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One thing I love about the internet, is it always presents new ways to work smarter rather than harder. So in today’s IFTTT tutorial I am going to share the IFTTT recipes I use to do exactly that by automating a my workload.

If you are wondering what is IFTTT exactly, then you really are missing out! If This Then That (IFTTT) is a fantastic free tool that allows you to connect other web services together.

For example you can automatically save photos you get tagged in on Facebook to dropbox, get an email with a map to where you parked your car, schedule tweets from an RSS feed and well the possibilities are truly limitless.

In this tutorial I am going to share a bunch of useful IFTTT recipes with you along with a link at the end of the post to find even more awesome IFTTT recipes!

What You Will Learn
  • What IFTTT is & why it is amazing!
  • How to set IFTTT up & use it
  • How to work smarter, not harder
  • The IFTTT recipes I use to create content & manage the blog behind the scenes
  • A stack of other juicy IFTTT hints & tips
IFTTT Tutorial Video

This is one of the best free tools on the market that is really easy to use but super powerful at the same time!

How To Use IFTTT To Save Time & Automate - A Behind The Scenes Look - YouTube

Video Transcript

Hi guys Matthew Woodward here and today I’m going to show you the free If This Then That service and why it is absolutely amazing. I’ll take you through it all including how to set it up and use it so you can get more done in less time.

I’ll also let you get a sneak peak of how I use it behind the scenes to manage the blog and create content.

And I’m even going to step outside of the box and show you some other juicy If This Then That hints and tips!

Are you ready? Then let’s go!

If This Then That is a really simple but powerful service that allows you to connect all sorts of different channels.

So to give you a real example of how it works I’m going to show you some of the more popular recipes. For example when a Facebook profile picture changes update the Twitter profile picture.

Every time you’re tagged in something on Facebook, save it to Dropbox.

And we can have a look at some more, every time you star something in Google reader create a note in Evernote.

Every time an RSS update happens, tweet about it. And you can see there are lots of different recipes here that people have already created and you can combine any of the services to make your own.

If This Then That is actually compatible with a huge range of services here. You’ve got everything like Facebook, Evernote, Gmail, RSS feed, readability – all you have to do is create an account then you can start creating your own recipes.

So to create an account just come up to join here and fill out your details and I’m going to login and pause the video.

So this is the main dashboard when you login and you can see here I’ve got 24 recipes for various tasks and I’m going to show you those a little bit later on.

But first of all let’s take a look at creating our own recipe. So if you click create a recipe we can say if this happen and pick from any one of these services. So let’s go with something simple let’s say that every week you have a certain task that you like to perform.

Here you can say every weekday, so every Monday at 9am I want you to create a note in Evernote and I might say the title – reply to social media messages. Then in the body I can say Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Google+.

Now I use TheSecretWeapon as my getting things done organisation system so this will probably make a bit more sense to you but that notebook is going to Action Pending with the tags, 1-Now, MatthewWoodward which is a project, @work and then create action, add a description – Social media reminder, create recipe.

So now every Monday at 9am a new note will appear in Evernote reminding me to reply to all my social media messages and you know creating IFTTT recipes is really easy it is always this interface.

First pick the first service and the various triggers that offers you know RSS feed and then you pick your second one.

So that’s how you create your own IFTTT recipes it’s really really simple. But let’s take a look at some of the recipes I use and how I use them to automate tasks on my blog and help with content creation.

So first of all let’s take a look at how I use the service to create the income report roundup post every month.

This is just a list of blogs and how much they earnt with a few notes about how they did it. And if you look at If This Then That you can see I’ve got all of these recipes setup which basically once they publishing their income report it gets added to Evernote.

So let’s have a look at this in a bit more detail. So this says if the new RSS feed item matches income report then append to a note in evernote.

And you can see here the trigger item is if it matches income report from that feed append to the note Truevalhala.com with all the information there.

So let’s take a look at what that actually looks like in Evernote and you can see here there are already 5 income reports published so when I come to writing the post I don’t need to find the post, I have all the information here and all the earnings numbers and how they did.

It just makes it really quick and easy to put the income report roundup post together. So that’s one way that I use it.

Another one of the posts that I publish is the What I Have Read This Month post which is just a collection of all of my favourite posts throughout the month and the way I go about this is first of all I have lots of RSS subscriptions setup in Google reader for various sites and then I use If This Then That to create this recipe so every item I star in Google Reader gets added to Evernote.

And down here you can see it pulls in the URL, the content and adds it to the reading list notebook. So if we jump to Evernote you can see a list of articles here that are in my reading list and I also use the Firefox plugin so when there is something that I want to add when I’m browsing I come up here, click the Evernote button and that will go straight into my reading list there.

So that’s how I use it to create those posts.

I also use it to help me keep on top of my editorial calendar which you can see here this is just a Google calendar imported into my email client mapping out the posts that I want to create that month.

So if we look at If This Then That you can see that I have created this recipe here that says if any event starts on editorial then create a note in Evernote and that just creates it in the action pending notebook, @work, with the Matthew Woodward project tag and Now so that I know tha at it needs to be done now.

And as you can see in Evernote here, here is a note telling me to publish the post and when to do it along with a link to any notes that I added when I created the calendar event.

So that’s how I use it to manage the blog and editorial calendar.

So I’m hoping your starting to see just how useful this really is. The limit really is your own imagination with this I mean let’s take a look at creating a recipe for backing up our blog posts.

If this, pick an RSS feed is updated here’s the feed url, then create a new note in evernote with all of the information and add it to the blog backup notebook.

Create the action, call it blog backup and every time the blog is updated it copy’s the post straight into evernote so you’ve got an instant back up of it.

And you know you can do the same here for your tweets, you can use it to back straight up to dropbox and it would create a text file with the information instead.

You could also use it to do things like; let’s take a look what have we go. Stock prices, if a certain stock price rises above let’s say 1,000 then you may want it to send you a text message for example or to send you an instant message on Google talk to alert you of the stock price.

The limit, there’s no limit really with this tool what so ever. And we’ve only got to come back here and browse the other recipes that other people have created you can see the diverse range of functions that this has.

I mean look here, save your tweets to a Google drive spread sheet that’s really handy for backing things up.

Star a Google reader article and send it to Read Later. There really is just endless possibilities of what you can do with this.

So that is If This Then That which is a completely free service that is easy to use and really powerful.

I recommend you get creative with your own recipes from getting weather updates all the way through to automating your home with WeMo!

Resources In The Video

IFTTT.com – Create your free account now!

The Secret Weapon – The Getting Things Done system I use and mention briefly in the video.

Don’t Like Videos? Follow This IFTTT Tutorial Instead!

Today I’m going to teach you how to use the free If This Then That tool and show you why it is amazing.

I’ll teach you how to make the best use of this free service so you can do more in less time.

Not only will I show you how I use it to manage my blog but at the end I’ll give you some extra juicy tips and tricks!

Let’s get started!

What is If This Then That?

If This Then That is a powerful tool that lets you connect various channels. Channels can be Facebook, email, Twitter, Evernote, Gmail, Buzzfeed and similar things like that.

There’s a recipe option that lets you combine the various channels to set up different updates, notifications and such.

Some recipes are:

  • When Facebook profile picture changes, update Twitter profile picture
  • Starred Google Reader to Evernote
  • Tweet about an RSS update every time it happens

You can even use it to find out what the weather’s like everyday!

If none of the IFTTT recipes are what you want to cook up, you can make your own.

How To Create IFTTT Recipes

Creating IFTTT recipes is really easy, first we have to have an account to use IFTTT. Once you make an account, you’ll come to the dashboard.

Now to make our own recipe!

  1. Click Create Recipe
  2. Choose your trigger channel, what “If then” does
  3. Choose your action channel, what “Then that” does

Let’s choose “Date & Time” for our example.

Say you have a specific task you need to do every weekday. Choose the option for every weekday, set the time and day you want.

Next, you’ll choose your action channel for “then that.”

I made my “Then that” to create a note every Monday at a certain time to remind me to respond to my messages on social media. Add a description and create your recipe!

It’s really simple and now you’ll always have a reminder for whatever task you have to do.

Pretty handy for those with a bad memory :P

My IFTTT Recipe Tutorial

As you all probably know, I publish monthly income report roundups of various bloggers but what you probably don’t know is that I set up my IFTTT to get note of the individual income reports.

Here’s my personal IFTTT recipe I use to set that up.

You can see I set it up so that if a new RSS feed has the words “income report” then it’ll get sent to my Evernote. Below you’ll see my Trigger is “income report,” the feed URL and the Action which is to Append to note.

When the end of the month comes around, all I have to do is check my Evernote and all the income reports will be there in one nice notebook. I don’t need to check every single website so it saves me a lot of time.

Another way I use IFTTT is for my What I have read this month post where I gather a list of my favorite articles from the past month.

I set up my Google Reader as the first action so that every article starred by me in Google Reader gets sent to Evernote. All those articles will appear in my Reading List folder.

Better than a paper bookmark!

One more I use IFTTT is to update my editorial Calendar. I set it up so that if I have any events that start of Editorial, then it will be sent to Evernote.

I add a few tags like @work and Now to remind myself that I need to get it done.

Can’t fall behind in my workload right?

There’s an infinite number of IFTTT recipes you can come up with, it really is up to you to make it do what you want. You can even use it to back up your blog posts!

You can say every time your RSS feed updates, it’ll create a note so that every one of your blog posts get sent to your notebook.

IFTTT has so many different channels that you can even get notified when a particular stock rises or lowers, if it’s going to rain today or send your Tweets to Google Drive.

The choice is yours to decide what IFTTT recipes to make and how to utilize IFTTT to your best advantage.

It’s a great service that is completely free!

Resources In The IFTTT Tutorial

IFTTT.com – Create your free account now!
More Recipes – A list of useful IFTTT recipes to use
The Secret Weapon – The Getting Things Done system I use and mention briefly in the video.

How To Use IFTTT To Save Time & Automate – Behind The Scenes was originally published on Matthew Woodward

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Learn how we took traffic from 2,732 visitors per month to 38,420 in just 8x months.

I am going to take you behind the scenes and show you everything we did step by step including the complete link building strategy.

You’re going to love it!

SEO Case Study: How To 14x Search Traffic In 8x months was originally published on Matthew Woodward

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I am going to show you how to make money on Fiverr step by step. If you didn’t know, Fiverr is a marketplace where anyone can sign up and sell services for $5 and

That can be anything from logo design, transcript, video creation, backlinks, social signals and so on. You can even get a video of your name in shells on the beach or hold your sign while skydiving.

If you have a browse through the available Fiverr gigs you will see how varied they are – there really is a gig for everyone!

The best bit is anyone can learn how to make money online by signuping to Fiverr as a seller and starting selling their service.

This is exactly what Eze John did earning $1,644 in 30 days and you are about to learn the exact process he used to make money on Fiverr.

What You Will Learn
  • How to make money on Fiverr today
  • The exact steps used to generate $1,644 in 30 days
  • What to sell on Fiverr
  • How to promote your Fiverr gigs
  • The secret sauce to ranking Fiverr gigs

If you are looking for a way to get started online – it really doesn’t get any easier than this. Even I’m admiring its simplicity.

Credit to Eze John for revealing all of this, he could have easily packaged up what your about to learn as an eBook and sold it.

Instead he chose to teach you how to make money on Fiverr free of charge, so hat’s off to him for doing that.

Introducing Eze John

Eze John is 20 years old from Nigeria. He is always looking for new ways to make money online and struck success with Fiverr.

He is going to share precisely how he made $1,644 in 30 days with his gig so you can do the same!

What Is Fiverr?

Fiverr is the leading marketplace for services starting at just $5. Lots of people buy and sell services (and also products) everyday through Fiverr.

The available services range from business promotion, social networking and advertisement to funny videos, graphic design and translations to mention just a few.

These offered services are called “GIGS” on Fiverr. You can find almost anything you need. People from all over the world visit the site to offer their services and expertise.

My Fiverr Earnings

Before I get into things let me show you proof of my earnings from my Fiverr account which is less than 40 days old.

As you can see it shows a total of $1,644 earned but has since gone on to earn nearly $2,000. I did all of this using a piece of software I bought for just $67.

How To Make Money On Fiverr

So how did I manage to make that much money with Fiverr? Well first of all I spent time looking at what other people are having success with.

At the same time I spotted an awesome product that helped me create animated videos really quickly.

So the idea for my gig was born – I’m going to create a video animation service offering things like whiteboard videos, 3D animation videos, hand drawn videos etc.

There is no big secret here – I just looked at what other people sold and what I could make quickly and created some relevant gigs.

You could say that preparation met opportunity perfectly!

Sample Videos

Here are some samples of the videos I was selling to give you a better idea-

Whiteboard Video

VideoMakerFX Whiteboard Video - YouTube

Animated Character Video

VideoMakerFX Anna Character Explainer - YouTube

Pretty cool videos right?

What a lot of people don’t realise is just how high the demand is for videos like this and they are super easy to make!

You can just create a gig for these kind of videos today on Fiverr and start getting orders the same day – they are hugely popular!

As you can see the orders come flooding in!

How To Make Money With Fiverr Videos

You might be wondering how exactly I’m creating the videos and you’ll be glad to know it is really simple.

Not long ago a WSO appeared for Video Maker FX which is a simple piece of software to create animated videos. I paid $67 for it at the time.

The software makes it really easy and quick to make all kinds of different videos for all kinds of business in no time at all.

But there are tons of different types of gigs you can offer.

Take a look at these 36x methods to make money on Fiverr for example.

How To Earn Money On Fiverr – The Step By Step Process

So now I’ve shown you what I do and what I use to do it, now all you need to is how to make money on Fiverr yourself.

Just follow the steps below and you will learn how to make money on Fiverr easily-

Step 1 – Practice

First of all I bought Video Maker FX and spent time practising making videos of all different types with it.

It took me a couple of weeks of playing but I soon got the hang of being able to make videos quickly.

Step 2 – Create Fiverr Gig

Once I knew I could produce awesome videos I created my Fiverr Gig.

I kept the title short and simple – “I will Create a Professional Whiteboard Animation Video In 24hours for $5.”

Here are some other titles I have used that did well-

  • I will create an AMAZING Whiteboard Animation Video For $5
  • I will create a PROFESSIONAL Whiteboard Doodle Video For $5
  • I will create an Eye CATCHY Animation Video For $5

Feel free to play around – you get the idea!

Step 3 – Creating Your Gig Image

If you do a search for similar gigs you will notice some of them have better images than others that really stand out.

Do some searches and take some inspiration from the gig images that really stand out to you.

Once you have done that you can use PicFont.com to create your Fiverr gig image, if you really want to stand out you can also hire someone on Fiverr to do it!

Step 4 – Writing Your Gigs Description

Your description is also a very important part to your gig that you need to get right.

Just like with the images I also search around Fiverr and look at what the other top sellers are doing and use their descriptions as inspiration.

Whatever you do, don’t copy their descriptions or your will get banned. Just use them as inspiration and come up with your own unique description.

Step 5 – Tags/Keywords

One of the most important parts of your gig is setting up the tags and keywords.

A lot of people don’t realise this but having your gig tagged correctly is very important to the ranking of your gig in Fiverrs search results.

Take a look at the picture above and you will see the tags I used and also set your gig delivery duration to “1 DAY”.

Step 6 – Video-fying Your Gig

You also have the option of adding a video to your gig to make it stand out. Again this helps to boost rankings and sales so pay attention.

I just used Video Maker FX to make a catchy video for my gig, it doesn’t need to be anything special but shows off the service as well.

The Secret Sauce – Ranking Your Fiverr Gigs

Once you have everything setup and your Fiverr gig is live you need to apply the secret sauce to get the gig ranking and sales flowing in.

This has been my secret for about 6 months that I have only shared with a few of my friends. I can rank any gig #1 for any keyword on Fiverr in less than 48 hours for any search term like “video animation”, “usa traffic” and so on.

Here is how I do it-

NOTE: You must have completed the previous steps for this to work.

Step 1 – Dummy Account

Create a dummy Fiverr Account and buy your gig twice. Then give your gig a nice positive review (You will only loose $2 when you do this).

Step 2 – Fake Visitors

Now just sends at least 250 fake hits/visitors to your Fiverr gig. This will boost your gigs impressions and make it more visible to cash at hand buyers.

If you don’t know how to get fake visitors, well you can just buy them from Fiverr but don’t go overboard with them.

Step 3 – Accurate Tags

Make sure you use accurate tags for your gigs and also include the keywords you want to rank for in the title and description.

If you are going to do a gig like the one I’ve shown you above you would use tags like-

  1. Video animation
  2. Whiteboard
  3. Whiteboard animation
  4. 3D animation
Promoting Your Fiverr Gig

Well truth be told I do not do anything to promote my gigs outside of Fiverr. All I do is what I have shared with you in this tutorial.

There are over 1 million buyers on Fiverr so once I have ranked my gigs I do not need to promote them because I already have massive exposure to cash at hand buyers.

So now you understand how to make money on Fiverr – what are you waiting for?

Go and make your first dollar online right now!

If you have any questions about how to make money with Fiverr then please feel free to ask them in the comments below and I will answer them for you.

How To Make Money On Fiverr Update was originally published on Matthew Woodward

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Choosing the best WordPress hosting for your site is critical.

And the most important thing you need to consider is…

How fast it is!

Why?

Because if your website loads slowly, you will suffer from-

  • Lower search engine rankings
  • Higher bounce rates
  • Lower page view numbers
  • Lower conversion rates

And last but not least…

 A SLOW WEBSITE = LOWER PROFITS! 

Your websites speed is critical to the bottom line of your business.

And all of that starts by making sure you choose the best WordPress hosting for you.

PRO TIP: With WordPress hosting- “best” does not mean “most expensive”

Keep reading and you’ll understand exactly what I mean…

Because the tests below will help you save $1,080 this year.

Which Is The Best WordPress Hosting?

Choosing the best WordPress hosting is easy.

You want to make sure that the host you choose-

  • Is super fast on the front and back end
  • Loads your website quickly globally
  • Takes security seriously (automatic backups & SSL)
  • Offers great support
  • Provides value for money

The problem is, that is much easier said than done.

So to find out who really offers the best WordPress hosting…

I setup 18 test blogs across 7 popular managed WordPress hosting providers.

And then I ran 6 tests across each of those 18 blogs-

  1. Speed of loading from different locations around the world
  2. Ability to cope with a plugin-heavy WP blog
  3. Ability to handle a heavy simultaneous traffic load
  4. How each hosts hardware benchmarks
  5. Support speed & quality
  6. Value for money (very surprising result!)

Note: I chose the cheapest plan with multiple sites. Cheaper plans are available.
  1. Kinsta – Who are the current host of this blog
  • Cost: 2 websites, $60 monthly, $600 annually
  • CDN: Yes – KeyCDN included
  • WPX Hosting – The previous host of this blog before Kinsta
    • Cost: 5 websites, $24.99 monthly, $249.99 annually
    • CDN: Yes – WPX Cloud included
  • WP Engine – My host before WPX Hosting (it wasn’t great)
    • Cost: 5 websites, $115 monthly, $1150 annually
    • CDN: Yes – MaxCDN>Stackpath included
  • SiteGround – Specifically their managed WordPress hosting option
    • Cost: unlimited website, normally $19.95 monthly, $239.40 annually
    • CDN: No – Free CloudFlare recommended
  • Hostgator – The managed WordPress Hosting package
    • Cost: 3 websites, $27.95 monthly, $335.40 annually
    • CDN: No – Free CloudFlare recommended
  • Liquid Web – Again, their managed WordPress hosting offering
    • Cost: 10 websites, $99 monthly, $1,188 annually
    • CDN: No – Free CloudFlare recommended
  • Amazon EC2 – Not a managed WordPress host, but a DIY wildcard alternative
    • Cost: Unlimited websites, $14.99 monthly, $179.88 annually
    • CDN: No – Free CloudFlare recommended

    So with WPEngine & LiquidWeb being the most expensive  of all of them by a long way.

    You would expect them to be the clear winners…

    Right?

     WRONG! 

    Not even close.

    How I Tested WordPress Hosting Speed

    I setup a total of 18 test sites across each of the 7 hosts.

    Hosts that included a CDN as part of their package had 2 sites installed on them (WPXHosting, Kinsta & WP Engine).

    Hosts that ask you to use a free CDN like CloudFlare had 3 sites installed on them (Siteground, Hostgator, Amazon EC2 & LiquidWeb).

    All of the sites are hosted in the USA.

    Then I created 3 different types of blog on 1 host and cloned that across each host using this plugin

    Blog Type #1
    Image Heavy

    Cronus Theme
    11 photos
    2,000 words

    Blog Type #2
    Plugin Heavy

    Cronus Theme
    30 plugins
    No text/images

    Blog Type #3
    CloudFlare

    Blog Type #1
    Plus Free CloudFlare CDN

    And to help make things a little easier for you…

    You can see the live versions of all of test blogs below-

    Siteground

    HostGator

    LiquidWeb

    Amazon EC2

    WPX Hosting

     
    Kinsta

     
    WP Engine

    Feel free to click through to any of them and run your own tests!

    But if you’re too lazy to do that…

    Here are the results of my 6 tests-

    Test #1 – Image Heavy Site Loading Speed

    In this test:

    I took the Blog Type 1 (image heavy) install for each host and ran it through GTMetrix twice.

    Often a sites content is cached on the hosting server and CDN.

    So I ran 2 passes of GTMetrix to make sure all caches were primed.

    Then I tested each site from 7 global locations and averaged out the results.

    This is what it looks like-

    • USA
    • Canada
    • UK
    • Australia
    • China
    • Brazil
    • India
    Tested From Dallas, USA.
    Host Page Load Time
    (lower is better)
    TTFB
    (lower is better)
    Test Result
    WPX Hosting 1.1 seconds 123 ms View Result
    Kinsta 1.1 seconds 200 ms View Result
    SiteGround 1.5 seconds 215 ms View Result
    WP Engine 1.6 seconds 211 ms View Result
    Liquid Web 1.8 seconds 311 ms View Result
    HostGator 2.1 seconds 239 ms View Result
    Amazon EC2 2.4 seconds 900 ms View Result


    Tested From Vancouver, Canada.
    Host Page Load Time
    (lower is better)
    TTFB
    (lower is better)
    Test Result
    Kinsta 1.1 seconds 86 ms View Result
    WPX Hosting 1.3 seconds 89 ms View Result
    HostGator 1.7 seconds 123 ms View Result
    SiteGround 1.8 seconds 364 ms View Result
    WP Engine 2.1 seconds 219 ms View Result
    LiquidWeb 2.2 seconds 261 ms View Result
    Amazon EC2 3.8 seconds 900 ms View Result


    Tested From London, United Kingdom.
    Host Page Load Time
    (lower is better)
    TTFB
    (lower is better)
    Test Result
    WPX Hosting 0.6 seconds 27 ms View Result
    SiteGround 1.5 seconds 495 ms View Result
    WP Engine 1.7 seconds 368 ms View Result
    Kinsta 2.0 seconds 423 ms View Result
    Liquid Web 2.3 seconds 414 ms View Result
    Amazon EC2 3.4 seconds 800 ms View Result
    HostGator 4.0 seconds 371 ms View Result


    Tested From Sydney, Australia.
    Host Page Load Time
    (lower is better)
    TTFB
    (lower is better)
    Test Result
    WPX Hosting 0.8 seconds 21 ms View Result
    Kinsta 2.6 seconds 500 ms View Result
    SiteGround 2.7 seconds 800 ms View Result
    WP Engine 3.2 seconds 800 ms View Result
    Liquid Web 5.3 seconds 900 ms View Result
    HostGator 6.0 seconds 500 ms View Result
    Amazon EC2 6.0 seconds 1500 ms View Result


    Tested From Hong Kong, China.
    Host Page Load Time
    (lower is better)
    TTFB
    (lower is better)
    Test Result
    WPX Hosting 1.5 seconds 700 ms View Result
    Kinsta 2.2 seconds 600 ms View Result
    SiteGround 3.2 seconds 900 ms View Result
    WP Engine 3.4 seconds 900 ms View Result
    HostGator 3.8 seconds 386 ms View Result
    Liquid Web 5.0 seconds 1000 ms View Result
    Amazon EC2 9.0 seconds 1800 ms View Result


    Tested From Sao Paulo, Brazil.
    Host Page Load Time
    (lower is better)
    TTFB
    (lower is better)
    Test Result
    WPX Hosting 1.7 seconds 403 ms View Result
    WP Engine 2.3 seconds 700 ms View Result
    Kinsta 2.5 seconds 600 ms View Result
    SiteGround 3.4 seconds 1000 ms View Result
    Liquid Web 3.7 seconds 600 ms View Result
    HostGator 5.2 seconds 1500 ms View Result
    Amazon EC2 5.7 seconds 1800 ms View Result


    Tested From Mumbai, India.
    Host Page Load Time
    (lower is better)
    TTFB
    (lower is better)
    Test Result
    WPX Hosting 0.9 seconds 130 ms View Result
    SiteGround 3.5 seconds 1100 ms View Result
    Kinsta 3.7 seconds 1100 ms View Result
    WP Engine 3.8 seconds 1000 ms View Result
    Liquid Web 5.5 seconds 1200 ms View Result
    Amazon EC2 5.6 seconds 1400 ms View Result
    HostGator 6.6 seconds 600 ms View Result


    Test #1 Conclusions
     The clear winner here is WPX Hosting. 

    But it’s fair to say that all of the hosts performed within acceptable levels in Canada and North America (except for Amazon EC2).

    It’s only when you start taking a global look at things do you see dramatic differences in the load times.

    But having globally fast loading times is critical in the modern economy.

    Test #2 – Plugin Heavy Site Loading Speed

    A plugin heavy site can cause huge problems when it comes to load times.

    And it’s easy to get carried away!

    This blog has 56 active plugins at the time of writing-

    And plugins can have such a big impact on load time…

    WP Engine maintains a list of plugins that are banned on their platform.

    So for the Blog Type 2 (plugin heavy) installs, I installed 30 popular plugins with no other content whatsoever.

    • Thrive Architect
    • Yoast SEO
    • Smushit
    • Contact Form 7
    • All In One Schema
    • WooCommerce
    • TinyMCE Advanced
    • Really Simple SSL
    • MailChimp for WordPress
    • Insert Headers and Footers

    • Redirection
    • WP Statistics
    • AMP for WordPress
    • Google Analyticator
    • WP Sitemap Page
    • Login LockDown
    • WP-Polls
    • WP Google Fonts
    • Cookie Notice for GDPR
    • Social Media Share Buttons & Icons

    • Quiz & Survey Master
    • PDF Embedder
    • WP Project Manager
    • ManageWP Worker
    • Code Snippets
    • Tablepress
    • PrettyLinks
    • bbPress
    • WordPress Download Manager
    • Business Directory Plugin

    This test is different because we are testing the computing power of the host, rather than the speed of delivering static image files.

    Then I tested each plugin heavy install from 7 global locations & averaged out the results-

    • USA
    • Canada
    • UK
    • Australia
    • China
    • Brazil
    • India
    Tested From Dallas, USA.
    Host Page Load Time
    (lower is better)
    Test Result
    WP Engine 1.2 seconds
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    If you don’t have time to read this post terminate your Majestic account immediately and take out the Ahrefs trial without hesitation.

    Back in 2013, I conducted an experiment to see which is the best backlink checker.

    Long story short, Ahrefs won…

    This really upset the Majestic team at the time and sparked a lot of controversy, but they did make some valid points-

    1. The test was done with 3 of my personal sites I would not disclose
    2. That makes the entire test biased in Majestic’s opinion
    3. The data set was very small with just 3 sites analysed and compared
    4. The results could not be independently verified

    And they were right!

    So then re-conducted the experiment on an altogether BIGGER scale (1 million domains vs. the original 3). Ahrefs won again.

    Now it’s 5 years later.

    So I thought it would make sense to re-run the numbers in 2018 for all 1 million domains AND compare the functionality of the tools.

    And…

    I’m also going to reveal how Majestic essential cheat on backlink counts (you wont believe this one!)

    Ahrefs vs. Majestic SEO – 2018 Update

    Before we get to the experiment, let me talk about my data source.

    For those that don’t know, the Majestic team publish what is called the Majestic Million.

    The Majestic Million is a list of the top 1 million website in the world, based on the number of referring IP’s found for that domain in their Fresh index.

    So with this, Majestic SEO are outright telling us these are the sites they know the most about in terms of backlinks.

    You can download a copy for yourself free of charge and it will tell you the total number of linking subnets (RefSubNets) and the total number of linking IPs (RefIPs) for each domain in the top million.

    To compare Majestic SEO with Ahrefs, I’m going to look up the total number of linking subnets and IP’s for all of the domains in the Majestic Million.

    To give you an example with this blog-

    • Majestic SEO – This report shows 3,533 IP’s & 2,475 subnets
    • Ahrefs – This report shows 3,214 IP’s & 2,438 subnets

    So in that specific instance, Majestic wins the test.

    But:

    Now imagine doing the same – but for 1 million sites.

    That is the test I have done based on what Majestic say are the top 1 million sites in the world in terms of links.

    This is what the CSV data looks like in its raw form-

    And you can download a copy of the data that is used in this test.

    The Results

    Before I get to the results, I need to mention that both Majestic and Ahrefs maintain multiple indexes.

    Majestic have two indexes: Fresh and Historic indexes.

    Ahrefs have three: Live, Recent, and Historical.

    You can learn more about these indexes here.

    But for the sake of this article, I’ll be comparing the following indexes:

    1. Majestic’s Fresh index vs. Ahrefs’ Recent index
    2. Majestic’s Historic index vs. Ahrefs’ Historical index
    Majestic Fresh Versus Ahrefs Recent Index

    Let’s start with a comparison of the Fresh vs. Recent index.

    With such a huge amount of data, I decided to split the results into 10 groups of 100,000 URLs (by Majestic GlobalRank) and then compare those groups.

    This is what the group numbers look like (refer to by_groups.csv in the data pack)–

    GlobalRank Ahrefs Wins (IP) Majestic Wins (IP) Ahrefs Wins (Subnet) Majestic Wins (Subnet)
    1-100,000 85,228 14,762 86,095 13,896
    100,001-200,000 69,953 30,029 72,114 27,860
    200,001-300,000 74,074 25,902 77,035 22,928
    300,001-400,000 78,264 21,709 82,075 17,904
    400,001-500,000 74,708 25,264 79,389 20,582
    500,001-600,000 66,252 33,710 71,124 28,846
    600,001-700,000 75,530 24,427 81,426 18,512
    700,001-800,000 76,733 23,221 81,346 18,583
    800,001-900,000 79,243 20,705 85,624 14,279
    900,001-1,000,000 79,261 20,687 85,696 14,187

    Just looks like a bunch of meaningless numbers right?

    What about now-

    Wins By IP Address (Majestic Fresh vs. Ahrefs Recent)

    Wins By Subnets (Majestic Fresh vs. Ahrefs Recent)

    Pretty brutal to look at if you are a current Majestic SEO customer right?

    Now might be the right time to switch to Ahrefs – click here to claim a 7-day trial account.

    But before you do let’s look at the totals-

    Total Wins – Majestic Fresh vs Ahrefs Recent

    It’s worth noting that Ahrefs has actually pulled even further ahead of Majestic (by ~7% for IP wins, and ~11% for subnet wins) since 2013. Which is when I first ran this experiment.

    So those are the results of the Majestic Fresh vs. Ahrefs Recent index comparison, but what about Majestic’s Historic vs. Ahrefs’ Historical?

    Majestic Historic Versus Ahrefs Historical Index

    This test is particulary interesting because-

    Well:

    It presents an altogether different story.

    GlobalRank Ahrefs Wins (IP) Majestic Wins (IP) Ahrefs Wins (Subnet) Majestic Wins (Subnet)
    1-100,000 15,424 84,555 14,789 85,187
    100,001-200,000 20,320 79,606 19,873 80,047
    200,001-300,000 18,081 81,855 17,613 82,309
    300,001-400,000 13,645 86,317 13,177 86,770
    400,001-500,000 11,990 87,976 11,675 88,275
    500,001-600,000 9,186 90,778 8,973 90,976
    600,001-700,000 11,219 88,674 11,003 88,870
    700,001-800,000 11,167 88,627 9,120 90,819
    800,001-900,000 10,515 89,433 9,857 90,036
    900,001-1,000,000 10,796 89,139 10,346 89,580

    I think the results become super clear when displayed in graph format:

    Wins By IP Address (Majestic Historical vs. Ahrefs Historical)

    Wins By Subnets (Majestic Historical vs. Ahrefs Historical)

    Based on this data, Majestic absolutely crush Ahrefs when it comes to the historical index test.

    This is event more apparent if we look at the totals-

    So, Majestic clearly wins the historic index comparison.

    But what does this really mean?

    Well, historic indexes serve as records of the backlinks that have existed in their respective tools index at some point in the past, but aren’t live today.

    When you take this into account, it comes as no surprise that Majestic won this test.

    They’ve been saving (probably) links to their Historic index since they launched in 2009.

    Ahrefs, on the other hand, has only been saving dead links to their Historical index since 2015, so Majestic has a 6 year head start here!

    Bottomline: Majestic has a larger index of dead links than Ahrefs.

    That’s all I’m going to say about that one.

    I’ll let you decide which index is more important to you.

    A Few Potential Flaws with this Experiment

    My methodology for this experiment is far from perfect.

    So I thought I’d briefly explain what I see as some potential flaws with this data.

    Flaw #1 – “Wins” != Absolute Numbers

    The graphs above show the number of “wins” rather than absolute numbers.

    Because of this, the difference between the bars on the graphs is not really indicative of index size.

    I’ll try to illustrate what I mean with an example:

    Let’s say we have two sites:

    • Site A: 100 Ref.IPs (reported in Majestic); 101 Ref.IPs (reported in Ahrefs)
    • Site B: 100 Ref.IPs (reported in Majestic); 200000 Ref.IPs (reported in Ahrefs)

    (Yes, it’s an extreme example, but bare with me!)

    Ahrefs “wins” for both of these sites, but it’s clear that there’s a much larger difference between reported numbers from each tool for Site B.

    With Site A, Ahrefs only wins because they report one extra Ref.IP.

    This means that the “number of wins” doesn’t give any insight into how much bigger one database is than the other.

    So what does “number of wins” tell us?

    It tells us that Ahrefs finds more links for any given website than Majestic, and that it’s rare for Majestic to show links than Ahrefs (links = IPs/Subnets).

    FYI, if you’re wondering why I chose to compare IPs/Subnets over links, check out this article co-authored by Dixon Jones from Majestic.

    Flaw #2 – Each Tool Picks Up Different Links

    It’s important to remember that we’re dealing with two totally different indexes here.

    Which means that some links that Majestic reports may not exist in Ahrefs’ Index, and vice-versa.

    Once again, let me offer an example.

    This time we only need one hypothetical site, for which we’ll assume that both Ahrefs and Majestic report the same number of links: 3.

    Here are the three hypothetical links reported by each tool:

    Ahrefs Majestic
    domain.com/webpage domain.com/webpage
    domain.com/webpage2 domain.com/webpage2
    anotherdomain.com/webpage someotherdomain.com/blog

    Do you see my point?

    Just because we have the same number of reported links from each tool doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the same links.

    You can see in our hypothetical example that only two of the links are common to both indexes.

    This brings me on to an important point:

    If you desperately need a full picture of your link profile, you’ll have to pay for both tools and cross-reference data.

    BUT!

    And this is a BIG BUT!

    Even if you do that you need to understand that Majestic’s backlink stats are almost always inflated.

    Why?

    Because of the absolutely absurd way Majestic count and report backlinks.

    I am going to talk about that more in the next section, but seriously – make sure you are sitting down for this one because I am going to show you how Majestic essentially cheats on backlink counts.

    Ahrefs VS Majestic: Comparing Features & Functionality

    Now we’ve talked about backlink data and whatnot, I want to make an important point:

    Majestic and Ahrefs are VERY different tools.

    Ahrefs Vs Majestic: Which Is The Best Backlink Checker? [2018 Update] - YouTube

    Majestic is essentially one tool: a backlink checker.

    But Ahrefs is a suite of tools. Alongside Site Explorer (for checking backlink data), they also have:

    Another big differentiator is the addition of “Competitive intelligence” in Ahrefs, which is basically search traffic data.

    In other words, you can see how much traffic any domain or website receives from Google, and the keywords it ranks for.

    See my full review of Ahrefs here.

    How Majestic Cheat On Backlink Counts

    But let’s get back to backlink data for a moment…

    It’s important to realise that index size means nothing unless you’re able to extract actionable data and insights from it.

    Both Majestic and Ahrefs do have an API for doing this at scale (this is what I used for this study), but most of us don’t pay for access to that.

    So, let’s quickly compare the on-site backlink research features that exist in Ahrefs and Majestic.

    Let’s start by plugging this same URL (the beginners guide to SEO from Moz) into both tools to see what kind of insights we can get from them.

    NOTE. I’m using the “exact URL” setting, because I only want to analyze backlinks pointing directly at that URL.

    A few comparable metrics right off the bat:

    • Backlinks: 628,437 (Majestic) vs. 111,000 (Ahrefs)
    • Referring domains: 1,840 (Majestic) vs. 11,300 (Ahrefs)

    So Majestic reports more backlinks in total, but Ahrefs reports (a lot) more referring domains.

    That’s a win for Majestic, right?

    Not so fast.

    (This is something I really feel the need to highlight!)

    Majestic’s backlink stats are almost always inflated because of the absolutely absurd way they report backlinks.

    Let me illustrate by going to the Referring Domains tab in Majestic.

    Majestic is reporting 370K+ backlinks from just one referring domain.

    That accounts for nearly 60% of all reported backlinks!

    Let’s see how many backlinks Ahrefs reports from this domain-

    Just 4!

    So why does Majestic report 373,004 backlinks from that domain while Ahrefs only reports 4?

    This happens because Majestic fail to strip URL parameters from URLs, which results in the same backlink being duplicated hundreds, sometimes even thousands of times.

    This also happens when you export the data from Majestic.

    Take a look at this backlink export from my blog and you’ll see that digitalphillipines.net is linking to me nearly 700,000 times-

    But when we export the data and look at the links, you’ll see they are mostly duplicate links with different UTM parameters on the end-

    For example Majestic counts the below as 4 separate backlinks-

    1. domain.com/page/
    2. domain.com/page/?utm_source=twitter
    3. domain.com/page/?utm_source=facebook
    4. domain.com/page/?utm_source=pinterest

    But the reality is they are just one backlink – but Majestic is reporting them as 4.

    In my opinion, this is total madness.

    Especially when the vast majority of the 700,000 links coming from digitalphillipines.net are duplicates.

    Ahref’s on the other hand, only counts 17 links-

    Why?

    Because Ahrefs understands that those additional URL parameters do not make them all unique links so filter them out accordingly.

    Here’s Another Mad Thing!

    If you go from the Summary page in Majestic to their Ref.Domains and Backlinks reports, you’ll notice that the total numbers of ref.domains and backlinks that you just saw on that “Summary” page now completely disappear.

    That’s because these reports are limited to 30k rows of data – 600 pages, 50 results per page.

    This makes every report in Majestic somewhat useless because you can only see a sample of the data!

    Sure you can view the first 30,000 rows – but after that, they cut you off.

    That is a huge limitation and I feel like it really goes against the grain of Majestic’s core mission.

    What’s the point of building a huge database of links if you are going to limit access to it?

    It’s the same when you try to export this data too – it defaults to a max of 30K rows.

    However you can export more than 30k rows if you request an “advanced report” by clicking the tiny link highlighted in the screenshot below:

    But even when you click this, you’re taken to quite a puzzling page where you seemingly have to tick a bunch of boxes in order to do what you want to do.

    So bottomline-

    • You can export more than 30K rows from Majestic – it’s just not a fun experience
    • All of Majestics reports are useless if you are working on a site that has more than 30,000 backlinks
    • And thats assuming the backlink numbers arent inflated, it could have 4 links but Majestic counts 370K+

    In comparison, Ahrefs shows full data in both their Ref.Domains and Backlinks reports.

    And exporting FULL DATA is super easy – just hit the “export” button.

    Much nicer!

    However, one downside of this is that reports sometimes load slower in Ahrefs than Majestic, especially when analysing big sites.

    This is because Ahrefs has to work to pull all data, whereas Majestic just has to show a cached sample of 30K pages/ref.domains.

    To be honest:

    Any further comparison here makes no sense because Majestic’s on-site tools only works with a sample of data whereas Ahrefs lets you work with FULL data.

    However, I do want to compare and highlight a few things in these reports.

    But first, I want to talk a bit about..

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    A lot of SEO tools & internet marketing software can be quite expensive if you’re just starting out. But if you’re ultra-resourceful then you can take advantage of the best free SEO tools and trials that are available.

    You can get everything from free email marketing services all the way through to free SEO software.

    So I’ve decided to compile a list of all of the best free SEO tools and software in one place for your convenience!

    Getting The Most Out Of Free SEO Tools & Software

    If you are considering taking out any of the free SEO software below then you’ll want to make sure you squeeze the most out of the trial as possible.

    So before you start any trial, take time to familiarise yourself with the service/software via tutorials on YouTube or from forum discussions etc.

    If it is a link building software trial for example you should watch tutorials so you know how to use it before you start the trial.

    You should also plan out your campaign and prepare all of the content you will need so you can make sure 100% of the trial period is spent building links and not figuring things out.

    If you are smart about it you can make a list of all of the trials and design your own full scale marketing campaign around that. Prepare everything you need and sign up to each service as you work through your campaign/plan of attack.

    You should never use a tool just for the sake of using a tool – always make sure the tool fits in with your plan of attack, don’t make your plan of attack fit the tool.

    The Best Free SEO Software & Tools

    I have highlighted all of the best free SEO tools and trials at the top of this list.

    I have also split them all into different categories to help you find the what you need quickly-

    Tiered Link Building On A Budget

    Using the free SEO tools & software below you can setup, track and monitor a tier link building campaign.

    Remember the advice above about getting the most out of any of the trials!

    Market Samurai (Full 14 Day Trial) – The keyword research and SEO competition modules of Market Samurai are some of the best in the business and this is solely what I use the software for.

    GSA Search Engine Ranker (Full 5 Day Trial) – This has quickly become the swiss army knife of link building targeting over 120 platforms at the time of writing. Perfect for automating your tier 2 and 3 links! See it in action here & this blackhat SEO case study.

    Link Emperor ($50 links for $7) – Link Emperor is a great web based service to build backlinks easily including private blog network posts & tiers. It has been featured in this tutorial, this one & this one.

    DripRevolution (7 Day Trial) – A great service for building a range of social signals to your site at your schedule. They integrate with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+. YouTube & more! Featured in this tutorial.

    SEO Powersuite (Free Version) – Get free versions of RankTracker, Website Auditor, SEO Spyglass and Link Assistant. Each tool is an industry leader in its own right and I have relied on this suite of tools for years. Check out my full SEO Powersuite review.

    SENuke XCR (Full 14 Day Trial) – SENuke XCR is a very diverse link building tool and is great for creating tier 1 links. It is quite expensive on a monthly basis though but the full 14 day free trial is great. Check out my SENuke XCR review.

    Competitor Analysis

    Ahrefs (Free Version) – They have the largest database of backlinks which you can use to conduct audits of your competitors link profiles to steal their best links. You can also use the data to conduct an analysis on your own backlink profile. You can read my case study here to learn more about Ahrefs.

    SEMRush (Free Version) – This tool is really unique in the data it provides, even for free! You can learn your/your competitors top keywords, how much traffic they get, who their competitors are in search and much more! Be sure to check it out, you can use it for stealing customers.

    WebMeUp (Free Version) – The free account at WebMeUp will let you take a look at the backlink profile of your site or your competitors. It doesn’t have the largest database of links compared to Ahrefs – but it does have a different database that is worth checking out! See how it performed here.

    Content Creation

    WordAI (3 Day Trial) – These guys are the new kids on the block but claim to be able to automatically spin content without making it sound like garbage. Big claims but the trial is worth it!

    TheBestSpinner (Full 7 Day Trial / $7) – It really is the best spinner and I have used it personally for the past few years on a nearly daily basis. The API is used in a lot of other link building tools. Check out my The Best Spinner tutorial to see it in action.

    Spin Rewriter (5 Day Trial) – Another piece of spinning software for you to consider. Spin Rewriter has a range of features and comes with a fully functioning 5 day trial.

    Spinner Chief (Free Version) – A close rival to TheBestSpinner but it feels clunky in comparison. Either way they have a completely free version of the software for you to enjoy!

    Email Marketing

    Aweber (Full 30 Day Trial / $1) – I use Aweber right here on this blog and have done so for the past few years across all of my sites. It takes the pain out of email marketing and makes staying in touch with you guys easy!

    GetResponse (Full 30 Day Trial) – The rival of Aweber, GetResponse offers a similar feature set. It really is just a matter of personal preference between the two of them!

    Hosting

    Cloud Flare (Free) – The free Cloud Flare CDN service which help to speed up your sites load time which Google takes into consideration. It also provides added security & protection from bots/spam.

    Uptime Robot (Free) – Use this to monitor your websites uptime and get instant notifications if your site goes down for any reason. Use this in combination with the free Pingdom Tools account & monitor.

    Keyword Research

    Market Samurai (Full 14 Day Trial) – The keyword research and SEO competition modules of Market Samurai are some of the best in the business and this is solely what I use the software for.

    Long Tail Pro (Full 10 Day Trial) – A great tool for finding profitable keywords quickly. You can also use the tool to measure the competitiveness of the search results. Featured in this tutorial to find your niche.

    Keyword Researcher (Free Trial) – This is great for generating keyword ideas and is fantastic for coming up with Google Alerts to monitor. It doesn’t pull in any search volume numbers though.

    Link Building

    RankCracker (Free) – My personal free SEO software that is truly 100% free. It will show you the quickest and easiest way to replicate your competitors backlink profile & rankings.

    GSA Search Engine Ranker (Full 5 Day Trial) – This has quickly become the Swiss army knife of link building targeting over 120 platforms at the time of writing. Perfect for automating your tier 2 and 3 links! See it in action here & this case study.

    Link Emperor ($50 links for $7) – Link Emperor is a great web based service to build backlinks easily including private blog network posts & tiers. It has been featured in this tutorial, this one & this one.

    RankWyz (30 Day Trial) – Create & manage private blog networks easily with RankWyz. It offers a full range of tools to help you manage everything and publish updates easily.

    Inspyder Backlink Monitor (Free Version) – The ultimate tool for monitoring your backlinks. Very easy to use and will automatically sort out all of your tiers for you. Check out my full review.

    SEO SpyGlass (Free Version) – Use this to discover your competitors backlinks and breakdown key metrics such as anchor text usage. You can also use it to monitor your own sites backlink profile. Part of this review.

    Link Assistant (Free Version) – This is part of the SEO Powersuite set of tools and is great for prospecting link partners. However I have hacked it a bit and use it to manage my guest posting strategy.

    SENuke XCR (Full 14 Day Trial) – SENuke XCR is a very diverse link building tool and is great for creating tier 1 links. It is quite expensive on a monthly basis though but the full 14 day free trial is great. Check out my SENuke XCR review.

    Magic Submitter (Full 30 Day Trial / $4.95) – This is really the main rival to SENuke XCR and offers very similar features. It can post everything from videos to press releases and is very diverse. However the user interface is a bit tricky to get to grips with at first.

    On Site SEO

    Raven Tools (30 Day Trial) – Providing a full suite of tools the SEO module will spider your site & provide a detailed audit of problems. It has a range of features across SEO, social, content, PPC & more.

    Website Auditor (Free Version) – Part of SEO Powersuite, you can use Website Auditor to spider your site and report any issues it finds. Part of this review.

    Xenu Link Sleuth (Free) – A simple easy to use tool to spider your entire website and uncover potential problems like broken links. This is a great free tool!

    Microsoft SEO Toolkit (Free) – Finally Microsoft have made a useful product! The free SEO tools will spider your site and report back on any issues.

    Pingdom Tools (Free) – Test your sites speed from 3 locations with Pingdom Tools. If you sign up for a free account you can also use it as an uptime monitor.

    WebPageTest (Free) – This site is detected to testing your websites load time from a huge choice of browsers & locations from around the world. It provides a huge range of data to help you increase website speed.

    Rank Tracking

    Rank Tracker (Free Version) – Part of SEO Powersuite this is the best rank tracking solution period. Unlike web based services this desktop application means you own the data and you can track an unlimited amount of keywords as well as your competitors. Part of this review.

    SerpBook (14 Day Trial) – Monitor the rankings of all your keywords in the cloud. SerpBook will check the results for you 12 times per day along with other metrics like PR, Alexa rankings & full reports.

    CuteRank (free version) – A desktop piece of software that allow you to monitor and check your rankings easily. There is even a version available for Apple Mac users!

    SEO Multi Tools

    These tools have a wide range of functions and don’t really fit in one category.

    Market Samurai (Full 14 Day Trial) – My tool of choice for keyword and competition research but it also includes a rank tracker, domain finder, content finder, content publishing and link finder.

    SEO Powersuite (Free Version) – Get free versions of RankTracker, Website Auditor, SEO Spyglass and Link Assistant. Each tool is an industry leader in its own right and I have relied on this suite of tools for years. Check out my full review.

    Raven Tools (30 Day Trial) – Providing a full suite of tools the SEO module will spider your site & provide a detailed audit of problems. It has a range of features across SEO, social, content, PPC & more.

    SEO Tools For Excel (Free) – A great plugin for Excel that allows you to retrieve a range of SEO data & metrics. It can even hook up to Analytics to create powerful Excel dashboards making it some of the best free SEO software in my opinion.

    SEO Spyder (Free version) – Built specifically for Mac users the software will spider your website and come back with a list of errors/suggestions of things for you to fix.

    Social Media

    BuzzBundle (Free Version) – Made by the same team behind SEO Powersuite, BuzzBundle makes it easier to identify & engage with your target audience online. I have grown traffic to this blog by manually doing a lot of what BuzzBundle can help to automate – read my full review here.

    SociSynd ($1 Trial) – Not free, but close enough! The SociSynd system helps you drip feed social signals to any URL’s you want. This includes Facebook likes, Pinterest pins, Twitter shares & more!

    DripRevolution (7 Day Trial) – A great service for building a range of social signals to your site at your schedule. They integrate with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+. YouTube & more! Featured in this tutorial.

    HootSuite (Free Version) – This is my preferred tool for managing Twitter, Facebook and Google+. You can monitor a number of search terms as well as schedule updates to go out.

    TweetDeck (Free Version) – Now owned by Twitter this is a great desktop client to manage your Twitter account.

    Buffer (Free) – Connect your social accounts to Buffer and you can easily share/queue/schedule content to be published to them. Whether that’s sharing your new post with the browser extension or clicking a Buffer button on someones site.

    TubeTool Box (Free Trial) – A desktop application to manage your YouTube account. You can do things like bulk follow/comment/message people to grow your audience & reach on YouTube. It is great to help you get YouTube subscribers.

    WordPress

    SumoMe (Free) – This suite of growth hacking tools helps increase traffic, email sign ups, conversions and much more. Take a look at my SumoMe Welcome Mat review for more.

    Social Locker (Free Version) – This is the Social Locker I use on the blog to encourage social sharing. While I run the premium version you can get the free version right here!

    WP Social SEO Pro (Free Version) – Previously known as Social SEO Booster I use the premium version on this which was featured in this post. There is a free version available here.

    S2 Member (Free Version) – A very powerful membership plugin for WordPress, S2 Member is easy to use and was featured in this tutorial. The free version is feature rich!

    WPRobot (Free Version) – This is widely regarded as the best auto blogging solution for WordPress. It can pull content from a ridiculous number of sources and when setup correctly can produce some high quality auto blogs. Perfect for tier 1 links ;)

    Thirsty Affiliates (Free) – The tool I use to cloak and manage all of my affiliate links on the blog. Easy..

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    One of the most overlooked ranking factors in Google is your bounce rate.

    That’s because bounce rate doesnt have a direct impact on SEO.

    BUT!

    It does have a huge impact on lots of metrics that DO have a direct impact on your rankings.

    In fact you are losing out on traffic every single day that you are ignoring your bounce rate.

    I will explain more about that later, but first let me tell you…

    What You Will Learn
    • Why bounce rate is important for SEO
    • What bounce rate really is (it’s not exit rate)
    • How to increase traffic by lowering your bounce rate
    • 7 ways lower your bounce rate right now
    What Is Bounce Rate?

    Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who come to your website and leave without viewing any other pages on your website.

    For example, if one of your pages has a bounce rate of 75%, it means that 75% of the people who come to that page leave after only viewing the page on which they entered.

    It doesn’t matter if they spend 20 seconds or 20 minutes; if they leave without visiting any other page on your site, it’s considered a bounced visit.

    If your site only has a limited amount of pages and few internal links, your bounce rate will naturally be high.

    Think about it.

    Where can people go?

    On the other hand, if your page has more than a dozen pages, and particularly if they have good content, good design, and good internal linking—you will have a lower bounce rate.

    To find your bounce rate, go to your Google Analytics account and on the left sidebar, click on Audience > Overview:

    There — you will see your average bounce rate.

    Note: This blogs bounce rate is 75.87%

    This bounce rate isn’t representative of your real bounce rate because it includes the behavior of the new users and the returning ones.

    That’s why you need to segment it by audience to get a true look at things.

    In the left sidebar, click on Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.

    Then, in the top bar, click on the “+Add Segment” button.

    In the list of available segments, scroll down until you find the “New Users” segment and click on the “Apply” button.

    The “New User” segment will only show you the bounce rate of the people who have never visited your site before.

    In the All Pages report that you accessed before, you will be able to see how the bounce rate of your new visitors compares to the returning ones.

    Bounce Rate Isn’t The Same As Exit Rate

    Some people confuse bounce rate with exit rate. They may seem similar, but the truth is that they are different metrics.

    Exit rate is the percentage of visits who actively click away to a different site from a specific page, whereas bounce rate is the percentage of visits that were the only one of the session.

    In other words, the exit rate represents the visitors who exited on a specific page, after possibly having visited other pages on your site.

    Bounce rate, on the other hand, records when a user exits directly from the page they entered.

    Therefore, all bounces are exits, but not all exits are bounces.

    How Bounce Rate Affects Your Rankings

    Bounce rate has never been considered an important metric SEO-wise.

    Sure it was nice to improve the user experience and there are many reasons to do that, but it had no impact on the way a site ranked in the search engines.

    But all of that has changed.

    One way bounce rate can negatively impact your rankings is when a user visits your site, clicks back to the search results, and clicks on a competitor’s result.

    That’s called pogo sticking and is essentially a Bounce.

    When that happens, the user is saying your site isn’t as good as your competitor’s one – and Google is tracking that!

    A high bounce rate means you also likely have a high pogo sticking rate and that is casting negative votes against your rankings every day.

    Not only that but a high bounce rate is often a symptom of weakness in other SEO factors-

    1. Low engagement
    2. Slow speed
    3. Bad mobile optimization
    4. Bad keyword matching
    5. Bad design
    6. Bad internal linking
    7. Bad content

    If you improve each of these aspects of your site, you will make your website more relevant and therefore, better suited to rank while taking care of the pogo sticking issue at the same time.

    So let me show you just how easy it is to lower your bounce rate right now-

    How To Lower Your Bounce Rate (And Increase Your Rankings)

    If your site has many different pages, like blog posts, landing pages and an about us page — you can expect a wide range of bounce rates.

    That’s why you need to take a look at the bounce rate of each individual page to see which one has the highest bounce rate right now.

    You should focus on fixing the pages with the highest bounce rate and most traffic before anything else.

    Here’s how you do it.

    Step #1 – Finding The Pages With The Highest Bounce Rate

    First off, go to Google Analytics, and click on Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.

    Here you will see the pages on your website that have received the most pageviews and their bounce rates.

    Sort the bounce rate by clicking on that column to see pages with the highest to lowest bounce rate at the top-

    One problem with this report is that you will get pages with little to no traffic.

    You want to ignore those pages with next to no traffic and focus on the ones that have at least a certain amount of traffic.

    To filter those low-traffic pages, click on “Advanced.”

    In the menu, click on the “Page” dimension, and scroll down to the “Site Usage” section.

    Then click on the “Pageviews” filter.

    Make sure the filter says “Greater than” and then define the minimum amount of pageviews you want to filter this report with.

    Click on “Apply” and you will get a list of all the pages with the highest bounce rate AND more than 100 pageviews-

    This report helps you see what pages you need to focus your efforts on.

    Step #2 – Find The Parts That People Don’t Like Or Understand

    You may think your website is simple to understand, but your readers may disagree.

    Instead of guessing what people do on your site, you can use heatmaps to find the specific user behaviors that show you the parts people look at, scroll to, and click-through.

    With the information from heatmaps, you can determine the best layout & content placement for your site.

    For example, the following heatmap shows how the visitors of this site behave-

    With this heatmap, we can see the visitors scrolled in the article’s title, in the badges at the top, and in the menu bar, particularly the “Post Categories” section.

    Some others seem to click on the bottom right, probably to click on the scroll bar.

    With the information from this heatmap analysis, I could optimize my site by testing-

    • A larger top menu bar
    • Adding/removing calls to action on the menu bar
    • Adding a link to the award images (or placing a call to action near them)
    • Remove the about me box in the sidebar and replace it with a call to action (takes lots of space, gets zero attention)

    You can use a heatmap to find things like:

    • The sections that people most look and most ignore, so you can make things more/less prominent
    • The buttons people see but ignore
    • Which page elements attract peoples attention

    You should use the data from the heatmaps to carry out A/B tests and improve your pages.

    A tool I recommend is Inspectlet, which not only gives you access to heatmaps, but also to session recordings, and form analytics, among other things.

    Here is a handy coupon for you.

    Step #3 – Make Your Pages Match Your Desired Keyword Or Message

    The best way of lowering your bounce rate is by improving the engagement on your pages.

    One reason why your pages have low engagement may be due to the fact your visitors don’t get what they want—or expect to get—based on the information shown in the Google results.

    For example, if you’re running an ad on Google Adwords that leads to a page with high bounce rate (and low conversion rate as well), it may be that the ad promises something that the visitors don’t get.

    The same applies to someone who reaches your site through an organic search result, email or social media.

    It’s important that your content matches the intent of the keyword.

    In the example below, you can see the results for the keyword “how do you start a blog post”

    But none of the ads have anything to do with my search.

    They are all about starting a blog, not writing a blog post.

    I clicked on the third result, and here’s the landing page they offer:

    Weebly is one of the largest website builders, yet in this case, their ad is completely irrelevant to what I was looking for, which is blog post writing tips.

    How do you think this affects their bounce rate?

    Make sure your title tags and meta descriptions paint an honest picture of what your pages are about. As the saying goes, underpromise and overdeliver.

    Step #4 – Improve Internal Linking

    I have already shown you how implementing the right internal linking strategy will improve rankings.

    But besides the direct SEO benefits, internal linking allows people to visit more pages on your site, thus lowering your bounce rate.

    The goal of your internal links should be to invite people to look further on your site.

    Your internal links can be contextual (i.e., those that show up in a sentence), or separated from your content, like the ones shown at the bottom of this article.

    For example, here’s one contextual link taken from the internal linking article:

    And here’s an example of three non-contextual internal links:

    If you have a blog or a niche site, you can add “Related articles” at the end of your content like I do on the blog using this plugin.

    When linking contextually, think about other pages that people could be interested in.

    If you have an e-commerce store, think about adding a “Related products” at the end of your product pages. Actually if you have an ecommerce store you should implement my 7 day ecommerce SEO strategy.

    Look at how Asos uses three different types of related product recommendations-

    1. One for shopping the whole look (which adds more relevance to the recommendations)
    2. One that’s based on your preferences
    3. One based on recently viewed products

    If your design includes a sidebar, like the case of The Next Web, then include links that everyone should read.

    For example, if you have one article you know that has high engagement or a high conversion rate, make sure to add it.

    I do this with the Super Post plugin on the blog but you’ll notice my blog posts don’t have a sidebar – just my home page, archive pages and static pages do.

    Step #5 – Optimize Your Site For Mobile

    As I showed you in my recent post about Googles new SEO starter guide, mobile organic traffic has accounted for 50.3% of all web traffic generated worldwide.

    If someone visits your site from a phone and it’s not mobile optimized, they will have a horrible experience which will lead to a bounce or negative pogo stick signal.

    Most WordPress themes (including my Authority theme) are responsive and mobile-friendly.

    But I highly suggest you browse your site on both a smartphone and a tablet to see how it looks.

    A recent study by ConversionXL showed that when Bullymax optimized their site for mobile, they got a purchase conversion rate uplift of 24.5%-

    What’s more, They also saw an increase in their search engine traffic after making their site mobile-friendly-

    So pull out your phone or tablet and check your mobile experience right now.

    You will be surprised at what gets through the cracks!

    Step #6 – Make Your Content Easy To Read

    One of the biggest contributors to a high bounce rate is badly written content.

    But what is badly written content?

    It’s not really got anything to do with grammar or spelling mistakes but it’s more about how that content engages people.

    Does the content match the intent of the keyword? And if it does – does the content engage people enough for them to click through to other parts of your site?

    For that to happen you need to make sure your content is easy to read and draws people in.

    If you have read my content for some time, you know that all my paragraphs are short, easy to read, and clearly written.

    You can do that by doing things like-

    • Adding sub headings
    • Adding images
    • Making text bold/italic/underlined
    • Adding bullet pointed lists (like this one)
    • Breaking your content down into smaller pieces

    And contrary to popular SEO advice:

    Once I finish writing an article, during the editing process I try to reduce the word count as much as possible while adding value at the same time.

    You can find an analysis of your writing by checking the results Yoast SEO gives you at bottom of your posts.

    You don’t need to achieve the perfect score here (I never do) but you wants to try and get a green light on the majority of points.

    While the plugin says there are two problems in my article, what matters isn’t to get a perfect score, but to get the majority of the points in green.

    You could also take advantage of some of these SEO copywriting techniques to help keep people hooked!

    Just take a look at how Steve Kamb of NerdFitness writes the intro in this article:

    It’s emotional, it’s appealing, and it creates suspense on how to achieve the same results as the subject of the article.

    There are more techniques you can use in your intros, including the Agree-Promise-Preview (APP) Model and The Bridge Model.

    Whatever technique you use, having a catchy intro is a great way of sucking people into your site.

    Step #7 – Make Your Site Faster

    If your site is slow, people will bounce. Fact.

    Not only that but it’s costing you more money than you realise.

    Decreasing my site’s load speed time by 3.156 seconds allowed me to earn $30,587 in just 6 hours.

    To increase your page speed, run your website through GTMetrix.

    GTMetrix will give you a breakdown of your page, its loading time, and the problems it encountered loading it.

    The best part is that if you click on each problem, you will get a specific analysis of the files it had problems loading.

    If you need help improving your site speed, first you should also use a plugin like W3 Total Cache, which allows you to optimise your site’s page speed in a few minutes without spending a penny.

    You can turbo charge that even further by using a Content Delivery Network like MaxCDN.

    And if you are really serious about increasing your site speed (you should be) then use a good host like WPXhosting or Kinsta (who host this blog), which will have a huge impact on your site speed.

    Step #8 – Add Clear Call To Actions

    You can have a beautifully-designed page, but if it doesn’t have a clear call-to-action (CTA) you will be doing damage to your bounce rate.

    Every page on your site should have a specific goal in mind, for example-

    • A homepage that leads to a sign up trial, a lead magnet download, or a piece of content
    • A blog post that provides a lead magnet or content upgrade
    • An about us page that leads to a page where you show case studies from other clients

    I visited the homepage of my favorite backlink checker on the planet, Ahrefs

    Not only is the title and description fantastic but the CTA is above-the-fold, it contrasts with the rest of the page and offers a clear benefit at a low price.

    Obviously people are going to click through at a high rate because its both highly relevant and the most obvious thing to do on the page.

    Make sure all your pages and posts have at least one CTA, even if you find it hard to find one that’s relevant – adding something is better than nothing.

    It’s easy to imagine that a product page has a “Add to bag” button, like the case of Asos.

    Your “About us” page should lead to a contact form for your services, a popular and profitable piece of content or a category page with your most widely shopped products.

    Your blog posts should lead to your content upgrades or lead magnets backed up with an email marketing strategy

    All of these things will not only lower your bounce rate, but increase your conversions and profits as well.

    Wrapping It Up

    So now you know how to lower your bounce rate, what are you waiting for?

    Because you are literally losing traffic and profits every single day that you are not optimising your bounce rate.

    Here are 4 quick ways you can get started today:

    1. Use Google Analytics to find which pages have the highest bounce rate that alsorecieve a large % of your sites..
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    Ecommerce SEO doesnt have to be hard work. So in this tutorial I am going to teach you how to increase traffic to your ecommerce with my personal ecommerce SEO process. It doesn’t get any easier than this!

    The Ultimate Guide to Ecommerce SEO was originally published on Matthew Woodward

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