How to find link opportunities using the Snowball Method
Building quality links takes time and patience. However, it can be difficult to find the right link opportunities for your business if your product/service is in a less popular niche. You might find yourself in a situation where you run out of link prospects very fast. Let’s face it, that’s the worst feeling ever. The best way to increase your chances of success is to always have a pipeline of link opportunities. What’s the secret to never running out of link opportunities?
The answer is simple: The Snowball Method
In this post, we’ll take you through The Snowball Method. This method will make it super easy for you to find an infinite amount of link prospects in a matter of seconds. Let’s dive right in!
What is the Snowball Method?
The Snowball Method is a link prospecting strategy on steroids that will help you find link opportunities for your business. How did it come about? Well, in 2022 while working on a particularly tricky link-building campaign, we found ourselves at a dead end. It was hard for us to find link opportunities because our client wanted to build links in a niche that wasn’t very popular. We had no other option but to be creative with our approach. With this approach, we were able to secure their links on high authority sites with DR 90+ and page traffic of over 1,000 visits per month.
Let’s be honest, finding link opportunities is easy when you’re in a popular niche such as marketing or sales. For example, if you’re looking to build links to a page about web hosting it’s not a niche that’s covered a lot, so you’ll run out of potential link prospects fast. You might find link prospects through listicles such as “Top 10 Best Web Hosting Providers 2023” which are a great starting point for link building but you will run out of these opportunities due to the nature of the niche.
The Snowball Method consists of three simple steps.
Step 1: Identify Shoulder Niches
With the Snowball Method, you need to identify shoulder niches in the industry you are in. This will increase your chances of finding link prospects.
What does that mean?
If you’re looking to build links to a page about SSL encryption, for example, your shoulder niches could be sites that talk about:
How to start a business
How to sell online
How to make more money online
Well if you want to start a business you have to have an online presence. Customers need to be able to find you online, so having a website is crucial. To sell your products/services online safely you will need SSL encryption. SSL protects online transactions and ensures that sensitive data is encrypted and transmitted securely. Jackpot…here lie your link opportunities!
Let’s explore another example…
If you want to build links to a page about web hosting your shoulder niches could be sites that talk about:
How to start a blog
How to create a brand
Again all of these examples require a web hosting solution. You can’t publish a blog if you don’t have a web hosting provider. As with affiliate marketing, if you want to earn a commission by promoting a product or service, you need a place for people to find your links long-term, and having your website will boost your brand even further.
Always try to make your product/service as relevant as possible to the content already on the page. By doing this, you won’t need to go back and forth with the other person to find a suitable place for your link.
So how do you find these sites?
Go to Ahrefs > Keyword Explorer > Type in keyword/phrase > Export SERP overview
Scroll down to the bottom of the page and there you will find a ton of websites you can reach out to for a link-building collaboration. Export all of these sites into an Excel spreadsheet to make it easier for you to sieve out any irrelevant websites before you start your outreach.
It’s important to only reach out to relevant sites. If your link doesn’t fit naturally into their current content, it’s not a good fit. Make sure that you analyse the page you want to add your link to and specify where it should go.
Once you have compiled your sites from your SERP overview we can dive even deeper to find more link prospects.
Step 2: Identify Keyword Variations for your Shoulder Niche
It’s important to have keyword variations for your shoulder niche. As this will increase your chances of finding link opportunities. If you’re stuck and can’t think of any keyword variations there are two ways to go about it.
Use Keyword Ideas in Ahrefs
Go to Ahrefs > Keyword Explorer > Type in keyword/phrase > Keyword ideas
The beauty of this trick is that you’ll never have to worry about running out of ideas. From this keyword example alone as you can see there are 32,339 results already.
When you click View All you can also explore the monthly number of searches for this keyword. Getting your links seen by the right people can be achieved by optimizing your link-building strategy based on keyword search volume.
Use Top Pages in Ahrefs
Another great way to find keyword variations is through Top Pages in Ahrefs.
How does it work?
Analyse the shoulder niches you have found in Step 1 through the SERP overview as seen below.
Choose a website from your SERP overview let’s say for this example, we will choose the website ryrob.com
Go to Ahrefs > Site Explorer > Input your Website > Top Pages >Top Keyword
Look at the website’s top keywords based on their top pages. One of the website’s top keywords is “business ideas”. If we are to use this keyword in the context of trying to build links to a page about web hosting. There is a high chance that if you want to start a business you will need a website and that will require a web hosting solution to publish your website content on the internet.
Again once you have your new keyword put it into keyword explorer and export the SERP overview for your chosen keyword. As you can see below for the keyword “business ideas” there are infinite websites you can start reaching out to. Your outreach should emphasize how your site is relevant and how it adds value to the existing content.
Step 3: Identify the Competitor’s Website for more Link Opportunities
The Snowball Method quickly finds competitors’ websites you can use to build out your link prospect list.
How does that work?
As mentioned previously once you have your chosen keyword from your SERP overview pick any website from that list and insert that website into site explorer in Ahrefs.
For this example, let’s go with the website we used above ryrob.com to keep things consistent.
Go to Ahrefs > Site Explorer > Input your site > Organic Competitors
In the organic competitor’s section, you will find sites that ryrob.com is competing with and you can use these websites to analyse their keywords. This will help you find more keyword ideas you can use to find even more sites that might link to your web hosting page for example.
This is a great way to find top-performing pages that are ranking for your chosen keyword and further build out your link prospect list. This is the magic of the Snowball Method you can just continue snowballing and snowballing these link opportunities until oblivion. No matter what industry you find yourself in with the Snowball Method you can easily build links that will skyrocket your content up the Google charts.
A quick tip when you’re trying to get your link on any site make sure you reach out to:
The author of that specific page
The marketing manager/content manager
These people will be your best bet at increasing your chances of getting a link on your desired page.
If you’re interested in taking your link-building to the next level in 2023, get in touch with our amazing Search team who will work with you to move your business up the rankings and help you find link opportunities.
“AI is a tool that should enhance and complement the work of PR professionals, rather than replace them entirely.”
As technology continues to advance at an unprecedented pace, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming an increasingly integral part of our daily lives.
From voice assistants to autonomous vehicles, AI is transforming various industries, and digital PR is no exception. While it might be easy to focus on the negatives when it comes to AI and the workplace, it can also possibly revolutionize the digital PR industry if used correctly.
We have compiled a list of eight key ways that we predict AI might change the industry – and how to use it to your advantage.
Ideation Will Get Easier – If Used Correctly 💡
One of the key benefits of AI in Digital PR is its ability to streamline the ideation process. By analyzing vast amounts of data and consumer insights, AI-powered tools can help generate valuable ideas for PR campaigns and strategies.
Leveraging AI correctly can enable PR professionals to identify emerging trends, anticipate customer needs, and develop targeted and impactful PR campaigns. Ideation is often the hardest part – especially for digital PR professionals so any help is a big one in this case and AI definitely has the potential to get the creative juices flowing, but can’t be relied on entirely.
Learning New Skills Can Also Become Easier 🤔
AI technology not only assists with generating ideas but also facilitates the process of acquiring new skills.
With AI-powered training platforms, PR practitioners can access personalized learning experiences, allowing them to upskill and stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends – and quickly learn information about their various clients’ areas of expertise. This ensures that PR professionals can adapt to the evolving digital landscape and stay ahead of the competition.
It’s Also Great for Solving Simple Equations 📐
When marketers are expected to solve complex mathematical equations – things can get tricky fairly fast. While Digital PRs may be experts at creativity, the majority aren’t experts when it comes to maths, statistics or percentages – However, between indexes and data sets, math and digital PR do tend to go hand in hand.
AI can be particularly helpful in handling routine calculations and data analysis. By automating mundane tasks, such as data processing or statistical analysis, AI enables PR practitioners to focus their time and energy on more strategic and creative aspects of their work.
It Could Be Useful for Data Entry in the Future Too 💻
Data entry is an essential but often time-consuming task in Digital PR. AI technology has the potential to automate this process by extracting and categorizing relevant information from various sources. By automating data entry, AI may allow PR professionals to save time, reduce human error, and allocate their efforts toward more creative activities.
AI Is Also Helpful for Writing Press Releases ✏️
Writing compelling press releases is a crucial aspect of Digital PR. AI-powered writing tools can assist PR professionals in crafting well-structured and engaging content.
By leveraging natural language processing and machine learning algorithms, these tools can suggest improvements, provide grammar and style suggestions, and ensure that press releases are optimized for maximum impact (and links) for your clients.
And It Can Even Help the Outreach Process Too ✉️
AI technology can also revolutionize the outreach process in Digital PR. AI-powered tools can analyze vast amounts of data to identify potential influencers, journalists, or media outlets relevant to a specific campaign.
Additionally, AI may be able to assist in personalizing outreach messages, increasing the likelihood of building meaningful connections and securing media coverage. However, it is essential to tread carefully and maintain a human touch in communication to ensure genuine and authentic relationships with media professionals – especially considering we are a LONG way away from AI being able to generate media lists or fully automate outreach.
Tread Carefully with How You Use It Though 🚩
While the potential benefits of AI in Digital PR are significant, it is crucial to approach its implementation with caution. AI is a tool that should enhance and complement the work of PR professionals, rather than replace them entirely.
Human intuition, creativity, and relationship-building skills remain irreplaceable in the world of PR. It is essential to strike a balance between utilizing AI technology and maintaining a human-centric approach to ensure the most effective PR strategies, both in digital and traditional PR, as well as other careers.
So, Are We Likely to Be Replaced by Robots Soon? 🤖
The fear of being replaced by robots is a common concern in many industries, including PR. However, the role of AI in Digital PR should be seen as an opportunity rather than a threat.
While AI can automate certain tasks and improve efficiency, it cannot replicate the unique qualities that human PR professionals bring to the table. The human touch, empathy, and the ability to understand and adapt to complex situations are invaluable assets that AI can’t fully replicate.
AI offers tremendous potential for the future of Digital PR. By leveraging AI-powered tools, PR professionals can streamline ideation, acquire new skills, automate routine tasks, improve content creation, and enhance the outreach process.
However, it is essential to approach AI implementation carefully, ensuring that human intuition and creativity remain at the forefront. As long as PR professionals embrace AI as a valuable assistant rather than a replacement, we can unlock new possibilities and thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
A strategy plan for improving a website’s search engine optimization (SEO) performance is known as an SEO roadmap. It offers a detailed breakdown of all the steps necessary to complete intended SEO objectives.
A big plus clear for the SEO strategy is to use an SEO roadmap, which outlines the particular actions that must be carried out to achieve objectives. An SEO roadmap’s drawback, however, may be that it makes it harder to change the plan of action when new chances or difficulties present themselves.
Elements of an SEO roadmap typically include the following:
An evaluation of the website’s SEO’s current condition with an SEO Audit.
Keyword research: Choosing the most valuable and relevant search terms for the website.
On-page optimization: enhancing the meta tags, website structure, and content for the chosen targeted keywords.
Off-page optimization requires building backlinks to the website in order to increase its authority and visibility.
Content strategy: Develop a plan for writing and distributing high-quality content that focuses on the chosen keywords and appeals to the target audience.
Technical optimization: Make sure the website is optimized for search engines and has a solid technical foundation.
Reporting and analytics: Tracking the performance of the website and the success of SEO objectives
Why is an SEO Roadmap important?
Several qualities make makes an SEO roadmap important, including:
Offers a clear approach: An SEO roadmap offers an approach to improving a website’s search engine optimization (SEO). By using the roadmap, website owners may make sure they are doing all the essential actions to increase their website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Assists in prioritizing efforts: By highlighting the most important areas for improvement, an SEO roadmap help website owners in prioritizing their efforts. Having resources allocated to the areas that will have the biggest impact on SEO performance makes getting tasks ticked off easier.
Aligns efforts with business goals: An SEO plan aids in the coordination of SEO activities with overarching business objectives. This makes sure that SEO efforts are concentrated on delivering results that are in line with the goals of the company, like boosting traffic, leads, or sales.
Offers a framework for progress monitoring: An SEO roadmap offers a framework for monitoring SEO goal progress. This enables website owners to track their progress over time and modify their SEO strategy as needed to get the results they want.
Makes sure SEO efforts are consistent throughout all areas of the website, including on-page optimization, technical optimization, content production, and link building. This is done by creating an SEO roadmap. For long-term SEO success, this consistency is crucial.
Types of SEO Roadmaps
Many SEO roadmap kinds exist, depending on the demands of the company and the complexity of the SEO plan. The following are a few of the most typical SEO roadmap types:
A fundamental SEO plan: This style of roadmap is appropriate for small websites with a manageable amount of pages and a simple SEO strategy. Keyword research , on-page optimization, and content strategy are usually included.
Detailed SEO roadmap: This kind of roadmap is best suited for bigger websites with more advanced SEO strategies because it is more complex. Technical optimization, backlink strategy, reporting, and analytics may be added in addition to the components found in a fundamental plan.
Local SEO roadmap: This style of roadmap is created especially for companies that market to local customers. It involves citation building, local business listing creation, and website optimization for local search.
An e-commerce SEO roadmap that optimises product pages, category pages, and product descriptions is created specifically for e-commerce websites. Also, it contains ways to improve the user experience, such as mobile optimization and site speed optimization.
International SEO Roadmap: This kind of roadmap is intended for companies that want to reach audiences worldwide and consists of optimising the website for various languages and geographical areas as well as constructing backlinks from other international websites.
Mobile SEO roadmap: Websites that see a lot of traffic from mobile devices should use this kind of approach. It involves making the website more user-friendly for mobile users, increasing site speed, and optimising it for mobile devices.
There are various SEO roadmaps, each adapted to the unique requirements of the company and the complexity of the SEO strategy. Businesses can make sure they are taking the essential actions to increase the SEO performance of their website and accomplish their business objectives by choosing the right kind of roadmap.
Here are 5 SEO roadmap sites with templates to get you started:
If you’re interested in including SEO in your 2023 marketing plan, get in touch with our talented Search team who will work with you to find the best SEO Roadmap template for you and your business.
In general, an SEO roadmap is crucial because it offers a strategic plan to improve a website’s SEO performance, aids in prioritising efforts, ties SEO goals to business objectives, offers a framework for monitoring progress and guarantees consistency across all SEO-related areas.
Businesses may make sure they are taking the right actions to advance the SEO performance of their website and reach their objectives by following a roadmap.
Link building is the process of getting other websites to link to pages on your site. Links from high authority sites carry a lot of value.
However, it’s not always easy to obtain a link from authoritative websites.
Although these links are hard to get, they can hugely impact your organic traffic and the good news is that the internet is literally bursting at the seams with great link opportunities, you just need to know how to find them.
You’re probably asking yourself “But how do I find these link opportunities?”
Well, fear not, because we’ve got you covered!
In this post, we’ll take you through 5 really easy link prospecting methods, that you can use to find hundreds of link opportunities and start implementing into your link building strategy right away!
In 2022, while working on a particularly tricky link building campaign, we invented the “The Snowball Method”.
The snowball method is like link prospecting on steroids and is a really easy way to get a lot of new link prospects, especially when your service/product is in less popular niches.
Finding link opportunities is easy when you’re in a popular niche such as marketing or sales. However, if you don’t find yourself in that bucket you’ll have to be a bit more inventive.
For example, if you’re looking to build links to a page about web hosting it’s not a niche that’s covered a lot, so you’ll run out of potential prospects after you’ve found a couple of hundred.
You might find listicles such as “Top 10 best web hosting providers 2023” (which are ideal for link building) but you will quickly run out of these opportunities due to the nature of the niche.
With the snowball method, you need to identify shoulder niches in the industry you are in.
As mentioned previously if you’re looking to build links to a page about web hosting your shoulder niches could be sites that talk about:
How to start a business
How to start a blog
Well if you’re setting up your own business, starting a blog or doing affiliate marketing, there is a high chance you will need a web hosting solution for your website that will keep your content secure when it reaches your customers.
So how do you find these sites?
Go to Ahrefs > Keyword Explorer > Type in your keyword/phrase > Export SERP overview
At the bottom of the page, you will find a ton of websites you can reach out to for a link-building collaboration. Remember!
If you’re doing outreach it’s important to ensure you’re not emailing your competitors so do a thorough check of the sites you’re choosing.
Once you have compiled your sites from your SERP overview we can dive even deeper to find more link prospects.
Choose a website from your SERP overview list let’s say for this example, I will choose the website ryrob.com
Go to Ahrefs > Site Explorer > Input your site > Competing domains
In the competing domains section, you will find sites that ryrob.com is competing with and you can use these websites to analyze their keywords. This will help you find more keywords you can use to find even more relevant sites that might link to your web hosting page.
How do you find these keywords?
Pick a website from the competing domains section for this example I will choose adamenfroy.com
Go to Ahrefs > Site Explorer > Top Pages > Top Keyword
Look at the website’s top keywords based on their top pages. One of this website’s top keywords is “making money with Instagram” there is a high chance that if you want to make money through social media you will need a website link that your followers can use to learn more about your offer.
If you’re ever stuck for keyword ideas use Ahrefsfree keyword generator.
You will find thousands of keyword ideas in seconds based on a phrase or question. The questions are a great way to see what people are searching for. Take note of the relevant keywords/phrases and input them into keywords explorer to find more link opportunities.
The beauty of the snowball method is that you will find infinite link-building opportunities for your niche.
Once you’ve identified the posts you want to get mentioned on, start building a list of the appropriate contact names and email addresses, then reach out to start building the relationship.
2. Unlinked Brand Mentions
Unlinked brand mentions are mentions of your brand on other websites that do not provide a link back to your site.
This is a fast way to pick up links as they’ve already mentioned your brand, so may be more open to adding a link.
So, how do you find these pages?
Go to Ahrefs > Content Explorer > Type your keyword in quotes > Choose in content from the dropdown menu
Select the highlight unlinked filter, it highlights the pages that mention your brand but don’t link back to your website.
Export to a CSV file, and make sure you export highlighted domains only. This will ensure you’re looking at the right websites and not wasting time.
Filter your prospect list after exporting it. You might have hundreds or thousands of mentions to sift through but not all of them will be relevant. Some of them might be 404 pages or some might already link to your website.
Be prepared, this manual work is tedious but it’s worth it in the long run. The last thing you want to happen is to ask someone to link to you when they already do, it will just annoy them and make you look unprofessional.
Focus on the highest-value mentions after you have filtered your list.
An authoritative website carries more weight than links from less-reputable sites. As a result, it can strengthen your page authority and thus increase your rankings.
It’s important to personalize your outreach email so the individual opens it.
So, how can you personalize your email?
Use the individuals name in the subject line
Keep the email short and concise (no waffling)
Mention something about the blog/article that resonated with you so they know you’ve read it
Offer them something in return (e.g. a collaboration/affiliate program)
Link building is about building relationships as much as it is about building links, so make sure you’re always willing to provide value to the other party.
What happens if you reach out and don’t hear anything back? Don’t give up!
Make sure to send at least two follow-up emails as the person might have missed your previous email.
Research shows that the average worker receives 121 emails per day. Therefore, personalisation is crucial for your email to stand out and thus have a higher chance of being opened. If you don’t want to send your emails manually you can use a tool like Mailshake.
Mailshake is a simple email outreach and sales engagement software. It has all the analytics you need to monitor opens, replies, and clicks for every email you send.
3. Listicle Outreach
Listicles are blog posts or articles written in a list-based format. This sort of link building may get you extra visibility and referral traffic from websites that already rank well for keywords such as:
Best X tools
Top 10 X tools
Top products for X
If your product/service is in a popular niche such as marketing or sales you will find endless opportunities.
Exclude the sites that already mention your brand when doing your search by using minus. Insert the minus in front of your brand’s name to exclude any pages containing that keyword within its content.
This will make the process easier to manage.
Once you compile your list of sites it’s time to do the outreach. If you can’t find someone’s email address there are two things you can do:
Use Hunter or similar tools to find a person’s email address if their name is mentioned in the article/blog
Use LinkedIn to find a point of contact if no name is mentioned
Go to Linkedln > Type the company’s name > Click on people
If you want to be added to someone’s website look for people working in Marketing.
They will be your window of opportunity.
As mentioned previously, ensure your email/message is personalized and you’re being transparent about what you want.
Remember! If you confuse them you lose them!
If the marketing manager approves your link request it’s important to ensure your content matches the existing content already on the page.
What does that mean?
Each listicle page is designed differently when it comes to its format. The listicle example below is from the site Digital Project Manager if you were going to write a blurb for them you must include the headings they are using. If not your content will look unnatural. Always analyze the format of the page before writing your content.
4. Digital PR
You know that saying: “Don’t wait for opportunity. Create it.”
Link-building is all about being innovative and taking action when an opportunity presents itself. Digital PR is a great way to get links from high-authority sites and boost organic traffic. Digital PR is about creating linkable assets that journalists will be eager to share with their audience. There are many different PR frameworks you can use:
Reactive and Proactive
Data led/Data Stories
Thought Leadership/Expert Led PR
Creative Campaigns or Stunts
We use Digital PR for our clients and for our own brand as well.
For example, we published a data-led story that revealed which airports are the most stressful.
For Legacy’s Airport release, our Digital PR team used data from a variety of sources including flight-tracking apps, airport ranking sites, and sentiment analysis tools.
Tapping into a topic that was already trending right before the Easter travel season began.
We secured 114 pieces of strong coverage innational, regional and broadcast publications worldwide, with features in publications such as:
But wait, there’s more…we also secured:
40 links to our website
400% increase in referral traffic over two days
160 brand mentions
Also Legacy went from ranking at number 7 to number 6 for the term Digital PR service in the UK, as well as moving from ranking in nineteenth place to fifth place for the term Digital PR company, and from 10 to number one for the term online PR companies.
Meanwhile in the U.S., Legacy went from ranking in twelfth place to fifth for the term Digital PR agency, number 7 to number 5 for digital PR services and 10 to 3 for Digital PR service, also moving from 0 to 6 for Digital PR firms and 18 to 4 for Digital PR companies.
5. Guest Posts
Guest posting is the act of writing content for another company’s website. It’s a great way to acquire links and attract traffic back to your website.
But I thought guest posting was dead? The truth is that this method still works.
When writing guest posts make sure you use the synonym method.
What is the synonym method?
Ryan Stewart from Webris showed us the synonym method and we’ve been using it for years.
The synonym method is all about finding people/sites that are in a related niche but aren’t your competitors.
For example, if you offer a home painting service you would not be reaching out to other painters in your local area to be featured on their blog. As you are competitors, they would quickly tell you where you could stick your guest post.
So instead you would reach out to websites in shoulder niches, EG:
Real estate agents
Pest control companies
Real estate agents would be a good group to pitch your guest post ideas to.
Well, real estate agents want to sell as many properties as possible. If you’re a painter you could pitch the following topic ideas:
3 paint colours to sell your home faster
3 paint colours that increase the value of your home
Which colours to use for home staging
How do you find these local blogs?
Use search operators such as:
City + keyword + blog
City + keyword + blogs
City + keyword + bloggers
Once you compiled your list of sites make sure to mention in your email why you want to write a guest post for their site.
Reasons could include:
You want to provide educational content their readers will find valuable
You want to share your expertise with their readers
Remember link-building is about reciprocity and buildings a relationship, so always provide something in return whether it’s:
Mentioning their brand in your next newsletter/blog
Mentioning their brand on your socials
Offering an affiliate program
Happy Linking! 🔗
If you’re interested in taking your link-building to the next level in 2023, get in touch with our amazing Search team who will work with you to move your business up the rankings and help you find link opportunities.
A server log file is a file that is created and maintained by a web server, and records information about the server’s activity. Server log files are a raw, unfiltered look at traffic, bot and human, to your site. They’re a text document automatically created and stores the record data on your web server for a period of time.
What Information does the log file contain?
The log file contains information about client requests, the date and time of the request, the client’s IP address, the requested URL, server responses (such as 200 OK or 404 Not Found), the amount of data transferred and any errors that occurred during the process of handling the requests.
Types of Log Files:
There are several types of log files that may be generated by a website’s server, including:
Access log: This log file records information about all the requests made to the server, including the date, time, and IP address of the user making the request, the request method (such as GET or POST), and the status code of the request (such as 200 for a successful request or 404 for a page not found error).
Error log: This log file records information about any errors that occur on the server, such as broken links or missing pages.
Referral log: This log file records information about the sources that are sending traffic to a website.
Search query log: This log file records information about the specific keywords and phrases that users are searching for in relation to a website.
Server log: This log file records information about the server’s activity, such as CPU usage, memory usage, and disk space usage.
What is SEO Log File Analysis?
SEO log file analysis is the process of analyzing log files generated by a website’s server to gain insights into how search engines and users interact with the site. We can use these log files to provide information on things such as search engine crawler activity, referral traffic, search query data, and server errors.
Importance of log file analysis for SEO
There is only one true way Googlebot and other search engines process your website by looking at your website server log files.
3rd party crawlers, Google Search Console and search operators won’t give us the whole picture of how they interact with websites as only log file access can.
By analyzing this data, website owners and SEO professionals can identify issues that may be affecting the site‘s performance and visibility in search engine results and take steps to address them. It allows you to track website traffic, identify crawl errors, and improve website ranking.
Additionally, log file analysis can help to better understand user behavior and tailor the site’s content and SEO strategy to meet the needs of its audience.
Tools Required for Log File Analysis
To analyse the log files you must first get access to them from the developer or website administrator. Once you have access to the log files, you will need a log file analyzer tool to upload the log file to.
Crawl budget refers to the number of pages that a search engine will crawl on a website within a specific period of time. Log file analysis can be used to identify a website’s crawl budget by analyzing the log files to determine how frequently search engines are crawling the website.
Here are a few ways log file analysis can be used to identify crawl budget issues:
Crawl Frequency: If search engines are crawling your website too frequently, this may indicate that you have a large crawl budget.Log file analysis can help you identify if search engines are crawling your website too frequently, which can cause indexation issues.
Crawl Rate: Knowing the crawl rate search engines are crawling your website can help you determine if your website’s crawl budget is sufficient to cover all the pages on your site.
Crawl Time: See how long it takes for search engines to crawl a page on your website, Are there any pages that are taking too long to crawl, which may impact your crawl budget?
Once you have identified the crawl budget using log file analysis, you can take steps to optimize it. This can include optimising the site’s structure and navigation, fixing crawl errors, and improving the performance of your site to make it easier for search engines to crawl it.
2. Are the desired search engine bots accessing your pages?
The log file requests are usually made by bots from major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Additionally, log file analysis can also record requests from other crawlers such as those from social media platforms, analytics tools, and other third-party services. Log file analysis can be used to determine if all of the targeted search engine bots are accessing the pages on a website.
Here are a few ways to use log file analysis to see if all of your targeted search engine bots are accessing your pages:
Accessed pages: Determine which pages on your website are being accessed by search engines. This information can help you identify which pages are being crawled and which pages are not.
User agents: Log file analysis can also help you identify the user agents (search engine bots, such as Google user agents and Bing user agents) that are accessing your pages. By comparing the user agents to a list of targeted search engine bots, you can determine if all of your targeted search engine bots are accessing your pages.
Filter the log file data by User Agent to see which search engines are visiting your site the most. Hopefully, you will see Googlebot Smartphone and Googlebot Desktop as the most popular user agents.
3. Check if Your Important Pages Are Crawled properly?
Log file analysis allows you to study the pages on your website that are being accessed by search engines. With this information, you can distinguish which pages are being crawled and which pages are not, helping you to understand the behaviour of the search engine bots on your website..
Here are a few ways to use log file analysis to check if your important pages are being crawled:
Identify pages being accessed to determine which pages on your website are being accessed by search engines. This information can help you identify which pages are being crawled and which are not.
Compare to important pages: Compile the list of pages that are being accessed and then compare them to a list of the important pages on your website. If important pages are not present in the list of accessed pages, they may not be being crawled by search engines.
Maybe pages are too deep within the website structure to be crawled or log file crawl time might indicate that the page is taking too long to crawl which will impact their crawlability.
Additionally, you can also check for crawl errors or low crawl rates which can also indicate that your important pages are not being crawled properly. If you find any issues, you can take steps to optimise your website to make it easier for search engines to crawl your important pages.
4. Highlight Any Indexability Issues
Log file analysis can be used to identify indexability issues on a website, which refer to problems that prevent search engines from crawling and indexing a website’s pages.
Here are a few ways log file analysis can be used to identify indexability issues:
Pages not being crawled: By determining which pages on your website are not being accessed by search engines may mean they may not being crawled or indexed indicating an indexability issue.
Crawl depth: If search engines are not crawling deep enough into the website, this may indicate an indexability issue.
Redirects: Log file analysis can help you identify if there are too many redirects or if they are redirecting to the wrong pages.
By studying the log files, you can get an idea of which pages on the website are being accessed by search engines and which pages are not. This information can help you pinpoint any indexability issues that may be preventing the search engine from crawling certain pages on the website. Once you have identified the indexability issues, you can take steps to fix them such as:
Optimise site structure and navigation to improve the crawlability of the site.
Improve the XML sitemap. Add pages not being crawled to the XML sitemap, this way search engines can easily find and crawl those pages.
Use of robots.txt: Log file analysis can help you understand which pages search engines are trying to crawl but are blocked by the robots.txt file, you can then remove those pages from the robots.txt file, this way the search engine can crawl those pages.
5. Discover Orphan Pages
Log file analysis can be used to discover orphaned pages on a website. Orphaned pages are pages on a website that are not linked to by any other pages on the site. They can be caused by broken links, changes to the site’s structure, or errors in the website’s code.
To identify orphan pages using log file analysis, you can follow these steps:
Identify the orphan pages: Once you have a list of all the URLs that were accessed, you can compare them to the URLs of the pages on your website. Pages that are not present in the list of accessed URLs are considered orphaned pages.
Analyse the reason: Once you have identified the orphan pages, you can analyse the reason why they are orphaned. This can be done by checking for broken links, or by reviewing changes to the site’s structure or code that may have led to the pages being orphaned.
Fix the orphan pages: Once you have identified and analysed the orphan pages, you can take steps to fix them. This can include adding internal links to the orphan pages, redirecting to other pages, or removing the pages altogether if they are no longer needed.
Once you have analysed the log file data, gathered the insights and completed the action items, you can now see the SEO Benefits: website keyword rankings improvements, increased organic traffic, increased conversions and revenue.
As you may already know, SEO log file analysis is an essential tool for understanding and optimising your website’s performance. It allows you to track website traffic, identify crawl errors, and improve website ranking. However, many website owners are not aware of the full potential of log file analysis and how it can be used to improve their SEO.
Here at Legacy Communications we have SEO Specialists who can take you through the steps of SEO log file analysis, dig deep into the opportunities that will boost your website performance and help increase your business overall goals.
If you’re interested in including SEO in your 2023 marketing plan, get in touch with our talented Search team who will work with you to find the best strategy for you and your business.
Over the last few years, I have immersed myself in digital marketing. I have worked on many brands’ digital marketing campaigns, and the changes within the industry fascinate me. There have been huge changes in the industry in the last few years, with Covid shutting down the world and the reliance on digital entertainment soaring. With it coming to the end of the year, I began to think about the recent changes, and here are six digital and social trends that I think will continue or come to the fore in 2023.
As well as thinking about some of the popular trends we might see next year, I’ve been thinking about what drives people to follow along with current trends and what causes brands to follow suit.
Why do brands follow social trends?
People follow trends for many different reasons, following trends can gain approval from others while also getting to take part in a fun trend. Brands follow social trends to stay current, try out ideas, explore new opportunities and break boundaries in the market. Trends are all about newness and allow for different ways to share your brand story and keep your audience engaged in a creative way.
Short video format
Video content has been taking over for the last few years. The popularity of TikTok and YouTube Shorts has grown significantly, and recently Meta has acknowledged the importance of video by implementing features similar to YouTube and TikTok on its platform. Meta’s efforts to compete has led to the promotion of video content by their algorithm. Deep dive into your video vs photo analytics and you’ll likely see the evidence for yourself. But video for content’s sake is not the answer, companies still need to be sure they are showing up in a way that is true to them AND in a way that pleases the viewer and algorithm.
Time magazine reported on a study from Microsoft Corp that the average person only has an attention span of 8 seconds. Some studies vary from 3 seconds all the way up to 12 seconds, so let’s split the difference for the sake of this article and call it 8. This 8 seconds is at the best of times, not when they are on a merciless thumb tapping spree through TikTok, reels or shorts, that triggers a constant release of dopamine. You NEED to catch the viewers’ attention in the first 3 seconds when you are a brand. You can do this by front loading information OR creating intrigue by holding back. There are various ways to hook people –through audio, faces on screen, inspiring emotion, being relatable or recognisable.
Algorithms are constantly getting more sophisticated which leads to people getting fed with more content that they want to see. This is making you pop up right beside your competitor, if you are both being categorised correctly by the algorithm. This means you must deploy creative solutions to capture your customer’s attention before your competitor does. Short video format content could be the best way to do this, as it both pleases the viewer and the algorithm.
The Metaverse is an entirely immersive, shared experience and will have fully functioning economies based on nonfungible tokens, (NFTs) cryptocurrency, and more. While the metaverse is still evolving, brands can set themselves apart by finding new ways to reach consumers before the market becomes saturated. These interactions should seamlessly incorporate new technologies to deliver experiences, products, and a sense of community that advance brand engagement. While the Metaverse is still in its early stage, some brands have already started engaging and exploring the marketing and advertising possibilities of the platform. Fashion brand Louis Vuitton developed their own game for the metaverse to celebrate its 200th anniversary. “Louis the Game” took users on an adventure, collecting 200 birthday candles over a map of six virtual worlds while also retelling the story of how Louis Vuitton started. Research firm Gartner predicted that 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse by 2026. Metaverse is a new marketing ecosystem. It’s time to start analysing how to get found in the metaverse. Brands can achieve this by staking their claim in a world, community, or platform that matches its audience.
Nano and micro influencers
This year we saw a continued growth in influencer marketing as the industry continues to grow year on year. Consumers are turning to nano and micro influencers as an authentic and credible source. There will be an increase of brands collaborating with nano and micro influencers in 2023. Nano influencers are those with less than 10,000 followers on social media, while micro influencers have between 10,000 – 50,000 followers. Nano influencers are considered to be very relatable and slightly less polished to massive influencers. Their influence is small but more authentic which often means their audiences are more engaged and brands have a better chance of building trust with nano influencers. Many of our clients use nano and micro influencers for their campaigns and get great results, sometimes even better than when using macro influencers (those with over 100k followers). Micro influencers often create niche specific content such as food, travel and lifestyle. Their followers share similar interests and they consider the micro influencer as an authority figure within their niche. Therefore, like nano influencers, micro influencers are seen as a trustworthy source which can provide brands with high engagement rates and lower costs.
An increased demand for social commerce
Being sold to on social media used to p*ss off scrollers, and sometimes it still does. But the furious competition online to get customers’ eyes on retailers’ products has led to it being common practice.
The huge developments in shopping through social media has become evident in recent years. Starting from way back when click to shop was introduced on Facebook, to now, where you can buy without even leaving the app.
Not only technologically has it become more common, but tactically too. Scrolling through Instagram is slowly edging closer to scrolling through ASOS, and scrolling through ASOS is slowly becoming more like scrolling social media! The crossover is huge. On one side, we have ads that look like social media posts linking directly to product pages, and on the other side we have influencers featuring on retailers’ pages as a model to further the performance online.
The technology and practices around social media shopping is developing, and the line is becoming less and less noticeable. Social shopping will continue to become more seamless and more practiced in the coming years.
TikTok is undoubtedly one of the most popular social media apps right now, and we’re predicting that the platform will grow even more in 2023. TikTok’s algorithm can be a powerful tool for marketers for following trends and discovering what their audiences are searching for. Next year, brands are likely to utilise TikTok’s powerful search tool and optimise their videos to get found easily by its users. According to Google’s own data , Gen Z prefers to use TikTok and Instagram over traditional Google Search. The main cause of this could be due to TikTok’s ability to provide users with valuable and engaging content communicated to them from a community of like minded individuals and creators. In 2023, make sure that you include TikTok in your brands’ SEO strategy to better reach your audience.
Brands are becoming creators through native content.
Two things have been outlined in this article that has led me to my bottom line 2023 digital and social media prediction: Native content is the way forward. People open their social media app to be entertained and informed. They want information in an engaging way. Therefore, brands should aim to create content for engagement and use different methods to do this. For example, by using carousels, short video format or spark a conversation in the comments section which will encourage people to engage with your posts and brand. So, whether your marketing campaign goal is to directly sell your product, build brand loyalty, spread awareness or anything else, make sure your content is native to the channel the user sees it on.
Should your business jump onto trends?
Trends are an indicator of what’s working and driving results in the market. They’re also a good way of connecting with your audience and providing engaging content that they’ll like. Getting the time and resources to catch on to trends quickly can be tricky for smaller businesses with small teams. We’d recommend investing time and energy into trends relevant to your business and your audience and applying trends that you know will resonate.
About Karl Wolahan
As Account Manager for the Brand and Sponsorship division, Karl Wolahan oversees managing clients campaigns for a range of different clients including Breakthrough Cancer Research, AIG and Portwest. Karl is a forward thinker in digital marketing and social media strategies, leading client campaigns with high performing results.
Good SEO will help people find your business. SEO is relevant to all types of businesses including B2B and B2C. SEO can be one of the most important components in the buying journey for B2B companies. Driving organic growth for B2B companies has its own challenges which can differ from B2C strategies.
Businesses should aim to create content and a website that is useful and accessible which aligns with Google’s goals for its users. The end goal of B2B SEO is more than just ranking in the top ten on the search engine, its main output should be to create qualitative leads and traffic to your website.
We recently won the B2B SEO category at the European Search Awards, so we’re pretty well placed to guide you on your B2B SEO journey.
In this guide, we’ll be sharing our top tips, the strategies we implement for our clients and sharing insights on how to improve your B2B Strategy for 2023.
Business to Business (B2B) SEO is a strategy used by marketers and SEO professionals to increase organic search engine traffic. When B2B SEO is done well, your website will appear above other businesses who are actively looking for a product or service that your business offers.
B2B SEO strives to achieve organic traffic, with high search volumes and traffic most likely to convert on your website.
With a great B2B SEO strategy, you can Improve your search ranking without paying for it, increase the number of visitors to your site and attracting those who are interested in your product or service, and have a higher chance of converting.
What is the difference between B2B and B2C SEO?
As mentioned above, the major difference between B2C and B2B SEO is the audience.
What one person may buy for themselves, does not mean they would apply the same to their business or workplace.
Professional products and services are very different from consumer products and services. Therefore, your strategies should differ for each, but the process for SEO is similar, regardless whether it’s for B2B or B2C.
The following unique challenges differentiate B2C from B2B SEO are:
1. Complex Sales Funnel
A B2B sales funnel targets a much larger group of stakeholders and decision-makers. Often, B2B products and services are more expensive and require careful consideration before making an investment. This means B2B marketers need to be smart about their SEO to ensure they meet the buyer online throughout each step of the sales funnel.
2. Low Volume Keywords
B2B businesses have much lower volume keywords compared to B2C SEO. This is because they’ll have a much higher chance of reaching high-value consumers using low volume keywords that are most likely to convert and purchase from them.
3. Low Conversion Rates
The sales cycle in B2B is a lot longer than B2C typical sales journey, therefore conversions are lower too. A lot of the time, B2B sales will include a higher price point which will lead to a longer decision-making process involving more stakeholders. B2B SEO and marketing aims to inform and educate the buyer over time about their product or service.
4. Demonstrating Expertise with Thought Leadership
B2B consumers are not likely to convert on their first visit to your website. They may have stumbled upon one of your products, services or blog pages while searching for a solution. The consumer may like your brand, product or service but they’ll have to convince their management and finance team to get onboard. To win the B2B consumer over, you’ll need to establish your business as an expert in your field. You can do this with thought leadership. This involves consistently publishing high quality, relevant and informative content covering all areas of your business.
Common thought leadership tactics include:
Speaking at conferences
Podcast or radio appearances
The importance of SEO for B2B in 2023
SEO is an essential part of any B2B companies digital marketing strategy for 2023.
83% of B2B marketers plan to produce better quality content in 2023 to differentiate their content from competitors. (Source)
B2B marketers expect their content marketing budget to increase over the coming year.
Using search engines is how many of your buyers will first come in contact and learn about your business and brand.
At the start of the buyer’s journey, they’ll use broad, informational or non-branded search terms. As a buyer gets to know your business more and develops interest, there’s a point at which their keywords and intent become more targeted and they will begin using “decision making” keywords.
Below is an example of what the buyer journey might look like for a person searching for a task management tool.
How to develop your own B2B SEO strategy
Frequent updates and changes to Google and other search engines’ algorithms can cause B2B marketers a lot of frustration. Marketers have to constantly adjust their SEO strategies to the latest developments in search engine behaviours and channels.
Instead of getting too caught up in how fast it all can change, B2B marketers should focus on covering essential SEO. To understand how SEO is a part of your buyer’s journey, set the right SEO goals which make sense for your business and be agile to changes as part of your overall strategy.
Our proven strategies for high rankings and traffic
We as an SEO agency, use the following strategies to help our B2B clients grow their businesses further.
Keyword research matching the buyers journey within your niche
Create content hubs for informative, educational content on your niche
Create call to actions for each stage of the buyers journey
Use technical SEO best practices to improve user experience
Leverage link building to help your content rank even better
Take advantage of digital PR to grow your brand within your niche
If you’re interested in including SEO in your 2023 marketing plan, get in touch with our talented Search team who will work with you to find the best strategy for you and your business.
Sponsorship does not just refer to sports sponsorship. Today, many businesses are considering sponsorship for their marketing strategies. Sponsorship is often an underutilised marketing strategy that can benefit both small and large businesses. Sponsorship marketing can grow your brand, improve your reputation and create a positive image by working alongside a relevant sponsor and brand.
Here, we will share exactly what sponsorship marketing is, sponsorship’s marketing benefits, and how to implement sponsorship in your own marketing strategy for 2023.
Sponsorship marketing is when two brands decide to work together professionally for mutual gain. Businesses often sponsor events, trade shows, brands, and charities to achieve specific brand goals and improve their competitive advantage. Sponsorships don’t directly promote your company, products, or services. Your company supports and finances an event, business, or charity your target audiences care about. Your business and brand are then associated with the sponsor. Sponsorship can be provided in different forms including funding, resources and services. Sponsors receive in return a boost in brand awareness and reputation.
Some examples of sponsorship marketing include:
Entertainment sponsorships including concerts, festivals, theatrical events and other outdoor entertainment
Media sponsorships (Particularly podcast, TV, radio and online or print media)
The impact of sponsorship marketing
Sponsorship can be a very worthwhile investment for your brand and marketing efforts. Sponsorship allows you to reach a targeted audience and enhance the sponsors’ brand public perception. The affiliation creates a ‘halo effect’ of goodwill, reflecting the positive associations with the sponsor.
Sponsorship makes a positive impact by empowering the existence of entities consumers care about, sponsorship is typically more positively perceived than advertising’s sole focus on commercial goals. Sponsorship’s commercial intent is more subtle and indirect compared to traditional advertising.
Brands or businesses can establish credibility with their target market by investing in sponsorship. To achieve effective results, there needs to be common values, visions, and goals shared between the sponsorship’s beneficiary and the sponsor. Simply put, the business or organisation you choose to sponsor should relate to your business.
Sponsorship provides invaluable exposure by allowing companies to reach and connect with their audiences and build consumer trust through affiliation. Sponsorship marketing allows businesses to cut through the noise and reach their audience with targeted messaging,
A meaningful and effective sponsorship campaign will help your business to improve its credibility, promote brand awareness, improve public image and differentiate from competitors. Sponsorship marketing should be used strategically to reach your target customers.
To build out a sponsorship strategy in your marketing plan, you should research events, organisations, and charities that your target customers care about. Sponsorship reach and opportunities can prove to be a good use of your marketing budgeting compared to other traditional advertising.
Identify sponsorship goals
Before considering adding sponsorship to your marketing plan, your business should consider what you will accomplish through a sponsorship. You should ensure that the sponsorship in mind aligns with your business needs and goals. For example, to improve your business reputation with the local community, you could research what events and issues the community care about such as supporting a local sport or youth group.
Research your target markets
Perform research into the company’s target market to add sponsorship to a marketing plan, this will help to learn about the interests of the company’s ideal customer. Aligning the sponsorship strategy to your company’s target market can help the company benefit from the sponsorship. The sponsor should consider commonalities between themselves and the sponsorship beneficiary. For example, a healthcare brand could align with a sports team.
Allocate a budget
Decide how much of your marketing budget can be spent on the sponsorship campaign. A smaller business could consider local events and charities to sponsor that fits within their marketing budget.
Engage with the local community
Networking can be a great way for businesses to recognise potential sponsorship opportunities. Networking can also be a great opportunity to identify local groups and charities that people in the area find important.
Research sponsorship opportunities
To identify sponsorship opportunities, businesses can attend industry, local community, or charity events and research past events that align with their target audience.
Create a sponsorship proposal
Once you have identified a suitable sponsorship opportunity, you can create a sponsorship proposal. The proposal should include a company description, similar values in common with the organisation you are sending the proposal to and you can include your ideas and contribution in mind.
Sponsor an event and get started with your sponsorship
Once the sponsorship has been secured, the sponsor can start to plan the sponsorship campaign or event. A photocall and PR outreach are sometimes used to spread awareness around the sponsorship campaign or event.
Measure the results
After the campaign or event has ended, the sponsor should evaluate the results to see if the initial business goals were achieved. It also provides insight into future sponsorship strategies and opportunities.
Laya healthcare is the proud health and wellbeing partner of Leinster, Munster, and Connacht Rugby and last year celebrated their eighth year of rugby sponsorship in Ireland. Their “A Beat Ahead” campaign brought the best of laya healthcare to provincial rugby and was designed to uniquely connect fans with their team.
Energia are the proud title sponsor of the Energia AIL and Official Energy Partner of both Leinster Rugby and the IRFU. To celebrate the anniversary of the All-Ireland League, Energia created a look back at AIL’s 30-year contribution to Irish sport and culture.
ALDI Ireland was the Official Supermarket for Electric Picnic 2022. ALDI created a fun sponsorship activation to kick off the much anticipated return of Electric Picnic, Music and Arts Festival. Picnicers were able to visit ALDI’s pop-store and shop for essential festival items throughout the weekend.There will be a pop-up store located in the campsite where customers can shop essential festival items throughout the weekend. Picnicers will be able to purchase all their festival essentials from breakfast foods, snacks, sweet treats, beauty items, sun cream to those all-important festival Specialbuys to fully kit out your camping area when you arrive.
In 2022, Indeed, the number 1 job site in the world, became the new official sponsor of Dermot & Dave’s mid-morning show on Today FM.
Commenting on the new partnership, Dermot & Dave said: “Are we excited about the new partnership? Indeed we are! Working with a huge global brand like Indeed is very exciting for the show. We’re very much looking forward to creating some great content together and we just know our wonderful listeners are going to love the new partnership, especially those that are on the hunt for the next step in their career!”
In 2022, Organic Dairy Glenisk announced a 5-year Partnership with Offaly GAA, Camogie and Go Games that supports all age groups. The sponsorship is a great example of a brand engaging with its community.
Vampire Teeth is a name I use to describe a particular phenomenon in Google Search Console. It is not that common and sometimes difficult to spot, but it is extremely helpful to SEOs.
Any SEO that has ever ranked a page in the SERPs knows that impressions increase when rankings increase. It’s simple logic that’s been an in-field observation since the dawn of SEO.
Rank Better = Get more Impressions.
This also rings true when your rankings go the other way as well.
Rank Worse = Fewer Impressions
But what about when we see a sudden drop in the average rank of a page but impressions shooting up simultaneously?
This is what we call “Vampire Teeth“.
When two are close together, like in the following image, it’s also fairly easy to spot.
It’s when there’s only one that spotting this becomes a bit trickier.
What we are looking for is a sudden drop in the average rank with a sudden spike in impressions at the same time.
The timing is the key, when these two things happen at the same time, on the same day.
Why is it important to spot this, you ask?
Well, let’s look at what actually happens on this day.
We know that Google uses click data to confirm the relevancy of a page. Suppose Google gives impressions to a page in the SERPs, and searchers click on the result consistently. In that case, the click data confirm that the result is highly relevant to the search that was made.
And if the SERP result gets low to no clicks, then obviously, the page is less relevant to the search that was made.
Basic SEO 101.
From this simple observation, it’s safe to assume that the sudden increase in impressions and decrease in average rankings clearly indicate that Google is testing the page’s relevancy for a new set of phrases at a lower-ranking position.
Why is this significant?
Well, this proves that Google is not confident in what your page is about. Either current click data did not confirm what Google thought your page topic must be, or the page content itself is not “on-topic” enough for Google to make a clear decision on how to index and rank that page.
This should be seen as a gift from Google, and as SEOs, we know this doesn’t happen often.
How to analyze “Vampire Teeth” for SEO benefit?
We first need to determine what Google tested the page in question for. We want to see if Google tried the page for a set of common phrases or a group of random words.
To do this:
Create a date comparison report within Google Search Console’s Performance report.
Compare either the day before or after with the day the anomaly happened.
Look at the queries tab and sort the Impressions column for the typical day from smallest to biggest.
Identify all the queries with zero impressions on a typical day and with many impressions on the anomaly day are queries Google tested.
Random phrases indicate that Google has difficulty in understanding what the page topic is and really what the intent behind the page is. When this happens, a complete rework of that page should be considered.
Make sure that the purpose of that page matches the searcher’s intent.
Think about where you want your page to be positioned in the sales funnel and make sure the content reflects that.
Keep to a single topic per page, and don’t try to stuff related keywords in there to try and rank for “all” the longtail terms.
When the phrases are common, meaning they are mostly related or even on the same topic, compare them with your target keywords. This will help you get an idea of what Google “thinks” your page could be about.
Use this analysis to identify words to either add or remove from your content. Yes, I said to remove it from your content.
Most of the time, when I come across Vampire Teeth in SEO, I find that Google is testing a page for non-related and off-topic search terms due to unrelated words and phrases on the page. Intent and poor grammar is also a common culprit.
How do we use this data to make positive adjustments to a page
The page we are using as an example is a page that shares information on the best curtain fabric to use when making curtains.
The page’s content starts by saying, “If your current curtains make you feel blue, then don’t buy ready-made eyelet curtains online. Rather make your own”. It then continues to share the best type of fabric to use when making these curtains.
We found that Google tested the page for these terms on four separate occasions over five weeks.
Remember that this page is not an affiliate page selling curtains, nor an e-commerce page selling ready-made curtains. The page is informational on curtain fabrics, yet Google tested it for sales-related terms. This is a classic example where I recommend removing words or phrases from a page.
When you find that Google is testing a page for terms closely related to your target terms, consider adding these words to your content. Do not just blindly stuff them onto the page. Use these to see if your page lacks some fundamental info. Try to restructure the page content to include them without compromising your content quality.
Google does not give us SEOs a gift like this every day, so use it to your advantage.
The benefits of sponsorship can sometimes go unnoticed without considering the tangible marketing strategies that a business can deploy through sponsorship.
When most people think of sponsorship, they think of their favourite sports team like Manchester United and the iconic Sharp sponsorship, or maybe even Irish Rugby and permanent tsb.
Cantona, Keane, Scholes, Giggs, Neville, Beckham and Schmeichel. The list of legends who wore a Sharp sponsored shirt is long and illustrious, but the legacy of the sponsorship still lives on.
The high-profile Sharp sponsorship lasted 18 years with Manchester United. Sharps association with the club massively benefitted Sharp for global brand awareness. Martin Arnold, Sharps Marketing Communications Manager at the time, admitted to Tech Radar in 2010 that the end of the sponsorship also marked a slide away for Sharp in the UK.
“When you say Sharp to people today many of them either bring up Manchester United or microwave ovens that have lasted for 20 years and since we stepped away from Manchester United the awareness of Sharp has fallen.”
From Sharp, to Aon, AIG and most recently Tech Viewer, it can thrust a company’s name into the mainstream with their logo on the iconic red shirt. They are rarely forgotten. The historic Champions League comeback on the evening of 26 May 1999 in Barcelona will go down in the greatest footballing moment of all time. Sharp’s sponsorship is still etched in our memory 23 years later equally as clear as Solskjær’s 90’ +3’ winning goal and knee slide (or perhaps as an Irish person, the most unforgettable memory would be Thierry Henry’s 2009 handball)
Sport sponsorships have broadened their complexity in recent years compared to the conventional exposure of a logo on a jersey or a sign in the camera arc. However, sport sponsorship is often favoured over advertising since it is usually targeted toward an audience through sporting ties and fan loyalty. The Irish sponsorship industry grew by 6% to reach €180m in 2021, and while the sector’s size has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels, the 16th annual ONSIDE Irish Sponsorship Industry Survey estimates there will be further growth of 8% in 2022 to €195m.
According to Statista, the global sports sponsorship market was worth an estimated 57 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 and is expected to grow to almost 90 billion U.S. dollars by 2027. The market size is set to grow by 6.72 percent in the next 5 years.
The dynamic of sponsorship has changed dramatically in recent years, stretching beyond the realms of sport, becoming a vital part of marketing and PR plans.
Sponsorship comes with many benefits and is as effective in a B2B application as a B2C application.
Sponsorship provides opportunity for business access, brand affinity, connections, access to target audiences, data and much more, depending on your execution strategy. Most importantly it helps to shape public perception, which can be hard to achieve using your own branding and marketing efforts alone.
Sponsors and businesses working together can create a broader reach and shared objectives, multiplying the resources they have and leveraging the combined power of the partnership. In this in-depth guide to the benefits of sponsorship you’ll learn what is sponsorship, how to use sponsorship for PR and the different types of sponsorship including Legacy client case studies.
So, if you’re ready to go “all in” with sponsorship, this guide is for you. Let’s jump right in.
Sponsorship is a cash and/or in-kind fee paid relationship between a provider of funds and a business which offers in return some rights, access and associations that may be used for commercial advantage.
It allows a business to demonstrate its affiliation to the individual, event, or organisation that it has chosen to associate with
A common misconception is that sponsorship is the same as advertising. While sponsorship can deliver increased awareness, brand building and propensity to purchase. Unlike advertising, sponsorship cannot communicate specific product attributes and requires support elements.
What Are The Types Of Sponsorship?
Sponsorship occurs on many levels across media, sport, the arts, music, venues, gaming and there are a few different types of sponsorship. The key thing to remember is that sponsorship is a targeted approach to marketing that resonates with their customer base through rights and benefits to the buyer or ‘sponsor’.
Sponsorship is particularly impactful when the sponsor and the rights holder have similar goals, values, and a sharp vision. Choosing the right type of sponsorship, can ensure a strong sponsorship deal that means both parties benefit from the agreement, right from the outset of the negotiation.
Sponsorship is much more than your brands name on the front of a jersey or a logo on a sign at a high footfall venue like a trade conference.
Sponsorship provides opportunity for business access, connections, hospitality, employee engagement, brand affinity, audience sharing, data growth, and brand awareness. All of which can be accessed in numerous ways through clever activation of the right sponsorship type. The four main types of sponsorships are:
Media sponsors are financial sponsors that secure advertising for an event. Media sponsors agree to advertise the event. This can mean purchasing advertising space in national or regional newspapers/radio, publishing content about the event on their own social media channels. Our client, Indeed, proud sponsor of Team Ireland at the Tokyo 2020 Games partnered with Newstalk’s Off The Ball to exclusively sponsor three weeks Team Ireland content across all online and digital platforms, resulting in a high brand recall amongst the target audience in question.
An in-kind sponsorship is an arrangement where the sponsoring company provides goods or services in lieu of direct financial support. Instead, they perform services or products based on an exchange of retail cash value. This type of sponsorship is attractive to a business that wants to save money on sponsorships, and it gives the company a chance to show the quality of their work.
Promotional partnerships are similar to media sponsors. The difference between these types of sponsorships is that promotional partners are typically individual figures rather than companies and media outlets. A promotional partner advertises to their own network which is a good way to reach your target audience. For example, our client Energia used their rugby ambassadors from their sponsorship portfolio to promote their Smart Home Store campaign. We executed three paid influencer partnerships with each influencer gifted a Smart Home Store bundle that would best suit their needs. Influencers choosing their preferred bundle ensured authenticity and allowed them to promote an Energia product that would most appeal to their followers. The ambassadors had high levels of engagement and a combined reach of 71,000.
These are the sponsors that give money directly to an organisation and campaign leaders to fund their activity. The level of support given by the sponsor often dictates the type and amount of exposure offered by the beneficiary. For example, in sports kits, placement and size of sponsor logos on the can be dictated by the financial amount of sponsor support. Our client Immedis, is proud to support two of Ireland’s most respected golfers, Shane Lowry and Stephanie Meadow as global brand ambassadors to the company. Having started from scratch as a start-up in just 2016, the now international payroll solution employs over 400 people in over 150 countries. The strategic sponsorships with homegrown, Irish golfing talent who regularly compete on the global stage, have resulted in an extremely clever way for the business to tactically reach their target audience in billions of homes worldwide.
Without funding for a sustained global above the line marketing campaign, the execution of the ambassador partnerships acted as key early marketing tactics to increase brand awareness, profile, and affinity of the business among the key target audience across the globe. After a carefully considered selection process, Shane Lowry was chosen as brand ambassador after proving to be a perfect fit for the brand in terms of target audience and bullseye global reach amongst the target demographic. Once the results were proven, Stephanie Meadow was later signed on as an Immedis athlete, building on Immedis’ affiliation with golf. Both players live Immedis’ core values.
How do sponsorships benefit companies?
Sponsorship might seem like more of an act of charity rather than a self-serving act, but there are many benefits to business that are willing to invest in sponsorship. Sponsorship can provide tangible benefits in the pursuit of their overall business goals as way of positioning the brand. Sponsorships have the potential to reach beyond short-term sales to build a brand’s identity. According to McKinsey brand strength contributes 60 to 80 percent to overall sales which is one benefit on sponsorship but there are more benefits which can be seen below.
Boost Brand Visibility
Sponsorship spending has grown significantly around the world, and it constitutes a remarkable proportion of marketing budgets. The purpose of a sponsorship might be to reinforce or change the image of a company, by identifying it with a particular market segment, altering the consumers’ perception of the brand, or differentiating it from other competitors. Sponsorships can increase brand recognition. It can give your company exposure to new audiences and target audiences. This often happens through mentions in the press or social media and event advertising, signs, radio and featured ads and that’s where we at Legacy Communications come in!
By using minimum spend across stadium advertising, employee engagement, PR, digital advertising and ambassador content, AIG’s sponsorship of the New Zealand All Blacks resulted in an increased brand awareness in the UK market of 4% in 2019 alone as seen here in their case study.
Build Business Relationships
Sponsoring an event or trade show can help your company make connections with non-competing businesses, giving you opportunities for collaboration in the future. Aside from having a strategy for engaging new customers, it is important to network with other companies and sponsors.
Expanding Content Strategy
Sponsorships can provide a great source of new material for a company’s content strategy. By promoting your involvement in an event or activity, you can drive traffic from the event and increase your engagement on your social media channels or company website. One way to do this is engaging with your target audience through clever content creation that resonates with both audiences. Our client, Go-Ahead Ireland sponsors Dublin club leagues and championships. We helped build out human-interest stories portraying how both Go-Ahead Ireland as leading transport providers and GAA Clubs across Dublin connect communities. This campaign resulted in hundreds of thousands of video views amongst their key target audience.
How To Use Sponsorship To Benefit PR
Well thought out sponsorship campaigns can be a powerful positioning device. It can demonstrate brand values, increase visibility and improve reputation.
Sponsorship is an invaluable tool for PR, it allows you to captivate your target audiences, join in with the current trends, get involved with the conversation but most importantly it allows you to become newsworthy.
With the help of PR you can send positive messages to your audience who are in line with your sponsorship brand image by using the ideas that your target customers respond to more positively.
Legacy Sponsorship Case Study – Energia & Get Ireland Growing
Approach & Overview
Energia have partnered with GIY since 2016. Over the 4-week period, we executed an extensive media relations strategy consisting of two key PR touchpoints.
First, highlighting the giveaway of the 1,000 FREE GrowBoxes and the announcement of this first ever national Get Ireland Growing Day (GIG) on June 19th and the Grow Cup activation, followed by regional media outreach, detailing stories of the Community Grow Group winners.
We partnered with leading national radio station Today FM, and TV show, Ireland AM. For organic engagement, we issued 20 GROWBoxes to a selection of Influencers, within the target market.
Ahead of Get Ireland Growing Day we released an interactive map of Ireland across all social channels to show where in Ireland people could collect their free seeds from on Get Ireland Growing Day.
This Grow Cup activation also included a social competition whereby, the best coffee cup picture on GIG Day won a €500 cash voucher. We also secured four influencer partnerships and an ambassador partnership.
Through a targeted Digital PR approach, the campaign resulted in 58 pieces of media coverage – with a combined reach of 4,900,054 million. Energia’s sponsorship impact score increased from 58 in 2020 to 67 in 2021.
Marketing Benefits of Sponsorship
Strategic sponsorships can help your business meet multiple marketing goals at once, the right sponsorship can give you numerous messaging opportunities to resonate with your target audience cutting through the noise from your competitors with increased visibility and reach.
Some sponsorship benefits for marketing include:
Generate media exposure
Increase brand awareness/affinity
Differentiate yourself from competitors
Shape consumer attitudes
Enhance business, consumer, and industry relationships
Why You Need to Add Sponsorship to Your Marketing Plan
Sponsorships help your business increase its credibility, improve its public image, and build prestige. Like any form of marketing, it should be used strategically to reach your target audience and customers.
Depending on the cost and reach of different sponsorship opportunities, you may find that they are a better use of your marketing budget than many forms of traditional advertising.
According to T.B Cornwell, “Sponsorship appears to be another area of marketing, along with source effects, store atmospherics, brand extension, and brand alliances, where the consumer’s ability to see an association between marketing assets enhances the effectiveness of these assets.”
A few points to consider:
How much exposure can you reasonably expect at different levels of sponsorship?
What sort of financial support do they expect from sponsors?
Who is the target audience & is sponsorship the best way to reach them?
Sponsorship helps to enhance the sponsors’ brand’s public perception. The affiliation creates a ‘halo effect’ of goodwill, reflecting the positive associations onto the sponsor.
Sponsorship provides a positive benefit through empowering the existence of entities consumers care about, sponsorship is typically more positively perceived than advertising’s sole focus on commercial goals.
Sponsors invest in sponsorship to establish their credibility with their target market. For this practice to be effective, there needs to be an organic link in terms of similar values, vision, and goals between the sponsorship’s beneficiary and the sponsor.
According to a study by Trinity Mirror in 2017, almost half of consumers (42%) distrust brands, 69% distrust advertising. Sponsorship’s commercial intent is more subtle and indirect, lowering consumer defence mechanisms. Sponsorship gives companies invaluable exposure by allowing them to reach and connect with target audiences while the affiliation builds on the element of consumer trust. The ROI and the cost per reach for sponsorship is relatively low compared to advertising space whether in print media or Instagram ads. Sponsorship allows you to cut through the noise and reach your target audience with your targeted messaging.
Sponsorship Case Study: Indeed #TalentUnleashed
Our client, Indeed were proud sponsor of Team Ireland at the Tokyo 2020 Games. The omni-channel campaign, drove awareness of both Indeed and the Team Ireland partnership. Read below on how we implemented the sponsorship to achieve our goals.
Background of Sponsorship
Indeed Ireland, became proud partners to Team Ireland for the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2019. The partnership brought to life #TalentUnleashed which shone a light on Irish athletes, their untold skills and showcased the commitment and hard work that often goes unnoticed.
This sponsorship embodied Indeed’s commitment to giving Irish talent the best opportunities, and created significant brand awareness and positive sentiment, for both Indeed and Team Ireland.
The #TalentUnleashed campaign created a unique voice for Indeed to champion Team Ireland by supporting the athletes in a way that no other brand could.
To achieve our goals, we implemented an omni-channel campaign, that simultaneously drove awareness of both Indeed and the Team Ireland partnership.
To achieve scale and presence, we used seven key pillars of communication including: the partnership launch, ongoing ambassador activity, paid digital, organic social media, Career Coach programme launch, athlete mural reveal, and Ad-hoc/reactive PR.
Results In total, this represented an overall campaign reach of 170,058,438 plus over 96,690,000 impressions on #TalentUnleashed across digital
Campaign reach of over 170 million
105 million reach through PR alone, securing almost 160 pieces of coverage
#TalentUnleashed hashtag had almost 97 million impressions
Organic social reach of over 15 million
Benefits Of Sponsorship: Conclusion
Sponsorship is a complex phenomenon that falls within the strategic communication mix used by a business to position its product or service on the market.
We hope through the use of our case studies that you can understand the importance of sponsorship and the direct and indirect benefits it can have on your business.
In summary, sponsorship is a marketing tactic involving a business relationship between two parties.
One party is the sponsor who provides support in the form of resources, funding, or services to the other party (beneficiary), who allows access to the sponsor for rights and associations used for brand awareness or commercial advantage.
This guide has discussed how sponsorship works and its benefits, different types of sponsorship, and some of our client case studies on how they’ve used sponsorship.
Now you’ve learned everything there is to learn about sponsorship feel free to reach out to us at Legacy for your business sponsorship needs.
How we do this is with our unique Storysell model which uses data to inform our campaigns; creativity to explode them into a magnificent story and then we supercharge them with a focused delivery strategy which can include digital pr; seo; content and of course sponsorship.