step-by-step guide

Win SEO Through Content Marketing with the Tandem Bike Technique

February 23, 2018
Tandem Bike Illustration

6 Proven Steps To Create Dominant Content That Boosts Traffic

Content Marketing drives amazing results for the companies that do it well. It has a major role in achieving higher visibility and brand recognition—and most importantly—dominance in search rankings.

In fact, Content Marketing is the true backbone of Search Engine Optimization.

There’s only one problem:

Most companies have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to SEO and Content Marketing.

Many companies create content—but very few see that content drive any tangible results. Instead, most content sits there collecting dust while the resources that went into creating it could have gone toward work that actually contributed to the company’s bottom line.

Why does this happen?

Because Content Marketing needs to follow an established process in order to work the way it’s intended to work—and most content creators have no idea what that process entails.

As it just so happens, we’ve developed a data-driven, dependable technique for content creation that drives massive organic SEO successes, produces qualified leads, and shatters your competition.

Want us to ride through it with you?

Of course you do.

Let's get started!

earn backlinks icon
Part one

Chapter 1: Find Topics that Earn Authoritative Backlinks

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Part one

Chapter 2: Target Keywords with High Traffic Potential

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Part one

Chapter 3: The 5 Keys to Creating Authority Content that Earns Backlinks & Shares

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Part one

Chapter 4: Get Your Amazing Content in the Right Hands

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Identify Successes & Opportunities
Part two

Chapter 1: Learn How to Identify Successes & Opportunities within Your Authority Content

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Part two

Chapter 2: Create Your Maximizer Content

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The Tandem Bike Technique

Have you ever seen a tandem bike in action?

Well, in essence, two riders are generating power and that power is combining to propel the bike in a preferred direction. Pretty simple.

Content Marketing—the kind that actually works, is very similar.

The Tandem Bike Technique focuses on the creation of two distinct types of content, both of which are riding toward the same ultimate goal:

Getting more traffic, more visibility, and higher search rankings.

When combined, these two content types generate short-term wins while laying the groundwork for sustainable, long-term SEO dominance.

Let’s get started!

Back Rider Waving on Tandem Bike
Part one

The Back Rider: Authority Content

Think about putting a bike in a high gear on a long flat road:

Initially, every pedal takes a bit more effort than it would in a low gear, but once you get up to speed, it feels like you could glide forever.

Within the Tandem Bike Technique, Authority Content’s purpose is to create long-term, sustainable organic SEO results.

So how do we get there?

By identifying content topics that present opportunity, creating best in class content on those topics, and promoting it to the right entities across the internet.

That sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?

Thankfully, we’ve created a step by step process that breaks down the creation and promotion of Authority Content for you.

Here we go!

Create Content That Gets Results

The Problem

Many companies fall into the trap of creating content that they think their target audience will relate to, share and enjoy—only to find that their hunch was misguided.

Other companies don’t create content at all, because they are in the business of selling products or services they don’t believe are interesting enough to generate buzz and traffic.

The Solution

Listen to Google.

Picking a content topic without doing the right research is like betting on the losing team to win the Super Bowl after the Super Bowl has already happened.

You may think a topic will be successful, just like you thought the losing team was better, but that doesn’t give you the result you want.

As crazy as it sounds, this is actually what most content creators do!

But we know you’re better than that, so we’re going to walk you through the right way to choose a topic.

Earn Backlinks
Chapter 01

Find Topics that Earn Authoritative Backlinks

Before we get started, you should know that backlinks are Google’s #1 search signal.

Simply put, the more high quality backlinks lead to content on your website, the better Google thinks your website is and the more qualified, organic traffic your website will receive.

The whole point of Authority Content is to… you guessed it! 

Earn authoritative backlinks.

A backlink is created when another website links to a specific page on your website. The quality or authority of that backlink is determined by how authoritative or prestigious the linking site is.

In other words, if I get a backlink from Forbes.com, it signals to Google that my website has quality content, and Google responds by improving my site’s search rankings.

[Learn more about backlinks by reading this article from our favorite blog]

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s explore the ways in which we find topics that earn authoritative backlinks.

Step 1: Search for the Best Content on Google

Believe it or not, a great way to identify content topics that perform well in Google search rankings is to use Google!

Let’s say you run a dog walking and training business, and need to identify winning content topics to drive organic traffic (and leads!) to your website.

The first step is to see what’s already working.

Let’s try to Google something relevant to the industry.

The key here is to use search terms that are both general enough to get us a wide range of results, and non-promotional enough to make sure we don’t run into a bunch of ads and sales pages of your competitors.

Let’s start with “Dog Training Advice”

dog training advice

The top results have some great examples of the types of content we will analyze later on to identify who the industry’s link creators are.

For now, save the links to the most relevant, non-promotional pages from this search query. For a topic this broad, you can go to the 3rd or 4th page and still find good content.

You can also try to search for similar terms within the same industry or topic grouping.

For example, a search for “stop dog barking” is related and still general enough to produce some very high quality results:

stop dog barking serp

Have your list of quality, non-promotional pages?

If so, you’ve officially identified what Google sees as the highest quality content within your industry of choice.

Now onto the most important part:

Step 2: Find Out Who's Linking to the Top Content You Found

The biggest thing Content Marketers forget when it comes to writing for SEO is that Google has no problem telling us what it likes and doesn’t like.

By searching for top content within a given space, we can see what’s currently performing, and build on it.

The best way to do this is by using great content to identify our audience.

And there are some great tools that can help us do this.

Our favorite is Ahrefs.

Let’s get started!

On Ahrefs, go the the “Site Explorer” tab.

ahrefs site explorer

Now this is where we use the handy articles we found in the first step.

We’re just going to plug them in and figure out who’s linking to them!

Let’s try it out with this first page article from our first search query, “dog training advice.”

top 10 dog training tips listing

Pop the url from the article into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer.

top ten dog training tips ahrefs

You will be presented with an abundance of information.

The metric we want to be paying the most attention to is “Referring Domains”

referring domains ahrefs

This section is crucial to helping us understand who is linking to the article we chose.

Let’s click on it.

You will get a list of all of the sites linking to the article:

referring domains results

Now keep in mind, our goal here isn’t just to find link creators, it’s to find authoritative sites that tend to link to quality content in our industry.

Let’s go ahead and click on “DR” to sort by Domain Rank.

results sorted by domain rank

We now have a list of authoritative backlink sources.

Not all of these websites will be relevant, but the high quality websites within your niche are your link creators.

You can now select the best, most relevant link creators for each of the pieces of content you identified in part 1.

You should end up with a solid list of high quality websites that have shown they link to other websites in the space.

Congratulations! You’ve found your audience.

Step 3: Identify a Topic You Know will Work

You may be saying, “how can I know if something is going to work before I even try it?”

Well, if you’ve learned anything from this post so far, it should be that tools like Ahrefs can give us the answers to most of the questions we have about content creation.

Most people just forget to ask.

Let’s fire up Ahrefs again. This time, we will start with the “Content Explorer.”

ahrefs content explorer

Let’s type in our original search query, “dog training advice.”

You will find that the results page populates with multiple articles in the space, and each article has its own host of metrics on its right.

content explorer results before refined search

Now let’s refine our search, because many of the articles that pop up first are not necessarily going to be the best ones.

Set “referring domains” to at least 10, because we want to make sure the quality pages we find are earning backlinks.

referring domains refined content explorer search

And set “organic traffic” to at least 100, because that shows us the content that people are finding and most likely enjoying.

organic traffic refined content explorer search

Now if we look at our updated results, we find high quality pieces of content with good traffic and a solid backlink profile.

content explorer results

If we click on the results, we can see detailed data on their backlink sources, their traffic, the keywords they are ranking for and their domain rank.

result analysis ahrefs

The key here is that in order to create high quality, engaging content, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Ahrefs’ content explorer provides us with all the information we could possibly need about what makes content in the space successful, and which topics tend to work better than others.

Target Keywords
Chapter 02

Target Keywords with High Traffic Potential

Now that we have discovered our content’s audience (link creators) and some topic ideas, it’s important to leverage another massive advantage that the internet wants to give us:

High opportunity keywords.

Here's how:

Step 1: Don't Overthink it, Let Google Tell You Which Keywords You Should Target

If you have a gmail email address, you can create a free Google AdWords account.

Don’t worry, we’re not going to be messing around with paid search. But we will be using the Google Keyword Planner.

First, create a Google AdWords account.

google adwords account setup

Next, go to the Google Keyword Planner within AdWords. You will land on a page that looks like this:

keyword planner home

Click on “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.”

keyword planner search

Now we want to make sure we are using the knowledge we accumulated while we were searching for successful content topics and link creators.

Based on the research you’ve already conducted, type a keyword into the box that appears in the content topics you already identified.

You will get detailed data for the keyword you plugged in, as well as ideas for similar keywords with their respective data.

We’ll go with “dog training” for this example.

keyword explorer results

The list you are presented with will likely have a ton of very high-traffic keywords. Ranking for these is not impossible, but it’s very competitive.

Why not try to maximize traffic potential by going after less competitive keywords?

Let's do it:

In the search results, sort by “Competition” to find all of the low competition keywords.

low competition keywords

Just like that, you have a list of keywords with low competition that you can focus on in your next piece of content.

From this list, try to find the keywords with the highest traffic potential that are the most relevant to your topic ideas.

Pretty cool, huh?

Well, before you get too excited, we have another tool up our sleeve.

Step 2: Use Ahrefs to Get Amazing Data on Your High Opportunity Keywords

Keep this list of keywords up on your browser, but let’s fire up Ahrefs yet again and go to the “Keywords Explorer.”

ahrefs keyword explorer home

Now pick out a keyword from our Keyword Planner list that we think would work well in a piece of content. Remember, high traffic potential and low competition are essential.

Let’s go with “dog whining.”

dog whining ahrefs results

Hint: You should be getting really excited right about now.

The search volume for “dog whining” is very high, and the keyword is not competitive at all, with Ahrefs estimating you only need about four backlinks to rank on the first page or Google.

Not only that, but if you go to the “Also rank for” section, you get a list of similar keywords that you can use in your piece to bolster the page’s traffic.

also rank for keywords

Pick out the most relevant keywords with the highest search volume and be sure to add them tastefully into your content.

Be sure to repeat this step for all of the relevant low competition keywords you found while using the Google Keyword Planner.

And bingo!

So far, you’ve learned how to compile the following:

  • A list of link creators which will serve as the target audience of your content
  • Examples of successful topics in your industry  that already generate traffic and backlinks
  • A list of high opportunity, low competition keywords that you will target to drive crazy traffic to your content.

Now it’s time to actually write the darn thing.

[A quick note for content marketers in “boring” industries: This process is proven to be successful at identifying link creators, winning topics and high opportunity keywords. If you’re still not finding any topics, you’re not being general enough.

For example, if you work for a company that manufactures tubes for boilers, you’re probably not going to be able to write an entertaining and engaging 2,000 word piece on it. 

Instead, there are tons of areas you could focus on. How about in-home safety? Energy efficiency?

There’s a world of opportunity. All you need to do is be the slightest bit creative. The data will do the rest

[Still having trouble? Shoot us an email and we’ll send you some ideas!]

Earn Backlinks & Shares
Chapter 03

The 5 Keys to Creating Authority Content that Earns Backlinks and Shares [Checklist]

The Problem

If Chapters 1 and 2 were about giving the people what they want, Chapter 3 is about giving the people what they want, how they want it.

The internet is flooded with content on just about any topic. It’s not enough to be a great writer, armed with the right target audience and keywords. Great writing is... great—but it doesn’t automatically translate into results.

The Solution

This should come as no surprise, but again—listen to Google.

Follow these 5 keys and you will be well on your way to creating authority content that not only targets the right audience, topic and keywords, but also drives outstanding results.

Key #1: Effective Content is Long

Did you know that the average top 10 Google result is over 2,000 words?

In fact, longer content is proven to generate more shares, more first page rankings and more backlinks than short content.

But long content isn’t just about word count. Content length merely creates the conditions necessary for a piece of content to have success with users and rank well in search engines.

Here’s why:
  1. It tends to me more useful and comprehensive (we’ll dive into that below)
  2. It increases dwell time and time on page metrics, meaning users spend a longer period of time on the page because it takes longer to consume. These are search signals that Google takes into account.
  3. It creates the opportunity for increased Click Through Rate through better title and description tags (another idea we will expand on later)

Ultimately, short content just doesn’t provide content marketers with enough space to satisfy or surpass the expectations of their users and search engines.

Content Length Checklist:
  • My Content is over 1,500 words

Key #2: Effective Content is Useful

Pop Quiz—Compare these two content title ideas and decide which one is more likely to get clicked on:

  1. “Why do dogs whine?”
  2. “6 Reasons for Dog Whining and How to Train Them to Stop”

I would build a bronze statue for someone who could write a 2,500 word article on why dogs whine.

I’d build a solid gold one for whoever could sit through reading it.

Utility is the most essential element of quality content on the internet. People like content that's not only interesting, but also adds value to their life.

And sure—you could say, “The first post adds value to my life because I want to learn. I’d love to know why dogs whine—and I don’t even have a dog.”

However, the second title exhibits greater utility to a broader group of readers. Not only will this post provide 6 reasons why dogs whine—but it also informs the reader on how to abate this behavior. 

The post should appeal to people interested in the topic, as well as those looking to take action.

Content Utility Checklist:
  • My content has a tangible use that can be effectively implemented in a specific time frame
  • My content focuses exclusively on providing value, not on impressive writing

Key #3: Effective Content is Comprehensive

Pop Quiz #2—Now compare these two content titles and decide which one is better:

  1. “6 Reasons for Dog Whining and How to Train Them to Stop”
  2. “17 Reasons for Dog Whining and How to Train Them to Stop [Step by Step Guide]”

Our clear winner from the first pop quiz comes up short.

Why? Because option 2 is more comprehensive and more useful.

If there are actually 17 reasons for dog whining (there may well be 5,000 for all I know), including all of them helps put a user at ease that they know every possible reason for their dog’s unhappiness.

Furthermore, the inclusion of “[Step by Step Guide]” tells users that this post is actually going to help them solve their problem in a way that makes sense and can be put into action.

With comprehensive content, users are able to limit the work required to find information that meets their needs.

Your piece of content becomes the ultimate resource on the internet. A user has no reason to seek out anything else because everything they need is right there.

Comprehensive content also tends to increase dwell time, which is how much time a user spends on your page. Google interprets higher dwell time as a positive ranking factor, which can give you a big edge in search rankings.

Content Comprehensiveness Checklist:
  • My content is the most comprehensive post of its kind that I was able to find online
  • My content will answer all of a user’s questions on the topic at hand.
  • My Content will increase dwell time on my website

Key #4: Effective Content is Enticing and Memorable

Research has found that people react more favorably to content that's memorable and impressive.

Memorable content tells a story, elicits positive emotion or includes elements (like branded words or techniques) that cause people to like, share, and link.

Content can be impressive based on its detail (ie. 17 reasons vs. 6 reasons) or the design that goes along with it.

Ultimately, your content needs to be memorable and impressive in order to have an edge over similar content within your industry.

This can also be achieved in part by creating effective titles for your content as well as optimizing crucial elements of its technical SEO such as its title tag and meta description.

Content Memorability Checklist:
  • My content’s title tag and meta description are optimized with compelling adjectives that elicit emotion
  • My content is either completely original or puts a new, more effective spin on an existing topic or solution
  • My content’s title, title tag and meta description reinforce its utility and comprehensiveness
  • My content includes design elements that make it visually appealing

Key #5: Effective Authority Content is Written for Your Link Creators

Last quiz, I promise—Pretend you’re an authority in the dog training industry. Choose the article you would be most likely to link to:

  1. Why Our Dog Training Program is the Best in the Business
  2. 15 Key Principles of Dog Training: How To Keep Your Pooch Happy, Healthy and Well-Behaved

In case you haven’t caught on by now, the answer is always #2.

This specific example brings up an essential question that you should consider before you create any piece of Authority Content:

Why would anyone ever link to this?

For option #1, that answer is pretty clear:

They wouldn’t.

While it’s tempting in the world of content marketing to “market yourself,” that’s not what Authority Content is all about.

Authority Content is best-in-class, data-driven content aimed at providing value to link creators.

When you put together your list of Link Creators in Chapter 1, the first thing you should be thinking about is how they can add value to their audience by linking to your content.

At the end of the day, the only reason anyone will link to your content is if it somehow provides value to their audience beyond what they already have to offer.

Self-promotional content usually doesn’t fit the bill—but useful, engaging content most certainly does.

Backlink Potential Checklist:
  • My content is not self promotional
  • My content provides a value to the audience of my link creators that was not inherently present before (or reinforces an existing value)

So far you have a data-backed topic along with a target audience that has shown it links to the type of content you are creating.

You now also have a phenomenal piece of long form content that provides link creators with a way to add value to their audience.

What’s next?

Download the full checklist here!
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Promote Content
Chapter 04

Get Your Amazing Content in the Right Hands

The Problem

Creating content for the sake of creating content is an exercise in futility. 

First off, if content creators struggle to find effective topics or a list of the right link creators, it doesn’t matter how good they are at distributing their content—it simply won’t be successful.

If content creators identify the right topics and structure their content effectively, but still lack a distribution strategy, it falls on deaf ears.

The Solution

Before you start to worry, it’s important to realize that if you’ve followed all of the steps above for creating great content, you are already WAY ahead of the game.

Most content marketers think ideation (with maybe a brief peek at analytics and keyword reports) is key answer to creating excellent content.

But remember:

It’s easy to get caught up with creating content you think will appeal to your target audience. 

That is NOT what Authority content is all about.

In order to get our Authority in the right hands, we have to employ creative promotion techniques that take advantage of great link building opportunities.

Let’s go over a few of them (each with multiple applications) below:

But first, a note on value

When we promote content, it’s important to make sure we remember the purpose of everything you’ve been doing to this point.

Identifying authoritative sites that can link to your content, identifying topics you know will work, and creating content in a very specific and deliberate way to maximize the likelihood of earning backlinks.

For this reason, whenever you’re about to reach out to a link creator, you should first ask this question:

Does the piece of content I’m promoting help or add value to the authoritative site I’m promoting it to, and its audience?

If the answer is yes, you’re in business!

If the answer is no, you missed something in Chapters 1 through 3.

Don’t worry. If you read through those chapters again and keep asking yourself the question above, you’ll be on the right track in no time!

Ok, now let's get started:

Opportunity 1: Link Roundups and Resource Pages

Getting your content on link roundups or resource pages is perhaps the easiest quick-hit promotion technique, simply because link roundups and resource pages are pretty easy to find.

Being listed in a link roundup won’t always get you a contextual link—and a resource page is even less likely to produce one—but a backlink from a relevant, authoritative website is always a good thing.

How does the technique add value?

Well, that’s easy:

In the first few chapters, you’ve learned how to create high quality, industry-leading and comprehensive content.

Why wouldn’t an authoritative website want to link to a piece that is not only relevant but also the best of its kind?

How to get the technique into gear:

Your goal with this promotion technique is to find authoritative blogs and websites that create weekly or monthly content roundups.

These roundups have to be related to your content topic, or the parent topic.

For example, you’re never going to get your piece about dog training on a roundup of DIY home decorating tips.

Here’s where you start:

Step 1: Find your original link creators from Chapter 1

Many of the link creators you identified in Chapter 1 are likely to have content roundups or resource pages.

Since these websites are the original audience you defined for your content, they are the best possible place to start.

Start by grabbing your original list.

Step 2: Visit each of the authoritative sites from your list and look for roundups

Let’s say Puppy Leaks was on your original list of link creators:

puppy leaks homepage

All you have to do to see if the website has a roundup is type “roundup” in the search bar:

roundup search bar

Sure enough, it looks like Puppy Leaks puts together a roundup of their favorite dog articles and videos each week!

puppy leaks roundup

The even better news?

The author of the posts is listed, so it will be easier for you to get in contact.

Step 3: Contact the author

Your next job is to get in contact with the person who’s compiling the roundup posts.

Since this roundup happens weekly, this is a great chance to build a relationship with the editor so they know you are consistently creating great content in their niche.

If your content is high-quality and adds value to their audience, they have no reason not to include you in their next roundup!

Another way to find roundups

While finding roundups among your link creators is the best way of ensuring that your promotion efforts are consistent with your research, it’s not the only way.

You can also use Google to find relevant roundups with specific search strings.

Just use a relevant keyword, like “dog training,” and put it in a search string that tells Google you’re looking for roundups in that industry—like so:

“Dog training + roundup”

Or

“Dog training + weekly roundup”

You’ll get a great list of the top relevant websites that produce content roundups.

google roundup search

If you want to be sure it’s worth your time to reach out to a particular website, pop it into Ahrefs’ “site explorer” to analyze whether it is an Authoritative site.

A quick tip:

Try using a date range when you search for roundups.

This will help you avoid wasting time by contacting blogs which aren’t actively posting link roundups. If they haven’t posted a roundup within the past month, it’s best to look elsewhere for roundup link building opportunities.

A final note: Resource pages

Resource pages are similar to roundups in that they provide a list of links that can be helpful to users.

The main difference is that they tend to be more general and they are a static entity on a website, not a list that comes out every week or so.

With that said, the technique for getting listed on a resource page is very similar.

Just switch out the word “roundup” for the word “resources” and you can see if the website in question has a resource page.

Opportunity 2: Finding Broken Links

This may not be obvious, but many websites have broken links that are unknown even to the site administrators.

This technique is all about using some special tools to find broken links on the websites of your link creators and creating opportunities to replace them with links to your own content.

How does the technique add value?

Nobody likes broken links. They can cause major losses in traffic and prevent users from finding the content they need.

Finding a broken link on an Authority site and providing great content for that site to link to is a double-win for everyone involved.

I’d be willing to bet the website would rather link to your excellent content than to its own 404 page.

How to get the technique into gear

Step 1: Download the “Check My Links” Chrome extension.
check my links extension

There are many tools that allow you to check sites for broken links, but this one is our favorite.

Make sure you click on “Add to Chrome” and it will be added to your toolbar.

Step 2: Grab your original list of link creators

Go to each website and find the pages that tend to have the most links.

You can use the same search process outlined in the round-up technique to look for weekly roundup posts and resources pages. These are link-heavy pages that are likely to have some broken links on them.

Step 3: Click on the check my links extension in your toolbar to run a search

Repeat this process on all of the link-heavy pages you find until you find broken links.

broken link search

Whoa! 21 broken links!

You can now look at all of the links to identify if any of them previously linked to content that covered the same or a similar topic to any of your Authority Content.

Step 4: Contact the site

You just did the website a huge favor by finding broken links on their site!

This is your chance to help them out and recommend that the old link be changed to guide users to your relevant content on the same topic.

Opportunity 3: The Bike Mechanic Technique

This is our favorite technique. It happens to be slightly more labor intensive than the other two, but it’s well worth it.

The main focus of The Bike Mechanic Technique is to use every tool at your disposal to try and improve content on the websites of your link creators.

How does The Bike Mechanic Technique add value?

Why wouldn’t a website want to improve their content?

When you use this technique, you’re capitalizing on the notion that no website, when presented with a chance to improve the effectiveness of its content, would choose not to do so.

How to get the technique into gear:

Step 1: Grab your original list of link creators

Pretty similar to step one in all the other techniques, huh?

Hope you didn’t skimp on that link creator research in Chapter 1!

Step 2: Find pieces of content on those sites that are directly relevant to your topic

This one is pretty intuitive.

If you wrote a piece on puppy training tips and you’re focusing on a link creator’s piece that discusses the top rated food brands for adult dogs, there’s probably not going to be a ton of opportunity for a backlink.

Step 3: Scour the content for opportunities to use your tools

This is the most important step.

Think of yourself as a free mechanic for the Authoritative website in question.

Nobody is paying you (in the form of money, at least) to improve their content, but you’re doing it anyway. Instead, if you do your job correctly, you’ll get paid with backlinks.

Here are a few things to look for:

1. Missing resources or opportunities for detailed support

Let’s say the piece of content you’re reviewing makes a claim like “you can stop a dog from whining by making sure you adhere to a strict, consistent feeding and play schedule.”

And instead of elaborating and/or providing a link to back up the claim, the piece simply moves on.

This is a great opportunity for you to add support to their piece. If they didn’t elaborate on their claim, your value add may be that you wrote a detailed, step-by-step piece on how to create and maintain a dog’s feeding and play schedule.

Your coverage of the topic is more detailed, actionable and comprehensive than that of your link creator, so they will provide value to their website visitors by adding a link to content that reinforces their claim.

2. Infographic opportunities

Many pieces of content do a great job conveying information, but that information can be enhanced with a visual aid.

This is where infographics come into play.

Let’s say you’ve recently created an infographic on a topic covered by a link creator.

That infographic may be able to reinforce the piece in the form of a visual aid. Simply offering up a link to your infographic or the opportunity to embed it can add a new dimension to any piece of content.

3. Outdated content

Old content isn’t always relevant. You can scour the blog archives of Authoritative websites and find plenty of content with relevant topics and outdated data or information.

This content may also be linking to sources that don’t exist (hence the broken link technique) or are outdated themselves.

This is a quick and easy opportunity for you to add value. Let’s say an article written in 2015 is linking to a source written in 2011. At the time, that wasn’t a huge deal, but now, that article is 7 years old!

By offering to freshen up this content and providing updated sources in the form of your own relevant, high quality content, you are adding value while creating contextual backlinks to your own website.  

4. Broken links

We’ve covered this one already, but it’s important to note that looking for broken links can go hand in hand with other research you do while employing the Bike Mechanic Technique.

Step 4: Reach out!

This is the easy part.

Don’t be shy. Remember, all you’re doing is helping them out!

In your outreach, you can identify the issues you found and offer proactive solutions that you yourself will provide.

They get their issues fixed and content improved without having to put in any effort. You get a backlink (or more than one!).

Sounds like a win-win!

Feeling Authoritative Yet?

You should be, because you’ve already gone above and beyond what most Content Marketers could ever hope to achieve.

Let’s take it a big step further, shall we?

Front Rider Waving on Tandem Bike
part two

The Front Rider: Maximizer Content

Sometimes, it just makes no sense to have your bike in a high gear. On certain surfaces and inclines, you need a lower gear to get you going.

Organic SEO results achieved by means of Content Marketing take time to bear fruit.

For some companies, this can be crippling, as the road to a significant ROI can be long and grueling if they are relying exclusively on a “high gear” content strategy.

With that said, there’s no need to worry!

We’re going to walk through the best way to capitalize on small successes throughout the process, turning them into huge SEO wins in the short term.

That’s where Maximizer Content—the front rider of our tandem bike—comes into play.

Maximizer content implements many of the same structural qualities as Authority Content, but it is created for a different audience:

Your actual end user.

Maximizer Content has one primary objective:

Drive lighting-fast SEO results by capitalizing on existing successes and targeting keywords with high traffic potential.

Let’s drill down on how it’s done:

Identify Success & Opportunities
Chapter 01

Learn How to Identify Successes and Opportunities within Your Authoritative Content

Maximizer content starts with the identification of newly ranked keywords.

You may be saying, “Newly ranked keywords? What if I don’t have any?”

Trust me, you do—because you did a great job implementing the first half of this post and created tremendous Authority Content.

Now it’s time to maximize your results and propel the bike forward at a faster pace.

Step 1: Find High Potential Keywords

We’ll start by identifying the piece of Authority Content you want to analyze.

For the sake of consistency, let’s stay on the topic of dog training.

Let’s say you work for Petfinder and actually put together this piece of content as an Authority page:

top ten dog training tips

By following all the steps for creating excellent Authority Content, you’ve gotten your piece of content on the first page of Google for the search query “dog training advice.”

Amazing!

[Side note: this piece ranks highly and has attracted a ton of backlinks despite it lacking some of the key characteristics of great content outlined above. Imagine what a real piece of high quality authority content could do! Regardless, for the sake of this example, it will work]

Let’s plug the page into Ahrefs “Site Explorer”.

The key number we want to be looking at here is “Organic Keywords.”

organic keywords

As you can see, this page is currently ranking on Google for 509 organic keywords. That’s a lot!

Let’s dig in a little deeper by clicking on the number.

Ahrefs leads us to a page that shows us all of the keywords the page is ranking for:

list of keywords ranked

From this data, we can extrapolate the traffic that this post is getting based on its respective keyword rankings.

Sorting by “Volume” allows us to determine keywords generating the greatest amount of traffic for this post.

sort by volume keyword

Now remember:

Maximizer content is about identifying small successes and building upon that success by addressing the opportunities that surround it.

Take the keyword “puppy training tips” for example.

puppy training tips

Our post shows up 17th on average for that keyword—which is good, but it could be better.

In fact, when I look at the keyword, I see that it receives about 4,000 searches per month, but the traffic going to our page is approximately 17 hits per month. That’s a measly slice of the pie! Do you want more of that pie? I would.

Here’s how we make it better:

Click on the keyword and Ahrefs will lead you to a more detailed dashboard.

puppy training tips dashboard

The important area we want to be looking at is the “Also rank for” section:

When we click on it, we get a list of similar keywords, which we can sort based on monthly traffic.

also rank for

Some of the keywords, like “puppies” are far too general. And some are irrelevant, but many of these keywords represent high traffic potential that can bolster the results of our existing keyword successes.

The next step is to create a list of related keywords with high traffic potential we want to target based on these results.

Here are a few:

  • “How to train a puppy”
  • “Potty training a puppy”
  • “Dog obedience training”

You can put together a hefty list of keywords to target just by using this method. You can even click on each one of these keywords and find related keywords to rank for.

Now it’s time to boil these high potential keywords into a piece of content.

Step 2: Zero in on Your Maximizer Content Topic

Finding a content topic for a Maximizer post is much simpler than it is for a piece of Authority Content.

Why?

Because you’ve already identified the keywords and written the piece that your topic idea will come from.

In fact, the post you’re reading right now includes links to Maximizer Content that dives deeper into some of the concepts discussed and targets additional high potential keywords.

Here’s an example:

Baclinks Maximizer Post
A piece of maximizer content we launched in January, 2018

So Maximizer Context isn’t just beneficial in terms of SEO benefits—it also allows you to provide more in depth knowledge on a particular topic to your audience.

Once you have a list of targeted keywords, dive into the Authority Content you plan on “maximizing”. Looking for areas you can expand upon is the best way to finalize great Maximizer topics.

Let’s take a look inside our demo piece of Authority Content from Petfinder:

dive inside the post

Let’s also keep in mind the keywords we identified in Step 1.

Here they are:

  • “How to train a puppy”
  • “Potty training a puppy”
  • “Dog obedience training”

Really, any of these sections can be expanded upon and given a spin related to the keywords we’re targeting.

How about we look at tip #5: “Be Consistent”

Some topic ideas could be:

  • “How to train a puppy by reinforcing consistency”
  • “How to be consistent when potty training a puppy”
  • “12 ways to reinforce consistency during dog obedience training”

There are thousands of possible combinations that can lead to a high-quality piece of content that bolsters your keyword rankings and traffic.

Once your piece is complete, be sure to link to it from the section in the Authority Content that it expands upon.

Doing this has two major benefits:

  1. Since your Authority Content has earned backlinks, linking from it to another relevant page on your website helps to transfer link juice to more promotional areas of the website.
  2. You're adding value to consumers of your content by giving them even more comprehensive information and making it more likely that they will visit multiple pages on your website. This can have positive results on SEO because it will increase Dwell Time and pages viewed per session. Increasing pages per session also decreases bounce rate. These are all search signals that Google takes into account when defining search rankings.

Pretty cool, huh?

Next let’s talk about what it looks like to put together the content.

Create Content
Chapter 02

Create Your Maximizer Content

Now that we have the data necessary and a topic to write about, it’s time to get started on creating our Maximizer Content!

Here’s the good news:

You don’t have to learn a new way of writing content.

Many of the principles that apply to Authority Content also apply to Maximizer Content:

  • Content Length
  • Content Utility
  • Overall content quality

The difference is that Maximizer Content doesn’t need to be as comprehensive as Authority Content—mainly because the target audience is not composed of link creators.

Here are the major differences:
  1. While Maximizer Content needs to be useful, it can provide utility in the sense that it’s a high quality informational resource. The more actionable the information, the better, but it’s not necessary to create a painstakingly detailed step-by-step guide.
  2. While Maximizer Content should still be on the longer side, it can be successfully executed in 1,200 to 1,800 words, rather than 2,000+.
  3. Maximizer Content can (but doesn’t have to)be more promotional, as it focuses on providing specific insight into topics related to your products or services. Since we’re not targeting link creators, we don’t have to worry as much about the likelihood that they will link to our valuable content.

Because Maximizer Content is less time consuming than Authority Content, you can create pieces with much greater frequency. After all, they are built for quick-hitting SEO results that capitalize on the great content you’ve already created.

Teamwork At Its Best: The Tandem Bike Effect

A bicycle with one rider works just fine.

But a tandem bike combines the efforts of two riders who are working toward the same goal.

Authority Content and Maximizer Content feed off each other to create more substantial and immediate results.

Authority Content—on its own—is a phenomenal Content Marketing and SEO strategy. 

By creating content backed by data driven research and promoting it to authoritative websites, a company will always win in the long-term SEO game.

What we’ve found, however, is that adding another rider to the mix changes the game altogether.

Creating targeted traffic that maximizes the short-term positive impact of Authority Content allows us to create a shorter path to turning content and SEO efforts into qualified leads and clients.

Need some advice or additional resources before implementing this process? Shoot us an email with your questions!
Tandem Bike Illustration
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