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If you’re in the market for SEO content acquisition – buying existing content that already ranks and transferring ownership to yourself or your organization – you’re ahead of the future of SEO mergers and acquisitions.
Obtaining SEO content is a lucrative strategy. After making three successful SEO content acquisitions to strengthen my SEO agency, I learned key lessons about this strategy that every business leader, regardless of industry, needs to know.
WHY POSSIBLE SEO CONTENT IS A SMART STRATEGY
Organizations are constantly brainstorming new content ideas targeting their chosen keywords. The problem is that Google acts as a library that stores these innumerable parts, making it more competitive to climb the search results page.
As it becomes increasingly challenging to get high keyword rankings, a better tactic is to buy content owned by others who already rank. When writing new content, you can not be sure that Google will rank it high enough to have an impact, so acquiring existing content is the less risky route (for example, you know that existing content already ranks well on Google before you buy it).
You will generally get more than just content out of SEO content acquisition. To successfully complete an SEO acquisition, you need to make a 301 redirect (which permanently moves a link from one URL to another). A 301 redirect will also transfer any existing feedback values, link values and authority to the original pages of your site. If the original piece was linked to in a major publication, readers who click on the article in the major publication will now be redirected to your site.
Finally, in most cases, getting SEO content is only faster than creating original content. Creating content requires brainstorming, planning, drafting, editing and publishing. Even when the article is published on your site, it can sometimes take time for Google to index it before users find it. When you acquire existing content, you acquire something that already has history. Usually the parts you get rank at the bottom of the first page of search results or at the top of the second page. They may even be in the middle or at the top of the first page, but their owners have changed industries or focus and no longer need them. With content upgrades (ie adding something new to each section or page you acquire, such as another CTA or an additional section), you can move the acquired sections further up the rankings.
HOW TO DETERMINE GOOD SEO CONTENT
I will not pretend that you will be able to convince the owners of every single piece you are interested in acquiring to sell, but offer them the right price (of course, what constitutes the “right price” will vary) and they can end up going for it.
Before you even think about prices, you should look at three factors to determine if the parts you are considering acquiring are in fact good acquisition candidates.
Factor 1: How much traffic does the piece (or page) receive? The basic value you should find out is how much organic traffic each part or page you are considering receives. Organic traffic will tell you how many visitors and clicks a section or page gets from search results.
Even if you do not own these sites, you can find out their organic traffic through SEO analysis tools. In addition, you should try to find the search intent of the visitors who click on that part or page, as well as the type of part or page it is (specifically whether it is at the top, middle or bottom of the funnel). Parts and pages at the bottom of the funnel are often more valuable than parts and pages at the top of the funnel, especially if they are centered around a keyword that requires high bids on Google ads.
Factor 2: Does the play have backlinks? When a website links to one section or page of another, the recipient of that link receives a backlink.
Backlinks are extremely valuable because they help you build online authority and reach out to audiences you might not otherwise have. In addition, backlinks are not easy to obtain, especially those from highly regarded websites or publications. You can use various SEO analysis tools to see how many backlinks point to a particular page and where those backlinks are from.
Factor 3: Is the content of high quality? This last factor is the most subjective of the three. Of course, what makes high quality content will be different in the eyes of different people, but as a starting point you will have a page that provides value for your goal.
Think of it this way: if your content is written with a deep level of expertise, you need to figure out how much it will cost you to hire that person or an SEO writer to produce a piece with that expertise. If a heavyweight in your industry writes the page, it will probably be expensive to hire that person or another expert, which means you are better off trying to buy the existing page.
HOW TO KNOW THESE THREE FACTORS
You will find that these three factors can have varying degrees of significance in relation to each other.
A piece may, for example, be written by a well-known expert in your field, but lack organic traffic. Other times, a piece will be written by an author who is not known, but who has lots of organic traffic. You are the one to judge, but my view is that both of these parts may be worth paying for.
When it comes to factor two, sometimes you will find that a piece is not well written, but it has good backlinks. Again, this is ultimately your decision, but it is often worth the purchase. You can always adjust the page to end up with high quality content and good backlinks.
How you define value will depend on your organization’s needs, but if you are approaching the acquisition of SEO content with the right mindset, you can give your organization an SEO jump start.
Founder / CEO of Rankings.io, an SEO agency that helps elite personal injury companies dominate first page rankings.