SEO Philippines| SEO Hacker Blog SEO Hacker is an SEO Services Company and SEO Blog in the Philippines Wed, 29 Jul 2015 03:19:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 What Happened at the SEO Summit 2015? Tue, 28 Jul 2015 09:41:07 +0000

Coffee, great food, thought leadership… and more coffee. The SEO Summit 2015 which was held last June 20 was a huge success. The links to download the Powerpoint decks can be found in each speaker’s profile here, here and here. While the videos of each speaker will be available for download some time next year.

This is the second year of SEO Summit goodness. The place was packed but what I’m most happy about is the level of thought leadership that was brought to the table by my co-speakers and co-panelists.

You just can’t substitute the content of your conference with anything else.

We’re already planning for SEO summit 2016 and we’re very much looking into an even better speaker lineup for next year. We have 6 slots – 3 to discuss about SEO for those who are starting out and 3 to discuss more advanced SEO Stuff.

If you know anyone who you think should speak next year at the SEO Summit 2016, please fill up the survey form on the lower right section of the screen.

In any case, enjoy the video and we hope to see you next year at the SEO Summit 2016!

]]> 2
8 Easy Tips to Better Optimize Your Content for SEO Thu, 23 Jul 2015 02:57:09 +0000


With Google’s quality update rolled out (“Phantom), going back to the nuts and bolts of SEO has never been this important. I’m talking old school, elementary stuff – on page SEO.

I run a ton of SEO audits for large companies and it blows my mind how poorly optimized their pages are. Misused H1 tags, no image alt tags, and horrible use of keywords are common practices for a lot of sites.

Link building gets so much attention that the little things are easily forgotten – in this post, we are going back to basics, a walk-through in the anatomy of a perfectly optimized page.

The Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Page

1. Page Titles

Page titles need to do 2 things:

  • Contain your main keywords to help rank in organic search.
  • Convince users to click on your link once it has ranked in organic search.

I like to use my main keywords in the front of the title and use the rest of the space to get creative and induce clicks.

The master of this technique is Brian Dean. He ranks for a ton of competitive keywords, including on page SEO.

His title?

On Page SEO: Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Page

Screenshot 1

Note: To  check your page’s title tag, view your website’s code (right click + view source code). Then, search for “title” within the code (control + f, type “title”).

2. Headline <H1>

An H1 tag is the headline for your content. If you’re using WordPress, your H1 will default to your title.

If not, use the H1 tags as a more descriptive headline for your content. It should match the page title because users will expect the headline to match with the SERP snippet once they find your content.

Best practice is to use an H1 tag only once per page.

Screenshot 2

Note: To check your page’s <h1> tag, view your website’s code (right click + view source code)/ Then, search for “h1” within the code (control _ f, type “h1”).

3. Body Text

You’re already aware that primary and secondary keyword phrases are important. The body of your content is where you can really blow out your keyword list and expand to cover long tails and synonyms.

Google has made tremendous strides over the last few years. While you should focus your content on your keyword research, don’t go out of your way to jam them in. Google reads countless pages just as users do, and connects words like how humans communicate.

Write your content with your own voice, and it will be indexed by Google the way it should be. If you try to jam in keywords into your text, you risk over optimization penalties.

4. URL Structure

URL structure is important and so frequently misconstrued. First, your URL should not contain any of the following:

  • Underscores
  • Capital Letters
  • Special Characters

In addition, you should keep your URL’s short.

For example, my last blog post: How to Automate the Broken Link Building Process

Default URL would be:

I chose to make the URL:

Common thought is the first URL would rank better for long tail searches related to broken link building automation.

While this may be true, you’re missing out on other possibilities just because long tail searches. By keeping the URL short and focused on the main keyword, you’re open to rank for much more.

5. Images and ALT attributes

Both image naming convention and alt tags help give your page a ranking boost. Since search engines can’t see images, they rely on the file’s name and alt tag to understand what it’s about.

Don’t stuff in keywords in images—simply make a name that describes what the picture is. As long as you’re including relevant images for your users, the naming convention should match and help you get indexed for long tail searches.

Screenshot 3

Note: To check your page’s alt tags, view your website’s code (right click + view source code). Then, search for “alt=” within the code (control + f, type “alt=”).

6. External and Internal Links

Search engines crawl sites through links. It’s extremely important to interlink your content, not only to help search engine in its crawl, but to associate it with keywords through the use of anchor text.

In addition, external links can provide trust and relevancy. For example, if you’re trying to rank for “Boston internet marketing agency”, it’s helpful to link that page to relevant Boston resources like your Google maps location, your office building’s website, or even your local Chamber of Commerce profile page. These links tell Google that your page is serious about Boston and deserves to be part of the ranking conversation.

7. Meta Description (MD)

A page’s MD isn’t used directly in search engine ranking algorithms; however, because it appears in the search results, this plays a vital role in whether users will click the link or not.

As Google moves more and more towards user engagement signals (including SERP click through rate), meta descriptions are becoming increasingly important. Make sure to write one that capture’s the user’s attention and convinces them to click.

Screenshot 4

Note: To check your page’s meta description tags, view your website’s code (right click + view source code). Then, search for “meta name=” within the code (control +f, type “meta name=”).

8. Social Sharing Buttons

There’s no denying the impact of social media on SEO anymore. Google is clearly moving towards a ranking algorithm that relies less on links and more relevancy factors like social media shares.

That’s why it’s important to give users the ability to share your content with the click of a button. WordPress has thousands of free plug-ins, but any developer off Elance can get it done for you as well.

Wrapping it Up

As SEO’s, we’re too often immersed in landing links that are building off page signals to worry about basic SEO tasks.

As Google continues to increase their algorithm’s quality ratings, these things can’t go unnoticed.

Pay attention to the details – they’ll pay off in the long run.

]]> 1
Six Ways to Get People to Share your Content Thu, 16 Jul 2015 02:31:30 +0000

How to Get People to Share Your Content

Fifty percent of content marketing is dedicated to topic and content creation, while the other half is for its amplification.

There are so many ways to amplify your content (like through e-mail marketing or joining communities), but getting social shares is what marketers aim for. Perhaps because it’s still the most effective way to reach the right audience, and to actually broaden your reach. With more than a billion active Facebook users, and almost 300 million on Twitter, who wouldn’t want to be viral in social media?

And this is where I want to focus right now – how do we get more social shares? And I mean organic social shares. How do we get people to share our content?

Prepare your minds for some mind-blowing techniques.

How to get people to share your content?

Even if you have good content, you can’t just sit there and expect people to share your content. You need to do something, in fact, after this article, you’ll realize that you have so much more control over the amount of social shares your content is getting.

1. Customize social meta tags

By default, social networks will automatically pull data from your webpage’s meta values whenever you share it in different social media accounts. The post will be something like this:

Social Post Without Photo

But with custom title and description, you’ll get this:

Social Post Facebook

Now, which one is more attractive?

Yes, I think it’s too obvious.

If you’re not very familiar with how you can create custom title and description for social networks, you can easily create one through open graph meta tags.

Open graph (og) meta tags

Open graph meta tags serve the same purpose as regular meta tags (that you should still fill out), but when your link is shared on social media (by you or a fan), the open graph data will be used instead.

Visit The Open Graph Protocol to know more about this.

It only sounds complicated, but believe me that it isn’t, especially with plug-ins that make it easier for users to add title and meta descriptions for social.

You may use SEO Ultimate:

SEO Ultimate

or SEO Yoast for this.

SEO Yoast

Other than making your social post more attractive, custom title and description allow your readers to have a better understanding of what your content is about through the title, meta description, and the image associated with it. This gives your audience more reasons to share your content.

2. Ask for shares

There’s nothing wrong with asking, in fact, initial shares from my posts usually come from people inside our office and my sister. Well, because I ask them to read and share it. In fact, by just asking, your social engagement can grow by 40+%!

But don’t keep asking if you’re not willing to do the same favor for them.

3. Use images

Just like the sample I used earlier, which one is the most attractive – the one with the photo or the one without?

People love images, in fact posts that include pictures on Facebook get 104% more comments, 84% better click through rate, and 54% more likes. Also, in a study conducted by Buffer where they analyzed tweets, they discovered that tweets with pictures get 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets.

To help you with creating images that will fit in your social media accounts, you can try out Canva, or follow this 2015 Social Media Image Size Cheat Sheet.

4. Use tools

If you have the budget, you can use tools to help you boost social shares. There are tons of tools that you can try out. But be careful, there are some who use fake social media accounts to generate shares.

Go for trusted ones like Blogpros – this is actually a personal favourite of mine.

The process is easy, just go to the Blogpros Sign-Up Page, choose how many posts you want Blogpros to promote every day:

Blogpros Step 1

Then select how many (range) shares you want for each post:

Blogpros Step 2

Enter your blog URL:

Blogpros Step 3

Then click Sign-Up, and Blogpros will do the rest!

Easy, right? In fact this image is so accurate, you will just have to wait and observe what will happen next:

Blogpros Steps

The best thing about Blogpros is that it actually gives you what they promise – shares from real humans.

5. Do round-up posts

Whenever I do a round-up post, I make sure that the experts included are informed that my article is already published so that they could share it in their communities, then the people from the communities will read and share it too.

There are many ways for you to do this, but what I usually do is to e-mail them that the article is live – just like this:

Jerod Email

Or mention them in my post:

Social Mention

This doesn’t just strengthen your relationship with the experts, but it actually makes you more credible because these experts trust you with their advice, and this trust is extended to their audience.

6. Add social sharing buttons

This is very easy to do.

Don’t make it so hard for your audience to share your content. You need to put social sharing buttons if you want them to easily share your post after they finish reading it. You can code it yourself, or you can use plug-ins to help you.

You can check out Blogging Wizard’s post on Social Sharing Plug-ins for WordPress 2015 to help you choose the right plug-in for your site.

Now, where should you place it?

While placing your social sharing buttons at the top of the article can be used as a form of social proof – because the audience will more likely read your post if they see high share numbers – natural readers usually share posts once they are finished reading it, so social sharing buttons should be placed at the bottom.
The best way to understand this is through testing which one works for you.

Final note:

As marketers, we want our content to be shared. But more than just the number, our goal should be to reach the right audience. So consider these practical ways on getting more social shares, but don’t neglect the fact that you have to produce great content so that people will find you relevant, and will not think twice about sharing it.

]]> 4
How to Rank with Less Links? Thu, 09 Jul 2015 04:03:23 +0000

Possible to Rank in Google

This is the question that my friend and I have been discussing since last year, which I believe is also the question of many.

While it’s true that marketers don’t need to rely on link building alone to rank on Google, external links is still a big ranking factor, even in cases where webpages rank without links pointing at them.

“You mean external links aren’t valuable anymore?”, some of you might say.

Well, no, that’s not exactly what I meant.

I know it’s confusing.

Allow me to explain.

External link as a ranking factor

In a ranking correlation study conducted by Moz, which is further explained by Cyrus Shepard in his post, Can you Rank in Google Without Links, the top 50 Google search results for 15, 000 keywords were examined.

They found that all websites ranking for competitive search phrases have at least a single external link pointing at them, in fact none of the no-external-links websites ranked. However, there are also instances where individual pages ranked even without external links pointing at them.

To prove this study, I conducted my own research and analysis. For this, I used Canva’s Design School blog.

Since Canva is a quality site, and recently published a blog post which I assumed doesn’t have an external link yet, I was convinced that it’s the perfect website to use.

Using Ahrefs Site Explorer, I checked the backlink profile of Canva’s blog, “50 Most Beautiful Vintage Magazine Covers Ever Designed”.

Canva Design School

As expected, since they just published it, it has no external links yet. But when I searched for “vintage magazine covers” and “vintage magazine cover ideas” keywords, surprisingly, this blog post is ranking.

Canva result 1

Now, it’s not because external link is out of the picture, in fact, it’s still one of the biggest ranking factors.

Like I’ve mentioned before, Canva is a quality website, when I studied the main site’s backlink profile, I got a …

Canva Main Site

Yes, a whopping 135, 000 backlinks and 14, 000 referring domains.

The Design School page alone has:

Design School Backlink Profile

This means that as long as your website (your main site – let’s say your homepage) has external links, individual pages (even without external links) from your site can still rank. This is also proven and very visible on online news sites like CNN, Yahoo News and The New York Times – many times that whenever they publish a new page, which don’t have external links yet, they are still ranking well. And it’s because these sites are quality and have tons of backlinks.

How to rank with less links?

While it’s going to be hard to rank sites without links, there are ways to rank without too much link building efforts.

1. Prioritize quality. Rather than spending time looking for tons of websites where you can get backlinks, why not focus on the quality ones instead?

It’s quite challenging. But building relationships with a few quality websites is better than thousands of irrelevant websites, and in the long-run, you’ll see that it actually saves time.

2. Target more obscure phrases. It’s hard to rank for competitive keywords, especially when you don’t have much quality backlinks, but ranking for long-tail and lower competition keywords is a lot more realistic.

However, since these keywords have lower competition, expect that these have lower number of searches, and in many cases, none.

3. Focus on improving user-experience. Google gives emphasis on user-experience, and highlights the importance of click-through rate, time on-site and dwell time metrics. It’s best to shift majority of your focus on developing great products, services and content.

The future of external links according to Google

Last December 2013, Yandex announced that the search engine will be a “link-free” algorithm, and although this only applies to commercial queries and only works in the Moscow area, marketers couldn’t stop asking, “Will Google apply this, too?”

Well, no.

Here’s part of Matt Cutt’s answer:

“We don’t have a version like that, that is exposed to the public, but we have run experiments like that internally, and the quality looks much worse. It turns out that backlinks, even though there’s some noise and certainly a lot of spam, for the most part are still a really big win in terms of quality of search results. So we’ve played around with the idea of turning off backlink relevance and, at least for now, backlink relevance still really helps in terms of making sure that we return the best, most relevant, most topical search results.”

-Matt Cutts

This shows that external link is and perhaps will still be one of the many elements of Google’s and other search engine’s ranking factors.

We’re way too far from a “link-free” algorithm!

]]> 16
How Improving our Linkbuilding Process Saved us $60,000 in 4 Weeks Mon, 29 Jun 2015 11:47:03 +0000

Improving Linkbuilding Process

“Sean, I’m gonna be honest with you mate.” He said through a series of half-smiles. I knew there was something wrong – and I knew it way before this meeting.

“I’m really not happy with the quality of links I’ve been getting.” Yep, he was right. I’ve been out of the linkbuilding team of my own company since over 3 years ago and so far, majority of the links in the reports for his company is of crap quality.

“And if this keeps on, I’m sorry to say that at the end of this month, we’ll have to look for another SEO company to help us hit our goals.”


In those years that I’ve been hands-off, my linkbuilding team hasn’t really grown. In fact, it went stasis – almost inanimate in its growth and output. Needless to say I was afraid, frustrated and downright angry.

“Don’t worry, I’ll handle it.”

That’s what came out of my mouth when my brain was actually thinking “Oh sh*t, oh sh*t, oh sh*t!”

The contract size at stake was up to $60,000 in revenue for SEO Hacker. I had to do something – ANYTHING to keep this client on board.

Stepping Down and Stepping Up

First thing I did was to ask my linkbuilding team leader to step down the helm – which he so humbly did. I took over as the main strategist and director of our team’s linkbuilding efforts. This was a critical step because if I did not take over, I wouldn’t have been able to review and overhaul the existing strategy and change it to a new one.

Next, I looked for critical linkbuilding tools that I think would help us in our efforts in a 10x scale. So I searched around in Google, blogs, reviews and anything I could wrap my mind around and found out two tools that piqued interested: Buzzstream and Inkybee.


Buzzstream for Linkbuilding

I was a bit skeptical trying Buzzstream out – again. You see, we were able to implement this early on in the life of SEO Hacker as a company. But it didn’t produce any significant result for our linkbuilding team back then. I was hands-off from the team and my team lead during that time told me that it wasn’t worth what we were paying.

So I shut it down and cancelled our account.

It’s been over 2 years since that time. I expected Buzzstream to have improved significantly since then. Our clients have grown – and so has the linkbuilding team. So I thought that it’s just fair for us to give it another shot.

I checked back in to Buzzstream and found out that my access was still working. But the status of the account was cancelled. So I did what I thought was best and Tweeted the CEO and founder Paul May.

Paul responded almost immediately and we had the chance to talk on Skype about what I had in mind for Buzzstream. It was a short but very productive talk. Paul had my Buzzstream account reactivated and sent me some tutorial videos (which I later sent to my entire Linkbuilding team). He also gave me a generous deal to try Buzzstream out (Thanks Paul!).

We immediately jumped into Buzzstream and figured out how to reach out to webmasters who are relevant for our clients.

We were greeted with this screen:

Add Websites

To which we went ahead and added a list of websites we pulled up from Google’s top 100 results. For this case study, I’ll just go ahead and put in dummy data (,, etc.)

Add prospects

After that, Buzzstream does its work.

Buzzstream does its work

We wait for the stats to come out – at this stage, Buzzstream is still pulling data.

We waited for the stats

There we go. (Woah – didn’t expect those domains to have PageRank scores!)

Stats appear

After pinpointing which websites we were going to go after, we whipped up our outreach template.

Created outreach template

It wasn’t anything fancy but it got the job done. Here’s what we put in as the subject line and message:

Subject: Your site is awesome! Just one Quick question :)

Message: Hey [First Name],

Read through your site ([Website Name])a bit and found out that you’re writing stuff that I’m very much into (Website Niche). Was wondering if you’d let me write one article for you? I promise it’ll be worth publishing and will be a piece your audience would love to read.

Let me know if this is something you’re interested in :)

– Sean
Marketing guy

Outreach Template

Relative to my personal opinion, we received a pretty good reply rate (12%).

Reply Rate

The thing I love about Buzzstream is that it keeps everyone in the loop. I could see who among my team is doing well with the template, who is experimenting on using other templates and subject lines, who is replying sooner and who is replying later.

Things were looking good. Until finally, we were able to wipe through almost all the prospects I pulled up.

The Dilemma

My first batch of scraped prospects from Google was fast running out. We needed prospects. Good prospects. And fast. So I looked for a tool that would help me find (scrape?) good, quality prospects that we can reach out to.

The thing about link outreach is that if you get low quality prospects, your entire lead time from your first email to the supposed live link increases by almost 800%. That’s a lot of time to waste. Ergo, getting your prospects right the first time around saves you 8x more time that you can spend elsewhere.

To illustrate my point, here’s our outreach data in four weeks time:

Outreach Done Over TimeHere’s our replies received data:

Replies ReceivedOur outreach-to-reply ratio data:

Outreach to Reply Ratio

And the depressing difference of our outreach-to-reply ratio (in percent) between weeks:

Difference by Percent

So while our efforts were increasing substantially, our returns were decreasing dramatically. It doesn’t make any sense. After pulling in some data from Buzzstream, I came to the conculsion that it must be on the quality of prospects we were getting. You see, it’s not really logical to think that your prospects are running out – because of the simple fact that there are billions of websites out there.

Running out of good prospects after reaching out to 1,376 websites just doesn’t make sense. The solution seemed obvious – me and my team are in need of a tool to help us get better prospects.



I looked over at Inkybee’s features page and found it fascinating.

InkyBee Features

The thing is, I wasn’t sure if it could deliver. After all, there are so many SaaS tools that could claim this and that – and fall short on the actual execution. So I emailed the owner – Hugh Anderson.

After a series of back-and-forth emails, I decided to try Inkybee out – and invited my entire linkbuilding team over. We jumped in to use the tool almost immediately.

We were greeted by a simple enough dashboard – a search box.

Inkybee Dashboard Page

After doing a quick search (for this case study, I used the keyword ‘customer feedback’) it returns results that look like this:

Quick search -customer feedbackObviously Inkybee does not rank prospects in terms of Moz’s PA and DA, rather it ranks websites and blogs in terms of their overall visibility and engagement. From their website, here’s how they explain those two metrics to be:

1. Visibility

Visibility is a measure of how visible a blog is on the Internet in relation to all other blogs. Visibility equates to audience, connectedness and authority metrics.

  • For example, Mashable and Huffington Post are highly visible and therefore would have the highest visibility scores.
  • It is measured on a logarithmic scale from 1 to 100. This means that, in absolute terms, to increase from a score from 80 to 90 is over 1,000 times harder than to increase from 30 to 40.

2. Engagement

Engagement is a measure of the average social sharing, liking and commenting on any story on that blog.

  • Measured on a logarithmic scale from 1 to 100.

Other than that, there’s two other metrics they use but don’t show in the search results page:

3. Relevance

The relevancy score is a measure of how often the words in the corpus are used across all the posts written by the blog.

  • A relevancy score of 100 means that all of the blog’s posts talk about the concept of ‘public relations’
  • A relevancy score of 50 means that in general, about half of the blogs’s posts talk about public relations. The rest may talk about social media (for example).

4. Overall Ranking

The Total Ranking is a blend of these 3 scores above with engagement and visibility ranking higher than relevance on the basis that they are all reasonably relevant. How often each blog posts is also factored into this calculation.

We were very excited about these four metrics. So we went ahead and took a shot at our first prospects. We do not have conclusive data as of yet – however, we’ve seen a general uplift in our numbers because of our prospects from Inkybee.

The Result

Over the course of 1,376 outreaches done in a span of 4 weeks, we were able to bag 25 editorial links from 25 different websites. While that puts us at a 1.8% outreach to live links ratio (which I think is horrible but has a huge opportunity for improvement), our client was very happy with the end results.

The approximate manpower hours we spent for those 1,376 outreach emails was around 80 hours. That’s a huge lift in efficiency since I went back to take the helm of linkbuilding. The entire sprint that resulted in 25 editorial links saved us one client with a contract of $60,000 in its entirety.



Tips for Keeps: Inkybee and Buzzstream is now in the list of “Tools we Use” at SEO Hacker. I highly recommend for you to try them out.

If you found this post useful for your outreach efforts, or if you have some things to add to improve this, let me know in the comments section below.

]]> 16