Track Your SEO Like a Pro & Never Miss the Fs

nohatseo-sidebarThe following is a guest post by Greg, a partner at NoHatDigital (NHD). NHD is the home of vast resources about niche sites, internet business, case studies, & PBNs. They run the internships that are the equivalent of an MBA in building profitable websites. And, they have a kick ass podcast out there, too.

Greg talks about details that can help boost your earnings, including:

  • The ROI on Content
  • PBN De-indexing Rates
  • PBN Network Demand & Capacity
  • NoHatDigital is also offering free links for sharing this post

Enter Greg

banner_smallIf you’ve ever been in the part-time IM hustle game you’ll know that managing the 9 to 5, spending time with family and friends and living life, all the while trying to build side-income online, can be tough to fit it in.

In the part-time IM/SEO game, time is money, there’s no doubt about that.

Efficiency reigns supreme over all else but when you’re hustling to squeeze as much as possible in your limited time online, it’s easy to “miss some Fs”.

Missed Some F’s? Huh?

You’ve probably seen something similar before, but to illustrate the point of “missing Fs” from an SEO perspective, count how many Fs are in sentence below…

But, read it fast, straight through and count the Fs as you read as fast as possible (like IM hustle style!)

Ready, GO!



Now, usually people will either find four, five or six, and the correct answer is six. The reason many people only count four or five is because they’re passing over minor detail (the Fs in “OF”).

So the point is… it’s easy to miss Fs when you are not taking time to analyze.

In the SEO/IM space, skipping Fs can cost you money that is literally sitting there ready for the taking.

This post is designed to give you 7 Fs to always keep in mind, 7 Fs that can boost your earnings and help you to reach your income goals sooner.

F #1: Tracking ROI on Content

We’ve been doing a lot of testing across our sites to gauge the ROI on content added to new sites vs existing sites.

This is largely due to the impact of the sandbox and the time it is taking new sites to rank (around 5-6 months now).

The thing with adding content to any sites, either new or existing, is that you are essentially investing time and money into a web property without any guarantee of a financial return. PLUS the lag-time between content being added to newer sites and then actually ranking and making money means your “gamble on content” takes a long time to reveal itself as a winner or not.

This lead us to investigating the hypothesis that with a stable of around 100 money sites, maybe we were better off not building as many new sites, but rather focusing on extracting maximum value from our current sites by adding content?

We set about case studying the results publicly on our blog for two sites that we were adding content to in particular, but behind the scenes we’re tracking the ROI on content added to track which sites, niches and new sites vs. existing sites. At this stage, for the right niches (approx $100 RPMs and above), content added to existing sites is ranking, making money and providing superior ROI.

Of course though, it differs from niche to niche and it’s something that you can, and should, track your self.

Take-Away: Learn what content is making you the most money. Is it new sites? Is it existing sites? Is it certain types of niches or sites?

F #2: Get Granular With Your Monetization Tracking

Here’s how you can track the ROI of your added content for Adsense revenue:

  1. Link your Analytics and Adsense accounts following these steps. This allows you to track Adsense performance on a far more granular level
  2. Add URL channels: Setting up URL channels in Adsense allows you to track the Adsense earnings on a particular URL and it’s very simple to do!

Doug url channel how to

  1. Within your Adsense account, click My Ads
  2. Click URL Channels
  3. Click + New URL Channel. A popup displays for you to enter the URl you want to track. Job done!

Once setup, you can monitor the performance of certain pages on your site and gain some key insights.

Let’s look at some of our URL channels setup for pages added to two authority sites…

doug url channel report2

Notice the top page shown above?

814 page views (over the last 30 days), $631.04 in revenue and an RPM of $775.24!

Had we not setup a URL channel for that page, we’d have no idea what-so-ever of how this page was performing.

Knowing this information, we’ve built more pages around very similar keywords on that site and have also targeted the same keywords across other sites in the same niche. Those earnings, off Adsense alone, are phenomenal > we’re making 75c per visitor to the page!

Take-Away: Monitor your best performing pages and keywords!

F #3: Track Long Tail Keyword Rankings

The old saying, “the money is in the long tail” has never been more true, as illustrated by the earnings of the pages in the URL channels above, for which we are not on anything above page 4 for any keywords with 1000+ LMS. We are now optimizing for 100-500 LMS keywords on pages just as much as we are for short tail high LMS keywords.

The tendency when working on a tight SEO budget is to trim any rank tracking down to the minimum to squeeze under the lower cost plans. This usually means only tracking only the higher LMS terms. But if paying a few extra bucks per month allows you to understand your website better and identify low-hanging fruit, the investment in a higher rank tracking plan will pay itself off very fast.

Take-Away: Track rankings down to 100 LMS.

F #4: Know How Many Backlinks Required to Rank:

We have an internal keyword research process that tells us how many backlinks are required to rank, which is a full week of training to learn.

The short of the long though is that approximately 15-20 PBN links to any given page on a site will usually be enough to rank a page if you are targeting the usual low competition keyword suggest by common KW research software such as Long Tail Pro. Of course there are many variables here, but 12-20 links is a nice guide.

Why is it important to know? It allows you to forward plan for how many PBN sites you need because as a general rule of thumb, you should only ever use each PBN site in your network once for link building any given money site. Therefore, if you need 20 links to rank, you’ll need a minimum of 20 sites in your PBN.

Take-Away: Learn your niches so that you understand how many links are required to rank.

F #5: Know Your PBN De-Indexing Rate:

PBN de-indexation is going to happen if you have a decent-size network. You can lessen the frequency by setting your sites up appropriately (we suggest taking a course on this if you are not familiar with establishing a PBN). Our de-indexation rate is well under 1% per month and you should aim for the same.

It’s important to check the index status of your PBN site regularly (monthly is fine) so that you can identify any network issues quickly, and also replace lost PBN sites. Dropped links are a low-quality site signal so it pays to stay on top of this.

How to check the index status of your PBN in less than 2 minutes:

One free method to bulk-check the index status of domains is to run your domain list through Netpeak Checker. The tool is actually fantastic for bulk-checking various metrics and checking index status alone is very simple. Here’s how to do it:

Open software, un-check all parameters except Index Domain:
select index

Click Load:hit load

Paste list of domains to check into Editor that pops up and hit Save:list pasted netpeak

Click Start Check and wait for the data to populate:hit start

Numbers showing is a good sign! Everything is indexed in this group:checked list

If a domain is de-indexed, it’ll show n/f:nf isnt good

Take-Away: Track the index status of your PBN monthly.

F #6: Know Your PBN Network Demand and Capacity

We aim to link build money sites at a rate of 10 PBN links per month. It doesn’t always work out at exactly this rate, but near enough.

At any given time, we need to ensure that have enough PBN sites in our network to fuel money sites with enough links.

Conversely, it’s important to ensure that you are not adding too many PBN sites to your network at the expense of spending time working on sites.

There is no point investing in a 50 site PBN if you only have a handful of money sites. Even 30 sites in a PBN is probably over-kill until you are at a point where you have a number of decent-earning money sites.

Building a PBN takes a heck of a lot of time and it can get expensive in terms of pure cost to setup and manage. If you’re working part-time online, you may find that establishing a 20 site PBN over time, is more than enough to rank the majority of money sites.

Take-Away: Balance PBN build-out with money site build out. Build both at an even pace based on your supply and demand.

F #7: Understand Your Mobile vs Laptop Traffic:

This is a key metric to look at, particularly if you are not using a responsive theme. A poor first impression on a mobile device can kill off visitors quickly.

Let’s take a look at the NoHatDigital Blog over a 7 day period.

HD mobile stats

Overall, nearly 83% of people viewing our site from larger devices (desktops and tablets).

The bounce rate is a little higher for mobile device, which is to be expected when visitors are browsing on the go. The time on site and average page views are a little lower on mobile devices, but that’s also to be expected.

Google also has a responsive ad block feature, which according to them:

“allows you to dynamically control the presentation of your website according to the properties of the screen/device that it’s being viewed on. A responsive ad unit allows you to control the size of the ads on your page, in line with how you control the layout of the rest of your page across devices.”

You can read more about it here.

We have not tested this at scale, however a number of our Interns have reported higher earnings using responsive ad blocks. If you’ve seen an uplift in earnings through responsive ad block we’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Would you like 5 FREE PBN Links?


We’re giving away 5 free PBN links, all on DA24 and above domains, to the first 100 people to share this post on Twitter or Facebook. Once you’ve shared the post you will be prompted to enter your name and email address and that’s it, 5 PBN links for you! Grab yours now!

About NoHatDigital

nohatseo-sidebarNoHatDigital spawned from NoHatSEO, founded by Hayden Miyamoto. I first heard about Hayden after his numerous appearances on the Niche Pursuits podcast. I learned a tremendous amount from those podcasts and was truly inspired. It’s fantastic to see where the NoHat brand is heading now.

They’ve set lofty goals and defined their purpose with a clear mission statement. Check out a couple of these goals – conduct 100 Experiments over 12 months and share the information for free, help 1000 NoHat Digital Community members fire their bosses, & connect 5000 people through the NoHat Digital Community.

NoHatDigital run monthly Internships and Private Training Courses where participants get to be coached by members of the NoHatDigital team over a 5 week course that teaches you exactly how to build profitable websites.

The training covers everything from keyword selection through to the latest in on-page SEO, link building, how to produce viral content, how to build PBN sites and monetization tactics.

They’ve also recently opened up use to their in-house tools for participants during the courses and graduates of their courses get access to a graduate-only PBN for on-going links, updated training modules as new SEO information becomes available and the opportunity to manage and revenue share with NoHatDigital on authority sites.

I know a lot of people that have completed the internship. It’s a fantastic program and there is no better way to kick start your online journey.

10 comments… add one
  • Dan Thompson

    Two great parts about this post.

    1. You have a page that has a 20% CTR. That’s nuts – I would love to hear a little bit more about how you guys achieve high CTR.

    2. That bit about netpeak will save me countless hours going forward.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Hey Dan,

      Yeah 20% CTR is insane. We shoot for 7%. It’s just the niche, would love to say we’re doing something unreal to get that CTR, but we’ve done zero testing to improve it and it just keeps ticking over! Lots of advertisers in the niche and it’s competitive so I guess the main reason is that the adwords advertisers have done a ton of testing of their ads and therefore visitors to the site are seeing well-optimized ads.

  • Definitely gonna check out Netpeak, seems like a sweet tool! I got one question, why is it that some PBN links won’t get indexed by AHREFS when I do a scan on the money site even though they are indexed on the big G?

    • Ahrefs and Moz etc only crawl a portion of the web so not all links display. Big G knows EVERYTHING! 😉

  • Great stuff…

    Two things:

    1) The link to the PBN course doesn’t work, it links to the members area, which is blank unless you’re logged in.
    2) I wrote a spreadsheet to check domains being indexed in Google – grab a copy for yourself from here

    • Steve, thanks for stopping by.

      1. err – you’re right! We’re upgrading the theme & some things there. Poor timing but we’ll get that squared away. Thank you very much for the heads up.

      2. That’s awesome. Thanks for sharing that!

  • Is there any way that you know of to effectively track the ROI of pages for an Amazon affiliate site? It seems pretty straightforward for Adsense sites but it would be good to get your input for Amazon sites. Thanks

    • Hey Josh, that’s a really good question. I don’t know how to effectively track this from first hand experience…

      However, you could set up a unique tracking id in Amazon for each page of content. You would have a very good idea what pages are selling and what people are buying from those pages. It would take a little while to set up but you would have tons of data.

  • Joshua Klinger

    I shared but didn’t get any confirmation stuff.

    You can reach me at

    My name is Josh.

  • Wow! I am impressed with data and graphs.
    Great post. Very detailed, easy to follow and understand.

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