How To Do SEO The Lazy Way

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How To Do SEO The Lazy Way post image

This post was written with the help of David Hehenberger, who is in charge of SEO for our fleet of websites. Follow him on twitter if you want to hear about SEO, Asia travel, or meet-ups in South East Asia.

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When I get all pumped up about more “automated” or grey hat approaches to SEO people can get frustrated with me. They say: “just create awesome content and optimize it and you’ll win in the long run!! Jeeeze Dan….”

David and I 100% agree that generating amazing content for your website is the best way to win the long haul in SEO, but creating world-dominating content is expensive, and isn’t a great startegy in the following circumstances:

  • When you aren’t sure that SEO is your primary customer acquisition strategy.
  • If you or your team is bored by your niche.
  • When you don’t believe you’ll see ROI on “amazing content.”
  • When you are running an experiment.
  • When you have a bunch of websites.

What follows we look at as basic foundational SEO. Simple, cheap, and fast. It’s designed to keep your site’s rankings improving and “poised” for success in case you do ever want to double down on your SEO efforts. In medium competition niches, the following protocol actually works like gangbusters. This is the bare minimum SEO we do for our sites. In our bigger niches, we are doing way more to compete.

As the coordinator of this strategy, David monitors all of our ranks via SerpFox and “turn the knobs” on the spreadsheet depending on what’s working. We update our basic strategy based on data we are getting from our own sites and information we get from people we trust.

Finally, making decisions about SEO is tough because there is so many options. By sticking to a baseline “lazy man’s” process we are at least building a basic rankings for our sites until we figure out something smarter to do.

We are curious to hear how you would tweak this process.

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“SEO the Lazy Way.” Instruct your virtual assistant to complete the following 6 steps on a monthly basis for each site.

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STEP 1 : Build 1 web 2.0 property linking back to your site with at least 500 words of original content.

We rotate in order starting the first month with Squidoo, then we move on to Weebly, WordPress.com. We change these up a lot depending on the flavor of the week. These continue to get less effective, but again, we are being lazy here. Approximate cost of the content from Fiverr, Odesk is 5 bucks. Try to get yourself organized and order in bulk!

STEP 2 : Make one article submission to a popular article directory or press release directory. 

Same exact deal with the content here, except we are rotating our Ezineartcles.com, Goarticles.com, or Free Press Release.com.

STEP 3 : Write 2 handwritten dofollow comments, and 1 nofollow blog comment on niche-related blog.

Do a Google search for “do follow commentluv blogs” or “list of do follow blogs” or similar. “Do follow” means that the link in your comment will send “juice” back to your site. Commentluv enabled blogs also send link juice back to your domains.

Our goal is to have our VA find a few blogs that have content related to our niches and make relevant comments there. Best practice is to make the internet a better place, so if you can find some quality blogs to follow go ahead and do so, request future topics for posts, and so on. Once you make your comments, earmark them to return in a few days and make sure they go approved by the publisher (there’s a date on the spreadsheet for that as well).

STEP 4 : Buy a membership to a high PR blog network or two.

Here’s a list of popular blog networks I stole from “Are Private Link Networks Dead?” (a great read) via Spencer at NichePursuits.com:

The landscape moves fast with these servies. If you want to utilize them, you’ll need to put in a little due diligence to figure out which service you’d like to test out. We’ve found these services to be really helpful for our sites. Places to do research on the best one for your sites are Dynamite Circle, Warrior Forum, Wickedfire, and similar. Prices here range from $50 a month on the low end to over $200 bucks a month for the higher end services.

These services can be very powerful as we’ve found, but Google is also out to identify and de-index them, so they’ll likely not work so well in the future.

The people who run services like this and friends who have referred us to their providers ask that you don’t share their names publicly, and I’m going to honor that. You are only a few hours of reading away on the forums to figure out something you can test out for yourself. You could also just become a client of Travis over at Supremacy SEO. He’s the guy who put a lot of this stuff on my radar.

STEP 4 : Buy social likes for your site. 

Turns out that having a few people liking your site isn’t so bad for search engine exposure. Likes, Tweets, +1’s, Stumbles, and Diggs are remarkably easy to purchase on Fiverr. Just search away, it’s a couple bucks and takes only a few minutes. If you are on WordPress, we’ve found the best way to incorporate social indicators on your site is the Sharebar plugin.

  • 30 Tweets – Cost ~ $2  + 5 minutes to order
  • 30 Google +1’s – Cost ~ $2 + 5 minutes to order
  • 30 FB likes – Cost ~ $2 + 5 minutes to order

STEP 5 : Double check your onsite SEO and consider putting extra effort 

  • Am I creating new and quality landing pages or blog posts for important key terms?
  • Keyword in Meta Title?
  • Keyword in Meta Description?
  • Keyword in H1, H2 & H3 Tags?
  • Keyword in Strong or Bold Tag?
  • Are there Images on your site?
  • Keyword in Image-filename?
  • Keyword in Image Alt Tag?
  • Keyword in Page URL?
  • Keyword Density? – Aim for 0.5-1.5%
  • Are there outbound links to authority sites like Wikipedia?
  • Is your word count high? We recommend over 2,000.
  • Have I added new content to the site this month? (The more important your site is, the more often you should add content. Daily if you are shooting for the big time). In our view it’s better to update your site with mediocre content than let it remain static for months.
  • By the way, an easy way to check your onsite SEO is to sign up for the free serpIQ trial

We don’t do any of this checklist ourselves, we have a VA do the whole thing. Here’s a spreadsheet where they record the status of the domains. David basically sits back, monitors our ranks via SerpFox, and turns the dials to taste and based on what’s working and what’s not.

Our back of the napkin math says it costs us about $40 bucks per domain per month to deploy this strategy.

Given all that’s going on in the SEO world right now, how would you guys tweak this process? (keep in mind we are trying to keep cost/time at a minimum… ya know, let’s keep it lazy).

Cheers and thanks for stopping by,

 

Dan

PS, here’s an outline of a spreadsheet you can use to help your VA track this stuff. If you improve it let me know! :)

Published on 03.20.12
  • Matthew N

    Dan, BuildMyRank hasn’t been de-indexed, after Spencer’s post I did some more research and they are probably the least affected major blog network.

  • Matthew N

    PS. SEO Link Monster is a joke.

    I am personally ceasing all use of blog networks and am moving to 100% hand-built.

  • http://www.livinginthailand.net/ Neale

    Not so sure “Lazy” is the right description :-) Nice to know simple basic methods are working for you.

  • http://www.moneyspruce.com/ Jeffrey Trull

    Have you read this? http://www.buildmyrank.com/news/its-been-a-great-run It’s toast.

  • http://www.moneyspruce.com/ Jeffrey Trull

    Not to nitpick, but you didn’t really say what you’d do with the Blog Network membership. Buying a membership to one is one thing, but using it is another :) I’m guessing you’d suggest tossing a few articles in there a month?

    It seems like blog networks have done a lot of boost rankings lately. Now that the ones that aren’t priviate like Travis’ (which I’m sure works but is also more expensive) are in serious jeopardy, I’m wondering how much the lack of availability of these networks would affect a strategy like this. Perhaps creating another 2.0 property is a decent substitute? Obviously it’s nice to diversify a bit more, but it’s gets tougher with limited time, money, and skills. I guess depending on what your goals are, it might just make sense to fork over the extra $$ for a private network.

  • http://awebsitedesigner.com.au Dan Norris

    Good stuff, this is pretty similar to our process for small business type sites although we do more sites and a bit more automated submission and we also have a higher level plan that uses blog networks like BMR (bugger). The cost to us to do this each month is $50 so it really is the lazy option. 

    However I think we can be lazier. So I’m working on a tool that will: 

    1.  Cut out the spreadsheets and manage all of the keywords for all sites from within the tool via the web 
    2.  Cut out the SERP tracker tools by having this tool also handle the SERP tracking
    3.  Streamline the communication with the VA by managing all of the tasks from within this tool  as opposed to emails back and forth etc
    4.  Perhaps even take out the need for a VA at all by allowing users to order outsourced link building services directly from within the tool so the only role is really to log in and set up and order the tasks. The holy grail of laziness will be to even automate this step into monthly recurring tasks that are automatically ordered thereby requiring you to do bugger all. 

    That’s the vision I’m working towards taking laziness to the extreme!

  • Torrado williams

    Yeah I also thought of same when I finished reading the article, its not lazy one but the basic one.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    noted on Link Monster. BMR kinda shocking even though we knew it had to happen sometime. was  good ride! 

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    ahhhhh!!!! we’ve still got a few in the stable that we think have legs, but we are keeping our eyes on these developments. 

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    haha, well most people equate ‘effort’ and ‘quality’ with SEO. this is just pay a VA and send them this post!! :D

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    cheers. 

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    yes that’s true, it’s because some of the blog network like services that we are a part of have a bunch of wacky services, like profile and forum links and the like. so the two part process would be 1) select a good one with research and 2) run whatever packages they are offering. i’m not sure how we are going to replace the stuff like BMR and the like, but for us this strategy will be supplemented by highly private networks, unformatunely it’s tough to blog about and for sure that would be the most un-lazy part of this process :)

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    We would very much enjoy being in your stable of clients Dan!! Sounds great!!! People underestimate how much just doing the basics can be meaningful in 98% of niches out there. 

  • Nico

    Here’s my question: How long did it take you guys to train the VAs to do this? And how did you go about doing that?

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    If somebody from TropicalWorkForce.com, zero time and they’ll teach you something! We are actually doing half TWF and half Odesk… odesk person takes a little mgmt but is pretty damn good. 2 bucks an hour or so. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/matjnewton Matthew Newton

    Looks like I was talking to the one or two people who weren’t affected by BMR. They have absolutely been smashed – sorry for any misinformation.

  • http://www.manvsclock.com/ Anthony Middleton

    Great article, Dan. Currently in the process of finding a cheap and competent VA – where would you suggest?

    Also, why did you leave UNW?
    Thanks
    Anthony

  • http://www.ioutsource.de/ Nico

    Wow, that’s amazing! I will look into that and check TropicalWorkForce.com. Thanks.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    :D

  • http://www.frontierlivin.com/ Taylor Pearson

    Just wanted to comment that I had some problems setting up sharebar on my sites. It didn’t work well with my theme. If anyone else is having a similar problem, I’ve found that Sociable is a good substitute.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Anothony, I think Odesk is the best place. I believe UAW was time consuming for our staff to execute, so we found quicker options. 

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Cheers Taylor appreciate you sharing that. 

  • http://twitter.com/DavidMcKnight David McKnight

    Wow. This is the “lazy” way?

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    hopefully not for your odesk contractor!! this strategy might cost 45-100 bucks per domain per month to deploy. 

  • http://www.hustletoparadise.com/ Harrison

    Latest WP update for some reason doesn’t display my Sharebar right anymore. A good alternative I’ve found is CevherShare. Works like a charm.

    And taking your outline to help email my VA :) Cheers!

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Cheers, thanks for the tip. I think we’ve stopped using it here. I found it difficult to read posts with that thing following me around!

  • http://twitter.com/ReadTree ReadTree

    Thanks Dan. I will try to use this. The hardest part is finding a VA. I will give ODesk a try and see how it goes.

  • http://twitter.com/ReadTree ReadTree

    What do you mean “Build 1 web 2.0 property linking back
    to your site with at least 500 words of original content.”, do you mean
    Build an actual SQUIDOO, Weebly
    and WordPress site (with different IP
    addresses?) and post 500 word articles to them directing back to your main
    site? OR guest posting on these types of sites?

  • http://twitter.com/ReadTree ReadTree

    Also, I am assuming the $40 per month estimate does not include the cost of the blog network subscription?

  • http://twitter.com/ReadTree ReadTree

    Last question I swear, what do you mean by “Social Bookmarks and Profile Backlinks”?

  • http://twitter.com/MBAonlineprogrm mbaonlineprogram

    This is a good start however SEO is an ever evolving field and some of these don’t work anymore.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=601746515 Michał Gontowski

    I think that measurement of seo activities is very important things – it shows you the proper way. There are some tools for it, like ColibriTool, Google Analytics and many more.

  • http://www.inmediaconcepts.co.nz/ William John

    Great Tips on how to do the best with minimal efforts.. Thanks

  • http://www.99th.co.in/ Anuj Kumar

    This is Very useful information shared here. I am
    really thankful for this. 99th.co.in

  • omouse

    You weren’t kidding about Squidoo and Weebly. I created a blog a few years back about EVE Online and some tips I learned along the way. The last post was over a year ago. I checked it today and apparently it’s still getting 20+ hits per day. That’s twice the traffic I get on my personal/programming blog which is more up-to-date.

    Niche blogging ftw.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    Nice ! :D

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