately notifies you if your website has been hacked or injected with malicious code. CodeGuard automatic website backup is also included. Get daily automated website backup for all web files and databases with a 1-click restore.

  • WordPress speed

HostGator promises that pages load at blazing speed worldwide without having to configure your caching and CDN. Experience up to 2.5X faster load times due to super charged cloud architecture, low-density servers, CDN, and multiple caching layers. Your website content is managed more efficiently, enabling dynamic content requests to be processed lightning-fast

Visit HostGator.com
  1. Speed & Uptime

Speed and uptime are the cornerstones of any web host’s core features. Because having a fast loading website that is up online at all times are two of the most important things you want from a good web host.


  • SSD Drives

Bluehost shared hosting plans do not come with solid state drives (SSD), but their server infrastructure is powered by enterprise level SSD database storage.

  • Data Centers

Bluehost doesn’t disclose the locations of their data centers. However, 3rd party research indicates that the company currently has 23 data centers. These are located throughout the US, China, India, and Europe.

  • Infrastructure and Technology

All servers operate at Tier 3 (Tier 4 is the highest) certification. This means that you can expect superior uptime and redundancy capabilities. Uptime is projected to be around 99.982% with an average downtime of 1.6 hours per year. The infrastructure boasts:

  • Quad-processor servers
  • Uninterruptible Power Supply
  • Diesel Backup Generator
  • Mirrored storage backup
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Bluehost offers the content delivery network powered by CloudFlare. This means your site’s traffic is routed through a global network that is optimized for fastest content delivery.

Visit Bluehost.com



  • SSD Drives

As with Bluehost, HostGator shared hosting plans do not come with solid state drives (SSD). However HostGator’s Cloud and WordPress hosting plans all come with SSD included.

  • Data Centers

HostGator utilizes several Tier 4 data centers located in Texas and Utah. Their strategic utilization of these facilities allows them to provide the flexibility you need and the performance, quality, and reliability your business requires. Each facility boasts a state-of-the-art server, HVAC, electrical, and backup generators. Their data centers are highly secured facilities that have controlled access.

  • Infrastructure and Technology

Fully backed by their SLA, HostGator promises at least 99.9% uptime. This is part of their service guarantee. They use cutting edge Linux container technology and proprietary technologies, as well that have built-in redundancy for greater security.

  • Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Like Bluehost, HostGator also utilizes CloudFlare for its content delivery and firewall network solutions.

Visit HostGator.com
  1. Security

You need to take security seriously and use a web host that has the tools and preventative measures in place the protect your website from being spammed, hacked, injected with malware or taken completely.




  • Website Backups

Bluehost offers complimentary adhoc automatically generated backups for their customers. You can schedule these to take place on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Bluehost doesn’t guarantee the backups and recommends that all customers create their own backup (can be done via Cpanel).

  • SSL Certificates

Bluehost provides a free shared SSL that is available to accounts which reside on a shared IP. For Standard and Pro accounts, there is only one Dedicated IP and so only one SSL Certificate. For VPS, dedicated, managed, or reseller accounts, you can purchase multiple Dedicated IP and SSL Certificates since there will be multiple cPanels created within the account.

  • Malware Scans

Malware scanning only comes as a paid upgrade. Bluehost’s SiteLock addon includes:

  • Basic Spam Monitoring: Checks daily to make sure your site is free of spam
  • Basic Business Verification: Establishes trust in your business site
  • Site Verification Certificate: Develops customer trust
  • Blacklist Monitoring: Avoids quarantining by Google
  • Basic Malware Monitoring: Daily scans for malware

For $249.99 per year, Bluehost offers Site Doctor. Site Doctor can quickly diagnose and stop any issues that arise from malware.

  • DDOS protection

DDos protections is built into Bluehost’s infrastructure. But according to the site, DDoS attacks are not something they can warn customers about beforehand. They do say that when these attacks occur to understand that their team will do all things possible to restore your service quickly.

Visit Bluehost.com



  • Website Backups

HostGator doesn’t give the option of creating automatically generated backups. You can make an instant manual backup and you can then use this backup file to restore your account on our servers if need be. There is a paid upgrade called CodeGuard, it creates daily automated website backups for all your web files and databases with a 1-click restore.

  • SSL Certificates

No free SSL certificate is being offered. The following types of SSL certificates are available through HostGator. Only the Domain Validated SSL will be issued for free.

  • Domain Validated
  • Company Validated
  • Extended Validation
  • Wildcard
  • Multi-Domain

You should know that the “Hatchling” hosting package is not able to utilize SSL certificates.

  • Malware Scans

Like Bluehost, HostGator has also partnered with SiteLock to provide powerful and reliable malware scans. The HackAlert monitoring service is particularly useful as it checks your website daily and immediately notifies you if your website has been hacked or injected with malicious code.

  • DDOS protection

HostGator protects from DDoS attacks. The site states that they have implemented an extensive custom firewall rulesets that protect servers from the many forms of attack. As well, their data center has enabled network-level flood protection.

Visit HostGator.com
  1. Customer Service & Support

You want to be able to get the help you need when you need it (because there will come a time when you need support from your hosting company). It is essential to have a hosting company with high quality, responsive, friendly and knowledgeable customer and technical support.




  • Ways to Get in Touch

Bluehost offers several ways to contact them for a variety of reasons. There are dedicated toll-free numbers to call for sales, web hosting, tech support, and WordPress support. As well, there is a method to submit support tickets and chat.

  • Response Times
  • Support Tickets – no time given
  • Chat – instant
  • Phone – instant
  • Areas of Expertise

There is 24/7-365 dedicated support personnel available for the following areas:

  • Account Management
  • Sales
  • Tech Support

Visit Bluehost.com



  • Ways to Get in Touch

From the Support Panel, there are several options for getting the help you need. You can contact support by phone, get help with billing, start a live chat, or see if anyone in the forums can help.

  • Response Times
  • Chat – instant
  • Billing Support – minutes to within one business day
  • Forums – varies
  • Phone – instant
  • Areas of Expertise

HostGator is well-known for having excellent customer support. They have an active community of users that are friendly and helpful in the forums. As well, there are hundreds of helpful videos and tutorials available 24/7.

Visit HostGator.com



The “winner” is? (Summary)

Choosing between HostGator and Bluehost can sometimes feel like having to choose between a Coke and Pepsi. Different strokes for different folks.

That’s why we created this head-to-head comparison of the two most well known hosting companies to help you choose between Bluehost and HostGator.

Bluehost vs HostGator?

Who is the winner?

It’s a very close call but

Bluehost is the winner.


  • HostGator is easier to use and more beginner friendly as they include more features such as free website migration / transfer (Bluehost charges $149.99 to migrate your site). Plus HostGator’s refund policy is more generous than Bluehost. HostGator’s only downside is that they don’t offer a free domain name.
  • When it comes to WordPress hosting Bluehost is better because they are officially recommended by WordPress.org and you get more more features like free SSL certificate with Bluehost.
  • It’s a tie between HostGator and Bluehost when it comes to speed and uptime, as both companies offer similar features when it comes to this aspect of web hosting.
  • Bluehost is the better web host when it comes to security, because Bluehost offers free SSL certificated and they do perform complimentary website backups.
  • It’s another tie between Bluehost and HostGator when it comes to customer service and support, as both companies offer similar features when it comes to this aspect of web hosting.

Please share this article if you like it. Thx.

SEO Tools: The Complete List 2018 / 2019 For More Traffic

seo tools complete list 2018 2019

If you want to see the best SEO tools in one place, then you’ll LOVE this SEO Tools guide. I personally tested and reviewed 188 free and paid tools. I want SEO tools that help with:

  1. Link Building
  2. Technical SEO
  3. Keyword Research
  4. Rank Tracking
  5. Content Optimization
  6. Backlink analysis
  7. Video SEO


Link BuildingPaid

AuthoritySpy is designed to help you find the top influencers in your space. It discovers these movers and shakers by searching in places like AllTop, Twitter and Followerwonk.

authority spy screenshot 2

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Link BuildingPaidYes

If you do outreach at scale or with a team, you NEED a tool like Buzzstream. Why? Buzzstream makes the messy job of email outreach and link building streamlined and organized. Make sure to check out their new prospecting and email-finding features.

buzzstream screenshot

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Check My Links

Link BuildingFree

If you do Broken Link Building, then you’ll love Check My Links. With a click of a button, this Chrome extension quickly checks any webpage for broken links.

check my links chrome extension

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Citation Labs’ Broken Link Finder

Link BuildingPaid

Instead of hunting for broken links page-by-page, The Broken Link Finder proactively searches the web for them. Just search for a keyword and the tool will scour the internet for broken links…and hand them to you on a silver platter. Then you can hit up the Wayback Machine to see what the content was (and create something similar/better).

Cool feature: You can sort your results by how many people link to the broken link.

citation labs broken link finder

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Citation Labs’ Link Prospector

Link BuildingPaid

A industrial-level link opportunity finder. Link Prospector scans the web for link building opportunities like resource pages, guest posts, blogs, news sites and more.

link prospector tool

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Link BuildingFree, NewYes

Detailed is like fantasy football for websites. It gives you updated rankings of websites in your niche (sorted by links and Twitter mentions).
You also get a report that tells you who shared or linked to each site in their database… which can be a goldmine for link building and content promotion.


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Link BuildingPaid

DIBZ is a cool link prospecting tool. Just enter the type of links you want to build (for example, resource page backlinks) and it’ll get to work finding link opportunities.

dibz link building tool

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Link BuildingFree

Disavow.it turns your list of spammy URLs into a Google-ready disavow file. Good stuff.


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Domain Hunter Plus

Link BuildingFree

Domain Hunter Plus is similar to Check My Links. But this tool also checks to see if the broken link’s domain is available for registration. Cool feature in theory…but I rarely find any free domain names with this tool. That’s because authoritative domains tend to get scooped up pretty quickly. Still a helpful tool for broken link building or The Moving Man Method though.

domain hunter plus

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Free Broken Link Checker

Link BuildingFreemium

This tool checks a website for broken links. Helpful for broken link building.
Free Broken Link Checker

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Link BuildingPaid

GroupHigh is advanced blogger outreach software.

Despite the laundry list of features, it’s pretty darn easy to use. Just enter a few keywords to find blogs in your industry. Then filter by Domain Authority and last post date to whittle down the list to bloggers that are worth reaching out to. You can also reach out to them (and track your results) within the platform.

grouphigh screenshot

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GuestPost Tracker

Link BuildingPaid

GuestPost Tracker is a giant database of 1000 websites that accept guest posts. The tool also allows you to track sites that you’ve submitted to. Their sales copy emphasizes that the sites on their list are not part of a PBN. I took a look at a few of the sites in their database and they looked legit.

guest post tracker

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HARO (Help a Reporter Out)

Link BuildingFreemiumYes

Want to get backlinks from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal? You can hire a pricey PR firm…or you can use HARO. HARO is a “dating service” that connects journalists with sources. If you hook a journalist up with a nice quote or stat, they’ll reward you up with a mention or link. Takes a bit of grinding to get a single mention, but the links you get can be solid gold.

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Link BuildingFreemiumYes

Want to get links from news sites like the New York Times and WSJ? The first step is to find the right journalist to reach out to. And JustReachOut makes this process MUCH easier than doing it manually. Just search for a keyword and the tool will generate a list of journalists that cover that topic. You can also pitch journalists from within the platform.


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Link Building, Backlink analysisPaid

LinkBird is a keyword research/rank tracking/backlink analysis/link building hybrid tool. Fires off email alerts when it finds a new backlink pointing to your site.


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Link BuildingFreeYes

Check My Links on steroids. Like many tools, LinkMiner check for broken links on a page. But this free Chrome extension also shows you how many links the broken link has pointing to it. Uber helpful for broken link building.

Cool Feature: LinkMiner shows you how many outbound links a page has…on a Google SERP. That way you can zero-in on pages with lots of outbound links (and therefore, broken link building opportunities).

linkminer serp feature

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Link Building, Backlink analysisPaid

Linkody lets you know you when you get (or lose) a backlink. It also provides info on your new backlinks (like Mozrank and anchor text). Cool Feature: Linkody emails you when a competitor gets a new backlink. That way you can swoop in and try to get the same one for yourself.

linkody screenshot 2

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Link BuildingPaid

Linkstant you an email alert every time you get a new link. Why is this helpful?

Well you can turn that one link into multiple links (and a relationship) with a quick “hey, thanks for linking to me” email. It also helps you identify reputation management issues quickly so you can nip them in the bud before they blow up.

linkstant alert

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Link BuildingPaid, New

An excellent tool that focuses on cold outreach. Cool Feature: MailShake provides email templates you can use for outreach. They have templates for guest post requests, LinkedIn outreach and more.

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Marie Haynes’ Disavow Blacklist

Link BuildingFree

Wondering if a link is helping or hurting your SEO efforts? Then upload the URL of the page to Marie Haynes’ blacklist tool. It will let you know if the domain is on Marie’s comprehensive list of spammy websites. If it is, you may want to add it to a disavow file. Helpful.

disavow tool

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Muck Rack

Link BuildingPaidYes

If you want to get mentions (and backlinks) from sites like The New York Times and Forbes, you need to start rubbing elbows with journalists. And Muck Rack is an impressive PR tool that helps you quickly find journalists that cover your site’s industry.

Cool Feature: The “Journalist Directory” is a hand-curated list of journalists at over 500 media outlets. Includes their latest tweets, columns and up-to-date contact information.

muckrack screenshot 2

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Ninja Outreach

Link BuildingPaid

Ninja Outreach is an impressive new blogger outreach tool. Search for influential peeps and reach out to them…all from within the tool. Includes outreach templates.


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Link BuildingFreemium

If you eat, sleep and breathe link building, then Ontolo is a tool I recommend checking out. It’s designed to do one thing: show you lots of link opportunities. Just enter a few keywords, tell Ontolo what types of links you want to get (for example:”links from guest posts”), and Ontolo will hand you a list of opportunities.

new ontolo

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Link BuildingPaidYes

PitchBox is an all-in-one link prospecting and outreach tool.

Unlike many outreach platforms that are clunky and confusing, PitchBox is a breeze to use. Just enter a few keywords and the tool scans the web for people to promote to (and automatically grabs their contact info). Then reach out to them and track your results.

pitchbox screenshot 2

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Link BuildingPaid

Remove’em is a pro-level link removal tool. This comes in hand if you got hit by Google Penguin or a Manual “Unnatural Links” penalty.

Cool Feature: “R-Score” evaluates all of your backlinks to let you know which ones are harmful. This makes sorting through thousands of links 10x easier.

removem screenshot

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Link BuildingFreemiumYes

Rmoov is one of the best link removal tools on the market. It comes packed with helpful features (like finding a site owner’s contact info and auto-generated link removal templates).
rmoov tool

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Link Building, Keyword Research, Backlink analysisPaid

ScrapeBox is the self-proclaimed “Swiss army knife of SEO”. Even though this tool was built for black hat SEO, you can use ScrapeBox for white hat link building tasks (like link prospecting, finding contact information and even keyword research).

scrapebox screenshot

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Siege Media Embed Code Generator

Link BuildingFreeYes

My favorite infographic embed code generator. I really like how you can specify the dimensions of the embed code box.

siege media embed code generator

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Link BuildingFreemium

This is a brand new outreach software program that comes bundled with pre-built campaigns. Promising.


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Technical SEO tools

All in One SEO Pack

Technical SEOFreemium

An alternative to the Yoast SEO plugin.

The All In One SEO Pack has a few unique features that make it different than yoast, like auto-generated description tags, canonical tag support and a “bad bot” blocker.

all in one seo pack

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Bing Webmaster Tools

Technical SEO, Keyword ResearchFree

As you might expect from Bing, Bing Webmaster Tools is good…but not nearly as good as Google Search Console.

But if Bing is important to you, this tool tells you everything you need to know about your site’s visibility in Bing. Cool Feature: Bing has a surprisingly good keyword research tool (see image below). And it can hand you keywords that the GKP will NEVER reveal.

bing webmaster tools screenshot

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Technical SEOPaid

A clean and straightforward site auditing tool. Provides info on site loading speed, HTML errors, and click depth.


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Bright Local

Technical SEO, Rank Tracking, Backlink analysisPaid

Bright Local is an excellent tool that does insanely comprehensive local SEO site audits.

Cool Feature: Find duplicate or incorrect citations that are floating around online. Helpful if you recently changed address or just want to make sure your NAP citations are consistent around the web.

Bright Local

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Technical SEOFree

A nifty tool that reveals how a search engines spider sees your site. If you check out the screenshot below you’ll notice that search engine spiders get a very different view of our websites than us humans do.


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Technical SEOPaid

A bit clunky to use, but Clusteric provides a ton of features like site audits, competitor analysis, search visiblity and more.


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Technical SEOFreemium

Dareboost is a robust website performance testing tool. Not only does the tool size up your site’s loading speed, but it tells you EXACTLY how you can fix issues that are slowing things down.

dareboost site performance tool

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Technical SEOPaid

Deep Crawl lives up to its name. It scans every page on your site and gives you a comprehensive report that lists out you how many H1 tags you have on each page, noindexed pages, broken internal links, broken external links etc. Heck, it even tells you if your Twitter Card descriptions are too long. deep crawl seo tool report

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Technical SEOPaid

EasyRidir makes redirecting traffic between different domains super easy. Just enter the URLs you want to send people from (and to), and the tool gives you DNS info that you can use to manage 100% of the redirects.

easy redirect

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Technical SEOPaid

Forecheck crawls your site to uncover issues that may be holding you back from Google’s first page. It also color codes its reports so you know which issues to tackle first.


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Google Analytics

Technical SEOFreeYes

If you’re serious about SEO, you need to use Google Analytics. Enough said.

Cool Feature: Go to “Acquisition” –>”Search Console”–> Landing Pages. This will bring up the pages on your site that get the most impressions and clicks from Google. Look at the CTR field to see your pages that get the best click-through-rate. Finally, apply elements from those title and description tags to pages that get a bad CTR. And watch your organic traffic move on up 🙂

google analytics search engine optimization

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Google Analytics Referrer Spam Killer

Technical SEOFree

When you link your Google Analytics to this free spam killer tool, it will add filters to your account that remove over 100 know spammy referrer websites from your list of referring domains. That way your GA data will be squeaky clean.

google analytics referrer spam killer

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Google Mobile-Friendly Test

Technical SEOFree

Google recently started to downrank sites that aren’t mobile friendly.

But how do you know if a page on your site is up to snuff? Just enter the URL into the Google Mobile-Friendly Test Tool…and you’ll get a simple “yes/no” answer from Big G.

Google Mobile-Friendly Test

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Google PageSpeed Insights

Technical SEOFree

You know Google uses your site’s loading speed as a ranking factor.

Well Google PageSpeed insights tells you whether or not Google sees your site as lightning-fast or snail-slow. It also hands you actionable suggestions that you (or your web developer) can use to speed things up.

PageSpeed Insights

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Google Search Console

Technical SEO, Rank TrackingFreeYes

Google Search Console is a suite of helpful tools straight from Google. You can see if you have duplicate meta data, how many pages you have indexed, security issues and more.

Cool feature: Go to “Search Traffic”—>”Search Analytics” to get a list of keywords that you currently rank for. Sort by “Position” so that your #1 rankings are at the top. Then scroll down until you find where you rank #10-#25 in Google’s search results. These are pages that you can sometimes push to page 1 with some extra SEO love (for example, pointing a few internal links to that page).

google search console

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Google XML Sitemaps

Technical SEOFreemium

A WordPress plugin that creates an SEO-friendly sitemap of your site automatically. However, if you already use the Yoast SEO Plugin, you don’t need this as Yoast does the same exact thing.
google xml sitemaps plugin

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Technical SEOFree

Google Page Speed Insights checks your site’s code. GTmetrix actually loads your site.

When I want to judge my site’s real loading speed, I always defer to GTmetrix. It also gives you recommendations for getting your site up to speed (literally).

gtmetrix screenshot

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Technical SEOFreemium

Want to know if your 301 redirects are set up correctly? Or how about canonical URLs? Or maybe you’re not sure if your robots.txt files are blocking Google from indexing your pages. HeadMasterSEO lets you check these potential issues on huge lists of URLs with ease.

HeadMaster SEO

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Hreflang Tags Generator Tool

Technical SEO, Content OptimizationFreeYes

Want to create Hreflang tags with ease? Aleyda’s excellent tool does the job right.

Hreflang Tags Generator Tool

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Kill Duplicate

Technical SEOPaid

Do evil people steal your content? It’s possible for them to outrank you. To proactively prevent this, Kill Duplicate scans the web for content thieves. Cool tool but needs some UX work (confusing UX and some of the copy is in French).

Kull duplicate

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Technical SEOPaid

LinkPatrol is an interesting WordPress plugin that shows you all of your site’s external links.

Cool Feature: If you need to remove or nofollow a bunch of links on your site, LinkPatrol makes it easy. Just choose a domain you want to remove or nofollow, and LinkPatrol will take care of them.

linkpatrol screenshot

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Technical SEO, Content OptimizationFreemium

Lipperhey analyzes your site for technical SEO issues and provides a basic SEO content analysis.

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Map Broker XML Sitemap Validator

Technical SEOFree

A helpful (free) tool that makes sure you have a valid sitemap. The XML Sitemap Validator also double checks that the links in your sitemap work.

xml sitemap validator

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Microdata Generator

Technical SEOFree

The Microdata Generator makes creating local SEO schema markup a breeze. This is perfect if you’re a local business (or have local SEO clients).

Just enter your basic biz info (like address, phone number, opening hours etc.) and you’re set.

Microdata Generator

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Technical SEOPaid

OnCrawl is a solid site auditing tool. Like most others, this software gives you info on HTML issues…but also duplicate content, page depth and site performance.


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Open SEO Stats

Technical SEO, Content OptimizationFree

A nifty Chrome extension that gives you fistfuls of helpful info with the push of a button. You can see a site’s Alexa ranking, indexed pages, page speed, whois, on page SEO…the list goes on and on. open seo stats

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Panguin Tool

Technical SEOFreeYes

Wondering if your site got dinged by Panda, Penguin or another Google penalty? The outstanding Panguin Tool will help you get to the bottom of it. Just link up Panguin with your Google Analytics and the tool will show if your organic traffic dip happened at the same time as a major Google update.


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Plugin SEO

Technical SEO, Content OptimizationFree

A fast and free on-page SEO analysis tool. Provides recommendations to patch up any issues your page has.

Plugin SEO

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Raven Tools

Technical SEO, Content OptimizationPaid

A pro-level tools suite designed for digital marketing agencies. Raven Tools probably has the best site auditor tool I’ve ever used. And unlike most site audit tools, Raven shows you EXACTLY what you need to do to fix any SEO issues that your site has.

Cool Feature: “Thin content” reveals content that might put you at risk for a Google Panda penalty.

Raven Tools

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Referral Ghost Spam Removal Tool

Technical SEOFree

Is referral “ghost spam” messing up your Google Analytics data? Well this free tool quickly filters out spam bots by creating a segment in GA that ignores traffic from spammy websites.

loganix ghost spam filter

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Rel Nofollow Checkbox

Technical SEOFree

This WordPress plugin lets you easily set links on your site as “nofollow”.

rel nofollow checkbox

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Screaming Frog SEO Log File Analyser

Technical SEOFreemium

Most technical SEO tools scan a list of URLs and tell you about errors and opportunities that it found. What makes the new Screaming Frog SEO Log File Analyser different is that it analyzes your log files. That way you can see how search engine bots from Google and Bing interact with your site (and how often). Helpful if you run a huge site with tens of thousands (or millions) of pages.

logfile analyzer

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Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Technical SEOFreemium

Screaming Frog is the first technical SEO tool that I ever used. And it still holds up today. Great for quickly identifying technical issues that’s holding your site back from the first page. Free version works well. But to get really down-and-dirty, you definitely want to splurge for the full paid version.

screaming frog screenshot

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Search Analytics for Sheets

Technical SEOFreeYes

Ever wish that you could see Google Search Console data from more than 90 days ago? Well you can’t. That is, unless you use the awesome Search Analytics for Sheets addon. Simple add to Google Sheets, authorize with GSC, and you’re good to go.

Search analytics for sheets

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SEO & Website Analysis (WooRank)

Technical SEO, Content OptimizationFreeYes

This free Chrome extension gives you important SEO info from within your browser.

Just click a button and the SEO & Website Analysis by WooRank analyzes your page’s basic SEO metrics (like title tags that are too long). But the tool also hooks you up with other helpful info (like whether your site is mobile optimized and how fast it loads).

Yes, you can use this extension for your own site. But in experience this tool is even better for competitor analysis because it shows you the site’s Facebook and Twitter pages, what technology they’re using on their site, and traffic estimates…all from within your browser.

woorank SEO & Website Analysis

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SEO Monitor

Technical SEO, Rank TrackingPaidYes

SEO Monitor is a one-stop dashboard for your SEO performance.

Cool Feature: SEO Monitor takes Google Analytic’s data, mashes it together with your rankings, and helps solve the “(not provided)” issue. This is SUPER helpful for discovering keywords that convert well for you. That way you can put more SEO muscle behind those keywords.

seomonitor screenshot

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SEO Site Checkup

Technical SEO, Content OptimizationPaid

A very easy-to-use SEO audit tool. Also includes backlink analysis data, uptime reports and site speed recommendations. The white label reports for digital marketing agencies look really sharp.

seo site checkup 2

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Technical SEOFreemium

Simple tool for seeing your site from the eyes of a search engine spider.

seo browser screenshot

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Technical SEO, Content OptimizationFreemiumYes

SEObility is a robust (yet user-friendly) site auditor.

Cool Feature: “Page Levels” reveals pages that are deep down in your site’s architecture (jn other words, several clicks away from your homepage). Pages that are lots of clicks from your homepage are sometimes hard to get indexed. So this helpful feature can help you find these pages…and bring these pages closer to your homepage.


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Technical SEOPaid

SEOmator is an extremely solid SEO audit software suite that gives you boatloads of information on your site’s SEO health.

Seomator tool

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Technical SEOPaid

SERPmetrics answers the question: “Has everybody’s rankings changed…or is it just me?”. Just head over to this tool to see how volatile Google has been over the last 30 days.

serpmetrics flux screenshot

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Simple Htaccess Redirects & Rewrite Generator

Technical SEOFree

Let’s face it: technical SEO can be a confusing nightmare…especially when it comes to redirects. Fortunately, Aleyda Solis’s tool makes sure your redirects are setup correctly before you roll em’ out.

htaccess tool

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Site Analyzer

Technical SEO, Content OptimizationPaid

Site Analyzer a high-quality site audit tool. Yes, $10 for a 100 page scan is a little steep. But the tool hooks you up with a lot of helpful information, especially when it comes to page optimization.

site analyzer screenshot

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Site Condor

Technical SEOPaid

A VERY in-depth site audit tool. If there’s a potential SEO issue with your site (like a broken link or a title tag that’s too long), Site Condor will identify it. Even I was a bit overwhelmed with the issues it found at first. Fortunately, the tool comes packed with a “View Recommendations” button that tells you how to fix any problems that it finds.

Cool Feature: “Site Graph” visualizes your site’s link structure. This is perfect for seeing how  authority (aka PageRank) flows through your site.

site condor site graph

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Technical SEOFreemium

Siteliner is a lightning-fast technical SEO scanner. It’s especially helpful for identifying duplicate content issues on your site.


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Technical SEOFreemium

Topvisor can be helpful if you’re in charge of technical SEO for several different websites. With a few clicks you can identify issues and opportunites across 10 different domains. The major downside is that it has a very steep learning curve due to the confusing UI.


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Varvy SEO Tool

Technical SEOFree

A clean and easy-to-use site audit tool. You just need to a URL and Varvy spits out a bunch of helpful info in seconds. Specifically, you’ll see your site’s technical SEO issues, social shares, recent Twitter and Facebook mentions, external links and more.

Varvy SEO Tool

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Website Penalty Indicator

Technical SEOFreeYes

Wondering whether or not you got slapped by a Google Penalty? Well Website Penalty Indicator can give you some much-needed insight. The tool lines up your organic traffic with dates of Google penalties…like “Mobilegeddon” and the Phantom update.

website penalty indicator

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Link Building, Technical SEO, Content OptimizationPaidYes

If you do local SEO for clients, you need to have Whitespark in your arsenal. You can easily find hundreds of NAP citations with a few clicks…and reverse engineer your competitor’s citations with ease.

Cool Feature: Offline Tracking turns “how did you hear about us?” into online data you can use to double down on what works. Integrates with Google Analytics.

whitespark screenshot 3

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Technical SEO, Content OptimizationPaid

Top-notch website analysis tool that tells you everything you need to know about your website’s SEO health.

woorank screenshot

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Yoast SEO Plugin

Technical SEO, Content OptimizationFreemiumYes

Yoast is the #1 SEO WordPress plugin for one simple reason: it works. It’s also the SEO plugin that we use here at Backlinko.

Cool Feature: “Bulk Editor” lets you edit dozens of pages with a click. Uber helpful if you ever have duplicate content issues on your site.

Yoast SEO

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Zadroweb SEO Auditor

Technical SEO, Content OptimizationFree

A free SEO auditor that provides a high-level SEO overview of your site.

zandro auditor

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Keyword Research tools

AdWord & SEO Keyword Permutation Generator

Keyword ResearchFree

If you’re looking for a way to discover new keywords, try mashing a bunch of words together and see what happens.

(I’m not kidding)

Creating keyword permutations is a classic Adwords tactic that few people in SEO use. And the Dan Zambonini permutation tool is one of the best keyword combo tools that I’ve tried.

keyword permutation tool

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Answer The Public

Keyword ResearchFree

Answer The Public combines Google Autosuggest scraping with a question scraper.

So if you want to know what questions your target audience types into Google, just pop the keyword into Answer The Public and you’ll get a hefty list.

answer the public 2

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Keyword Research, Content OptimizationPaid, New

ClearScope helps you easily create optimized content for today’s Hummingbird and RankBrain-powered Google. Type in your target keyword and ClearScope gives you a list of terms that you should include in your content (and how many times you should use those terms).

Overall: super helpful and insanely easy to use.

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Keyword ResearchFree

FAQfox is a question scraper tool. I like how you can choose the websites that FAQfox scrapes. So if there’s a particular site that your target audience hands out on (for example, Reddit) you can ask the tool to only search that site.


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Google Correlate

Keyword ResearchFree

An underrated keyword research tool that comes straight from Google.

Google Correlate is really simple:

It shows you keywords that tend to get searched for together. For example, let’s say you pop “gluten free” into the tool. Google Correlate tells you that people searching for “gluten free” also search for “cheese gluten free” and “flour gluten free”. Very cool.

Google Correlate

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Google Keyword Planner

Keyword ResearchFreeYes

The Google Keyword Planner is the only keyword tool that gives you data straight from the horse’s mouth.

Cool feature: The GKP tells you how likely someone searching for that keyword will buy something from you. How? Look at the “competition” and “top of page bid” columns. If the “competition” and “estimated bid” are high, you probably have a keyword that converts well. I put more weight on this than straight-up search volume. After all, who wants a bunch of tire kickers coming to their site?

google keyword planner screenshot

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Google Location Changer (SERPs)

Keyword ResearchFree

This handy little tool shows you the SERPs for a specific local area (like Boston)…even if you don’t happen to live there. Helpful for sizing up the first page for local SEO campaigns.

google location changer tool

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Google Trends

Keyword ResearchFree

I ALWAYS check Google Trends before pulling the trigger on a keyword. Why?

Because I want to know whether or not my keyword is getting more (or less) popular. If you skip this step you risk optimizing your page around a dying keyword.

Cool Feature: Scroll down to the bottom of the page and check out “Queries”. These are related keywords that you can pop into the GKP to see if they’re a good fit.

Google Trends

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Keyword ResearchPaid, New

Gookey positions itself as a “keyword research tool for bloggers”. So it strips out complicated SEO data in favor of a dead simple UI.

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Keyword ResearchPaid

A solid, reasonably priced keyword research tool with an excellent question scraper.

Cool Feature: “Divergent” shows you what time of the year certain keywords tend to spike. For example, if you want to see which gift card keywords tend to perk up around Christmas, GrepWords will show it to you. Ditto with Halloween and keywords related to “costumes”.

grepwords keyword research tool 3

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Keyword ResearchPaid

HitTail does two things very well:

1. It shows you which keywords tend to bring in the most traffic for you (this helps get around the “not provided” problem.

2. Shows you keyword suggestions. I was impressed by their keyword suggestions because they showed me keywords that I didn’t see other tools.

hittail screenshot 2

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Imforsmb.com’s Bulk Keyword Generator

Keyword ResearchFree

If you do SEO work for local clients (like plumbers and electricians), this tool can help you find local keywords that potential customers search for. For example, if you tell the tool that your client is a plumber in Boston, it will hand you 40-ish keywords that customers might use in Google.

local seo bulk keyword tool

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Keyword ResearchFreemium

ISpionage is a keyword research tool that’s similar to SEMRush. Yes it has some SEO-focused features. But it’s definitely geared towards PPC peeps.

Cool Feature: “Share of Voice” tells you the potential organic traffic a page gets across Google, Yahoo and Bing.


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Keyword ResearchFreemium

Jaaxy is an easy-to-use keyword research tool that specializes in spitting out lots of closely-related keywords. Nice tool.

jaaxy keyword research tool

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Keyword Eye

Keyword ResearchFreemium

A unique keyword research tool that shows you keyword suggestions as a word cloud. Bigger keywords=more search volume. It also color codes keywords based on Adwords competition (which is a good sign of a keyword’s profitability).
keyword eye 2

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Keyword Revealer

Keyword ResearchFreemium

Keyword Revealer is a standard keyword research tool with a cool “Keyword Tree” feature. The keyword treee shows you keyword ideas as a tree. And when you click on a “branch” in the tree, a new set of branches appears. Helpful.

Keyword Revealer

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Keyword Snatcher

Keyword ResearchPaid

This tool probably gives you more keyword ideas than any other tool on the market. Why? Because it finds keywords from a bunch of different places, like Ebay, Amazon and even Yahoo. In fact, the last seed keyword I put into it (“paleo diet”) generated 15,000 keywords!

The one downside to this tool is that it doesn’t show you how many people search for the keywords that it spits out. So you need to manually upload the keyword list into the GKP to get search volume info.

keyword snatcher list

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Keyword Tool & Content Assistant

Keyword Research, Content OptimizationFreemium, New

A solid keyword research tool with the features you’d expect. But what makes it unique is the “Content Assistant”. This feature gives you a massive list of LSI keywords that you can use to beef up your content.

Keyword Tool & Content Assistant

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Keyword Tool Dominator

Keyword ResearchPaid

A keyword tool that scrapes autocomplete suggestions from sites like Google, YouTube, Amazon, Bing and Etsy.

keyword tool dominator

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Keyword ResearchFreeYes

One of my favorite new keyword research tools. Why? Because it can bring up terms that you’d be hard-pressed to find with any other tool. Instead of seed keywords, Keyworddit scrapes Reddit for the most common keywords people use in a certain subreddit.


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Keyword ResearchFree

KeywordIn mashes up seed keywords to create hundreds of new keywords. You can pop these terms into the Google Keyword Planner to see if people actually search for them.

keyword in

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Keywords Everywhere

Keyword ResearchFree

A Chrome extension (also available for Firefox) that dynamically inserts keyword research info into the sites you visit most. For example, Keywords Everywhere will insert monthly search volume CPC info into your Google Search Console reports.

keywords everywhere

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Keyword ResearchFreemium

A decent keyword research tool. While Keyword Spy is a bit dated (the copy still says “track your rankings in MSN”), it still works OK. The tool works just like SEMRush: enter a domain name into the tool and it will show you a list of keywords that the site ranks for. However, SEMRush is far and away the superior tool.

keyword spy screenshot

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Keyword ResearchFreemium

An excellent keyword research tool that scrapes Google Autocomplete results.

Although Google said they would be “restricting” access to Autocomplete, KeywordTool.io seems to have found a way around it. I just tested the tool and it brought back a bunch of excellent keyword suggestions just like it always does.


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Keyword ResearchFree

Even though Kombinator is designed for Adwords, it’s also great for finding keywords that you can use for organic SEO campaigns. Just pop in a bunch of different keywords and the tool will mash them all together. Then upload them to the GKP to check their search volume. Helpful.


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Keyword ResearchFreemium

An insanely easy to use alternative to the Google Keyword Planner. Just pop a keyword into it and you get search volume, estimated bid and first page competition data within seconds.

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Long Tail Pro

Keyword ResearchPaid

A very easy-to-use keyword research tool. Enter a keyword and get suggestions. Simple and effective.

Cool feature: Only want to see keywords that have a search volume between 1500-2100? How about keywords with an estimated bid of at least $2.50? Long Tail Pro’s filtering feature makes it easy to see ONLY keywords that you actually want.

Long Tail Pro

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Power Suggest Pro

Keyword ResearchPaid

Power Suggest Pro is a desktop-based keyword research tool. Enter a keyword and it spits out ideas from a number of different search engines (like Google and Wikipedia). Cool Feature: “Ideas!” give you a list of common terms people use in search engines (like “best X” and “how to fix Y”). Helpful for coming up with new keyword ideas.

power suggest pro screenshot

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Keyword Research, Content OptimizationPaid, New

SanityCheck makes Google Search Console data MUCH more actionable.

Cool Feature: Striking Distance Keywords shows you keywords that are ranking on the 2nd or 3rd page of Google. This can be a pain to find in the GSC, but this feature reveals the same info with a single click. Nice.

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Keyword ResearchPaidYes

SECockpit is probably most advanced keyword research tool on the market. Yes, you enter a seed keyword and get suggestions like any other tool. But SECockpit can do so much more than list out a list of related keywords.

It can spit out low competition keywords. It can show you keywords that get a minimum CPC in Adwords. It can even show you keywords that have YouTube, Ebay or Amazon results on the first page.

Cool Feature: SECockpit scrapes the “Searches similar to…” from the bottom of Google’s search results. This can often unearth keywords that you’d otherwise miss.

secockpit screenshot 2

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Seed Keywords

Keyword ResearchFreeYes

Let’s face it:

Most people enter seed keywords into the Google Keyword Planner that they pluck out of thin air. But with this free SEO tool you can find out what people actually type into search boxes.

How? Just create a scenario and ask people what they would search for in that situation.

For example, I created a scenario “How would you search for a hotel in Paris?”. You can see the results in the screenshot below. You can even export the list as a CSV file.

Seed Keywords

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Technical SEO, Keyword ResearchFreemiumYes

SEMRush is one of the few SEO tools that I couldn’t live without. Unlike most keyword research tools, SEMRush works by showing  you your competitor’s top keywords. So rather than grinding away in the Google Keyword Planner, just pop a competitor URL into SEMRush and you’ll see every single keyword that they rank for. #solidgold

Cool Feature: “Pages” reveal the pages on your competitor’s site that generate the most organic search engine traffic. This feature is insanely helpful for executing step #1 of The Skyscraper Technique.

semrush screenshot

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SEO Book’s Free SEO Tools

Technical SEO, Keyword Research, Content OptimizationFree

SEO Book has a set of helpful SEO software tools that focus on technical SEO and keyword research.

I especially like their “Keyword Suggestion” gadget. Super easy to use and gives you all the info you need quickly (like monthly search volume, suggested bid etc.).

seobook keyword tool

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Keyword ResearchFreemium

This tool just had a major overhaul. SerpStat remains an excellent keyword brainstorming tool. It generates lots of keyword ideas like before. But this updated version now provides helpful data like search volume, competition and more.

Cool Feature: “Search Questions” gives you questions that people tend to ask around your topic. Very cool.


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Keyword ResearchFreemium

SimilarWeb gives you a bird’s eye view of your competitor’s traffic figures, organic keywords, engagement metrics and more.

Cool Feature: “Similar Sites” show you websites that are closely-related to you or a competitor. Helpful for finding new outreach opportunities.


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Keyword ResearchFree

Soolve is a free tool that pulls autocomplete suggestions from a handful of different sources like Google, YouTube, Amazon, and Wikipedia.

soolve screenshot

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Keyword ResearchFreemiumYes

I hadn’t used SpyFu in over 3 years. And I was pleasantly surprised to find that the classic PPC tool has been upgraded with a ton of new SEO-focused features. In fact they’re keyword competition feature was one of the best that I came across.

Cool Feature: “Keyword Kombat” uncover keywords that a few of your competitor’s rank for. If those sites have similar authority to you, then it stands to reason that you can leapfrog all of them with some amazing content and link building.

And yes, that name reminds me of Mortal Kombat too 🙂

spyfu screenshot 2

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Keyword ResearchFreemium

StoryBase is a long tail keyword research MACHINE. Just enter a keyword and get hundreds of questions and phrases that people use to describe that topic online. Cool.

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Suggestion Keyword Finder

Keyword ResearchFree

A suprisingly helpful free keyword brainstorming tool. I’m not 100% sure how it works, but it spit out quite a few unique keywords when I tested it.

Make sure to check “Level 3” so that you get access to the largest list of keywords.

suggestion keyword finder

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Keyword ResearchPaid

TermExplorer provides you with thousands of keyword ideas and thorough organic competition info. Solid tool.

term explorer screenshot

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Keyword ResearchFreeYes

This was the first tool that scraped Google Autocomplete data. And it’s recently been upgraded with LOTS of new features (including keyword suggestions from YouTube, competition, and filtering).


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Keyword Research, Content OptimizationFreemium

Webtexttool is a hybrid keyword research and content optimization tool. Cool Feature: “Overall” lets you know which keywords have the best ratio of search volume and competition.


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Wordstream’s Free Keyword Tools

Keyword ResearchFreeYes

Even though Wordstream’s free keyword tools are made for Adwords, their set of free tools are helpful for uncovering keywords for your SEO campaigns.

Cool Feature: “Keyword Niche Finder” mashes a bunch of keywords together. When I tested this feature I noticed a handful of keywords that weren’t in any of the other keyword research tools I tried.

wordstream keyword research tools

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Keyword ResearchPaid

WordTracker has its own internal index of keywords. Why is this important? Well it means you can come across long tail keywords that the GKP simply won’t show you. WordTracker also provides organic first page competition data.

Cool Feature: “Search for this Keyword” uncovers long tail variations of a given keyword. Repeat until you’ve found the long tail keyword you want.


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Wordtracker Scout

Keyword ResearchFree

Wordtracker scout is a very cool (free) Chrome extension that finds keywords within a piece of content.You simply need to head over to an article, click the “W” button and the tool will scan the page for keyword ideas.

wordtracker scout

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Rank Tracking tools

Advanced Web Ranking

Rank TrackingPaid

A rank tracking and keyword research tool hybrid. AWR takes some of the features of tools like SEMRush and Authority Labs and puts them under one roof. It also rocks a a solid site audit tool.

advanced web ranking report

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Agency Analytics

Technical SEO, Content OptimizationPaidYes

A kick-butt reporting tool designed for digital marketing agencies. Helps your clients quickly understand what’s going on with SEO and social media. Integrates with Google Analytics, YouTube, Twitter and more.

agency analytics

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AMZ Tracker

Rank Tracking, Content OptimizationPaidYes

If you sell products on Amazon, AMZ Tracker is a must-have tool. Tracks your rankings on Amazon.com AND international Amazon websites (like Amazon.de).

Cool Feature: “On Page Analyzer” evaluates your Amazon product page for important Amazon SEO metrics like positive reviews and high-res images.

amztracker screenshot

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Authority Labs

Rank TrackingPaidYes

A reliable and easy-to-use rank tracking tool. The cheapest plan tracks 250 keywords, which is more than enough for most businesses. And for those of you that do Local SEO, Authority Labs tracks Google Local results too.

authority labs screenshot

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Rank TrackingFreemium

GeoRanker is an advanced local SEO (Google Maps) rank tracking tool. As you know, if you track local keywords (like “Boston tacos”), you can’t use most rank tracking tools. You need to see what people in Boston see. Well GeoRanker does exactly that. Choose your keywords and locations and get a report back that shows you your Google organic and Google local results.

georanker report screenshot

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Microsite Masters

Rank TrackingFreemium

Microsite Masters is a very solid rank tracking tool.

Cool Feature: “Scoreboard” shows you the keywords that had the most movement (positive and negative). Great for zeroing in on pages that might need attention.

micrositemasters screenshot

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Rank TrackingPaid, New

NightWatch is an advanced SEO dashboard with a futuruistic UI. At a glance you can see your current rankings, traffic, keyword distribution, and more.

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Pro Rank Tracker

Rank TrackingFreemium

Pro Rank Tracker is a quality rank tracking tool with a great user interface. If you’re tracking hundreds (or thousands) of keywords, you can group keywords into categories to keep things organized.
pro rank tracker

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Rank Ranger

Rank TrackingPaid

Rank Ranger is a reliable rank tracker that comes bundles with a handful of extra features like on-page audits, keyword research, and competitor analysis. Nice tool.

rank ranger screenshot

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Rival IQ

Rank Tracking, Content OptimizationPaid

Rival IQ pits your social media and SEO presence against your competitors. It your chief competitor getting more Twitter mentions than you? Are they ranking for a new keyword? This excellent tool will let you know. Had a lot of fun playing around with this one.

rivaliq dashboard

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Search Latte

Technical SEO, Rank TrackingFree

Want to see the search results for Google.co.uk, Google.de or any of the other 150 international Googles? Look no further than Search Latte. Just enter your keyword, pick an international version of Google, and you’ll see that country’s search results. No proxies or VPNs needed. search latte

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SEO Rank Monitor

Rank TrackingPaid

SEO Rank Monitor tracks your keywords against your competitors. Also does YouTube Rank checking.

seo rank monitor

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Rank TrackingPaid

SERanking is a quality rank tracking tool that comes bundled with some bonus features like keyword suggestions and site auditing.

seranking screenshot

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Rank TrackingFreemium

SERPFox is a no-fuss rank tracking tool that just works. A great value.

serpfox screenshot

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Keyword Research, Rank TrackingPaid

SERPS.com is an enterprise-level rank tracking product with a built-in keyword research tool.

Cool Feature: “Tests” let you test how on page-SEO changes affect your rankings. For example, you can change your title tag, wait a week, and SERPs.com will tell you if that change had an impact.
serps.com screenshot

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Rank TrackingFreemium

A very in-depth rank tracking tool. Show you not only where a page ranks, but how rankings have changed over time. Cool Feature: “Volatility” tells you if a given SERP is stable…or tends to shuffle around.


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Keyword Research, Rank Tracking, Backlink analysisPaid

Sistrix is an enterprise-level SEO platform that shows you your site’s rankings, social signals, backlinks, anchor text distribution and more. Unlike many SEO tools with a million features, Sistrix is so easy my mom could use it.

Cool Feature: “Keyword Opportunities” show you a list of keywords that your competitors rank for…but you don’t.

sistrix seo platform screenshot 2

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Technical SEO, Keyword Research, Rank TrackingPaidYes

WebCEO is a world-class SEO platform that gives you access to a bunch of quality tools to boost your SEO, from keyword research to technical SEO to rank tracking and even mobile optimization.

Cool Feature: “DIY SEO Guide” gives SEO beginners explicit steps to improve their site’s SEO.


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Rank TrackingFreemium

If you’re on a tight budget, Wincher is the one rank tracking tool that you should add to your arsenal. The free version is pretty nice with weekly updates and 7 tracked keywords. But when you upgrade to the $8/month paid plan you get many of the same features as the big boys (like email alerts) for pennies on the dollar.

wincher rank tracking tool 2

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Rank TrackingPaid

Wordtail is a nice rank tracking tool that has the features you’d expect from dedicated rank tracking software (like grouping keywords, in-depth reports and competitor tracking).

wordtail screenshot

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Content Optimization tools


Keyword Research, Content OptimizationFreemiumYes

BuzzSumo went from “new kid on the block” to “must-have tool” in the blink of an eye.

And it’s no wonder. BuzzSumo makes finding winning content (for example, if you want to execute The Skyscraper Technique) a walk in the park.

Cool Feature: “View Sharers” shows you who shared a piece of content on Twitter, which is outreach solid gold bullion. “BuzzSumo Alerts” tells you whenever a keyword or phrase (like a competitor’s brand name) gets mentioned around the web.

buzzsumo content tool screenshot

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Can I Rank

Keyword Research, Content OptimizationFreemium

This tool answers the question we’ve all had when evaluating a keyword: “Can I rank?”. CanIRank.com provides a nice breakdown of how your page compares to the first page competition (inducing domain authority, page authority and on-page SEO metrics).

canirank screenshot

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Link BuildingPaid

EpicBeat analyzes successful content in your industry and tells you what tends to work well. For example, the software told me that popular content around the topic of “link building” tended to be video or infographic based. And list posts also tended to do well. Pretty cool.

epic beats

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Google SERP Preview Tool

Content OptimizationFree, New

This gives you a preview of how your site will appear in Google’s search results (using Google’s updated title and description length limits).

Google SERP Preview Tool

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Content OptimizationFreeYes

As you know, adding LSI keywords to your content can boost your rankings. The question is: how do you know which LSI keywords to add? Well this free tool does the job for you. And unlike most “keyword suggestion” tools that give you variations of the keyword you put into it, Keys4Up actually understands that meaning behind the word. For example, look at the screenshot to see the related words the tool found around the keyword “paleo diet”.

keys4up lsi keyword tool

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Content OptimizationFree

LSI Graph is a handy LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keyword generator. Enter a keyword and get a list of terms that you can sprinkle into your content.


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Content OptimizationPaid

Market Muse scans your content and compares it to similar content on the web. If it finds that other people cover topics that you don’t, it tells you about this “content gap”.

For example, let’s say you have a piece of content about low carb dessert recipes. If MarketMuse finds that your competitors use cover topics “Stevia” and “Agave Nector” — but you don’t — it will suggest that you write about these topics in your content.

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Content OptimizationFreemium

nTopic is a “content relevancy” tool. In other words, it scans your content and gives you suggestions to make your post more SEO-friendly. Comes with a WordPress plugin that’s helpful for quickly analyzing and updating your content to boost its on-page SEO.

ntopic wordpress plugin screenshot 2

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Technical SEO, Rank Tracking, Content OptimizationPaid

A rank tracking tool that also does page-by-page SEO analysis.


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Technical SEO, Content OptimizationFreemium

A top-notch technical and on-page SEO tool built with German engineering.

Cool feature: My favorite feature of Ryte is their TD*IDF analysis. TD*IDF identifies keywords that pages ranking for your target keyword tend to use. These terms are excellent LSI keywords that you can sprinkle into your content to bump up your on-page SEO.


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Schema App

Technical SEO, Content OptimizationPaid

Let’s face it: adding Schema markup to your site can be a confusing pain in the butt. This tool helps you ensure that your Schema is setup correctly from the get-go.

Schema App

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SEO Plugin By Squirrly

Keyword Research, Content OptimizationFreemium

Ever write a post and wonder: “Is this post SEO friendly enough?”. Then you should give Squirrly a shot. It’s a WordPress plugin that automatically analyzes your content for SEO and human readability.

Cool Feature: Squirrly comes packed with a nice keyword research tool that works within the WordPress editor. In addition to the usual metrics (like search volume), it also shows you if that keyword is a hot topic of conversion online. The tool also shows you the stability of that keyword’s search volume over time.

squirrly seo plugin

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Technical SEO, Content OptimizationFree

If you want a quick-and-dirty look at your content’s on-page SEO, give SEOptimer a try.

This free tool quickly analyzes your page and lets you know if there are any issues (like missing image alt text and broken links) that might be holding you back from page 1.


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Solo SEO

Technical SEO, Keyword Research, Content OptimizationPaid

A worthwhile site audit tool that also does keyword research and on page SEO/content analysis.

solo seo screenshot

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Structured Data Markup Helper

Technical SEO, Content OptimizationFreeYes

Let’s face it: implementing structured data markup correctly ain’t easy. So why not let Google’s tool lend a hand? Google’s free tool helps you build proper schema markup quickly and without any fuss.

structured data helper

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Text Tools

Content OptimizationPaid

Text Tools is an advanced LSI keyword tool. It scans the top 10 results for a given keyword and shows you which terms they tend to use. If you sprinkle these same terms into your content, it can boost your content’s relevancy in the eyes of Google. You can also compare your content to the top 10 to uncover LSI keywords that your content might be missing.

text tools screenshot

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Keyword Research, Content OptimizationPaid

TrendSpottr shows you content that’s trending on Twitter. So if you want to do some newsjacking or get your hands a hot topic, this tool can help you do it.


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Technical SEO, Keyword Research, Content Optimization, Backlink analysisPaidYes

Upcity is one part SEO tool and one part online marketing course.

This means that instead of getting a list of fancy charts and error messages, the tool tells you how to get on the right track. This is perfect for small business owners that do DIY SEO.

Cool Feature: “Curriculum” walks you through the basic steps you need to have an SEO-friendly website in 2015. Tailored to local businesses and people new to digital marketing. You get checklists and video game-style points for completing the important tasks (like creating a Facebook page or setting up an editorial calendar).

upcity screenshot 2

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Content OptimizationPaidYes

YoRocket optimizes your title and description tags to boost your organic CTR. I originally developed YoRocket for internal use at Backlinko. And it worked so well that I decided to release it to the public.

Cool Feature: “Title Tag Testing” allows you to test two titles against one another…and use the one that brings you the most traffic.

yorocket testing

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Link Building, Keyword Research, Backlink analysisPaidYes

The best link analysis tool on the market…by a mile.

Ahrefs has a massive index (over a trillion links) that’s updated at least once a day. It’s also super duper simply to use. Because of its excellent user interface and index, Ahrefs is one of the few SEO tools that I use every day.


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Rank Tracking, Backlink analysisPaid

An SEO tools suite that focuses on link analysis. Also has a helpful “Unnatural Link Detection” feature that identifies risky backlinks that might have caused a penalty (or can cause a penalty down the road). Solid tool.cognitive SEO screenshot

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Rank Tracking, Content Optimization, Backlink analysisPaid

Kerboo is an SEO tools suite for search engine marketing pros. Includes backlink analysis, link prospecting, on-site SEO audits and rank tracking. Cool Feature: “LinkRisk” analyzes your link profile and identifies spammy/dangerous backlinks.

kerboo screenshot

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Link Research Tools

Link Building, Backlink analysisPaid

A solid link analysis tool with some link building features built into it (like link prospecting and outreach).

But LRT’s cool feature is its “Link Detox” tool. This tool automatically scans your backlinks and shows you which links put you at risk of a Google penalty (or links that already caused a penalty). In other words, it makes identifying spammy links super easy. When I ran a test of Link Detox it was almost 100% accurate at differentiating between good and bad links.

link research tools link detox

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Majestic SEO

Backlink analysisFreemium

With a huge, updated index Majestic is one of the top link analysis tools on the market. The tool also has a few helpful propriety metrics like “TrustFlow” and “CitationFLow” that tell you whether or not that site you want to get a link from is authoritative or spammy.

Cool Feature: “Clique Hunter” shows you sites that tend to link to your competitors (but not you). Just pop in a few sites and Majestic shows you the various “cliques” that they belong to. This is a great way to new discover link building opportunities.

majestic clique hunter

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Monitor Backlinks

Link Building, Rank Tracking, Backlink analysisPaid

A comprehensive SEO platform that gives you info on newly acquired backlinks, keyword rankings and site speed. It even sends you alerts whenever one of your competitors gets a new link. I especially love the dashboard because its clean and gives you ONLY the essential info you need.
monitor backlinks dashboard

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Moz Pro

Keyword Research, Rank Tracking, Content Optimization, Backlink analysisPaid

Moz Pro is a software suite that contains quality tools for link analysis (Open Site Explorer), on-page optimization, and keyword research.

Cool Feature: Moz’s Keyword Explorer is one of the best keyword research tools on the market. Why? It provides super-helpful info on SERP features that appear in the search results for a given keyword (like the number of Adwords ads, Google News results, and more).

moz pro keyword explorer

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Backlink analysisFreemium

Nifty toolbar for Chrome and Firefox that shows you the Page Authority and Domain Authority of the page you’re on.

But the toolbar also shows you the DA/PA of Google search results (this feature only works for Moz Pro subscribers). This is an awesome way to size up the first page competition.


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Open Link Profiler

Backlink analysisFreemium

A solid link analysis and reverse engineering tool.

Yes, Open Link Profiler’s index isn’t as massive as the big tools (like Ahrefs and Majestic). But its paid version has some cool features (like on-page analysis and site audits) that can make the monthly payment worthwhile. Also, the free version is the best free backlink analysis tool I’ve ever used. So if you’re balling on a budget and want to see your competitor’s backlinks for free, give OpenLinkProfiler a shot.

Cool Feature: “Hub Finder” is very similar to Majestic’s “Clique Hunter”. Enter a few competitors into the tool and see who links to them (but not you).

open link profiler hub finder results

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SEO PowerSuite

Technical SEO, Keyword Research, Rank Tracking, Backlink analysisFreemium

A suite of quality desktop-based SEO tools that include a rank checker, backlink analysis tool, site auditor, and keyword research tool.

seo powersuite

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SEO Tools for Excel

Technical SEO, Backlink analysisFreemiumYes

The best “SEO tool for excel” that I’ve used so far. Easily check a site’s backlinks (via ahrefs or Majestic API), social shares, HTTP status, word count, external links and more. All from within Excel.

SEO Tools for Excel

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SEO Weather’s Bulk Metrics Checker

Technical SEO, Backlink analysisFree

How’d you like to see the PA and DA for a big ol’ list of URLs? Pop the list into the Bulk Metrics Checker, hit “go fetch” and you’ll get a handy list.

bulk metrics checker

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SEOGadget for Excel

Backlink analysisFree

If you want to pull data from Moz and Majestic into an Excel spreadsheet, the SEOGadget for Excel tool makes it easy.

seo gadget for excel screenshot

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Keyword Research, Backlink analysisPaid

ShareMetric gives you a lightning-fast screenshot of an page’s social shares, links and Google keyword rankings. Especially helpful if you want to see what keyword a page ranks for in seconds. You’ll need an SEMRush or Moz API to get backlink and keyword info. Nice tool.

ShareMetric chrome extension

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URL Profiler

Technical SEO, Backlink analysisPaid

If you want to check info on a huge list of URLs (like Domain Authority, number of backlinks, whois information, social shares and readability), URL Profiler is the best tool on the market to get the job done.

urlprofiler in action

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WebMeUp Backlink Tool

Backlink analysisFreemium

WebMeUp is a quality link analysis tool with a HUGE index of “897,704,758,673” backlinks. I’d love to see the tool use some sort of authority metric (like Ahref’s Domain Rank). Otherwise it’s hard to separate the wheat from the chaff in your link profile.

webmeup screenshot 2

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Video SEO tools


Video SEOPaid, New

Morningfame gives you insanely actionable insights on your YouTube channel.

Cool Feature: “Growth Opportunities” tells you which videos performed best… and which videos bombed. That way, you can double down on what’s working.

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Social Blade

Video SEOFree, New

A great way to spy on your YouTube competitors. On one screen you can see a channel’s monthly views, subscribers and earnings.

Social Blade

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Video SEOFreemium, NewYes

A kick butt tool for getting the most out of your YouTube channel.

Cool Feature: Brand Alerts lets you know where people are talking about you on YouTube. Most other “brand monitoring” tools ignore YouTube. So this feature fills in that gap.


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Video SEOFreemium, NewYes

VidIQ is a professional video SEO software suite. Includes tools for video keyword research, analytics, and video optimization.

Cool Feature: “Boost”. You can Boost a video to get awesome keyword suggestions for your video’s title, description and tags.


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Content OptimizationPaid, New

WordLift helps you identify entities that you’re writing about… and make those entities clear for search engines. A bit tricky to use, but I see some potential here.


official website:


Video SEOPaid, New

YTCockpit is one of the few tools out there dedicated exclusively to video keyword research. And it does a nice job. Along with keyword suggestions, you also get a slew of data on the videos ranking on YouTube’s first page (including HD vs. SD, number of subscribers and average views).


official website:

So…What Do You Think?

Now I want to hear from you. What do you think of this list? Like it. Share it.

Or maybe I missed a high-quality SEO tool. Either way, leave a comment below right now to let me know.


The Best Web Hosting Services / Webhosting / Webhoster – 2018 2019

best web hosting

If you own a business, your company needs a website? If it doesn’t have one, it ought to. Naturally, online businesses by definition require websites for marketing and selling products or services by definition. In the internet age, however, even local brick-and-mortar business need to at the very least be discoverable via the web (and they probably ought to be selling online, too). Word of mouth only gets you so far in this internet-centric age. These days, people discover new businesses—even local business—via Bing, Google, and Yahoo, search engines that make it incredibly simple to find companies’ products, operational hours, and prices.

If your business doesn’t appear in the search results, especially on the first page, it’ll be difficult for potential clients and customers to find you. In other words, no website, no money. You do not want that. Of course, web hosting isn’t just for businesses. You may want to host a personal website for many reasons. Either way, the services listed here have you covered.

Also read our article about maximizing your traffic

The first step in building your online presence is finding a web host, the company that will store your website’s files on its servers and deliver them to your readers’ and customers’ browsers. Web hosting services offer varying amounts of monthly data transfers, storage, email, and other features. Even how you pay (month-to-month payments vs. annual payments) can be radically different, too, so taking the time to plot exactly what your company needs for online success is essential. Many of these companies also offer reseller hosting services, which let you go into business for yourself, offering hosting to your own customers without requiring you to spin up your own servers.

You should also familiarize yourself with the many web hosting tiers that are available. In your research, you’ll find shared, virtual private server (VPS), dedicated hosting, and WordPress hosting plans. Each tier offers different specs and features that you should take the time to analyze. I’ll break them down.

What Is Shared Web Hosting?

Shared hosting is web hosting in which the provider houses multiple sites on a single server. For example, Site A shares the same server with Site B, Site C, Site D, and Site E. The upside is that the multiple sites share the server cost, so shared web hosting is generally very inexpensive. In fact, you can find an option for less than $10 per month.

The downside is that all the sites share a single server’s resources, so huge traffic spike on Site A may impact the neighboring sites’ performances.

What Is VPS Web Hosting?

VPS hosting is similar to shared hosting in that multiple sites share the same server, but the similarities end there. A dedicated web host houses less sites per server than shared hosting, and each site has its own individual resources.

As a result, Site A’s traffic surge won’t impact Site B or Site C. As you’d expect, VPS hosting costs more than shared hosting. You’ll pay roughly $20 to $60 per month.

What Is Dedicated Web Hosting?

Dedicated hosting, on the other hand, is both powerful and pricey. It’s reserved for sites that require an incredible amount of server resources.

Unlike shared or VPS hosting, dedicated hosting makes your website the lone tenant on a server. The means that your website taps the server’s full power. That said, many dedicated web hosting services task you with handling backend, technical issues.

What Is WordPress Web Hosting?

WordPress hosting is for people who want to build their sites on the back of the popular WordPress content management system (CMS). Many WordPress hosts automatically handle backend stuff, so you don’t have to worry about updating the apps and CMS, and enabling automatic backups.


Extra Web Hosting Info

If you’re not sure of the type of hosting your business needs, you might want to start small, with shared Web hosting. You can always graduate to a more robust, feature-rich package of, say, VPS hosting or even dedicated hosting in the future. Unfortunately, some hosts don’t offer all hosting types. Consider how much you expect to grow your website, and how soon, before you commit to anything longer than a one-year plan. It’s worth spending the time up front to make sure that the host you select with is able to provide the growth you envision for your site, as switching web hosting providers midstream is not a trivial undertaking.

Once you decide you price range, you need to consider how long you’ll need web hosting. If it’s a short-term project—say, less than a month or two—you can typically receive a refund should you cancel your hosting within 60 days. Some companies offer 30-day money-back guarantees, others offer 90-day money-back guarantees. Once again, it’s beneficial to do your homework.

The Web Hosting Features You Need

Many web hosts offer limited features in their starter packages and then expand the offerings (sometimes tremendously) for higher-tier plans. Read the small print to make sure the plan you are selecting offers what you need. If you need a site builder application to design your website, make sure that the low-cost web host you are picking actually comes with a site builder. Many of them require you to pay for the builder as a separate add-on. Website builders usually don’t cost a lot of money, but if you can find a web host that includes one for free, that’s money in your pocket. And, if it’s integrated with your hosting service, you’re more likely to have a smooth, supported experience.

You also want a web host with 24/7 customer support—if not by phone, then at least by chat. Forums, knowledge bases, and help tickets are all well and good, but sometimes you just need to communicate with another human to get things ironed out as quickly as possible. That said, not all 24/7 customer support teams are equal. Companies like GoDaddy and Liquid Web boast incredibly knowledgeable and helpful customer support squads—a fact that we confirmed in our in-depth reviews of those web hosting services.

When it comes to server operating systems, Linux is typically the default option. Still, some services offer a choice of Linux or Windows hosting. If you have specific server-side applications that require Windows, such as SQL Server or a custom application written in .NET, then you need to make sure your web host has Windows hosting. But don’t let the idea of a Linux host intimidate you. Nowadays, most web hosts offer a graphical interface or a control panel to simplify server administration and website management. Instead of typing at the command line, you’ll click easily identifiable icons.

Windows hosting is often more expensive than Linux hosting, especially in the dedicated server area. That’s not always the case, but it’s something you should be aware of as you shop around.

Email Hosting

If you aim to have a web presence, you’ve got to have email. It’s a convenient way for potential customers and clients to send you a message, Word document, or other files. Thankfully, most web hosts include email in the price of their hosting plans. Some web hosts offer unlimited email account creation (which is great for future growth), while others offer a finite amount. You, naturally, should want unlimited email.

That said, not all web hosts offer email. WP Engine, for example, does not. In such instances, you must email accounts from a company other than your web host. GoDaddy, for instance, sells email packages starting at $3.49 per user, per month. That might sound like a hassle, and just one more thing to keep track of, but there are actually some webmasters who feel that separating your email hosting and web hosting services is smart. That way, one provider going offline won’t completely bork your business.

Uptime, Uptime, Uptime!

The aforementioned features are valuable to the web hosting experience, but none matches the importance of site uptime. If your site is down, clients or customers will be unable to find you or access your products or services.

Recently, we’ve added uptime monitoring to our review process, and the results show that most web hosts do an excellent job of keeping sites up and running. Web hosts with uptime issues are heavily penalized during the review process and are unable to qualify for top ratings.

Ecommerce and Marketing

One thing we learned in reviewing the services listed here (and many more) is that even though the packages are very similar, they are not identical. Some are more security-focused than others, offering anti-spam and anti-malware tools. Others offer a variety of email marketing tools. While most of the hosts we’ve reviewed have built-in e-commerce, you may want to consider using a more-robust third-party online shopping cart application like Shopify instead.

If you’re ready to select a great web hosting service, check out the chart above to see PCMag’s top picks in the space. When you’re done with that, click the links below to read our in-depth, tested reviews of the biggest and best names in web hosting.

If you’re just getting started in the web hosting game, make sure to check out our primer, How to Build a Website, and How to Register a Domain Name for Your Website.

Featured Web Hosting Reviews:


#1 Recommended Webhosting by BLUEHOST

  • Bottom Line: Bluehost is the best and most affordable Web hosting service that’s simple to use and offers an array of useful plans for consumers and small businesses. It’s our top pick for novice webmasters.


    • Pros

      Excellent shared and dedicated Web hosting plans. Useful Weebly site-building software. Good customer service.
      Good customer support. Offers basic and advanced hosting packages. Offers Linux- or -Windows-based servers. Easy-to-use website creation tools.No setup fee.
      Lots of security features. Extensive domain-management tools. Good VPS offering. Unlimited data transfers per month. Cloud storage plans. Generous money-back guarantee.

    • Cons

      No Cons here

    • Bottom Line

      The feature-packed BLUEHOST gives you all the tools to craft attractive, functional websites, but the interface requires plenty of digging to find what you need.


#2 Recommended Webhosting by 1&1


  • 1&1 Web Hosting

    Bottom Line: 1&1 is an affordable web host that offers rich website-creation tools, good support, and Windows servers, but our testing shows that uptime isn’t always rock-solid.

    • Pros

      Rock-solid uptime in testing. Good customer support. Offers basic and advanced hosting packages. Offers Linux- or -Windows-based servers. Easy-to-use website creation tools. No setup fee.

    • Cons

      WebsiteBuilder Plus tier required to add code to site templates. Competitors have longer money-back-guarantee periods.

    • Bottom Line

      1&1 has affordable hosting that comes with a rich variety of website-creation tools, as well as good support and impressive uptime reliability in our testing.


    Start your 1&1 Webhosting right here
    1and1.com | Hosting, Domains, Website Services & Servers



  • HostGator Web Hosting

    Bottom Line: HostGator is a reliable Web hosting service that’s simple to use and offers an array of useful plans for consumers and small businesses. It’s our top pick for novice webmasters.


    • Pros

      Excellent shared and dedicated Web hosting plans. Useful Weebly site-building software. Good customer service.

    • Cons

      Lack Windows-based VPS hosting. No one-step WordPress import. Email is missing extra security.

    • Bottom Line

      The feature-packed HostMonster gives you all the tools to craft attractive, functional websites, but the interface requires plenty of digging to find what you need.

Start your Hostgator Webhosting here





Start your Hostpapa Hosting


  • DreamHost Web Hosting

    Bottom Line: DreamHost boasts outstanding features that should satisfy most expert users, and a new easy website builder tool makes the web host more welcoming to newbies as well.

    • Pros

      Lots of security features. Extensive domain-management tools. Good VPS offering. Unlimited data transfers per month. Cloud storage plans. Generous money-back guarantee.

    • Cons

      No site builder. Lacks Windows-based servers. May prove intimidating to the uninitiated.

    • Bottom Line

      Dreamhost strikes a near-perfect balance of features and price, but it’s for users who are familiar with website administration. If you don’t have the tools to build your own site or don’t already have one to migrate, Dreamhost might not be for you.



  • Liquid Web Hosting

    Bottom Line: Liquid Web is expensive and lacks shared Web hosting, but it’s a flexible, feature-packed online host with outstanding customer service.

    • Pros

      Offers Linux- or Windows-based servers. Excellent VPS and dedicated hosting plans. Prorated VPS plans. High-end specs.

    • Cons

      Underwhelming shared hosting storage. Relatively expensive.

    • Bottom Line

      Liquid Web is a flexible, feature-packed online host with outstanding customer service and excellent dedicated and VPS hosting plans, but you’ll spend a pretty penny to experience it.


  • Hostwinds Web Hosting

    Bottom Line: Hostwinds is a robust web hosting service that has the tools you need for building highly functional and user-friendly websites. It’s a top choice overall, and it’s particularly strong for d…

    • Pros

      Excellent VPS hosting plans. Good customer service. Linux- or Windows-based server options. Unlimited email and monthly data transfers. Minecraft server hosting.

    • Cons

      Lacks managed WordPress hosting. Difficult-to-find cancellation option.

    • Bottom Line

      Hostwinds offers robust Web hosting options, especially when it comes to the company’s Editors’ Choice-worthy VPS hosting. However, a few minor missteps keep it from being the Web hosting top dog overall.


  • TMDHosting Web Hosting

    Bottom Line: TMDHosting is a feature-packed web hosting service that gives you the tools you need to build functional, beautiful websites, particularly those of the WordPress variety.

    • Pros

      Excellent WordPress-based hosting. Cloud hosting options. Good customer service and uptime.

    • Cons

      Some plans lack Windows-based hosting. Limited phone support hours.

    • Bottom Line

      TMD is a feature-packed web hosting service that gives you the tools you need to build functional, beautiful websites, particularly those of the WordPress variety.


  • InMotion Web Hosting

    Bottom Line: InMotion is a feature-stacked web hosting service that offers many attractive features, but a few issues keep it from being the top dog.

    • Pros

      Good uptime. Excellent managed WordPress options. All plans offer unlimited email. Lengthy money-back guarantee.

    • Cons

      Lacks Windows servers. Basic Web builder creates dated-looking sites. Need to create separate logins for all add-ons.

    • Bottom Line

      The feature-packed InMotion Hosting offers many free tools for building a website, and it’s PCMag’s top choice for managed WordPress hosting.


  • GoDaddy Web Hosting

    Bottom Line: GoDaddy is a feature-packed web hosting service that boasts rock-solid uptime, excellent customer service, and flexible website-building tools.

    • Pros

      Rock-solid uptime. Excellent 24/7 customer support. Windows- and Linux-based servers. Email tightly integrated into Microsoft apps.

    • Cons

      You must pay for the website builder. Intimidating WordPress setup. Skimpy amount of included email.

    • Bottom Line

      GoDaddy is a stacked Web hosting service that boasts dependable uptime, top-notch customer service, and flexible website-building tools, but a few omissions prevent it from taking the Web hosting crown.