Welcome to Traffic Think Tank! Before you start exploring the endless threads within the Slack channel, and the huge backlog of member-exclusive content, it’s worth taking a few minutes to go through some important information about the community.
As a Traffic Think Tank member, you’ll have 24/7 access to hundreds of hours of exclusive content and live events. This list is growing by the week, with new webinars, tutorials, and live Q&A sessions published each month.
Here are all the channels available in TTT, join any that interest you (you’re welcome to join all of them if you like):
Be sure to post your questions in the QA channel and you will always get an answer within 24 hours.
Do you have a question you’re not comfortable sharing publicly in the group? Whether it’s a client’s website or sensitive data – we understand. Shoot us a DM and we’ll help you out privately.
Use the links below to get dropped right into the content thread inside Slack.
The following directory is updated as new content is published.
Keith starts a thread looking for feedback on who folks like for hosting a site that’s getting 500k+ visits/month.
Chris starts a discussion around potentially changing the URLs of one of his client sites to make them shorter. Matt, Jackie, and Andreas hop in with some great feedback.
Gareth kicks off a discussion about options he’s exploring on generating leads for providing digital marketing.
Discussion thread around Nick’s recent Medium post where he shared the hourly rates for FTF, as well as the costs of running the business.
John-Henry starts a thread on markup for SaaS products. Our resident Schema expert Dave Ojeda hops in with some advice.
Georgi started a thread on the upcoming change to Moz’s DA metric. Russ Jones hops in with some great additional info on the upcoming change and what to expect.
Leslie kicks off a great thread around handling the stress of running your own business. While his specific situation is with owning an agency, most of the advice can apply to full time affiliates, product developers, etc.
Jason starts a thread on the pros and cons of keeping category names in your URL.
Matt shares the link to the new Keyword Explorer beta version. Some good discussion in the thread from Tim & Sam from aHrefs.
Linda starts a thread looking for feedback on a digital marketing service page. Luke and Gerry hop in with some great feedback and recommendations.
Daniel starts a thread looking for everyone’s favorite chrome extensions – lots of great gems in here, hop in and add your most-used extensions.
James kicks off a discussion around pricing for agencies – specifically, if other folks are varying the hourly rates based on who works on the project, and setting hour limits for retainers.
Joseph starts a thread looking for examples of folks that are doing a good job w/ local SEO. Some great examples and points from Kyle in this thread.
Joe starts a thread looking for advice on how to untangle a mess of old redirects.
Milan starts an in-depth discussion after a home page title tag change seems to cause a rank drop.
Joel runs through a 15 minute review of birchandfog.com Great tips in here, as always.
Elliot starts a thread looking for a design brief sample, and Matt hops in to share a great doc.
Harris shares the Retail UX Playbook that Google shares with large Adwords spenders. Oleg drops the links to the versions for multiple other industries.
Georgi starts a thread asking how folks doing client work handle the conversation when they get a lead who doesn’t have a budget above their minimum.
Solon starts a thread on building out a niche local SEO agency in the dental space. Some really interesting back and forth in here.
What do you want to have a verified GMB profile in an area where you don’t have a location? UPS Stores? Virtual mailbox services? Adam Steele comes in and drops a great insight.
Cooper kicks of a discussion looking for the books people feel had an impact on their marketing career. Nick and Elliot call back to old discussions, and Jon shares a few great picks.
Tfen starts a thread looking for tips on finding and hiring niche writers and gets some great advice from Nick and others.
Leslie kicks off a thread around TF*IDF tool options. Nick, Chris, and others weigh in on their preferred tools and talk through some of the competing options.
Zac starts a thread looking for feedback on a home page design. He gets a ton of great comments from Luke, as well as a video teardown from Joel.
Ryan starts a thread on “best of” pages for affiliate sites, with interesting feedback around actually purchasing products, how Google’s moving with shopping snippets, and more.
Dustin starts a thread looking for tips on SaaS landing page creation. Joel jumps in and drops knowledge, per usual.
Stephen kicks off a thread around parasite ranking. Nick jumps in with an update on his recent [keyword tool] push, and Charles drops in a list of good parasite hosts.
Tony starts a thread on ranking well (and selling) on Amazon. Eduardo jumps in and shares some great slides from Affiliate World Asia.
We recently launched a #affiliate channel to discuss all things affiliate marketing. Tung kicks off an awesome thread.
Some great discussions on affiliate marketing started by Chris.
Rohin starts a discussion on what level of detail people give when ordering content. Nick hops in and shares a great template.
Bill kicks off a thread around on-site CTA conversion tools/widgets. From email opt-ins to social sharing and content locking, there are some great recommendations in this thread.
John gets feedback on how folks transition their 2018 guides (etc) to 2019. New pages? Update the old ones? Nick gives specific insight on how he approaches these challenges in the discussion.
Mike starts a thread on hiring white hat link building. Great discussion in here around when you should do things in-house, using vendors for link assets, and more.
Sam kicks off a thread around how to know when to use a new landing page or focus multiple similar terms onto one target. Good discussion in this one.
Alain starts a discussion by asking if folks had noticed any significant ranking shifts in the start of this month. Matt hops in with some great insight based on things they saw at HubSpot, and adjustments they made in light of the changes.
John starts a thread looking for advice on how to handle modals and interstitial ads. Matt chimes in with some great data on how he’d recovered from a modal related issue, and what thresholds he’s found through testing.
Mr. Dyson (aka, Chris Hollywood) kicked off a huge thread with discounts and deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Be sure to check these out while they last!
Jon starts a discussion on how you should handle WordPress category pages, and if they could/should be thought of as ranking targets. Some great nuggets from Kane in here.
Shane kicks off a thread around ranking multiple pages for the same term. Some great feedback in here from Nick, as well as links to a few resources.
We had similar discussions this week started by Joe and Rich looking for feedback on refreshing old content. One version is about annual pieces (Best of 2018 vs Best of 2019, as an example) while the other was about handling a refresh of a page that drives the majority of organic traffic for a site.
Dave starts a thread looking for advice on how to document large-scale keyword research projects for clients.
Zac starts a discussion on both the preferred approach to handling thin pages, and also getting buy-in from the needed stakeholders in order to actually implement the desired changes. (second thread here).
Brett kicks off a thread around how agencies are handling cold outreach to potential clients. Great feedback from Eric, Rich and others on response rates, templates, and tools.
John starts a thread looking for advice and resources on doing local SEO for a medical client. Lots of great nuggets in this thread.
Chris shares a step by step process to crawling the products you’re promoting on Amazon to ensure they’re not out of stock as Black Friday/Cyber Monday approaches.
Leslie kicks off a thread around how agencies are tracking productivity for team members.
Joel’s back with a series of video reviews. Check out the four new reviews in #conversion.
Ross shares what happened when he recently (within the last few weeks) moved a blog from a sub-domain to a subfolder on the core domain. (Spoiler – it looks like it’s still a good idea.) Good timing, as we had a similar question pop up here.
Leslie kicks off a thread around scaling site audits. Some great gems in here around outsourcing, bringing on help, and breaking up work into smaller chunks. Seppo also shares a solid checklist for audit items.
Isaac starts a thread looking for site speed optimization tips, and receives a bunch of great replies. Chris Dyson hops in with some useful areas to watch, and Andrea shares a hosting recommendation.
Kyle kicks off a discussion looking for resources/articles around content pruning. Members share videos from both Nick and Matt, as well as several other guides and blog posts.
Brett starts a discussion on examples for Google Data Studio reports. Some great resources in here.
Stephen kicks off a thread around how agencies have handled getting shareholder agreements created. The info in here can also apply to other company types, not just agencies.
Milan starts a discussion on the pros and cons of sub-domains vs sub-folders when merging in an acquired website (regardless of what side of the acquisition you’re on.)
Shane starts a thread on handling large amounts of simplistic question and answer pages. Tony hops in with some solid advice.
Kyle kicks off a discussion on topic research tools. While the discussion starts with the SEMRush beta, it also covers MarketMuse and Clearscope, as well as some others.
Mr. Eubanks rolled out a free keyword idea generator.
Joey kicks off a thread around how agencies and consultants handle the proposal process.
Tony kicks off another round of discussion on the recent rank volatility – this one focused around the real estate industry.
Dan kicks off a thread around how folks got their first client when they started offering digital marketing services.
Lesli starts a discussion on the two paths when starting a new agency – go broad and get clients of all types, or focus on one specific industry.
Jon starts a thread on what skills you should look for when hiring a freelance writer. Lots of good feedback in here.
Gerrit kicks off another round of discussion/observations around the so-called “medic” update. Lots of examples of odd movement in this thread.
Sean starts a discussion on a how to structure category pages in the travel vertical. Lots of good examples in here.
Borja starts a thread on potentially disabling AMP on a site where they’ve seen really poor conversion rates from AMP pages.
Seppo created a Google Sheet to assist in finding keywords where you already rank for but may not have content that fits the query well.
Edgell poses some questions on structuring an in-house SEO team and gets a ton of great feedback from Matt, Russ, Brett, and more.
Rahul starts a discussion on a recent ranking drop one of his sites experienced. Lots of good feedback in the comments.
Mike starts a thread in on trying to evaluate how difficult it would be to rank for a given keyword. Some real gems in this thread.
Adam starts a discussion looking for data on the change in featured snippet prevalence over time. Brittney comes through with the data behind the MozCast history on this front.
Nick starts a discussion on his findings after having several weeks to collect and digest data around the update from August first.
Rahul starts a discussion on the “No BS Link Building” service. While the thread technically started two weeks back, most of the discussion happened last week.
James starts a thread in #agency on what folks are using to record screen shares for both internal and client communication.
Joel does a 13-minute review for Pierre, covering both copy and visual presentation on SamBoat.com.
Mario asks for recommendations on how to handle a situation where he’s got 3k+ images that are too large both in terms of dimensions and file size.
Brett starts a thread looking for tips on starting and growing an Amazon affiliate business. Chris and Tony hop in with a ton of great tips/insight.
Nick Eubanks discusses how to find keywords that will drive conversions on your website (vs just chasing trophy terms.)
Patrick starts a thread looking for a way to bulk check the social share stats for a list of URLs. Matt gives a recommendation, and Tony comes through with a script to run through the list using the API.
Gavin kicks off a thread asking for alternatives to HOTHStars and gets several suggestions.
Leslie starts a thread looking for advice on what to do with an employee that’s been having some issues with a decline in work quality.
Chris kicks off a thread asking how others are finding remote SEO talent. He’s also looking for some part time help currently, which you can see in the jobs board here.
Another interesting thread re the Aug 1 update, this time in reaction to the claims that informational sites that try to push you into a transaction flow were targeted.
Jason starts a discussion in #agency about how to handle a client who’s just tried to cancel right before a re-bill date, ignoring the 15 days notice required by the contract.
Robbie kicks off a thread discussing a content audit he’s working on. The site in question has over 4k glossary pages, plus local pages as well. Some great back and forth in this thread, plus the one right under it.
Seppo shared an excel macro he created for identifying terms where the actual CTR is lower than expected for the average position. Requires excel and Google Search Console data.
Joel does another 15 minute video teardown that should be especially useful for folks working on SaaS.
Joel does a 15 minute video review covering design, as well as condensing and organizing copy.
Nick shares the FTF SEO proposal template as a guide for others looking to up their game in client sales.
Nick shares the handful of questions that they use at FTF for screening folks that apply for an SEO role.
Charles starts a discussion around some of the really spammy SERPs that are appearing post the Aug 1 update, specifically in the pharma space.
Karl starts a discussion on updating page titles to boost CTR once you’re already ranked.
Euan spurs a thread about building up a bank of freelancers to handle large-scale guest posting across various topics.
Joel created a fantastic video about creating local service business (think plumber, dentist, etc) landing pages.
Jimmy starts a discussion on the Google shakeup that started on Aug 1. Have a site that was impacted? Join the discussion.
James starts a discussion on what agencies are using to report and create dashboards for their clients.
Robbie spurs a thread on how to approach content for a commercial insurance site. Eric, Isaac, and Nick drop recommendations in.
Dave kicks off a discussion on how folks are tracking changes on competitor sites. Ian drops some screenshots of his recommended tool, Versionista, in as examples.
Boni starts a discussion on how members are handling instances where a client’s development or staging site accidentally gets indexed.
Rob starts a discussion on agencies that specialize in one specific niche. We get into examples, as well as pros and cons.
John spurs a thread on members favorite examples of companies and sites that do SEO well. Get your swipe files ready, and jump in and add your own examples!
Rao kicks off a discussion on how folks are managing the tracking of CTR for affiliate links, and testing.
Stephen starts a discussion on how members are handling internal links. Good discussion on the pros/cons of automating, and some plugin suggestions.
Leslie starts a discussion on how folks are dealing with Analytics issues caused by GDPR required notifications.
Gary spurs a thread on people’s thoughts around the number of indexed pages vs expectations around the number of pages getting crawled per day.
Stephen kicks off a discussion on what should be included for local pages for a franchise business.
After seeing some large sites seemingly go this route, Ryan starts a discussion on potentially using target=”blank” on links to lower bounce rate.
Tareq is debating joining an agency to build their SEO offering. Lots of good discussion on the things to know going in, questions to ask, etc.
Cooper has a situation where a client is unsure on blocking parameters for products, like color options.
Gary kicks off a discussion on the recent Yoast changes to the variables available like %%currentmonth%%.
Ben solicits recommendations for the best options for scheduling calls with clients without a ton of back and forth.
David starts a discussion on how people have approached generating new leads when offering e-commerce SEO services.
Jason kicks off a thread looking for some tips on addressing a poor (sub 1%) opt-in rate that he’s experiencing.
Keith gets a thread going when he’s looking for a way to scrape the “people also ask” suggestions in Google SERPs. Coincidently, Nick just rolled out: Wondersear.ch.
Sidse starts a discussion on the structure for a site based heavily around the make/model/year combinations of cars. More than 35 back and forth messages in this one, covering indexing, IA, and sitemaps.
Elliott starts a discussion on how people have approached attracting talent to a new agency.
Joel is back, and provides another video review of a member’s site.
Alex gets a thread going about the various ‘keyword difficulty’ scores present in popular SEO tools.
Gerry starts a discussion on how other members are taking care of their health. Some great POVs in here on diet, sleep, and exercise.
Isaac starts a discussion on what resources members are using to train up new SEO employees or interns. Lots of great resources packed into this thread.
Joel is back, and provides another video review of a member’s site.
Vin gets a thread going about possible ways to get a ~1-year-old site to escape what feels like a sandbox and start cracking page one.
Euan starts a discussion on methods to split out brand vs non-brand sales coming from SEO for client reporting.
Jason starts a discussion on how to handle client expectations and impatience.
Cody gets a thread going about ways to try and remove negative reviews on Yelp. Multiple good ideas in here form Nick, Ryan, and James.
Daryl starts a discussion on an issue he faced shortly after moving to BigCommerce. Nick hops in, laying out 6 common issues he sees with BigCommerce.
Jackie starts a discussion on how to handle keyword research for local terms like “home roofing Dallas”.
Tung kicks off a discussion on a site where he saw a 99% traffic loss. After various fixes being implemented, the site is now back!
Rich gets a thread going about working with new brand names that Google doesn’t recognize yet. Along with the tips on how to handle this, Mike Belasco drops a great tip on checking to see if a brand is recognized as an entity.
Isaac starts a discussion on the benefits and potential issues with buying an expired domain with links and traffic.
Mike starts a discussion on how folks are structuring their SEO teams.
Craig kicks off a discussion on category pages – should they be noindexed?
Jake gets advice on producing quick SEO wins for a client where he’s got a strict limit on the number of monthly hours he can put in.
Rob asks for recommendations on a logo/brand designer and gets two options, including the guy who made the TTT logo. Feel free to drop more in.
Tony shares a ton of great info on how his agency is charging. Others chime in with feedback. Lots of discussion around hourly rates in this one.
Mike gets advice on handling a new split test for a massive website.
Gary starts a discussion on using CloudFlare as a whole site cache option, and gets some feedback on some other options as well.
Jason gets recommendations on what the agency folks are using to track employee time/productivity.
Ben starts a discussion on finding, vetting, and paying good writers. Tons of good feedback in here, along with links to a few resources from Joel.
Brendan starts a discussion on how to respond when a client asks if they need to use WordPress to have good SEO. Lots of good feedback/communication tips in this one.
Chris asks if anyone has conversion tips for optimizing blog posts. Matt, Joel, and Ian weigh in with some pointers.
James starts a discussion on an issue he ran into where a client’s in-house team created new pages that compete with a big SEO page.
Daniel presents question on how folks are charging for email marketing. Joe weighs in with his experience and Joel shares how he charges.
Adam gets feedback on how to handle service businesses in GMB. Set a radius, or list cities? Adam Steele and Dave Ojeda weigh in and give some good tips.
Borja starts a discussion on how to best handle video content. Youtube vs Wistia, embedding, transcribing… Nick, Mark, Matt and more weigh in.
James has an issue where he had a page ranking and then two other pages were created, going after the same keyword, that cause the main page to drop to page 2. We discuss potential fixes.
Patrick wants to figure out if there’s any SEO benefit from using the www. subdomain or not. The community shares their thoughts.
Adam starts a discussion on the various ways the agency folks are getting the needed account credentials (GA, GSC, etc) from new clients.
Osanda has several folks weigh in on the importance of server location to ranking well in specific countries.
John kicked off a thread on how to handle the canonical tags for paginated pages. Self canonical with rel prev/next? Canonical back to page 1? Check out the discussion.
Sugathan is looking for some solid templates for Google Analytics to present back to clients. This thread is full of a ton of suggestions.
Stephen asks about ways to build nicely presented reports for Adwords that are low cost.
Jimmy starts a thread looking for advice on setting up the URL structure for a surgeon directory. Matt and Ian hop in with some advice and examples.
Rob gets several options/suggestions for how to test out a potential brand name.
Suganthan kicked off a thread on how to do scroll depth tracking. Adam hops in and explains how its done.
SQ asks for examples of brands that are excelling in various areas. Nick hops in with some great examples, along with Joe, Oleg, and others.
Rob starts a thread on comparing Trustpilot and Reviews.co.uk. Good notes in here, including pricing information and features.
Joel does a review of a member’s site, thernest.com, giving great notes on keywords vs conversion, benefit highlights, testimonials, and more.
James kicked off a thread on how folks are handling billing client project. Half up front? Two installments vs three? Some good POVs in here.
Rich shares a process doc he has built around development of a custom theme. It’s a great example of how detailed you need to get, and how expansive projects can be even if they seem “simple” at first.
Chris walks through some thoughts on purchasing sites on Flippa and what to avoid/look out for.
Interesting thread dissecting recent site sales that are listed on Flippa. Some good notes on “private” listings, as well as the use of trademarks in domain names.
Dan gets a discussion going on handling a large amount of thin forum pages. Some good solutions in here, ranging from htaccess rules to plugins.
Thread link is a bit clunky on this one because it actually started with an image, but James kicked off a thread on the practice of giving out free audits as a way to generate leads/interest. Some good varying POVs in here.
Suganthan gets several opinions on using multi-step forms during a conversion cycle.
How folks are handling pages that underperform the site average. Chris, Jared, and others chime in with their POV.
Sean gets a discussion going on the mid March updates. A few members chime in with helpful links and insight.
James kicks off a discussion on hiring SEO interns – thread contains different POVs on using interns, as well as a list of what Ian has them learn/focus on.
Ken gets several options on how to quickly grab the top 100 ranked pages for a search term.
Tareq asks how folks are handling the creation of XML sitemaps for non-WordPress sites. Ian, Chris, Joona, and Matt all give some options/pointers.
Alan asks how members are handling briefs for writers. Matt, Jordan, and Emer share examples.
SQ gets some advice on handling the new user on-boarding and trial process. Chris and Joel weigh in with some great feedback/ideas.
Isaac kicks off a discussion on what to do when you get content from a client and it’s a hot mess.
Joel did an awesome video this week showing some examples of pages that balance great content and conversion principles.
Joe asks how members are handling the outsourcing of formatting/publishing content in WordPress. Ben and Rich mention Wordable, and other folks jump in with how they’re approaching (be it FTEs or freelancers.)
Tareq ran into a discrepancy between a ScreamingFrog crawl and the audit in aHrefs – the thread contains some great info on working through issues and getting down to where the actual problem might be.
Joe kicks off a discussion on SEO for news sites. Granit hops in with a huge list of tips – if you work on news sites, definitely give this a read.
Joel’s back with another site review – this time it’s of Venn Healthcare.
Conrad spurs a discussion on content planning. Nick hops in and shares a spreadsheet example of how he handles planning out content initiatives.
Robbie gives an update on a site URL migration that looked a bit rocky to start. Spoiler – they didn’t stay rocky.
Sean starts a discussion on getting featured snippets back after falling out of the highly coveted spot.
Chris kicks off a discussion on local SEO, giving an example of someone getting super aggressive. Jake chimes in with an example of a solid page that’s doing things “right” and Adam hops in with some tidbits as well.
Andrew spurs a discussion on SEO job interviews. What questions should you ask, and how do you weed out the people spewing fluff?
Adam starts a discussion on getting into Google News. Some good examples in the comments for the requirements and page examples.
Alex kicks off a discussion on SEO platforms like BrightEdge – some great feedback in this thread.
Joel takes a deep-dive under the hood of the Practice Ignition website to uncover any CRO improvements.
The New Eve website is pulled apart by Joel as he shares his CRO process along with a ton of great suggestions.
Zack starts a discussion on how to handle job listings that expire after a certain date. This same approach can be used for any content type that has a set date where it’s no longer relevant or useful.
Adam gets some advice on taking a new podcast from zero to 1,000 podcast subscribers from Conrad, Matt, and Nick.
James asks what members are doing to try and combat fake Google reviews showing up on GMB pages.
Conrad starts a discussion on how members are keeping WordPress sites (and themes/plugins) up to date.
Andrew has his site reviewed by Joel in this 10 minute teardown video. Great reminders about copy in this one.
Tony starts a discussion around what folks are using to manage their proposals. Spoiler – PandaDoc emerged as a favorite.
Jim kicks off a discussion on how you go about valuing a website for possible acquisition (from either end.) Some great insights in the comments on this one.
Joe was looking for feedback on a project. Joel jumped in with a 16 minute video CRO review. Again – don’t miss these. Seriously.
Si Quan was looking for feedback on his project CandyBar.co – Joel hops in and does a video review of the site centered around CRO. Don’t miss these reviews – lots of food for thought.
Granit kicks off a discussion on how to handle sitemap creation and organization for huge sites.
Zack starts a discussion on what issues are worth tackling given the associated risks. If you work on a Shopify site, definitely check this thread out.
Rich has a client site getting ready to go live and shares the staging link to get feedback before it goes to prod. Check out the recommendations – chances are they can apply to one of your projects as well.
Quick thread about Babylon Traffic. Arguably, one of the most useful features is disabled by default. Euan starts out with a question about it, and ends up sharing how he got it enabled.
Helpful links and a few reminders on things to watch out for when switching your site over to HTTPS.
A thread on how to handling recurring annual (or monthly) content. We talk how you should handle URL structure, and look at an interesting example from Capterra.