SEO and Content Promotion with Alan Silvestri – Data Beats Opinion

Alan Silvestri is the founder and director of strategy at Growth Gorilla. Growth Gorilla is a no B.S. content promotion and distribution agency for B2B SaaS companies. They help Software companies that are already publishing quality content, get the word out to acquire backlinks, and increase traffic and signups. Alan is also a Back to the Future and 80s fanatic, Delorean owner, and punk rocker.

One of the most amazing things I learned during this interview is the astonishing precision and in-depth knowledge that modern SEO requires of us – and this is an understanding illustrated well by Alan’s example of how one single missing keyword variation on a client’s page boosted his rank past his highest competitor – without any other changes to the page. Unbelievable!  It’s no wonder that more and more companies are turning to experts like Alan and Growth Gorilla to handle their SEO projects.

In this interview with Alan Silvestri, you will learn:

  • What the Content Graveyard is and how to avoid it
  • What a Link Gap is and why it’s important for you to identify and resolve these
  • The 3 main reasons why 90% of content on the web doesn’t get search traffic
  • How Google shows you what it wants to see on the highest rated pages
  • The 5 things you need to prepare BEFORE you start search engine optimization
  • 3 problems that cripple most SaaS companies when it comes to search ranking
  • What you can do IMMEDIATELY to improve your domain rating
  • A little-known secret to page ranking … this one might surprise you!
  • And so much more!

You can connect with Allen at:

Transcript:

Keith Perhac: Hello and welcome to Data Beats Opinion. I am Keith Perhac. And I’m here together with Alan Silvestri. He is the founder and director of strategy at Growth Gorilla. And in your own words, Growth Gorilla is a no BS content promotion and distribution agency for B2B SaaS companies. Thanks for joining us on the podcast.

Alan Silvestri: Hi Keith. It’s great to be here. And so yeah, the no BS part, I actually took it out of the name and I was listening to one of your older episodes where you were talking about and making fun of people that have the no BS part in the name, so it’s appropriate as well. We don’t have that anymore now.

Keith Perhac: It’s hilarious. It’s so funny how quickly that whole… The view of those things changes. Eight years ago, nine years ago, that was like, okay this is something that’s brand new. People are BSing us all over the place. Putting that in, it’s like, “Yes, this is a straight shooter.” And then as soon as something gets popular like that everyone’s like, “Wait a minute. We’re all no BS.” And it becomes noise at that point. And then you have to find the next one to go onto.

Alan Silvestri: Yes, exactly. That’s the main reason we didn’t want to. We had that for a while. I think we were in the batch of people that were in the first ones to do that, but then it becomes trendy and so yeah, we said just let’s leave it.

Keith Perhac: Yeah, before that it was, you remember when everything was named Sumo for some odd reason.

Alan Silvestri: Oh yeah.

Keith Perhac: And then after that it was Sherpa and it was like content Sherpa and all this stuff. And I found out later that Sherpa is a people, in English we always thought, it’s a guide, but it’s like saying, “Content Indians” or “Content Polish”. It’s a group of people. And I was like, “Oh, that doesn’t work as well anymore.”

Alan Silvestri: Yeah. That’s one of those SaaS trends, like having the name that finishes with LY.

Keith Perhac: LY yep. Yep.

Alan Silvestri: Like Calendly basically. Everybody started doing the same thing, yeah.

Keith Perhac: Awesome. Awesome. Yeah. Well, I want to talk today a lot about content promotion and that strategy. I mean, most of us follow the, “Build it and they will come” from Field of Dream strategy and you’ve worked with a number of people like Podia and UpLead and a bunch of others. And just wanted to talk about how people generally go around content promotion, how they generally think about it and then why they’re all wrong – and what you would recommend in those cases.

Alan Silvestri: Yeah. So I wouldn’t say that everybody is wrong. The main thing that we notice with SaaS companies is that they’re very good. Well, for the most part, they’re very good at content strategy, content production. So they’re really good at knowing the types of keywords that they need to rank for. They are good at knowing the different types of pages that they need to publish. So feature pages, the alternative two kinds of pages. But the problem is that, basically once the content is published, they don’t really know what to do with it for the most part. So some of them, what they do is they just do a little bit of social media, reposting content into maybe Infographics or articles or podcasts or stuff like that, which is what I would say is the more classic “content distribution”.

Alan Silvestri: So, the way that we see content promotion is a proactive way of taking the content and putting it in front of the right people. And for us, what we do is more content promotion with the main focus of ranking pages higher in Google for the target keywords. So it’s content promotion/link building essentially. But yeah, the way that we see it is link building done the right way. So for the main purpose of increasing rankings for your main target pages, that can be the pages that can give you the best ROI in the shortest term possible. So this is the difference here between what we do and the standard link building just randomly building links to pages. We have a very strategic approach that we use to identify these pages that are the best pages in terms of ROI for you.

Keith Perhac: And how do you go about that? I think one of the problems a lot of places have is they have so much content and they’re like, “I don’t even know where to start.” We have these things that we’ve spent a lot of time on, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re good for that type of content promotion. So what’s your filtering process?

Alan Silvestri: So first off, I like to talk about what I call the “Content Graveyard”. So content graveyard is essentially where content just sits on the website and does nothing for the company. So like you mentioned before, people think that they can just magically keep publishing and pumping out content in the hope they will magically rank, but sooner or later, you will get to the point where you hit a threshold and you will need more backlinks or better on-page optimization, so better keywords and better improve them that way. But the problem – what most people do is they try some link building. They get to a certain point where they think they have worked very hard on it and didn’t get very nice results. So they just stop and decide to quit and just keep publishing content in the hope they will magically rank.

Keith Perhac: That something’s going to magically pop up there into the social almost like Geist.

Alan Silvestri: Yeah. Yeah. So this is what we call the content graveyard. So what we found out is the best way to fix this problem is to essentially make it in a way that your content production efforts are supported by a constant flow of backlinks to your most important pages. So the way that we do it is, we identify the pages that are already ranking quite well, maybe page one, page two, page three of Google. And we start building backlinks to those pages in a way that makes sense, obviously. And we have a whole process for that. But the main idea is to try to push those pages higher in the rankings first. So that then once they rank higher, they start to also get backlinks naturally from people that are looking for information on the web.

Alan Silvestri:  And so, all of these efforts start to snowball. Sorry. So in a way it looks natural to Google because Google sees that your page is ranking higher, it started getting more backlinks and then more pages start ranking higher, the overall strength of the website in terms of links. So the domain rating or domain authority starts to increase and all of this contributes to making the site rank better for all of the keywords. So yeah, the whole idea is to get this constant flow of backlinks in a way that looks natural to domain and the most important pages essentially.

Keith Perhac: Is this something that you see? I think a lot of people when they start thinking about getting pages to rank or SEO, they feel… I think that there’s a hurdle because everyone’s like, “Oh, it’s going to take three to six to nine months before I even see any results.” How do you overcome that hurdle when talking with clients or with any starting a new project where you’re coming in and it’s like, “Is this going to take six months to see anything?”

Alan Silvestri: Yeah. So first off, yes. For the most part, it does take a long time. For this reason. We only work with clients at 12-month engagements. So we don’t do the three-month test because essentially that doesn’t work. So we only, yeah, we only want to work with the clients that know that this takes a long time. So typically what I say is if you are an established company with a high domain rating and a lot of content published already and some traffic and some momentum, then you might be able to even see results in two, three months, depending on the types of links that we do. And on the types of pages that we decide to focus on. So if the company is newer, that typically takes in between six and 12 months to start seeing some momentum. So these are, I will say the typical ballpark numbers that I give to new clients that come to us.

Keith Perhac: So when you say high domain rank, what, so that people listening under have an understanding, what is high domain rank in your mind? Because I know a lot of people they look at Ahrefs and everything and they’re like, “Oh, I’m doing great.” Then they look at their competitors like, “Oh my God.”

Alan Silvestri: Domain rating for stuff is a metrics at Ahrefs and there’s also domain authority, which is by Moz. So it’s two different software companies. Each one is slightly different. We focus on the Ahrefs metric. The main reason for this is because the Ahrefs metrics is built mainly on backlinks while the Moz metrics use a few other different factors in there. So it’s slightly different, more comprehensive. But since we only work with backlinks and content promotion, we prefer to use Ahrefs metrics. So the way that you typically can identify the domain rating and your need of increasing domain rating is that you need to calculate what we call the link gap between you and your competitors. So you can do some kind of analysis where you essentially determine how many links your competitors have more than you.

Alan Silvestri: And you can do this across multiple competitors at the same time. So once how many total links their website has more than you, then you can also calculate how many new backlinks they are building every month. And so all of this data is available in Ahrefs. And so essentially you then sum the two numbers, so the total link gap, plus the new backlinks every single month. And then you can do, for example, let’s say that you want to focus on a 12-month campaign, then that you need to close the gap with the total number of links, plus keeping also in mind the new links that they build every month. So you need to do better than that essentially.

Keith Perhac: Right, exactly. Exactly. And I think one of the struggles that… And I think one of the benefits of working with someone like you and Growth Gorilla is that like you said, it is a time-intensive thing. And as a founder or as someone who is running the business every day, there’s always going to be fires, there’s going to be things coming up. And the issue that you then run into is like, okay, this is something that needs to be on clockwork every single day, every single week, doing it over and over. And it’s like, it’s really difficult to find a two-week stretch -I can focus on something for two weeks, but then can I do it for six months? And I think that’s the value that you bring in a lot, not only just the knowledge but also the single-minded focus into that.

Alan Silvestri: Yeah. So the way that I typically explain this to the client, is they hire us for the expertise and for the hands that we put into the work. Because something else that we noticed in a lot of SaaS companies, and this is also one of the main reasons why we decided to specialize in B2B SaaS is because most of them have a content marketing department, which is mainly content strategy and content like publishing production, but then they don’t have the content promotion department. So essentially, so yeah, they’re missing the last piece, which is very important.

Keith Perhac: Yeah, exactly. And even with our own stuff and we’ve built internal processes, we call it the Infinite Content Plan where essentially the idea is we build cornerstone content and then we build out satellite content around that of webinars and videos and audio and tweets and blah, blah, blah, all based around the singular idea. But you’re exactly right. It’s like, “Okay, we’ve launched this to our existing list.” And then all the other content is out there and then poof, and it’s like, then nothing happens. So you’re exactly right. That is the bottleneck. That is the challenge because some of us are really good at that and some of us are really not.

Alan Silvestri: So yeah, something else that’s very interesting. There’s a study made by Ahrefs where they found out that 90% of all of the content published on the web doesn’t get search traffic basically. And the main reasons for that is – I think three main reason the first one is because it doesn’t have backlinks, so that’s number one. Second one is because people choose keywords that don’t have search traffic potential. So keywords that they think are good, but nobody’s searching for them. And the third one is because they are not using the correct content type for the specific keywords that they want to rank for and content type is essentially. So if you have, so for example, let’s say that your keyword is called “email templates”, that you want to rank for. And then you look in the top 10 and all of the pages ranking there are so essentially blog articles that are talking about how to create called email templates and some tips and tricks, some examples.

Alan Silvestri: And your page, you’re targeting called email templates, but your page is maybe a feature page or a product page. So, in that sense, the content type is different than what’s already ranking in Google. And so for this reason, it is going to be very difficult for you to be able to rank and compete with the other pages. Essentially something that’s very useful to know for everybody is that Google shows you what it wants to rank. So, as long as you look in the top 10, what you see there is what Google wants to rank. The main idea is to try and do something that is like that, but better or maybe with a different spin. We’ve seen that content that’s controversial can rank better as well. So even though it’s not the same exact thing, so those are the two main things to keep in mind. So either do it better or doing different than the other people.

Keith Perhac: So taking your email template – instead of having 10 templates, it’s like “Why email templates should never rank” or “Why you should destroy all your email templates” or “10 email templates you should never send” … that kind of stuff.

Alan Silvestri: Yeah. Correct.

Keith Perhac: So this is something that I think, especially in SaaS, that we run into a lot and I think less so for like Infoproducts and stuff, but very much in SaaS, where we have our content engine that is mainly blog based or article based or whatever that is those listicles they’re trying to hit keywords. But we as business owners and people who are like, “Okay, we need to improve the business side. We want to focus on feature pages.” Like you’re saying, we want that 10 email templates – we don’t want them to go to a blog article. We want them to go to our feature page. And that’s a fool’s errand because that’s never going to rank, so how do you balance that when you’re talking to a company that is no, no, no, we don’t want blogs we want signups?

Alan Silvestri: Yeah. So first thing to mention is we only work with companies that already have a content strategy where all of the different stages of the funnel are being covered. So they will have blog articles, they will have essentially all the different types of pages. So in case, we get a client that wants to work with us, but they only have product pages. We tell them, please go to these guys …. 

Keith Perhac: Come back when they can.

Alan Silvestri: Yeah. So come back when you’re ready. That said there are ways to build backlinks to product pages. It’s probably like 20% of what we do just because it’s more difficult. The main way to do that is through guest posting, which is probably the oldest link-building strategy out there. But the good thing about, guests posting is that you are building backlinks through new content that you are publishing.

Alan Silvestri: So you have control over the link, the anchor text and everything that you do inside that article. What we do instead is we do link placements in existing content on the web. So, in our case, we don’t have full control over the link. We can’t typically ask the website to change the anchor text or change the text because it’s an existing article. So what we do is simply find the articles that are already perfectly written and structured for the link that we need. But yeah. So if you want to build links to product pages, the best way is probably guest posting. Just because you can be sneaky and add the link in there. Yeah. So you can control that. That said, we typically tell clients that they should be focusing on all three stages of the funnel. So typically start from the middle, then move to the bottom. And then once you have more revenue coming into the door, you can go back to the top of the funnel and get more traffic to attract more and newer customers that way.

Keith Perhac: Yeah. So when you are looking at optimizing for articles and for content, how do you then talk to clients as far as… people are reading these blog articles and then ….what? So how do you then build a strategy around,… someone’s coming into this article, this is what… Do you give advice on, here’s what you need in the article in order to bring them into being a trial or a customer?

Alan Silvestri:  So no, technically. So the other thing is we typically want to work with companies that have a process or something in place to be able to measure the ROI from the content. So typically either having goals in Google Analytics that can measure how many visitors are going from a block to a sign up essentially. So then what we simply do is we, so we start off by defining the strength of the website and we call it the keyword difficulty baseline. So, if you check Ahrefs or some of those tools, they have a keyword difficulty metric, typically easy, hard, and all that. And then what we do is we, so we have a process to be able to define the strength of your site at any specific time. So we know what kinds of keywords your website can rank for, with the current domain rating that it has now.

Alan Silvestri:  So with that data, we can then segment all of the main keywords that your site is already ranking for and be able to focus on the ones that are the easiest ones first. So it’s not like just speaking and taking the Ahrefs like buckets of difficulty, because those are very generic. This is specific for your website. So it works better. And it allows us to focus on the easiest pages first, so we’re able to rank those higher in the next 60 to 90 days typically. So then yeah, what we do is after we have defined this websites strength, we can do… So we export all of the pages that are ranking, for example, from position four to position 20 or 30, so page one, page three. Then at this point we get back in touch with the client and we ask for their input on which pages they think are the most important for them from a business standpoint, because this is like data points that we don’t have typically.

Alan Silvestri: So this is good to have the input from the client, so they can tell us, “Yes, this page is converting very well. So we would like to focus on this one and all that.” So at this point they can also send us their conversion data that they have. So the Google Analytics spreadsheet CSV and we can match it to the pages that we have left in the list. So then at this point, what we do is we have a short list of pages that are, so yeah, they’re already ranking well, page one, page three, that the clients told us that they have a very good business potential and ROI potential. What we do next is we take each of those pages and we do what we call a deep dive analysis. So we make sure that the page is matching the searching intent for the keyword that is matching the content type that we were talking about earlier.

Alan Silvestri: And that also it’s matching or that it better than the content quality. So for content quality, we use Surfer SEO, it’s like an SEO audit tool that can give you a content quality score. So that then, so if you need to, you can maybe add more keywords in the title, in the body. You can add internal links to improve the onsite optimization for the keywords. Because the whole idea is that the backlinks that we build are going to be more effective if the technical and the on-page side of things is better.

Keith Perhac: Right.

Alan Silvestri: So we try to come in once everything else is taken care of essentially.

Keith Perhac: Right. And do you lead people through that? Because I think that’s one thing that a lot… Even if you have a content strategy, even if you know what’s happening, there’s always holes in this. And this is one of the things that I think is a struggle with content marketing and really any sort of digital marketing is that there are so many things-  like people might have all their keywords dialed in, but they don’t have their schemas installed or they don’t… Like, there are so many pieces. Do you help people walk through that? Because there’s always a lot of low-hanging fruit.

Alan Silvestri: Yeah. So, we get started, as I said, trying to do a discovery process. So we really try hard to find companies that have everything or as much as possible of their other stuff taken care of, because otherwise, we would have to do 10 different things.

Keith Perhac: Start from the beginning. Yeah.

Alan Silvestri:  Yeah, yeah. That said, there are a few companies that are newer and they don’t know some of these things. So what we do is we can point them to other people that can help them. Or we have a quick checklist of the main things that they need to have covered. So it’s part of the onboarding process. We have this checklist and the client survey. So they can tell us no, this thing we don’t have it or this is not working at the moment. So then we can point them to someone else that can help. So basically fix it before they come into work with us.

Keith Perhac: Yeah. So, what is some of the best advice you would give for someone in both cases where they want to come work with you, but they’re not sure if they’re ready. What are some of the things that you would say, look, get these five things in line and this is going to build that foundation so that we can do our job the best, what would those be?

Alan Silvestri: Yeah. So first off I would say having the technical aspect covered, so the site is fast, it is loading fast. The site looks good as well. So the design aspect is very important, especially. So if you’re trying to get people to link to your content, the content really needs to look good because unfortunately, people do judge a book by its cover. So yeah, that’s very important. Having a super-fast snappy site that looks good and modern. And then the second thing is to have a content strategy in place that as I was saying before, covers all three stages of the funnel. So you should have your top of the funnel content, the middle like reviews, alternative to, and all of the how-to guides, plus the feature pages and all of the bottom of the funnel pages. Once you have-

Keith Perhac: Real quick. Yeah. When you’re talking about top of funnel, you’re talking about essentially SEO content, that is something that hits those 2:00 AM search queries, something like, I need an email template or I need, what’s the best thing to use for X? Those types of contents, yeah.

Alan Silvestri: So those, I would say it’s middle, it’s more of the middle of the funnel because people are in the consideration stage. So they’re looking and searching for solutions. So the top of the funnel is, so I would say is the type of content that is more generic and broader in a way, but it has to do with your niche, with your industry and the problem that your software solves. All of those topics are very useful to attract new people that maybe still don’t know that they have this problem. But then by reading the content they are like, “Oh, okay, so maybe I need this.” And then they dive deeper into the middle of the final content, so discovery. They start to look for alternatives. And then the final part is the bottom of the funnel where they essentially either know your name, so they are just ready to buy or they are looking for alternatives and competitors and stuff like that.

Keith Perhac: Okay. Awesome. And then, sorry, I interrupted when we were talking about the content side. And then, so we talked about the technical side, we talked about, okay, they have the full funnel, top, middle, bottom of content. And then what else would they need before they really are able to make this work with you?

Alan Silvestri: Yeah. So the last thing is those three things that we mentioned before. So once you have the content, you should make sure that the content is matching the search term, the content type and the quality as well, for the keywords that you want to rank for. Once you have all of this ready, then you’re ready to build backlinks and promote the content because the structure is essentially solid.

Keith Perhac: Right. And that’s a guide that you also provide and help people through when they start working for you. It’s like, we went over it now, but it’s also like, okay, when you start working together, here’s the checklist of the 20 things, look at these, make sure you’re-

Alan Silvestri: So we do this with the sites that are the more new, so yeah, new companies that are just starting out, maybe they have five, 10 articles on the blog. So it’s still a good time now to let them know about these things so they can work on it. Because otherwise if the company is already a little bit established, maybe they already have 30, 40 pages on the site, then it will take too much time for them to fix everything and then come us. So in this case, I just tell them, come back to us in next quarter, maybe once you fixed all of these things.

Keith Perhac: Got it. Interesting. So once someone gets that together, what would be some of the first things that you would really recommend looking at or doing in that outreach? Is it just like, okay, once all your ducks are in a row, is just continual outreach to the right people and finding the right content to get those backlinks to, is that really the magic that you bring there?

Alan Silvestri: So the magic I would say is more into the strategy. So the three main problems that most SaaS companies have with content promotion and links is, number one, they don’t know which pages to promote and in which order, and this is the solution is what we discussed now. So by being able to identify the pages that have the most potential from an ROI standpoint, the second problem is knowing the types of links that they need to be able to rank these pages higher. And the last problem is having a system and a process to do basically the work.

Keith Perhac: Do the whole thing, yeah.

Alan Silvestri: Yeah. So number two. So knowing the types of links is something that is quite of a technical thing to do, but this is where an agency like us can come into place and be very useful. So what we do is we have a process where we analyze all of the competitor backlinks and we can identify the main metrics that these backlinks need to have for you to be effective. So the domain rating that the backlinks need to have the type of traffic, the URL rating, so – the strength of the page and not only of the domain and then things like topical relevance. So knowing the types of anchor text that the backlinks need to have. The distribution of the anchor text and the distribution between links that are pointing to your homepage and links that are pointing to the internal pages, like blogs and stuff like that. All of these things, you put them together, we have a report for this, that then we use, and that’s going to be determining the whole outreach that we do.

Keith Perhac: Right. To me, this is the most fascinating change in marketing over the last 10 years. Because you just explained things that, I mean, I know how backlinks work, but now you’re talking about anchor position and what is the relevance score and just how often you’re doing anchors versus regular, like all this stuff.

Alan Silvestri: Yeah. Yeah.

Keith Perhac: And it’s so in-depth and it’s so outside, if you’re not an expert in this, there’s no way that you’re going to be able to understand and manage this because marketing has honestly gotten… Like when I started doing digital marketing, it was like, you have one person doing the landing page design and the SEO and probably writing a bunch of the content. And now it’s gotten so expert-based, you have to have an expert to get into any points of these because you can’t do the general anymore. You can’t do general optimization.

Alan Silvestri:  Because the main problem is the thing that media has become so democratized now that anybody can just publish anything they want. So there’s so much stuff published around that, I don’t know how many millions of pages are published every day. To be able to really compete and stand out, you really need to dive deeper basically into all of these things.

Keith Perhac: And it is, it’s standing above the crowd. So do you know Stack Overflow on the web?

Alan Silvestri: Yeah.

Keith Perhac: Yeah. So there are a number of different Stack Overflow. It’s not even clones. They just scrape the information off of Stack Overflow and they rank higher than Stack Overflow now because they’ve been able to game that system. And because they understand at a deeper level what Google is looking for and they’re able to produce that and it’s mind-blowing.

Alan Silvestri: Yeah, yeah exactly. So, everybody says that SEO is dead, but actually, it’s just that Google has changed. And so SEO is changed with Google as well. So yeah, that’s the thing you really need to be constantly on top of things and things change super fast. So this is, yeah. Another reason why having somebody that’s dedicated to only this is a good idea.

Keith Perhac: And it stops the things of, because you’re in the know, you understand all this stuff, so it stops the, “Oh, my page rank just dropped on the 15th. Why?” Because we don’t know because it’s this black box of Google, but as someone who’s invested and working every day, you’re like, “Okay, I’ve seen this against…” So when I was back doing some of this stuff, I was able to say, “Oh, look, all of our clients in healthcare saw this drop.” So obviously Google put out something that hit health systems as opposed to other ones and be able to see that at a macro level, which as an individual, like me doing a SaaS company, I can’t do.

Alan Silvestri: Yeah. Yeah. And so the other thing is, you really need to be a specialist, but also be able to know when your specialization is not enough. So we just recently did a test with this client and we were building links to this page of them. But the page wasn’t ranking higher than position four, three or something like that. And number one was a competitor with a page that has zero back links. And the domain rating was even lower than the client. So they’re like, “Okay, what’s happening, what’s going on?”

Keith Perhac: What the heck?

Alan Silvestri: Yeah. So we found out that the only reason why the clients wasn’t ranking higher is because they didn’t have one of the keyword variations inside the title. So we just did a test. We simply added the keyword in the title. And basically once the on-page optimization was done properly with this extra keyword-

Keith Perhac: Just up to number one.

Alan Silvestri: So yeah, it’s like finally the backlinks were able to unleash their power and the page shot up to number one. And the competitor basically disappeared after a while.

Keith Perhac: How do you even go about figuring that out though? Was it just testing or like? It’s mind blowing.

Alan Silvestri: So basically every month we reassess and make sure that the roadmaps, the strategy that we have with all the pages is – still working. So we saw that page wasn’t ranking higher and so there was basically a delay compared to the expectations there. So we ran the on-page audit tool, again, Surfer SEO. And we saw that the only difference between them and the competitor’s was from the on-page side of things. The lack of that one yeah, related keyword in the title.

Keith Perhac: That’s crazy. That’s absolutely crazy. So then I guess what would someone who wants to get started with this, we talked about, okay, what should you have at the beginning? What should you have like to get all your ducks in a row before you work with you or with Growth Gorilla? What advice would you give for people who are looking to get started with this, who maybe aren’t ready for that? What’s the number one piece of advice you would give for someone who’s like, “My ranking just sucks. We’re not getting the traffic we want, we’re having to pay for ads to supplement that. I want to get out of the ad game.” What should they do? What’s your number one piece of advice?

Alan Silvestri:

So the first thing that most SaaS companies can do themself straight away, is try to increase their own domain rating. So the best way and the easiest way typically to do that is to try and get placements in all of those listicals or list articles that are mentioning best 10 tools for customer service, for example. So find out the main industries that your software covers. You should know them already. If you found product-market fit. So then it’s simply a matter of finding all of these articles. So you can do searches for like best tools for this, best tools for that. And then you can get all of them into a list, make a note of, for example, what this article is missing or what this article is covering, the specific angle, maybe. So you can use that to pitch the inclusion of your tool in that specific list.

Alan Silvestri: So maybe the list is the “10 Best Tools for Busy People”. So find a way to say why your tool is good for busy people so that they will get you placed inside that list. So all of these list articles are very good because you would get a link to the homepage and that typically increases the domain rating, the strength of the whole site. And then once you’ve done this for a while and you capture like all of the opportunities that you could, then the domain rating will be higher. So then all of the other content that you have should start ranking higher. So maybe it will get to page two, page three, something like that. So at this point you can start doing the process that we talked about before. So identify which ones of these pages that are already ranking well without back links have the most potential for revenue for you.

Alan Silvestri: And then you can focus on those first, push them higher in the rankings and then move on to the other ones as well. The important thing to mention for people that are just starting out with this, is to find an outreach process or template or method that works for you specifically for your situation. Because the thing with link building and content promotion is there’s a ton of different strategies and tactics and all of that stuff out there, like broken link building, guest posting. So, none of this will definitely work a hundred percent for you. So it’s just a matter of finding what works for you. So you can try a couple of them and see which one you think works best, basically.

Keith Perhac: Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Thanks. I actually have one thing. I’ve got to show this because this is probably the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. So this is your website and this is the most amazing Vaporware Eighties Aesthetic that I’ve ever seen. And I just got to ask why? It’s so cool. I love it. I love it. But I mean, you’ve got the posters behind you and everything, how did this come about?

Alan Silvestri: So I’ve always been very much into the eighties. I was born in 1986, so it’s not like I’m an eighties kid, but yeah, I got, so yeah, the leftovers from that, I would say. Then I’m Back to the Future fanatic. That’s like my main obsession. I have a whole sleeve tattoo that’s just Back to the Future stuff basically. The wall in front of me is all Back to the Future stuff. I do have like here, for example, a little-

Keith Perhac: Oh, nice. Love it. Love it.

Alan Silvestri: So yeah. Then I was able to buy a DeLorean as well, two years ago. That’s my main car that I use every day. I go grocery shopping with it. So you could tell I’m really into that mood and yeah, I mean, so it was just like a natural progression to have the agency and the business reflect yeah, the way I am basically.

Keith Perhac: That’s awesome. So have you put a flux capacitor in your DeLorean?

Alan Silvestri: Not yet because I still spending a lot of money to fix the actual car, but yeah.

Keith Perhac: I mean, at this point, it’s what a 40 year old car I think.

Alan Silvestri: Yeah. 41 years old.

Keith Perhac: 41. Wow. That’s crazy. Awesome. Alan, thank you so much. So where can people find you online? So we’re going to link to Growth Gorilla. Where else should people find you online?

Alan Silvestri: Yeah, the main place is the website. http://growthgorilla.com and then my Twitter account is @AlanGGorilla   Those are the main places.

Keith Perhac: Awesome. Alan, thank you so much for taking the time. Pleasure talking to you as always.

Alan Silvestri: Thank you, Keith. It’s been great.

Keith Perhac: Take care.



Vanessa Copley

Vanessa Copley is a business automation specialist and the founder of Custom Client Journey. She specializes in client journey management and bringing the human touch to your automated experience. In her free time, she enjoys reading science fiction and horror novels, studying real estate, practicing Tang Soo Do and spending time with her amazing children, the love of her life, and their birds and guinea pigs.