Ahrefs - Ahrefs' Weekly Digest #106

Hey there,

In this week’s edition:

  • Joshua has two posts: One on the 14-step SEO audit you can follow, and the other on how to rank higher on Google.

  • Bill shares his nine best affiliate marketing tips.

  • Michal shows you which SEO KPIs are actually important.

  • Sam shares link building tactics no one is talking about.


✍️ New on our blog

A Simple (But Effective) 14-Step SEO Audit & Checklist

Joshua Hardwick

While everyone’s SEO audit process will differ, there are 14 basic issues all site owners should check for:

  1. Manual actions

  2. Organic traffic

  3. HTTPS-related issues

  4. Website versions (ensure visitors can browse only one)

  5. Indexability issues

  6. Mobile-friendliness

  7. Page speed

  8. Core Web Vitals

  9. Broken pages

  10. Sitemap issues

  11. Basic on-page elements

  12. Declining content

  13. Content gaps

  14. Other technical issues

You’ll learn how to check each issue in the guide.

9 Key Affiliate Marketing Tips for More Money & Traffic

Bill Widmer

Bill has 10 years of experience creating and growing six-figure affiliate websites. Here are his nine best tips:

  1. Learn SEO

  2. Start with keyword research

  3. Branch out from Amazon

  4. Negotiate with your affiliate partners often (for higher rates)

  5. Diversify your income and don’t solely rely on one affiliate partner

  6. Focus on email capture

  7. Do more than your competition

  8. Keep your data organized

  9. Create more content and keep it updated

12 SEO KPIs You Should (And Shouldn’t) Track

Michal Pecánek

Should you track these 12 common SEO KPIs?

  1. Search visibility – Yes, it’s one of the most useful and universally applicable SEO KPIs.

  2. Conversions from organic traffic – Yes, it’s arguably the only indisputable SEO KPI.

  3. SEO ROI – Only if you’re required to present it by your client, manager, or stakeholders.

  4. New backlinks – Yes, but it’s only suitable if you actively build links and keep track of your outreach success.

  5. Keyword rankings – No, use search visibility as a KPI instead.

  6. Organic traffic – Not unless you’re monetizing your website with display ads.

  7. Number of indexed pages – It depends. Consider tracking this number as a technical SEO KPI only if you’re likely to have trouble getting your content indexed in a timely manner. 

  8. Website Health Score – No, but it is a great proxy score for your overall state of technical SEO. Treat it as that. 

  9. Domain Rating – No.

  10. Click-through rate – No.

  11. Core Web Vitals – No.

  12. Engagement metrics – No, they usually don’t even reflect your SEO growth.

To learn how to track these SEO KPIs, read the guide.

How to Rank Higher on Google (10 Steps)

Joshua Hardwick

If you want to rank higher on Google, you need to be methodical. Start by working on the easy things that are within your control, then move on to more challenging things if needed.

Follow this process:


📹 New on YouTube

Link Building Tactics No One Is Talking About

Sam Oh

Rather than pitch a new guest post, what if you pitched editors and owners to update one of their older pages? That way, you can add a link back to your site on a page that already has traffic and authority. 

Learn how to do this, plus three more link building tactics in the video.


📚 What we’re reading

How Bots Corrupted Advertising

Article by Morgan Meaker

According to some estimates, fake online users or bots make up as much as 40% of all web traffic. Yet, no one has an incentive to solve this problem. 

Ad exchanges want to look the other way because fraud generates volume. And volume generates money. Advertisers are reluctant too—because that means admitting they bought fraudulent inventory. Companies are also unwilling—investigating web traffic means potentially discovering that your numbers are made up of bots.

The Web Almanac by HTTP Archive

Article by Sophie Brannon, Itamar Blauer, and Mordy Oberstein

This year’s SEO chapter for the Web Almanac is out! Our very own Patrick Stox helped review it. 

If you didn’t know, the Web Almanac is an annual repository of public knowledge about the state of the web and is written by expert contributors. 

Technical SEO Testing: How Googlebot Handles iFrames

Article by Bastian Grimm

Earlier this year at SMX Advanced, Bastian’s presentation touched on various scenarios that may lead Google to index the content inside an iFrame while “assigning” that content to its parent URL. This article contains his answers to some follow-up questions. 

For example, some people were interested in whether Google gives full value to semi-hidden content (e.g., “Read More”). His test showed that whether or not it was visible, the content would be indexed, found, and returned. 


Till next time ;)
Cheers,



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