6 Lead Generation Strategies Using White Papers

It’s clear that white papers are a great way to open doors and make the sales process easier. At this point, you’re probably excited about using white papers. Once you have a quality white paper written, it`s time to use it to generate leads. Use these proven lead generation strategies to attract interest from qualified prospects.

Build an email list with your white paper.
Email marketing remains one of the most reliable ways to make sales. There`s just one problem: how do you get relevant prospects to sign up for your email list? There’s a simple solution: offer a free digital copy of your white paper to each person who signs up.

You can then reach out to each person who signs up for the white paper. Pro Tip: Experiment with different services such as the Hello Bar or SumoMe’s Scroll Box to increase the number of email signups on your website.

Introducing a new product to past customers.
How often have you heard the advice – which is absolutely true! – that selling to past customers than gain new ones? Yet many companies fail to make the most of this opportunity. Here’s how white papers help. Let’s say that you’re launching a new product and you think a few past customers would be interested.

How do you start the conversation? Offering a white paper to your past customers is a great move. Psychologically, you’re showing them that you can bring insight and knowledge to the table in addition to your products. This approach is especially helpful if the new product (e.g. a complex marketing application) requires significant background to understand.

Present a Seminar.
Delivering a presentation in front of a live audience remains an excellent way to build a business. How do you come up with what to say? Easy: adapt your white paper into a presentation!

How do you generate leads? On the last few minutes of the presentation – during the Q&A time – tell audience members how they can receive a white paper that summarizes the key points of the presentation. Pro Tip: Not sure where to present about your industry? Review the Association of Association Executives (http://associationexecutives.org/) website. There’s a conference and association for practically every industry category you can think of!

Present a Webinar.
Sometimes you can’t afford the time and effort required to present at a conference. Or maybe you just missed the deadline to submit your conference application.

Don’t’ worry – there’s another approach. You can give a web seminar (i.e. “webinar”) using tools like GoToWebinar. (https://www.gotomeeting.com/webinar/features) to your prospects based on the white paper’s content. For the best results, offer your white paper as a free download at the end of the webinar for those who email you to request it..

Following Up On Networking.
How do people make complex decisions when it comes to making major purchases? According to consulting expert Alan Weiss, referrals from a peer (e.g. one manager to another manager) are the top way to land high value business opportunities. Let’s say that you’re already proficient at networking and meeting new prospects.

How do you stay in touch without coming across as annoying? Add a step to your follow up process where you offer your white paper to prospects. Then, a week or two later, you can get in touch again to discuss the white paper’s findings. For this method to work effectively, it’s vital that you have a detailed white paper that speaks to the pressing needs of your market.

Enhance your Trade show Marketing.
Trade shows offer an interesting sales opportunity. On the one hand, you have the rare chance to meet with hundreds of potential buyers in one location! That’s hours of travel time and hassle saved. On the flip side, you may be seated right next to all of your competitors! That makes standing out from the crowd more difficult.

There’s a way through the noise by using white papers. Think about the tradeshow from your buyer’s point of view – they came here to stay informed about trends and share their insights with colleagues.

Listening to one more sales pitch doesn’t help them look good in front of their boss who paid to send them on the trip. What’s better? Coming back with a white paper – your white paper! – that provides valuable information about the industry.

How to Improve Your Local Businesses Yelp Ranking

Are you wondering How to Improve Your Businesses Yelp Ranking? If you run a local business like Restaurant or Home Services, Yelp should be an essential centerpiece of your local business internet presence.

Yelp was founded in 2004 by former Paypal employees, Russel Simmons and Jeremy Stoppelman, at the startup incubator MRL Ventures. It was initially an unsuccessful email-based referral service, but was re-launched on the basis of unsolicited online business reviews in late 2005. Since Then, Yelp continues to be the go-to resource for millions of visitors looking for information about local businesses.

Some Interesting Yelp Facts
  • Average monthly unique Yelp visitors: 142 million
  • Number of Yelp monthly unique desktop visitors: 79.5 million
  • Number of Yelp monthly unique mobile visitors: 78.9 million
  • Number of Yelp monthly international (non-US) visitors: 31 million
  • Number of claimed local businesses on Yelp: 2.1 million
  • Number of local advertisers on Yelp: 90,000
  • Yelp total revenue for Q1 2015: $118.5 million
  • Number of Yelp reviews (cumulative): 77.3 million reviews
  • Percentage of new Yelp reviews from mobile: 35%
  • Number of deals live on Yelp: 80,000,
  • Number of food orders Yelp is generating weekly: 10,000
  • Number of daily calls to businesses generated from the Yelp mobile app: 200,000
  • Number of daily directions to businesses generated from the Yelp mobile app: 200,000
  • Largest reviewed category on Yelp: Shopping (23% of reviews)
  • Largest age group in US on Yelp: 35-54 (36.4% of reviews)
  • Largest education level demo in US on Yelp: College (60.2% of reviews)

Is your business doing all that it can to attract new customers from the ever-growing audience on Yelp? Whether you’ve been active on Yelp in the past or you’re starting a new business, this article will help you Improve Your Businesses Yelp Ranking.

Get Started on Yelp

Let's first go through the process of claiming a Yelp listing and filling out your business information.

If your business is relatively new, the very first thing you’ll want to do is see if it has already been listed on Yelp. Chances are it already listed on Yelp, If listed follow this steps to claim your business listing.

So go ahead and search for your business’s name. Once you find it, click the link that says “Work here? Claim this business.”

Claim Your Business on Yelp

Take time to create a complete profile. Fill out all of the information fields including location/address, hours of operation, detailed business description, website address, and contact information. Enhance your profile with pictures. When things change (like seasonal hours or adding/eliminating services), make it a priority to update your Yelp profile.

If your business has not been listed on Yelp yet, go to: https://biz.yelp.com/signup/new

For more information on creating your business account on Yelp, be sure to visit the Yelp for Business Owners section of the site.

Here’s how to take your Yelp presence to the next level.

#1: Immerse yourself in Yelp—read the profiles of your competitors
Before you start fiddling with your own Yelp profile, I highly recommend you first get a lay of the land.

Search Yelp for your direct local competitors and click through to their profiles. Take a close look at those with 4+ star ratings and those with 3 and below.

Try to distinguish the differences between those who are thriving on Yelp and those who are not. Do their photos set them apart? Does their website link lead to an impressive site or one that turns traffic away?

Can you start to see patterns in the types of things mentioned in their reviews? Try to pin down what your local market values highly and what prompts them to leave a poor review.

Learn from all of your snooping around and leverage your competitive research to ensure your own success on Yelp.

#2: Start with the essentials: Complete your business’s Yelp profile
The first step to getting your Yelp presence on track is to ensure you’ve got the essentials nailed down. Having a fully featured profile that gives visitors all of the info they seek is a must.

Be sure to complete these essential pieces of your Yelp profile:

  • Name and category: You’d be surprised how many businesses leave a typo in their name or mis-categorize their listing. Double-check this. It’s the most important piece of your listing!
  • Detailed address and phone number: Include your street address, along with any important notes about landmarks or cross-streets. Recently changed address? Update your contact info right away.
  • Include the link to your website and menu: This is crucial for converting more visitors into customers. If a Yelper clicks over to your website and likes what they see, they’re much more likely to become your customer. Restaurants: Make sure your website has an online menu. That can be linked here as well.
  • Quality photos: Nothing hurts your Yelp profile more than a blank photo area. Populate this with quality photos. More on this in a moment.
  • OpenTable.com reservations: Does your restaurant take reservations via OpenTable? You can connect this here.
  • Important info: Be sure to accurately fill out all of the info here, like your hours, price range, parking info, outdoor seating, etc. This info can make or break a customer’s decision to choose your business over the competition.
  • About your business: Although this tab is somewhat hidden behind the Reviews section, it’s important that you fill this out thoroughly. This extra info could be the tipping point that convinces customers you’re what they’re looking for.

#3: Create a strong photo gallery
Most businesses on Yelp only have a couple of poorly shot photos, usually uploaded by visitors. Some businesses don’t even have one photo posted. This is a huge opportunity for your business to stand out!

Hire a professional photographer to shoot a handful of engaging photos that inform visitors about what they’re in for when they visit you. Show off your décor, your food (or products) and the overall customer experience.

Important tip: Include a photo or two of the front of your business, or what your customers will see as they drive by and approach. This makes it tremendously easier for new customers to find you and walk in.

#4: Recognize the value of your customer reviews
We all know that positive reviews on Yelp add a tremendous amount of social proof for your business, not to mention increase your all-important star rating. But customer reviews actually hold much more value than that.

Positive reviews can be leveraged outside of Yelp. You can grab some of the best quotes and feature them on your website, citing the reviewer’s first name. This reinforces the social proof when visitors take that extra step to check out your website.

Believe it or not, negative reviews present a valuable opportunity for you as well. Whether you agree with the critique or not, negative reviews bring up points of concern about your business that you may have overlooked. Use this constructive criticism to improve your customers’ experience.

#5: Respond to reviews
I’m surprised more people don’t take advantage of this incredibly valuable tool Yelp has provided business owners. You, as the business owner, can publicly respond to any review placed on your business profile.

Now, before you start firing away at every bad review that comes your way, stop and consider a more strategic approach.

If you choose to respond to a comment, do it calmly and respectfully. The key here is to show that you care. Thank the reviewer for their feedback, and point out things they may not have been aware of, or explain how you plan to fix or improve whatever it is they were complaining about.

Respond to positive reviews as well! Thank them for coming in and for their kind words. Use this as an opportunity to highlight the hard work you’re putting toward a great customer experience.

The bottom line is, your visibility as the owner within the Reviews section will do a lot to set you apart from your competition—mainly because nobody else is doing it!

Yelp provides advice and info for business owners regarding responding to reviews here.

#6: Track and use metrics in your Yelp dashboard
Now it’s time to really dig in and take your Yelp presence up a notch.

Business owners on Yelp gain access to detailed behind-the-scenes metrics about their business’s performance on Yelp. These metrics were overhauled and improved in March 2012, so if you haven’t logged in recently, you should definitely take a look.

Here you can gather key insights about your Yelp presence. You can track the amount of traffic your Yelp profile receives and also see how many times your business showed up in search results on Yelp.

Tracking “User Actions” gives you an even closer look at how visitors are engaging with your business on Yelp. Actions include things like clicks to your website, mobile check-ins, photos uploaded, etc.

You can use the info gathered here to inform your decisions on things like “When is the best day of the week to run a special?” or “How important is having a mobile website for my visitors?”

#7: Try running a 'Yelp Deal'

if you want to both drum up new business and improve the visibility of your company's listing in Yelp's search results, consider running a "Yelp Deal." Basically, Yelp Deals function like Groupon or Living Social deals. You can offer a discount that Yelp users claim through the site (for example, a $20 gift certificate for $10). Yelp then promotes your profile to a wider audience in an effort to generate revenue via deal purchases, resulting in greater visibility for your company.

Although Yelp keeps 30% of the discounted price, Yelp Deals make your listing more attractive to visitors, and could prove to have a solid return on investment, especially when you use your Yelp metrics to guide the timing of your Yelp Deals.

#8: Take advantage of Yelp’s additional resources
You can find quite a bit of helpful resources on the official Yelp for Business Owners section as well as the Business Owner’s Blog, where you can stay on top of the latest tools as they become available.

You might consider advertising your business on Yelp. While I firmly believe you can find great success on Yelp using the free techniques described above, purchasing advertising placements on Yelp brings a few interesting benefits, like:
  • Removal of competitors’ ads on your business page 
  • Enhanced photo slideshow 
  • Video on your profile
Closing your Business Yelp account?
There are some very simple steps that you can follow if you want to close your Yelp account.
  • Login to your Yelp account. 
  • At the bottom right corner there is a link called “FAQ”. Click on this link. 
  • You will then have the option on clicking on “How to close my account?” This can be found in the Help section of the website. 
  • Click on the words “Click here” that are highlighted in blue. You will be sent to a page that has a form for you to fill out about closing your account. This form will be sent to the Yelp support crew once you have filled it in. 
  • Select “Help me use Yelp” then “Close my account”. Then you should write a short message about the fact that you would like o close your account. When you have done this you can click on the “Send” button and the information will be sent to the Yelp Support team. 
  • Go to your email account associated with your Yelp account. You will receive an email notification at the email address that you specified during the sign up process. Click on this link. If you are unable to click on the link simply copy and paste it into the URL. This link exists to confirm the deletion of your account. Once you click on that the process will be complete.
What do you think? Has your business found success from its Presence on Yelp? Let us know in the comments section below!

Startup Marketing Lessons

My startup experience began in college at what ended up becoming a very successful company. After graduating, I moved on to a corporate role at IBM. As I learned the ropes at an established company, I continued investing and advising startups on the side.

Through each career move, I learned the value of practicing an intentional business strategy. Putting short and long-term goals against decisions and challenging my own choices has been the best way for each of my companies to pivot and evolve when necessary. Here are few of the lessons I’ve learned in my latest endeavor and over the years:

Fast Cash Doesn’t Sell
Going into a prospect’s office and saying I’ll earn your company $20 for every $1 dollar spent on my solution seldom works. It seems too good to be true. While my promise still stands, it can’t be the sole selling point of my product or service because in the customer's experience, there probably was someone who couldn’t deliver on such a bold statement before me.

To beat a potential customer's skepticism, it’s important to offer proof of credibility. This can be done using case studies or testimonials from past and current clients, through trial period offers or product guarantees. For SimpleRelevance, we know there is a certain amount of noise in the marketing services space, but we’ve found continuous success for each client on each campaign, and have the proof to back it up.

Find the Right Target
Make sure the person you’re talking to has a stake in the conversation. In the past, I spent time and energy explaining the importance of using my solution to the wrong person because I was looking to get my foot in the door. It never worked out well, because if the person isn’t directly impacted by your value proposition, they’re not likely to make the purchase or even hand you off to the right person.

Find the person responsible for showing results in the specific part of the business affected by your product. For us, it’s often a CMO, director of marketing or person in charge of email marketing. These are the folks who feel support and recognition for increased sales directly correlated with email personalization and they’re the people who are actively seeking new, better technology to make their lives easier. Find the person who would get the pat on the back for choosing you, and you’ve got potential for a real conversation.

Find Your Differentiator
There are a lot of industries that seem crowded, marketing services being one of them. Recognizing the amount of noise in your space is key to fighting it. For SimpleRelevance, there is often a misconception about who our competition actually is because of the plethora of buzzwords used to describe the industry – email marketing, email service provider, email optimization, digital marketing, etc. There are thousands of companies who fit in each of these buckets, but very few who are direct competitors offering the same outcome my company does.

Going through the TechStars process taught our team the importance of being thoughtful about how we position ourselves against the competition. It’s absolutely mandatory to be crisp, concise and to the point about what we do that no one else does. Doing this eliminates the confusion from jargon and shows our prospects how we can truly help them. We’ve actually got ours down to about 10 words – SimpleRelevance plugs into existing tools to optimize an email at the individual level. Spend time refining your real message and differentiating factor so when a prospect compares you to your competitors, you’re able to explain exactly why you’re the better choice.

Scale Thoughtfully
Finally, an internal issue that is often overlooked when founding a startup is the inability to scale properly. There is no shortcut to lead a company from under 10 employees to 40-plus. Instead, each department must mature at the same rate, or at least close to it. Product, sales, marketing, operations and customer service all require equal attention to detail and support. When things get out of sync, the business loses equilibrium, and that causes unnecessary internal hurdles.

Some startups take growth where they can get it and expect for things to even out on their own. That works sometimes, but more often than not, these issues can cause even a 5-year old company to implode. Remember, happy employees make a company successful, and instability threatens that.

There are many more lessons I’ve learned from founding SimpleRelevance, but all of these suggestions have one principle in common – be thoughtful when running your startup. Successful businesses aren’t built in a year and they don’t materialize out of thin air. But with deliberate choices, the right message and the right team, yours will come together with time.

What you need to know about lead Generation

Lead generation doesn’t matter for every business. Before you invest in lead generation, read on to find out if it is right for your company.

If you’re selling candy at the local convenience store, then you can aim for an immediate sale. Likewise if you sell other low price products like a $2 pen, your customers are ready to make a purchase right when they walk into your store.

If your business sells complex and high price products, it doesn’t make sense to ask for a sale right away. Instead, lead generation is the better way to go.

Let’s quickly define the term lead generation:

Lead generation is a method of “warming up” potential clients to your business and moving them on the path to eventually buying.

Contrast lead generation to retail sales at a store in your city. For most stores, you probably walk in and buy a magazine or chocolate bar and continue with your day. There’s not much of a “warm up” process in that case.

If you sell to businesses or offer high price services, lead generation becomes much more important. Why? Only a few prospects you encounter are ready to make a purchase right away.

What about all the other prospects that have a “passing interest” in your business? Perhaps they visit your website today on a quiet Friday afternoon, read about some of your products and then disappear. That “drive by” visitors could translate into a sale in a matter of weeks or months if you had a lead generation process in place.

Avoid these common Lead Generation mistakes.

No Lead Generation
If you have high prices products to sell, you can’t expect that many customers will be ready to make a purchase when they first meet you. Without lead generation, only “I need it right now!” prospects will convert to sales.

For everybody else? You’ll just have to pray that they remember you when they eventually decide to make a purchase.

No Lead Nurture Process
Let’s say that you are starting to generate leads. That’s an improvement. It’s not enough. Here’s a common scenario: a prospect receives a white paper from you as a gift for joining your email newsletter list.

What happens next? All too often, it’s radio silence… Until you decide to offer a sale or some other promotion. The missing step is a “nurture process” – a series of messages that build a connection between you and the prospect. Example: Prospect receives a white paper explaining the latest challenges in iPhone cyber-security problems.

The nurture process in this case could be a series of five pre-written emails that provide additional examples of cyber-security failures and explain how difficult these challenges are to solve.

The final message in the sequence would incite the prospect to your monthly cyber-security webinar (or to a sales call). By nurturing the lead over time with valuable communications, the lead will become more open to buying from you.

No Lead Generation Experimentation
In business, it’s easy to get stuck using the same method over and over again. If the method is generating sales, there’s some wisdom to using the tried and true. However, the marketplace doesn’t stand still.

Years ago, FAX marketing produced results until the authorities clamped down on that practice. Regulations and competitors are making different moves every day. That’s why you need to include experimentation in your lead generation.

For example, consider using A/B testing on your website to generate leads – test headline A (“Get A Free White Paper On…”) vs headline B (“CIOs – Read This Whitepaper to keep your iPhones secure…”).

Use the 80/20 rule for experimentation – 80% of the time, focus on proven strategies. For the remaining 20% of your time, experiment with different lead generation techniques. Resource: For an in-depth explanation of A/B Testing and how it can be used to increase sales, check out Nick Disabato’s book “The A/B Testing Manual.”

Build A Lead Generation Strategy.

Lead generation is a tested way to increase sales but only if you do it strategically. To create a lead generation strategy, you need to understand a few key facts about your business:

Customer Lifetime Value
Over a two year period, how much revenue does an average customer generate for your business? For example, if a typical customer makes three $10,000 purchases over that period, then they are worth $10,000. Resource: For additional guidance on understanding this importance metric, read How To Calculate Lifetime Value.

Cost Per Lead
How much money (or staff time which can be translated to money) is required to generate a qualified prospect? If it takes a week of full time sales effort to generate a lead for your consulting business, then your cost per lead may be well over $1,000.

Document Typical Sales Objections
Nearly every sales conversation involves objections. Your prospects express a doubt or concern about the product and it is your responsibility to address that. For example if you sell accounting software, a typical customer objection may be that the software may not meet the customer’s cyber-security requirements.

Document Your Sales Process
Using three recent sales as a reference, write a one page summary of the steps you go through with each sale. How many phone calls does it generally take? In the case of B2B sales, also take note of how many different people you have to meet during the sales process.

Questions to ask.

What lead generation processes does my business have in place?
At one end of the spectrum, you have a basic process like handing out a business card at a conference and “hoping” the prospect calls you. At the other end of the spectrum, you have content marketing assets like white papers and a fine-tuned nurture process.

Do I have a reliable process to communicate with prospects?
A reliable process means that you know approximately how long it takes to guide a lead from walking in the door to making a purchase. Remember that larger purchases typically take more time to build trust. In the airplane business, the sales process typically takes over a year from beginning to end.

If your sales staff are currently manually nurturing leads (e.g. calling them once a month), it is still important to have a systematic process in place. Ask your sales staff to track their engagement with prospects and report to you on a monthly basis on the success of their activities.

How can I earn permission to stay in touch with prospects over time?
Permission to stay in touch is important. Otherwise, your prospects may mark your messages as SPAM.

The best way to earn permission to stay in touch with prospects is to use a double opt-in email marketing system. Email marketing providers like ConvertKit, Aweber and MailChimp make this easy.

10 Social Media Posts Ideas to Keep Your Small Business Internet Presence Fresh.

Many small businesses find a lot of value in building their internet presence through social media. It gives them a way to share a side of the business that is not all about products and promotions. The best way to establish and strengthen your brand is to share the story that comes with it.

Humanize your business, put a face to the name, and tell people what there is to love about your work besides the features and benefits. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snap-chat give you the tools you’ll need to tell your story from a personal perspective.

Check out these 10 Social Media Posts Ideas to Keep Your Small Business Internet Presence Fresh.:

1. Post in real-time
People are now breaking news in real-time before it becomes official news. It’s no wonder Snapchat is an ever-growing trend. Remember, your posts don’t have to be directly related to your products or services however, what you share should “talk” around your brand. Embrace the rise of real-time social storytelling!

2. Engage With You User
Share articles and interesting finds from all over the web, whether it’s an image, a how-to guide, current news, etc. Again, it doesn’t have to be about your business, it can be anything that speaks for your brand or has something in common with it.

3. Create a Contest
Who doesn’t love the feeling of winning? Host a contest on Facebook or Instagram and offer your followers a chance to win something enticing like a free product or service. Encourage your followers to “Like”, “Share”, or “Comment” to increase their chances of winning.

4. launch a New product
From time to time, you can post about new and exciting developments like, new products, flavours, styles, and more. These posts can be of a promotional nature if you’re introducing fresh new content.

5. Use Multimedia
It’s no secret that multimedia gains more traction and engagement than even the most insightful articles. Boost your social voice with interesting images, memes, and real-time videos.

6. Use Hashtags
Use hashtags to link your posts to people who share similar interests. #seo #google #googleseo #localseo. Online resources can help you Find trending hashtags in your area and industry.

7. Share tips, how-to guides, and DIY projects
People are always searching the web for new ways to be inventive and creative from home. Did you know you can learn to be a professional makeup artist from YouTube? Or how about learning to change your own car battery? Show up in search results by sharing this type of content.

8. Occasional offers
Offer your customers discounts or promotions from time to time however, do this without coming across as too promotional. As much as people enjoy getting a good deal, they also don’t like seeing it flood their news feed. In fact, turn to influential bloggers with a substantial following and who you believe would speak strongly for your brand. Ask them if they’d like to feature your business and your current offer to their followers. Share their blog post on your business page!

9. Share customer photos
A strong online reputation is important for all businesses and what better way to build on your reputation than with popularity. If your customers are posting about their recent purchase from your store, share their post! It not only shows your business is desired by others but it inspires trust. Every time a customer proudly shares something about your business, think of it as another positive review.

10. Poll
You can create a poll directly from your Facebook business page. Ask for your customers opinions and you may even be surprised with some of their answers. If you own a restaurant, ask your customers what soup of the day they prefer? Or what they prefer a cocktail, beer, or wine with their dinner.

Believe it or not, social posts may turn out to be your most effective marketing strategy for your small business. Keep in mind, you wouldn’t post the same material to every social platform as each has it’s own tone and environment. Learning how to effectively fit into each social environment is key to social success.

Make Your Cleaning Services Business Stand Out From the Crowd

It’s no secret. competition is booming in the business of cleaning services. But that doesn’t mean that your small business can’t be extremely successful. Don’t throw in the towel just yet. There’s room for everyone, you just have to make sure you get to it first!

The good thing about cleaning is that it works like Mother Nature, it’s inevitable. People are always going to need it, mess happens, and it doesn’t just disappear on it’s own.

That’s proof enough that the business makes sense, but the challenge is how do you rise above your competition? How do you get clients in your area before another company does?

Like most companies, cleaning services work best when you build a good rapport with your customers, so that they will return to schedule regular cleaning services.

First, let’s look at simple and effective ways to engage people to notice your small business, and by that we mean, doing a little more than taping flyers to the community mailbox.

Keep your website updated
This will probably be the most important tip, although they all play a crucial role in building your online presence. Having a website that is current gives your company that much more credibility to potential customers.

There’s nothing like visiting a website and noticing that the last time the company posted was in 2013, it makes you wonder if the company is still in business.

Since the wide majority of customers are browsing from their mobile phone or tablet, your website should be mobile and tablet friendly.

List Your Business on Local Business Directory
business listing sites increase your company's online exposure and help improve your local search ranking results in major search engine.

You should make sure you have a listing on the following local business directories:

  • Google My Business
  • Yelp
  • Bing Places
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Angie's List
  • Merchant Circle

Create a listing for your cleaning service on classified websites
Online classified advertising can be a very effective marketing tool for certain small business types, however it’s not for everyone, cleaning service can certainly benefit from it. It shouldn’t be your only marketing tool.

It’s proven effective for products and services that are local, specifically, for businesses that need to operate locally, like cleaning services.

Use Google Adwords
Place your ad directly on Google with Google AdWords. This would be the most effective way to show at the top of search results.

Be seen by customers at the very moment that they’re searching on Google for the things you offer. And only pay when they click to visit your website or call.

Post videos online
Create how-to videos related to your service. Provide relevant information that people often search like: “How to remove tough stains from your carpet” or “How to clean windows and mirrors without leaving streaks”. Link your website to your tutorials, and advise your audience to contact you for more information.

Share your videos among multiple social media platforms like facebook, twitter, google+, etc.

Being a small business owner may also mean you don’t always have the time to invest in online advertising and social media marketing. Services are available which are committed to helping you build and protect your small business internet presence.

The Best Link Building Tools By Experts Choice

best 3 link building tools

Think you need dozens of tools for link building? Think again. I asked 60 Solopreneur, SEO Experts, Copywriters and Bloggers a simple question:

“If you could only use 3 SEO Tools for your link building campaigns which 3 would you choose?”

I wanted to know plain and simple which tools I must seriously consider and what I can live without.

As a newbie blogger I’ve been overwhelmed by all the top 10, 20 and even 100 lists that have got me nowhere closer to choosing a manageable selection of tools. That’s why I decided the only way to know for real was to ask the experts and see if the best tools in the industry would indeed reveal themselves.

Read on to discover each expert’s favorite 3 SEO Tools along with their awesome tips on how to use them! You can either skip to your favorite expert using these quick links or grab a coffee, get comfortable and commence scrolling!

60 SEO Experts Reveal 3 Favourite Link Building Tools

Neil Patel
Majestic SEO,  Scrapebox and Open Site Explorer.

Pawel Grabowski
BuzzStream – Great tool for blogger outreach and prospecting management. Think of it as your link building CRM with research tools built in (my personal definition of it of course :)). A tool I simply can’t live without. Oh, an important thing, their support is absolutely magnificent. One of the best I have ever seen.

Link Prospector by Citation Labs – A tool for finding link building opportunities. It’s fast, super easy to use and can find plenty of great websites you can build links from. Although as with any tool of that type, the results you get largely depend on what information you put in first (just thought I’d mention).

Rank Tracker – Perhaps not the most ideal tool but the one I use so thought I’d include it here too. It’s good for checking out your rankings but since it runs from your local machine, make sure that you use some sort of proxy or VPN if you want to check results from other location than yours.

Brian Dean
Good question ahrefs buzzstream and excel not sure if MS office is on Twitter.

Aleyda Solis
I really like Buzzstream, CognitiveSEO & Link prospector.

Amal Rafeeq
I think I’ll be going with Alexa. It records backlinks more quickly than others I think. And I recommend you NOT TO care much about the backlinks and Social Shares. Just continue what you are doing, produce great content and natural links will flow to you.

Chris Dyson
my top LB tools Scrapebox ahrefs & followerwonk

Miguel Salcido
First off, 3 tools is tough! Link building is so dynamic and encompasses so much. But if I had to only live with 3 tools for link building they would have to be Link Prospector, Google Docs, and BuzzStream.

Google Docs is just invaluable for things like organization, collaboration, and data management. What I mean by data management is being able to slice and dice data for different URLs or links and pull in metrics, contact info, etc. There are also tons of great tools built in Google Docs that one can leverage to generate content ideas and search queries.

Link Prospector is great for quickly developing lists of potential link targets whether it’s guest blogging, niche directories, contests, etc. This tool, I could not live without! It does what many of us had to do manually for years in terms of finding link prospects. It’s also extremely affordable and pays for itself easily.

And Buzzstream is useful for contact management, task management, and finding contact information. You can get alot with the paid version, but their free tools are excellent as well! You can use their free tools to find contact information, generate search queries, build lists, etc.

With these three tools one can build a very successful link building campaign that can last as long as you can keep working.

Adam Connell
BuzzStream – this is an essential part of our process at UK Linkology. It allows us to manage large guest posting campaigns with ease, track links and social mentions – even prospect for link building opportunities. The built in CRM is perfect for link building and it makes what can easily spiral out of control into something that’s easily managable.

Ahrefs – I use a couple of different sources for examining link profiles, but Ahrefs has got some really impressive tools that make it stand out… the way they break down anchor text into different numbered terms makes identifying issues very easy.

The crawler comes in handy, along with the mentions and batch analysis tools. The graphs it spits out come in handy for reports too.

Advanced Web Ranking – I’ve tested a lot of rank tracking tools and I know that tracking rankings is really difficult, lots of factors involved but you still need a bench mark – this bench mark will help you identify possible issues in the future.

I’ve tried desktop and online based tools to track rankings and I’ve had problems across the board – lack of features, poor reporting but AWR does everything that I need with some crawling and site evaluation tools too.

Paddy Moogan
BuzzStream – most people know that I’m a big fan of BuzzStream, it has so many uses but ultimately, it lets you scale link building in the right way because you build up your “black book” of link building contacts which can help you get more and more links the more you use the system. It also does a great job of pulling in link metrics so you can do quick link analysis tool

Followerwonk – I like link prospecting with Followerwonk because it lets you find true influencers in an industry which means that if you can build a relationship with them, the value goes far beyond just a link.

Google – you can find all the link prospects you’ll ever need by learning how to use Google properly. It sounds basic but you often don’t need fancy tools to scrape Google for you, you can get much more granular by refining your own queries quickly and pulling in the results manually than having to rerun tools.

Andy Crestodina
Links happen when great content becomes visible to someone who creates links. Who creates links? Writers, bloggers, editors, journalists, podcasters and event organizers. In other words, the trick to link building is to create visibility among creators.

So here are three networking tools that can be used for link building. I recommend these tools because they focus on research.

FollowerWonk, InkyBee, and Topsy.

Silicon Beach
to be different Twitter outreach photoshop creating content & feedly keeping track of target blogs for engament

Jon Dykstra
My 3 most-often used tools are:
Google Keyword Tool – I have Market Samurai and Long Tail Pro, but tend to use GKT the most.

Google Trends

Camtasia Video Screen Capture – I make tons of videos and transcribe them. It’s one of my favorite content-generation methods these days… plus I put the videos on YouTube.

Ann Smarty
MyBlogGuest, BuzzStream and Google search

Iness Bokhan
As for the 3 SEO tools I’d use for link building, I’ll probably pick the following ones:

1. SEO Spyglass – the tool has a huge database that gets regularly updated and it brings back the unlimited number of backlinks and analyzes top backlink page factors (PR, age, Alexa, anchor text, etc.).

2. Google Analytics – pretty obvious, but still, this is the tool I keep open in the browser tabs most of the time.

3. The SeoQuake plugin for Firefox – for instant analysis of potential backlink pages.

Chris Ainsworth
My answer would depend upon the purpose for your link building tools. If you’re looking for link analysis tools in the post-Penguin era then personally I would have to say:

1. Google Webmaster Tools
2. Ahrefs
3. Link Detox If you’re looking for actual link building tools (i.e. automated tools) then don’t!

Otherwise if you’re looking for tools to help with the placement of links (i.e. identification of a trustworthy domain) then there are an array of tools such as Archive.org, WHOis, Majestic SEO etc which will help to establish the history of a domain.

My answer would depend on your goal for the tools but getting it down to just 3 may be a problem. Any SEO with clout will advise using an array of tools to ensure you obtain the widest overview possible. I hope that helps.

Tim Grice
response source, follwerwonk and Google That's for link building, link analysis is a different story.

Gabriella Sannino
One thing that’s apparent, if you’re paying attention to the changes occurring in SEO: it’s more than analytics, technical and content strategies – it’s about human behavior, too. How are people making those connections? The easiest and most time consuming way is earning links. That is important for SEO. Actually it’s two-fold process.

The first and most important reason is the connections you make outside your digital footprint that reinforce and add value to your readers. The second reason of course, is that search engines use those signals. Yes, search engines view links as part of the authority given to your web presence and will continue to do so, while updating algorithms that combat crappy links.

I’m sure you’ve seen those comments people make. “Google is ranking company xyz better than ours, yet our content is better.” I get it, really I do. But at the end of the day, allowing Google to dictate your day-to-day operations is like being a hostage with no clarity for your future. Let me be clear, ranking should not become your Holy Grail. Contradiction much you say? Sure, but at the end of the day ask yourself who’s buying from you? I’m pretty sure you’ll agree it’s not Google.

Maybe you should add earning links as your top must do in 2015. It’s an organic process and yes, its time consuming but when done organically it’s like a facelift, it becomes ageless. At least for the next 3-5 years LOL. Which when you consider how long a strong organic link lasts, the odds are for you, and not against you.

Below are my top three organic link-building tools. Each one offers a variety of options that will not only help with your organic efforts, but that will point you in the direction of “where” you should look first.

Link Prospector from Whitespark, Google Webmaster Tools and Majestic SEO.

Gregory Ciotti
For the sake of being different, I’ll try to include a few of the less obvious options.

Yesware – I’ve written thousands of words about email outreach and networking over email and if there is one tool I can’t live without, it’s this. Reminders, tracking, customizable templates, it’s got everything a link builder needs for email.

Ahrefs – Simply put, the premier tool for checking links. Their mentions tracker is also highly underrated.

AuthorityLabs – Instead of wasting time tracking the results of your linkbuilding, tools like AuthorityLabs let you get an overview of your current rankings quickly so you can go back to (surprise!) building more great links.

Geoff Kenyon
Link Prospector: The Link Prospector by Citation Labs is a great tool for finding outreach targets – it’s easy to use, fast, and while you can use advanced search queries in Google, this scales a lot better making it a much more efficient way to do your prospecting.

Open Site Explorer API: Once you have your prospects from Link Prospector, you have to determine which targets you should pursue as not all sites and links are equal. The OSE API provides a fast way to do this. There have been several posts written about using gdocs to access the API, but the best way is to use Pyscape.

Additionally, OSE (and Pyscape) are great for doing competitive analysis so that you can determine where to concentrate your efforts.

Google Analytics: Your analytics is ultimately what you need to turn to in order to determine how effective your link building is (You don’t have to use Google Analytics, I just like GA, more on that here). Rankings don’t matter, your organic traffic and your revenue matter so it’s important to spend more time in your analytics, understanding what’s happening on your site rather than checking ranking reports.

Chris Antoni
3 Essentials to my link building:

Community Specific Forums, YouTube, and Guest Posts.

I don’t need no stinking tools! Just playing with you, but that is my real answer.

Matt McGee
I can give you one tool: Help A Reporter Out , also known as HARO. It’s a great place to discover journalists and writers that are looking for expert sources, and then reach out to them to be interviewed for their reporting needs. That can lead to great mentions and links from trusted websites — so-called “editorial” links that are given freely and seem to be highly valued by Google. Hope that helps. I don’t do “traditional” link building anymore, just PR/outreach like I’ve described above.

Mauro D’Andrea
I love Long Tail Pro. You can integrate it with your Moz free account so that you’ll have the chance to analyze your competitors and their links pretty easily. Other than links you can check site age, domain authority, page authority and page rank of many sites at a glance.

Open Site Explorer is another powerful tool. It gives you many insights about links pointing to a certain page.

As a third tool, I’d think about Microsoft Excel, or other similar softwares (even though it isn’t really a SEO tool). With it you can track your link building strategy, your search engine rankings, your keywords, important websites and email contacts.

Mike Essex 
Majestic SEO: Fantastic for checking which links have been received and analysing competitor strategies

Gorkana / HARO: Both great ways to see active PR queries that journalists need help with

TweetDeck: I add lists of journalists on Twitter so I can see whenever they have questions and can interact with them, building long term connections

Bill Hunt
Google Webmaster Tools – to find broken and misdirected links often to the home page.

Majestic SEO – for bulk links and drill down in link value.

Link Research Tools – primarily for their Link Detox tools to weed out bad and old links.

Nick Eubanks
hmm tough one, I would say SERP IQ, ahrefs, and buzzstream.

Anthony Mangia
I love the Moz Keyword Analysis tool. I don’t think there’s a better tool on the market to quickly analyze the SERPs and really look at how competitive a given keyword will be to rank for. The interface is slicker than ever with the re-brand from SEOmoz to Moz, and their Full Reports are as in-depth as it gets. I use this tool a ton when I’m prospecting for new niches to enter when building websites for myself.

GroupHigh is my favorite blogger outreach tool. It’s Buzzstream’s slicker, more powerful, much more expensive older brother, but I think it’s worth every penny for some of my larger clients. Being able to mass import URLs by the thousands and pull down basic blog information, SEO and traffic metrics, social networking stats and even things like whether or not the blogger normally runs giveaways/guest posts/sponsored posts makes prospecting for new blogger connections a breeze.

Evernote isn’t really an SEO tool, per se, but it is my whole life. I use Evernote to organize any and all information relating to various clients and websites I own, including notes, to-do’s, new content and any important files. This allows me to access the files I need from any device, whether I’m at my apartment, at a client’s office, or on the road.

My favorite feature of Evernote, however, has to be the Clearly extension. Whenever I see an article on Inbound.org that I know I want to read, I just hit the Clearly button and the content of the article gets scraped and saved to my Evernote account in a clean, easy-to-read format that I can access offline on my iPad, which makes my Subway rides a million times more productive.

Zac Johnson
Three tools that I like to use are:

Google Keyword Tool – always a good resource for people just starting out and don’t have money to spend on premium services.

Serpfox – a nice little site that keeps me updated with all of my site rankings and movement.

Long Tail Pro – an awesome software application that provides deep research and numbers or finding winning keywords.

Jason Acidre
SEOquake, Google Search and Ahrefs.

Nicole Beckett
One tool would definitely be Open Site Explorer. Some of the best SEO advice I ever got was ridiculously-simple — Google your target keywords, and see what kind of links the top 3 results have. Then, try to get links from the same places (like publishing a guest post on the same blog, etc.). It’s easy to do with Open Site Explorer and it really works!

Another tool I use is Google’s “sites like” option to find guest blogging opportunities. For example, I have alot of articles published on Site Pro News, but I’m always looking for similar sites that I can contribute to. The “sites like” option has helped me find websites that I may never have found on my own.

I think those are the only 2 tools I really use. Since SEO has changed so much over the past few years, I’ve focused more and more on other opportunities (like guest blogging and even *quality* forums that I can join and build relationships on — not just drop a link on). Luckily, I’ve gotten some great exposure AND some really great links in the process!

Kane Jamison
In a hypothetical world where I only get 3 tools, the best answer to this question will always be the following:

  1. An email client
  2. A Google search box
  3. A spreadsheet to track it all

I think the smartest link builders would argue that a phone is just as good as an email client. That said, linkprospector.citationlabs.com is the one paid tool I wouldn’t give up – it greatly speeds up the prospecting process. After that, OSE & BuzzStream are the next best additions to our toolset.

Darren Paterson
Personally, I find the following three tools to be the most important and potentially invaluable in terms of my day to day activities and “tools for your offsite link building campaigns”:

Open Site Explorer – There is really no need to explain in detail why and how we utilise OSE, but mainly the ability to download and manipulate backlink profiles for both clients and competitors is quick and simple.

Ahrefs – I have found Ahrefs to be a great secondary tool, which provides a lot of data, which is easily accessible, which otherwise would involve hours of work when using OSE. For example, anchor text distribution graphs are automatically created and require no additional work when entering a URL into Ahrefs.

Google Webmaster Tools – Although not necessarily within the “tools for your offsite link building campaigns”, it has to be one of the main tools I use day-to-day. A lot of my my time, especially within the last few months, has been focussing on identifying measurable backlink data. Therefore utilising the the ability to download ‘discovered’ backlinks over the last few years is incredibly useful. Especially when conducting backlink audits for new and potential clients.

Bill Sebald
BuzzStream would be my first. My love for BuzzStream knows no bounds.

Second would be RankRanger, a daily rank tracker with a lot of different metrics and a great whitelabel option. This is a big time saver with clients

Third is the Web Developer plugin for Chrome and Firefox. I use it all the time for audits.

Marcus Taylor
The three SEO tools I use the most (besides the really common ones) are SEMRush, URLprofiler, and Screaming Frog.

While SEMRush has a lot of cool features, I’m a particularly big fan of their site audit feature, which tends to flag a lot of site issues missed by Google Webmaster Tools and Screaming Frog.

On top of this, the competitive data that you can get from SEMRush is extremely useful when doing competitor analysis, and a (surprisingly) accurate way of seeing which keywords are generating the most traffic for a given site.

URLProfiler is one of my favourite tools for scraping link data, as it collects data through Majestic, Moz and Ahrefs’ APIs, and then allows you to export the information with a lot of control over different filters.

Finally, Screaming Frog is my go to tool for getting a birds eye view snapshot of a website’s onsite structure and general health. It’s also particularly useful when you need to get a snapshot of all of a site’s title tags and meta information, along with the character length of each.

Bob Jones
Raven Tools – The link manager is an essential part of our daily link building hustle.

Majestic SEO – Although we also use OSE from Moz and Ahrefs, Majestic seems to have the right type of functionality for us when it comes to competitive research.

Google – This includes GWT but also Google.com itself. Learn all about advanced search operators and you’ll be able to find fantastic link opportunities if you do it right.

Samuel King
My 3 top tools are:

Google Analytics – This is the only tool I need to evaluate campaigns, track conversions and monitor set KPIs.

Google Webmaster Tools – Another google tool. Tells me what is going on with links.

Raven Tools – A very robust SEO assistant that pulls in data from multiple sources.

Chris Gilchrist
I don’t have time to explain all the choices but, Majestic SEO, BuzzStream and Screaming Frog.

James Agate
Very quickly… Google Docs, Trello, and Link Prospector.

Carrie Hil
My 3 go-to tools for linkbuilding are:

Raven Tools – their Backlink explorer and link manager are awesome.

Open Site Explorer – you don’t need both Raven and OSE, but if you have them, they’re great!

HARO – Help A Reporter Out service looks for niche experts to provide info to reporters and journalists. A great resource for certain businesses looking to get the word out.

Harris Schachter
I love following tools:

Ahrefs domain comparison. I’ve always been a fan of Ahrefs and this tool tucked away in the site is no different. With it, you can compare up to 4 of your competitors alongside your own domain. It presents very useful data, including link and referring domain counts, backlink sources, TLD types, link types, authority metrics, social lovin’ and more.

You can quickly size up the competition with this, before diving into the individual sites. Once you identify some top performers, you can then go into the main section of Ahrefs and export all their links and pivot in Excel to find some great opportunities which your competition has but you might not.

Browser Addon/Plugins. I know this is kind of cheating because it’s more than one tool, but the Moz Bar, Check My Links, Web Developer Plugin, and some handy bookmarklets are too crucial not to mention.

LinkRisk. Simply put, you can’t grow a garden without pruning some things here or there. I got in during the beta, but I’ve really been digging on LinkRisk. It does a great job of identifying bad and risky links which you might want to consider disavowing or removing.

For sites with a ton of backlinks, this tool saves a lot of time and can also serve as validation for your own opinions about the quality of links, as sometimes this type of judgement can be subjective. I love that you can take an ahrefs or Majestic export and plug it right in, identify different classes of risk and then automatically export a disavow file. It’s simple, useful and plays nice with other tools I already use.

Rhea Drysdale
Majestic SEO, Screaming Frog, and Google Webmaster Tools.

Nathan Rossow
There are a few tools that I use in my day to day work. My Top 3 are LongTail Pro, Moz Pro, and Bright Local.

Sohel Parvez
I love Majestic SEO, Ahrefs, Majestic and Open Site Explorer.

Gianluca Fiorelli
The tools I would use – and that I actually use – are:

BuzzStream, which is the state of art CRM for link builders. It solves tons of time consuming tasks so you can spend your time for what it counts: outreach.

Majestic SEO/OSE, for finding opportunities and doing competitive analysis.

Followerwonk, because I consider that the best way of doing link building is targeting your audience well – its tastes, dislikes et al – but especially analyzing those ones who influence your audience. Try to understand what they like, what they share, from what sites and create that kind of content and target the sites they read and share things from, because it works!

Philip Bryant
My top three SEO tools for linkbuilding would have to be: Majestic SEO, BuzzStream and Google Advanced Search Operators.

Debra Mastaler
Hub Finder from SEOBook – Finds co-occurring sites. Link Detective – Analyzes back links by type and Social Crawlytics – Identifies most shared content.

Sean Stahlman
Three link building tools I can’t live without? While I use BuzzStream for management, I think there is some great value in the following tools. With the recent Google updates, I’m spending significantly more time for clients auditing link profiles and cleaning them up before earning them some great value.

Screaming Frog – I use this for anything from site audits, detailed backlink analysis, redirect mapping and so much more. Pair it up with data exported from other tools and it’s a massive time saver. You also can’t beat the customer service that Dan delivers!

Majestic SEO – I know there are a variety of 3rd party link tools available but Majestic has always been one of my favorite sources. It’s affordable, fast and provides the majority of information I’m looking for. That doesn’t mean I don’t still leverage OSE, FWE or other tools for some missing components.

Google/Bing Webmaster Tools – Free information directly from search crawlers! Regardless if some data (links) is not entirely complete, I think it’s extremely valuable to know how crawlers are interacting with your site, how their index matches up with the actual amount of content you are presenting and what roadblocks are being encountered. While I wish the link data from Google was more accurate, I’m happy to have a fairly solid starting point for reviewing potential threats.

George Stevens
I’d probably say:
1) Google Webmaster Tools – gives you your fundamentals – a place to check how Google is looking at your website. Also one of the best lists of backlinks you can get – links that tools like MajesticSEO and Open Site Explorer don’t pick up. I’ve found link lists in Webmaster particularly useful for combating negative SEO.

2) Majestic SEO – I prefer MajesticSEO to Open Site Explorer. I use this for lots of backlink profile metrics.

3) Moz (SEOmoz) – wide selection of tools to help with SEO. E.g. checks websites for errors and issues and gives keyword competition.

Joel Widmer
My top 3 are: Open Site Explorer, BuzzStream and SEO Toolbar by Moz.

Sebastian Cowie
Top 3 Tools / Sites for me:
Ahrefs – Invaluable and definitely the leader of the pack when it comes to backlink data and competitor research.

Scrapebox – Too many tools to list, but it’s basically got everything you could ever need for data collection, scraping, rank tracking… the list goes on.

Google Webmaster Tools – Great at detecting issues and the backlink data is definitely more accurate and inclusive. Also offers insight into key term visibility and effectively does your keyword research for you.

Nick LeRoy
The three SEO Tools I rely on the most are Open Site Explorer, Majestic SEO and good ol Google Docs. I like OSE and MajesticSEO as tools to do competitor research. Not only is it good to find links going to their websites but also other websites the sites link out to which might be relevant for me to hit up in the future.

After that i am a purist — i like google docs and excel spreadsheets. I’ll simply keep a list of what site i’ve reached out to, dates, domain value (seomoz metrics & PR) and relevance. I also utilize this spreadsheet as a little black book in case any of these websites i’ve received a link before are relevant for future projects! It’s as simple as that for me. No fancy tools in my arsenal!

Ryan McLaughlin
BuzzStream – Every time I discover a new opportunity, I immediately click my Buzzmarker in order to get it queued up in this tool. As someone that really appreciates easy organization, BuzzStream is a lifesaver.

Open Site Explorer – Of course, for backlink research everyone has their preference (whether it be OSE, Majestic, ahrefs). Personally I use all of them, but my “go to” is usually OSE. The export of competitor’s backlink profiles in order to identify their top links is one of my first things I check.

Google Search – Advanced queries in the big G are invaluable to the link building process.

Simon Penson
BuzzStream, Ahrefs, our tool for finding influencers

Peter Attia
It would depend on many factors including the type and scale of link building. I’ll focus on traditional outreach link building, as I feel that’s what most people are seeking. However, the scale of link building is still a factor here. For example, if I was working with a high budget business with a team of link builders who are getting as many links as they can, all day every day, I would say:

BuzzStream – To keep track of who got a link where (so two link builders don’t approach the same person) and to churn out outreach emails more efficiently.

Ahrefs – To keep track of my back link profile and make sure things look organic and healthy.

Excel – To organize everything properly, keep track of budgets, and assess which terms to go after moving forward.

For a low budget business that is trying to get a small amount of high quality links, I would say: Followerwonk – To find higher quality candidates with healthy social profiles. Ahrefs – For competitive analysis and to see if I can mine some higher quality leads from competitors. Boomerang – To make sure I send out a follow up email if I don’t get a response from someone.

Sujan Patel
My favorite tools are: Open Site Explorer – Finding the competition’s links. Ontolo – building a contact list and Cognitive SEO – for link cleanup and removal. Because these days everyone needs to remove a few links.

Wiep Knol
If I could use only three, it would probably be: Majestic SEO (for raw data) Cognitive SEO (for detailed analysis) BuzzStream (for campaign management).

Dan Stelter
As a copywriter, I don’t get into the SEO side of things too extensively, but some concepts, like keyword research and on-page optimization, are critically important for my copy to succeed. I use some tools to check SEO health too, but when I’m talking about SEO, I’m more discussing tools I use for keyword research etc…

1. SEMrush – I use this tool mostly for keyword research. You don’t even need the paid version. Basically, you can type in competing domains and see the exact keywords they’re targeting, as well as where they rank for those keywords. It works great for generating ideas.

2. SeoQuake toolbar – This toolbar is pretty awesome for checking competition. It gives critical stats like domain age and page rank of the pages you that show up in Google’s SERPs. This information is vitally important for me to have when determining which pages and keywords to target when designing clients’ or my own websites.

3. My own eyeballs – I use these because Google wants to give the best rankings to websites that provide the best user experience. That can only be judged by looking at the site yourself. About 80% of the guest post requests I get come from spammy, awful websites I’d never link to. The same goes if I’m guest posting on someone else’s website – I know I’ll get the best SEO value if the site has great content and comes across as a credible resource.

Sanket Patel
Three tools which i use always are:

BuzzStream – As far as finding good link prospects is concerned, I love this tool. I have made many channels through this tool and recently have added one more to have a far and wide reach to bloggers. I have been able to pick microinfluencers having conversations about their products. This software really helps me in finding better opportunities easily.

Moz – The best thing i like about this tool is the toolbar provided by Moz Community. It gives us a bunch of SEO metrics in few seconds. I am able to evaluate many things for the initial start-up of the web promotion. I love other stuff too, like OSE for link analysis, Onpage checklist analysis and recently added Followerwonk for twitter analysis and many more tools which enables quick tasking. All Moz tool makes your workflow easy at the end.

IFTTT – If you are running social media campaign then do not forget to add IFTTT. You will get powerful connection through normal triggers via ‘if’ & ‘then’ statements. There are 57 channels which are associated to this tool. I have setup the same for youtube, twitter and many more channels and i am getting quick reactions through those trigger which i have set already. It becomes easy to measure all social signals from one easy platform.

Lyndon Antcliff
Email, Twitter and occasionally the free Moz bar.

I am a content based linkbuilder, a buzz marketing, newsjacking, linkbaiting type. I no longer care about seo as such. Don’t get me wrong it’s certainly not dead and never will be. But the aim of the game is to get links, improve brand awareness and improve customer base.

The three tools I mention are what I could not do without, although most will not think that Email and Twitter are a tool, but that is how I use them. My experience tells me what I need to know about a website these days. Few tools can replicate that

Dan Petrovic
There are many great tools which my team uses for link building and link management. This includes Majestic, Raven, Moz, BuzzStream, Ontolo and recently we’ve been looking at Cognitive SEO as well. But since the question is about what I use I’ll have to go off the beaten path, so I hope it won’t disappoint.

Google Webmaster Tools: I’ve built so much functionality around Google Webmaster Tools data that I would find it really uncomfortable to plan my campaigns without it. Before I create an outline for a link building campaign I look at the pages that have already attracted natural links and ask a question: “What made this content linkworthy?”.

Once I answer that question I can then plan content creation strategy and then focus on outreach. Google Webmaster Tools also helps me prioritise which type of content and keywords are worth targeting. I even built a custom tool which helps me crunch all the Webmaster Tools numbers and streamline the decision making process.

Fresh Link Finder: I try to keep link creation process as organic as possible and for this reason I’ve built a tool which helps me track natural links as they happen. Fresh Link Finder analyses three link sources: Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytcis and server log files. It’s also capable of tracking referrer string data with .js much like Google Analytics code.

I log in daily and observe what content has attracted links and the quality of links generated. This allows me to connect with fans, build new relationships and credit those who link to me. From time to time I’ll have an opportunity to correct a link or in rare cases request a removal (if I feel the link is a risk to our link profile). One fun thing is that I can tell that I will get a link from an article before the article goes live (e.g. blogger clicks the link in a post draft before publishing the story).

Muil: Link building is relationship building. I like to start with my existing connections to source links from, rather than begging for links form complete strangers. What better place to start with than your own followers on Twitter? I drop my Twitter username in Muil and it gives me a list of users and their websites/blogs in a CSV file.

For me that’s a great starting point when building links through relationships. Of course you wouldn’t spam people all at once as social outreach works best when applied on an individual level.

Chris Higgins
As a marketing agency we are fortunate to have access to a whole host of cool tools and pieces of software to help us with our day to day tasks.

They all do their job really well, but I definitely have my favourite and as you may expect these are the ones I use most often at all stages of a client’s campaign, from inception through to ongoing monthly delivery.

SEMrush, Ahrefs and LinkRisk.

If you could only use 3 tools for your link building campaigns which 3 SEO Tools would you choose?

How to find good links that will help your website ranking?

How to find good backlinks?
How to find good links that will help your website ranking?

Link building has been one of the most hotly debated issues in the SEO community for the past few years and The controversy started in the SEO community back in 2012, when Google first released Penguin update.

Experts believe that your website organic ranking can get hurt if your website has the wrong type of backlinks. Wondering, How do you judge the quality of a website? What is a good website and from which web pages should you get links?

Links are still the most important ranking factor for search engine like Google Organic Ranking and here's how you'll find and build quality links.

What Is a quality links?
In my opinion, there are few factors that make a link quality backlink:

  • Come from High Domain Authority, Page Authority and has high authority linkbacks.
  • Not created by any automated software/application.
  • Come from related site/topic.
  • Not Paid.

How do i get quality backlinks?

  • Relevant Source
  • Trusted Source
  • Sends traffic
  • Few other Backlinks on the page
  • Not easily acquired
  • Authors/Bloggers
  • Local
  • Industry
  • News

Make no mistake: all automatic backlinks are bad
All backlinks that have been created automatically have no positive influence on the rankings of your website. If these automatically created backlinks use the rel=nofollow attribute, there’s nothing you have to worry about.

If you used tools that automatically created backlinks in bulk for you, you should try to get rid of these backlinks to avoid a penalty. The link disinfection tool in SEOprofiler can help you to get rid of bad backlinks.

The easier it is to get a link, the less you will benefit from that link
For example,uploading an image to imgur.com and then adding a link to your site in the description or comments won’t do your website any good. Creating a blog on Tumblr and linking to your site also won’t boost your website rankings. If it is very easy to create a link, that link won’t have an effect on your rankings.

You do not need special metrics
Many webmasters only want to get backlinks from pages with a particular PageRank. While you can use this method, it is usually a waste of time and it makes link building more difficult than it really is.
If a website has an overall high-quality then it does not matter if the page with the link to your website has a low Google PageRank:

If a high-quality website adds a new page, the new page will have an initial PageRank of zero. Nevertheless, the page can still be very good. A page that has a PageRank of zero today can have a high PageRank tomorrow.

If only pages with a high PageRank had a chance, it wouldn’t be possible to get new pages in Google’s results page. Experience shows that new pages appear in Google’s results every day.

Using your common sense leads to lasting results
When you find a web page that could link to your site, ask yourself the following questions:
Does the linking page look good to the average web surfer? Does the page have interesting content?
Is the content related to my website? Does it make sense if the web page links to your site?

If you can answer all questions with “yes,” then you should try to get a backlink from that page. It doesn’t matter if that page has a low PageRank.

Google tries to imitate common sense with its algorithms. If you use common sense to build your links and follow the tips above, you make sure that the backlinks to your website will count in all future updates of Google’s algorithm.

SEM, PPC and SEO - Are you Paying for Website Traffic. What, Why, How?


Difference Between  PPC and SEM, may seem like a stupid question for some people. However, I guarantee 90% of people don’t know the correct answer of this question. Even further more, I bet most people think they are exactly the same.

So let me take the time to explain this concept a bit further so you don’t think I went off the internet marketing deep end here. We will begin with the definitions of both ppc and sem.

SEM - Search Engine Marketing

SEM is marketing and technical work designed to increase a website’s visibility on Google and other search engines. SEM can include…

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
  • SERM (Search Engine Reputation Management – sort of like Public Relations Management for your business’s reputation on search engines).
  • PPC Advertising (Pay-Per-Click Advertising – including ads on Google AdWords, Yahoo and Bing – more below).

SEM is big business. There are thousands – soon I predict millions – of companies and consultants who specialise in this field. Companies like Google and Yahoo make almost ALL of their money from SEM, including their huge PPC text ad fees.

Pay Per Click

Pay Per Click (PPC), also called cost per click, is an internet advertising model used to direct traffic to websites, in which advertisers pay the publisher (typically a website owner) when the ad is clicked. It is defined simply as “the amount spent to get an advertisement clicked.”

With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market. Content sites commonly charge a fixed price per click rather than use a bidding system. PPC "display" advertisements, also known as "banner" ads, are shown on web sites or search engine results with related content that have agreed to show ads.

PPC includes ads on Google, Yahoo and Bing – these are the ads you see at the top and right-hand side of search pages – or even on Facebook pages.

Usually PPC ads cost nothing to display – when a viewer clicks on the ad, only then is an advertiser is charged for the ad – hence ‘pay-per-click’.

In some cases ads are charged per 1000 ‘impressions’ (1 impression = the ad appears one time on a webpage displayed on one person’s computer).

The most popular PPC program is Google’s AdWords, accounting for around 90% of PPC ad dollars. In my experience, AdWords has been the most profitable choice due to the high percentage of total web search traffic on Google. AdWords is, however, becoming more competitive and costly every day which reduces the return on every advertising dollar you invest. Other networks are working hard to offer attractive systems and traffic to advertisers – trying to get a bigger piece of Google’s pie.

The most popular PPC ads are text ads like you see on Google’s search page. Video and display ads (display ads have a photo or graphic or logo) are also common and can appear on almost any website (although they are generally ‘served’ from an advertising provider like Google).

PPC is a very easy way to promote your website when getting a 1st-page organic position is a longer-term, more difficult goal.

PPC is generally profitable when your business targets a specific segment of the market with a relatively unique product or service or offer – and when there are not a lot of competitors bidding against your ads and driving up the cost of your PPC efforts.

The basic measures of PPC accounts are:

  1. CPC (Cost Per Click – the amount you pay each time someone clicks an ad and is directed to your site). CPC can range from a few cents for specialized, noncompetitive business niches – up to $100 or more for highly competitive industries like financial services.
  2. Cost Per Conversion (the amount you spend before you get one sale, signup or other goal). If you ‘convert’ one out of ten visitors, and you pay $1.50 for each visitor from Google (ie: CPC = $1.50), then your Cost Per Conversion will be $15.00.

The Difference Between Pay Per Click and Search Engine Marketing

So by now I am sure you have figured out my proposed analogy. If you didn’t, either my description is lame or you don’t drink Whiskey.

SEM, or search engine marketing is the 'big brother' to SEO. If you've considered getting your business online, you're sure to have heard of it...but what exactly is SEM? How does it work? Most of all, is it worth paying to make sure your business generates web traffic?

Biz4Afrika decided to enlist some expert help from Elwyn Dhliwayo, CEO of SEO Specialist, and we've got answers for all of your SEM-related queries.

What is the difference between SEO and SEM? Which, in your opinion, is more effective? Can you have one without the other?

Many people find it difficult to distinguish between Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). In most cases, both terms are often used interchangeably, which makes it even more confusing.

I will sum up everything in below.

As can be seen in the diagram above, SEO is simply a component of SEM. Therefore, SEM includes elements of paid search, such as PPC and also Social Media Marketing (SMM).

SEM is more effective in the short term, especially when you begin online marketing, as it has the ability to generate instant exposure, leads and sales for your business. However, as you run your SEM campaigns, it is crucial to invest in SEO as it will generate significantly higher returns in the long run. SEO results are permanent and will last for years!

In my opinion, for a business to achieve the best results from online marketing, it is important to make use of all elements of SEM, which are, SEO, PPC, and SMM. These three work together. For example a business can use PPC to drive traffic to the website, while SMM creates brand awareness and user engagement and then SEO ensures that the business website becomes more visible for valuable keywords / phrases that actually result in a lead or sale. I personally use Google Adwords (PPC or pay per click) as a research tool to inform organic search (SEO) and it really works.

How does SEM work? What are the main pros and cons of implementing SEM? Why should small businesses use it?

With PPC, you allocate a budget for your paid search campaigns and only pay when users click on your advertisements. On the other hand, for SEO, you pay an SEO specialist to optimise your website on a monthly basis, so it can be more visible on Google for keywords or phrases that are related to your business. All these efforts are aimed at generating more website visitors, enquiries / leads and sales for you company.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

SEO is a process which improves the quality and the quantity of the traffic coming to optimised website from organic search.


  • SEO is a process, not a single action.
  • SEO is concentrated not only on quantity of the traffic but also on its quality.
  • SEO contains different seach engines: image search, local search and vertical search.
  • SEO helps Getting indexed your website quickly.
  • SEO is a long term marketing strategy

Does Google PageRank Still Matter for SEO

is PageRank Matter for SEO

Before knowing whether pagerank is dead or not, let’s know what is pagerank in detail. Pagerank is the initial brainchild algorithm developed by the Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Initially, the Google ranked the webpages according to the relevancy and each page was given a rank and that ranking system is called pagerank (PR). The website would have a pagerank from n/a, 0-10. Where n/a means Not Available and 0-10 where 0 being least and 10 being the highest.

Simply, we can say that using PageRank Google determines the importance of the webpage and is also one of the most important SEO factors to rank the websites in the search results.

This issue got me thinking, rather than repeating the same discussion over and over, why not write an article outlining all the commonly misunderstood metrics thrown around?

Before we get into all that however, let me invite you to comment below on additional metrics and questions we’re all asked about that are less than relevant. We all may be able to share replies but if not, at least you’ll feel better knowing that others feel your pain. Misery does love company.

How PageRank is Measured?

According to Page and Brin’s theory, importance of the page is determined by the number of pages leading to that particular page; and at the end importance is estimated to be the pagerank. Each link to the page is casted a vote according to the pagerank algorithm, so having as many as relevant links pointing towards your page is beneficiary. Moreover, websites with higher pagerank have more weightage in their votes compared to the website with low pagerank.

The most famous part of our ranking algorithm is PageRank, an algorithm developed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who founded Google. PageRank is still in use today, but it is now a part of a much larger system. Other parts include language models (the ability to handle phrases, synonyms, diacritics, spelling mistakes, and so on), query models (it's not just the language, it's how people use it today), time models (some queries are best answered with a 30-minutes old page, and some are better answered with a page that stood the test of time), and personalized models (not all people want the same thing).

For Example, If website A is having PR 7 and website B is having PR 1, when they are pointing their links to website C, both the sites A & B have casted a vote to website C; but when compared to website B, vote of A has higher priority and more weightage.

Why PageRank?

In 2008 Udi Manber, VP of engineering at Google, wrote on the Official Google Blog: “The most famous part of our ranking algorithm is PageRank, an algorithm developed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who founded Google. PageRank is still in use today, but it is now a part of a much larger system.”

PageRank may have distinguished Google as a search engine when it was founded in 1998; but given the rate of change Manber describes—launching “about 9 [improvements] per week on the average”—we’ve had a lot of opportunity to augment and refine our ranking systems over the last decade. PageRank is no longer—if it ever was—the be-all and end-all of ranking.

Is Google PageRank Really Dead?

In December, 2013, it was the last time, when we had Google Page Rank update, as John Mueller wrote it out in a Google Webmaster Help thread saying, that “there will be no other Page Rank update ever. He even said that webmasters and SEOs should stop using "PageRank or links as a metric" around their web sites.” Everything was depended on Google Page Rank updates but the end to Google's Page Rank updates has impacted on the growth strategies of SEO providers and webmasters.

Google has said for years that selling links that pass PageRank violates our quality guidelines. We continue to reiterate that guidance periodically to help remind site owners and webmasters of that policy. February 22, 2013

Google PageRank, was designed for Google searchers and website owners. It has been associated with SEO since its establishment, its main functionality is to determine if a page will rank well in a search. PageRank plays a very important role in SEO arena and play a vital role in many of our web search tools that means it make your page more important and highly regarded by Google.

PageRank is a toolbar numbering system (0-10) that provides the estimate page rank of a site and measure the quality as well as the importance of a website based on the quantity and quality of a website's backlinks with maximum accuracy, while concluding you page rank. This ranking system had website owners and SEOs working overtime to achieve the highest Page Rank or to get closer to actual page rank which is profitable in order to apply your next strategy to get good ranking for their websites.

Here are some important elements that are the key to better Page Rank:

  1. Total inbound links
  2. Total outbound backlinks
  3. Quality of backlinks

Page Rank has been on the decline for a year now, but still if we measure the importance and popularity of a website, which has always been tricky without Google Page Rank. Several different tactics have been emerged since then but the importance of Google Page Rank metric has always been chased by SEOs and webmasters.

Some site owners are interested in their site’s PR because people won’t buy links from their site unless they have a high PageRank. Buying or selling links for the purpose of passing PageRank violates our Webmaster Guidelines and is very likely to have negative consequences for your website, so a) I strongly recommend against it, and b) don’t be surprised if we aren’t interested in helping you raise your PageRank or improve your website when this is your stated goal.

It might be possible that Google Page Rank will survive this year, as it is one of the most valuable metric that will never entirely can disappear, and if it doest not survive then we should be aware of how we can present and configure our content on the Web.

Signs Google PageRank is Dead

PageRank data removed from Webmaster Tools in 2009. Less updates over time - - - Not many updates of the pagerank algorithm was released as the time passed.

Pagerank was never added to their Chrome browser, if it was really important in the point of Google then there was no need of 3rd party add-on to know the Pagerank

Matt Cutts statement saying that “I would be surprised if that happened”, when asked about pagerank update On October 6, 2013.

Matt Cutts also states that, Google pagerank is broken and Google is not interested to fix it. Pipeline is the updated information about pagerank that is sent to the toolbars. PageRank was not updated for 10 straight months.

Matt Cutts, once said, “the reason why they (Google) still have it (PageRank) is not because SEOs use it but rather because searchers and users still use it to determine how “reputable” a website is.

Googler John Mueller says, Google will never update PageRank again on 1/22/14.

In 2013, Pagerank algorithm was not updated for 10 consecutive months, which is a big downfall when compared to previous updates release.

PageRank has not been updated in 14 months (as of 1/28/15).

After December 6, 2013 update; pagerank was not updated till 14 straight months. This indicates that updates have been stopped.

PageRank became leverage for spammers, and Google knows it.

Only Toolbar Pagerank is Dead – Real Pagerank is Alive & Well

Signs Google PageRank is Alive

December 04, 2009 by Posted by John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst, Google Zürich " The performance overview shows a graph of the aggregated speed numbers for the website, based on the pages that were most frequently accessed by visitors who use the Google Toolbar with the PageRank feature activated. By using data from Google Toolbar users, you don't have to worry about us testing your site from a location that your users do not use.

For example, if your site is in Germany and all your users are in Germany, the chart will reflect the load time as seen in Germany. Similarly, if your users mostly use dial-up connections (or high-speed broadband), that would be reflected in these numbers as well. If only a few visitors of your site use the Google Toolbar, we may not be able to show this data in Webmaster Tools."

March 11, 2016 by Posted by the Google Webspam Team " Links that pass PageRank in exchange for goods or services are against Google guidelines on link schemes. Companies sometimes urge bloggers to link back to: the company’s site the company’s social media accounts an online merchant’s page that sells the product a review service’s page featuring reviews of the product the company’s mobile app on an app store Bloggers should use the nofollow tag on all such links because these links didn’t come about organically (i.e., the links wouldn’t exist if the company hadn’t offered to provide a free good or service in exchange for a link). Companies, or the marketing firms they’re working with, can do their part by reminding bloggers to use nofollow on these links.

October 06, 2009 "Handling duplicate content within your own website can be a big challenge. Websites grow; features get added, changed and removed; content comes—content goes. Over time, many websites collect systematic cruft in the form of multiple URLs that return the same contents. Having duplicate content on your website is generally not problematic, though it can make it harder for search engines to crawl and index the content. Also, PageRank and similar information found via incoming links can get diffused across pages we aren't currently recognizing as duplicates, potentially making your preferred version of the page rank lower in Google." by Posted by John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst, Google Zürich

June 21, 2013 "How can I assess the quality of a site’s backlinks? "The links to your site section of Google Webmaster Tools is a great starting point for an investigation as it shows a significant amount of your site’s inbound links. If you know that you ran an SEO campaign during a particular period of time, downloading the latest links can come handy in slicing links created at that time. Using the links found in Google Webmaster Tools, we recommend looking for patterns that point to general issues that are worth resolving. For example, spammy blog comments, auto generated forum posts or text advertisements with links that pass PageRank are likely to be seen as unnatural links and would violate Google’s quality guidelines. For individual examples and hands-on advice we recommend getting help of peers and expert webmasters on the Google Webmaster Forum. by Written by Kaspar Szymanski and Uli Lutz, Search Quality Team.

September 09, 2010 Written by Surabhi Gupta, Joachim Kupke & Jayesh Vyas, Search Localization and Indexing Teams "The configuration above allowed visitors speaking different languages to more easily interpret the content, but for search engines it was slightly problematic: there are three URLs (English, French, and Spanish versions) for the same main content in Javier’s profile. Webmasters wanted to avoid duplicate content issues (such as PageRank dilution) from these multiple versions and still ensure that we would serve the appropriate version to the user.

September 01, 2011 Announcement "Q: How are links treated in PDF documents? A: Generally links in PDF files are treated similarly to links in HTML: they can pass PageRank and other indexing signals, and we may follow them after we have crawled the PDF file. It’s currently not possible to "nofollow" links within a PDF document."

July 27, 2012 Matt Cutts, Distinguished Engineer Example scenario: paid links The next example is paid links. I wrote this email to someone: "I also wrote to another link building SEO who got this message pointing out that the SEO was getting links from a directory that appeared to offer only paid links that pass PageRank, and so we weren't trusting links like that.

June 21, 2010 Announcement It's important to clarify that any legitimate link building strategy is a long-term effort. There are those who advocate for short-lived, often spammy methods, but these are not advisable if you care for your site's reputation. Buying PageRank-passing links or randomly exchanging links are the worst ways of attempting to gather links and they're likely to have no positive impact on your site's performance over time. If your site's visibility in the Google index is important to you it's best to avoid them.

September 23, 2016 Announcement "Google's algorithms rely on more than 200 unique signals or "clues" that make it possible to surface what you might be looking for. These signals include things like the specific words that appear on websites, the freshness of content, your region and PageRank. One specific signal of the algorithms is called Penguin, which was first launched in 2012 and today has an update."

September 08, 2016 Announcement "Google has long taken a strong stance against links that manipulate a site’s PageRank. Today we would like to reiterate our policy on the creation of keyword-rich, hidden or low-quality links embedded in widgets that are distributed across various sites."

PageRank Term Repeat to next Para as "You can resolve issues with unnatural links by making sure they don't pass PageRank. To do this, add a rel="nofollow" attribute on the widget links or remove the links entirely. After fixing or removing widget links and any other unnatural links to your site, let Google know about your change by submitting a reconsideration request in Search Console. Once the request has been reviewed, you'll get a notification about whether the reconsideration request was successful or not."

Google pagerank is probably still a ranking factor (not as important as it once was) however the public version of Page Rank, what you and me sees will never be updated again, last update if memory serves me well Dec 2013, but they will still be updating their version of pagerank - but as AI becomes more and more intelligent, traditional signals will disappear.

If I don’t track my PageRank, what should I be tracking?

Take a look at metrics that correspond directly to meaningful gains for your website or business, rather than just focusing on ranking signals. Also consider metrics that are updated daily or weekly, rather than numbers (like PageRank) that only change a few times a year; the latter is far too slow for you to reliably understand which of your changes resulted in the number going up or down (assuming you update your site more than a few times a year). Here are three suggestions to get you started, all of which you can track using services like Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools:

Conversion Rate
A “conversion” is when a visitor does what you want them to do on your website. A conversion might be completing a purchase, signing up for a mailing list, or downloading a white paper. Your conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your site who convert (perform a conversion). This is a perfect example of a metric that, unlike PageRank, is directly tied to your business goals. When users convert they’re doing something that directly benefits your organization in a measurable way! Whereas your PageRank is both difficult to measure accurately (see above), and can go up or down without having any direct effect on your business.

Bounce Rate
A “bounce” is when someone comes to your website and then leaves without visiting any other pages on your site. Your bounce rate is the percentage of visits to your site where the visitor bounces. A high bounce rate may indicate that users don’t find your site compelling, because they come, take a look, and leave directly. Looking at the bounce rates of different pages across your site can help you identify content that’s underperforming and point you to areas of your site that may need work. After all, it doesn’t matter how well your site ranks if most searchers are bouncing off of it as soon as they visit.

Clickthrough Rate (CTR)
In the context of organic search results, your clickthrough rate is how often people click on your site out of all the times your site gets shown in search results. A low CTR means that, no matter how well your site is ranking, users aren’t clicking through to it. This may indicate that they don’t think your site will meet their needs, or that some other site looks better. One way to improve your CTR is to look at your site’s titles and snippets in our search results: are they compelling? Do they accurately represent the content of each URL? Do they give searchers a reason to click on them? Here’s some advice for improving your snippets; the HTML suggestions section of Webmaster Tools can also point you to pages that may need help. Again, remember that it doesn’t matter how well your site ranks if searchers don’t want to click on it.

Google PageRank is not dead to Googlers, but it is dead to us. In all, I’m glad. Less spammy emails, fewer cheaters, and less confusion from the name “PageRank”. Fellow SEO professionals know what I mean by “confusion”. We have to constantly explain to clients the difference between PageRank, and your page’s ranking in search engines. It just got annoying. But it is ironic. Larry’s last name is “Page”, hence the term “PageRank”. I really hope you knew that.