Simple SEO Strategy: The “Middleman” Method

By | August 10, 2019

Want to see a simple SEO strategy? This is the “middleman” method. It’s a highly effective way for websites both
big and small to maximize their Google rankings. And today, I’m going to show you exactly how
to execute this strategy to get more organic traffic to your website. Stay tuned. [music] What’s up SEOs? Sam Oh here with Ahrefs, the SEO tool that
helps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors, and dominate your niche. Now, this is one of my favorite SEO strategies and it’s
because literally anyone and everyone can use it to get results. So before we dive in, let’s get on the same
page. In its simplest form, search engine optimization
comes down to content and links. And when I say links, I’m talking about both
internal and external. Now, content brings context to your pages. Links, on the other hand, act as “votes” to
show search engines that your pages are worth ranking. Most websites have two main types of content. First are informational pieces, which I’ll
generalize as blog posts, interactive tools, and other useful non-commercial content. The second type of content is probably what
you want to rank the most. And that’s “money” pages. Think of these as product pages for an ecommerce
store, landing pages for a services or SaaS based business, and sales pages for things
like online courses. Now, if you’ve ever tried building quality
links to these revenue generating pages, I’m sure you found it quite difficult. Generally speaking, people don’t care to link
to things like product pages because it provides very little value to them and their audience. But they do link to informational content
like guides and reviews. And this happens because: a.) the external link may support a point
or statistic they’re mentioning. And b.) it directs their visitors to helpful
content that they might not want to expand on. A prime example of this theory is HubSpot. If you look at their top 50 most linked to
pages, you’ll see that 88% of them are blog posts and free courses. As a result, these pages have racked up huge amounts of authority. And that’s where the “Middleman Method” comes
in play. On the far left, you have a bunch of websites
who might be interested in linking to your content. Let’s call them “linkers.” On the far right, you have your money pages. And we’ve already established, that the vast
majority of these people won’t be linking to your “money” pages. So you add a middleman, which is your blog. And this is going to bridge the gap between the
linkers and your revenue generating pages. And as your middleman builds more authority,
it can pass that onto your “money” pages using internal links. And the result? More powerful money pages that should help
you rank and hopefully bank. Now, you might still have some questions like
“which pages do I link from and which ones do I link to?” Or you might be thinking…Sam! I don’t have any authoritative pages. No worries. Because I’m going to answer the rest of your
questions right now. So step 1 is to choose money pages you want
to boost. You know your business best, so you’ll have
to use your best judgement to choose pages. But if you’re stuck, you can use this Venn diagram
to choose. The circle on the left are pages with the
most traffic potential. On the right are pages with the highest business
value. You probably want to look for pages that fall somewhere
in the middle of the Venn diagram, where a small SEO boost has the potential to lead
to significantly more traffic, and more importantly, revenue. A great place to look is in the Organic keywords
report in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer. As you can see, I’m searching pages across
Ahrefs’ entire domain where keywords are ranking in positions 5-10. And since we’re looking for money pages to
link to, I’m excluding blog posts. Right away, you can see that both ‘keyword
generator’ and ‘keyword rank checker’ are in positions 9 and have commercial value to our
site. Another way to do this is to look in Google
Analytics. If you’ve setup ecommerce or goal tracking,
you can look through your reports for pages that have a good balance between traffic,
conversion, and revenue. Alright, step 2 is to find relevant ‘middleman’
pages to link from. Now remember, the middleman is your blog. So we want to find pages that are both authoritative
and relevant. There are two ways to do this. The first is to do a Google search. So I’ll search for to
narrow pages down to just our blog posts, then I’ll type in the keyword I want to rank
for. So let’s click on this page and then do a find for
“keyword generator.” And you’ll see a perfect place to link to
our keyword generator page. So we got relevance down, but at this point
there are only three pages that mention “keyword generator” as a phrase match. So let’s change the query to search for the
topic “keyword research,” since it’s related to the page we want to rank. And now we have a huge pool of blog posts
to choose from. To get all of the SEO metrics for these pages, just
enable Ahrefs SEO toolbar, and then hit the Export button here to download a CSV file of Google’s SERPs. Now, it’s important to note that the toolbar will only download visible results on the page. So you can go to Settings, Search settings,
and set the Results per page to the top 100 pages. Now you’ll have a nice CSV you can filter
through with all of the SEO metrics. In order to determine “authority,” I recommend sorting the pages by URL Rating, which represents the overall strength of a page’s backlink
profile. In general, the higher the UR, the stronger
the page. In fact, we’ve found a clear positive correlation
between a page’s UR and its organic search traffic. The second way to do this is to use the
“Best by Links report.” Just enter in the domain or blog subfolder
you want to analyze. Then go to the Best by links report. This report ranks pages of your target based
on the URL Rating. If you prefer, you can sort your pages by
the number of referring domains pointing at your pages. You can then use the Include search box to
search for relevant pages where you can add internal links to your “money” pages. Ok, so everything that I’ve shown you to this point works well if you have authoritative pages. But not all websites have these so-called
“High-PR” pages. So if you fall into the latter, then you’re
going to have to build them. To do this, I highly recommend using the Skyscraper
technique. If you haven’t heard of this link building
strategy, then here’s what it looks like. You find an outdated piece of content that
has links and is relevant to the page you want to boost. You create something that’s better. Then you reach out to all of the people linking
to the inferior page, and ask them to link to you. So the first step is to find a relevant and
outdated page that has links. You can do this in Content Explorer, which
has over a billion pages of pre-vetted content. Just search for a topic related to your “money” page. So if I were in the body building space, I
might search for “protein powder.” Next, I’ll set a requirement for the pages
to have at least 100 unique websites linking to them or some other high number. And this one seems promising with over 240
referring domains and the page is less than 200 words. Now, while word count isn’t indicative of
a good quality page, 200 words just seems crazy low to me and is worth checking out. The next thing you need to do is create a
piece that’s better. Now, better doesn’t mean that you should go
and double the word count at a whopping 400 words or a post with 51 recipes over their 50. What you want to do at this stage is analyze
the page and find points of weakness. Can you create a more actionable guide? Can you make it more user friendly? Are there key points that are missing? Whatever “better” is to you and your industry… do it. So looking at the page, you’ll see that
the images are basically stock photos that look like they’ve been spliced together. Also, there are no recipes on the page as
the title implies. Instead, they have the name of the shake,
a one-sentence description, and a link to a recipe that you have to click to get. So I think I could create a better user experience
by adding printable recipe cards, talking about the benefits of each shake and what
type of athlete should use them. Take an almond peanut butter shake as an example. I could mention things about how this shake
is packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which is great for whatever
type of person it would suit. The point is that you want to find legitimate
things that you would do differently that adds more value to readers and linkers. Finally, you need to reach out to the people
linking to this page. Just click on the caret beside the URL and
go to the Backlinks report, which shows you all pages that are linking to the target page. From here, you can set some filters to narrow
down your list of link prospects as well as study the anchor and surrounding text column,
which can give you context into how and why the page got a link in the first place. We have a full video on finding these types
of pages for link building, so I’ll link that up in the description. After you’ve built enough links and your page
has gained some authority, you can use them as a middleman to pass authority to your money pages. But hey. Building an army of middlemen isn’t
just about boosting “money” pages. It’s likely that some of the content you create
will start ranking too. And if you’ve chosen a topic that’s related
to your business, you’ll get targeted traffic and most likely, more customers. Now, if you enjoyed this video, then make sure
to like, share and subscribe, and I’d love to know what you think about the “middleman
method.” So leave a comment below. So keep grinding away and I’ll see you in
the next SEO tutorial.

28 thoughts on “Simple SEO Strategy: The “Middleman” Method

  1. mittul shah Post author

    Your videos are inspirational. And creates more usage of already best tool

  2. Ahrefs Post author

    What do you think of the "Middleman" Method as an SEO strategy?

  3. Goodcat007 Post author

    Sam, does your middle name start with an E? I hope it does

  4. Bostjan Tanko Post author

    Great info Sam. And not to long ago when I started paying more attention to this structure called "Middle man". Works great and my rankings improved!
    You should all try what Sam just showed you!

  5. Malik Awais Post author

    Please educate us regarding the Voice Search and its effect on SEO in future!

  6. Narayan Adhikari Post author

    Hi sam my request is please make a video on How to steal competitors featured snippets. We both are ranked on a first page but his post is old and he featured on snippets, i am not😢
    Hope you will help me☺

  7. Mubarik M Post author

    Beautiful video…can you please help me to rank my blog

  8. Vannkorn Tepken Post author

    Hi Sam, how about on-page SEO and UX?

  9. MO Nour Post author

    Great video as always, when I dig deeper in seo, I feel it's just backlinks game and nothing else.

    Out of all those 200 factors, nothing really matters like backlinks, which is really unfair. There is only 10 spots, and google making them less every day.

    There is almost no chance for new sites, i'm working on one for 3 months now, and my competitions is simply buying links, however my content is better, besides that they are older than me in the game.

    So many times I think I need to depend on social media or other platforms to get traffic, since seo will take ages, and even then it won't be much, I don't have the same amount of money.

  10. Yogesh Nigam Post author

    Great sir I'll waiting for more offpage seo vedios.

  11. Android Mobile Games Post author

    Great Sam, you are a next Brian Dean.😎

  12. Chad Blenkin Post author

    Great technique. Labour intensive though.

  13. Purshotham AM Post author

    I don't understand anything. I'm just a web developer. 8 want to learn content writing and know what is it. Can you help me?

  14. ARCHIT SINGH Post author

    Hi Sam, that's again really great video again. Thank you Thank you Thank you so much for loads of information you share with us. It is always being good to see you every week. We can also use guest blogging opportunity to make blog post and link through internal links ;). Just have a question "Can you share your expertise on how to find webmasters of websites like Forbes or HubSpot?"

  15. Stijn Kerstens Post author

    Synical: "Organic results… Are there still organic results showing up in Google ;)?"

  16. Kstyleyo Post author

    You have the most informative information I can use right away. Thank you!

  17. Japneet Singh Post author

    Hi sam
    just wanted to ask is there any tool in ahref which can help in backing indexing if not can you recommend some ??

  18. Kim Chi Post author

    You are my HERO. Tired of seeing these generic tip videos. Real strategies 🙂 🙂

  19. Sam Samo Post author

    Hi, What is better to have 2 backlinks from DA 30+, or 1 backlink from DA 50+?

  20. Nader K. Rad Post author

    Thanks for the guide. How would you compare an internal middleman (e.g. a blog section in the website) with an external one (a separate website)?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *