Ep 204: Double Your Traffic With Just Link Building with Alan Silvestri

Let’s face it, without website traffic, an online business could not thrive! It’s like a brick-and-mortar store without customers.

The tough question is – How can you increase your site’s traffic so you can earn more?

There are multiple ways to do it for sure, and one is through link building, which Alan Silvestri discussed in this exciting episode.

Alan 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, increase traffic, and increase signups.

Jaryd and Alan discussed the content distribution system and its process. What content should be promoted, and what shouldn’t? Where do business owners go wrong when promoting their content?

They also talked about link building and how to choose which pages to build links to. What are the types of links, and how do you? use certain metrics to determine the right approach for your business. How to acquire backlinks in a non-sleazy way

Lastly, Alan shared the ways to repurpose content and the top content promotion strategies. 

Is your online business dormant and in need of a boost? Tune in to this podcast and explore the ways to double your site’s traffic!

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Episode Highlights

02:07 Fast content production rate than promotion creates diminishing returns! 

04:39 The typical problems when doing content promotion

10:09 Establishing what type and how many links a site should acquire

16:39 Alan’s best example of increasing a site’s traffic!

21:30 Content Distribution System: How does it work?

25:23 How to replicate the success of other businesses? 

27:25 Where can you find Alan?

Courses & Training

Courses & Training

Key Takeaways

➥ Based on Alan’s experience, he has seen some diminishing returns once the production is way too fast compared to the promotion.

➥ When it comes to content promotion, the three main problems that most companies have are – 1) not knowing which pages to promote 2) not knowing the type of backlinks that you need to acquire for those pages and 3) either not knowing how to do it, or not having a system or a team in place. 

➥ The content distribution system covers two main aspects. First is the promotion through acquiring backlinks, but it’s also a distribution. So, distribution is taking the content that you are already producing, and finding ways to spread it out across the web.


About The Guest

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.

Connect with Alan Silvestri


Jaryd Krause (0:00)

How would you like to double your traffic by just link building? Hi, I'm Jaryd Krause host of the Buying Online podcast. And today I'm speaking with Alan Silvestri, who is the founder and director of strategy at Growth. Guerrilla growth Guerrilla is a No BS content promotion and distribution agency for B2B SaaS companies and some other big names and bloggers out there. Now they help software companies that are already publishing quality content get the word out there to acquire backlinks and increase traffic.

And signups now in this podcast episode, Alan and I specifically talk about what is a content distribution system? And how it works, what it looks like, and what are the two ways that they use it with their content distribution system to promote content? We talked about link building and how to choose which pages to build links to. And there are four different buckets that Alan and the growth guerrilla team use to choose from when deciding which pages should be using link building to boost them up and promote their content. And then what are some of the key pages that may get you the best ROI from link building as well?

We also talk about different types of links, and how to use these different metrics to determine the value of each link. We're talking about traffic authority; we're talking about relevancy. And then we're talking about competitors and competition as well. So, there's a lot to watch out for when you're doing link building. We also talk about how to do outreach in a non-sleazy way. And then we move on to talking about repurposing content and how to choose which content to repurpose, how to repurpose it, where to post it, and what types of posts you should be putting out there.

And how often now is this a jam packed, valuable podcast episode? In a short amount of time, Alan speaks fast, and I asked a lot of questions quite quickly. And this is something you may want to read or listen to. If you're looking to increase your traffic just by link building, I'm sure you're going to enjoy this. Let's dive in. Alan, thanks for coming on the podcast.

Alan Silvestri (2:09)

Hey, Jaryd, thrilled to be here. Thanks a lot.

Jaryd Krause (2:11)

I'm excited to dive into this because you just mentioned that you do work with promoting articles. And a lot of people listening are wanting to buy content from websites. So, blogs and wanting to promote, or most people are just on the hamster wheel of actually just creating more and more content.

Whereas less content but more quality and promotion can end up getting you a better result. Do you find that like when you work with people, you slow down their content production, but put more emphasis on the promotion? Is that a thing?

Alan Silvestri (2:41)

It's not really there? We slow down the content production? If a company has the time, the resources to do everything, that's always great, right? We've seen some diminishing returns once the production is way too fast compared to the promotion. Right? So that's very important.

And it's also why we always say like there's a lot of companies that have a content production and publishing team in place. But not many companies have the content promotion team. So, it's like everybody like keeps forgetting that that's the last piece of the puzzle. And you really need that. So by promotion, I'm talking specifically about backlinks, right. So, what we do is we build backlinks but in a way that is essentially promoting the content. So, we tried to spread the word out, find the best possible, like placements for any type of content in a very strategic way as well. Because at the end of the day, like Yeah, if your content is just sitting from page to one lower is basically not doing much for your business.

So, what we try to do is to solve a situation that we call the content graveyard, specifically, which happens for a lot of companies. Basically, once you keep publishing content, it looks like a linear staircase, right? So, we published two articles one month, two articles the next month, and so on. So, it keeps going like that. It's always like predictable staircase. The problem with content promotion is that it's more of an exponential scale. So, if you like overpowers the two kinds of graphs, like they look very different, okay. And what a lot of people do is they get to a certain point that's right at the beginning, basically of the exponential scale, they get discouraged because hoping seeing much of many results. So typically, what they do is just quit and keep publishing and pumping out content, and hope they will magically rank.

But sooner or later, they will hit that content quality threshold where basically the content by itself is not going to be enough. So typically, what you need is more and better backlinks to be able to rank higher.

Jaryd Krause (4:37)

right. Okay. So, if we're talking about content, what's the typical type of content that you're promoting? So, you know, is it a specific article? Is it a specific page on a website? And what sort of way, I guess, to answer that, or to narrow down on the question, would be the best type of content to promote? Like, how does somebody want to start promoting some of my content? How do I choose which type? Because of this, I get better results that filter through to other pieces of content through their internal linking on their site. Right?

Alan Silvestri (5:11)

So that's a very good question. And it's usually also problem number one that most companies have. Because the three main problems typically are not knowing which pages to promote. Number two is not knowing the type of backlinks that you need to acquire for those pages. And number three is, like either knowing how to do it, or having a system or a team in place. So, problem number one is not knowing which pages to promote, that's a very common problem.

Because number one, there's a lot of companies that don't have systems in place to be able to measure the ROI from that content. So, it's very important to have something in place Google Analytics goals, some kind of tracking, so that you're able to know exactly this URL is bringing me this amount of conversion sales per month. Okay, so this could be like either signups for SaaS companies, or, like affiliate sales for like a few websites, for example. So, once you have that in place, it kind of helps you ready to get an idea of which pages are basically are the ones that are ready? Money has some potential? Yeah, money pages.

So, for example, you have what, like a page, like in the top 10 of your top converting pages, that's only ranking position. 15. So you know, that if you're if you can push the page up, like into page one, position five, like top five, for example, that will greatly increase your revenue?

Jaryd Krause (6:30)

Yes. For example, say you're in position 15.

And that one piece of content gets you, say, $300 a month, or $500 a month, and you get that up to, you know, spot number 10. You could get $1,000 a month or $1,500 a month from that piece of content. Right? which means you rely on the links that you build to that page.

Alan Silvestri (6:56)

Yes, exactly. So, what you want to do is always try to push the pages that are in the so-called Content category. Like, essentially, up into the other buckets, which are typically divided into four main ranking buckets. So is that to say that number one is position 123. Right, so the absolute best is number two, which is positions four to 10. So, the bottom of page one, and then number three is the top of page two, which is like position 11 to 15.

And then everything else is basically considered content review, because from the bottom of page two posts, like page three, it's like you don't get much traffic, if any. So why do you always want to try and do something like repeat this kind of flywheel process of pushing the pages that are at the top of page two into page one, and then into the top three? And yeah, keep going like that, basically.

Jaryd Krause (7:49)

So just ascending descending those that are in bucket number three, not in the content graveyard, but the ones that are in number three. Yeah, they're meant to bucket number one. So, for somebody that's got limited resources, for example, that like, hey, look, I've got $1,000 A month I could spend on this or $2,000 a month I can spend on this. Where do you start? Do you start with the ones that are in position? You know, bucket number two, four to 10 position to get them to one to three? Or do you start from the back and go from you know, page two to get them on? bottom of page one?

Alan Silvestri (8:20)

So, it all depends, first off on the type of like conversions that you're seeing from these pages. So, it depends on two things, the types of conversion and the quantity of conversion, the potential in terms of business that those pages have. And number two, is the like the rank ability potential. So how easy it is to be able to push that page higher compared to other pages? So that depends on a few different things.

Jaryd Krause (8:44)

As in the competitors and stuff like that.

Alan Silvestri (8:47)

The competitiveness of the pages that are ranking so you can have a look at the average domain rating for the other pages, the average number of the referring domains that they have. So how many backlinks do the other pages have? So, you know, how many you need to get to kind of close the gap? actually. So, it's pretty important. The way that we calculate how many links, we need to close the gap, it's pretty simple to use as we take the average of the top 10 ranking pages on page one for the referring domains that they have, right.

So, let's say that the average is like 20 links, and you have 10 links on your page. So, you need 10 extra links to close the gap. The second thing, though, is you need to keep in mind that those pages are also like variable and dynamic, right? So, chances are pages that are ranking on page one, they're also getting like new backlinks every month. So, you need to also keep up with those. So, you can calculate the average of how many new links they're building every month. So, you simply sum those up to the total link app.

So, let's say that it's 10 plus maybe three new links every month. So, then you let's say you want to work on this campaign for 12 months to be able to close the gap. So, you need to do those three new links. Every month multiplied by the 12 months plus the 10. Total to close the gap. And that gives you how many links per month you need to essentially build every month.

Jaryd Krause (10:09)

Gotcha, gotcha. And I guess something is variable is like not everyone link has the same value as well, for example, you know, you work out, maybe a site needs 10 links every month. But if they got better links than all of the other ones, they could outrank, you know, as a competitor. for a certain position for that keyword. Right?

Alan Silvestri (10:32)

This is definitely true. What we try to do is, we always like, we still calculate this link app based on like, an arbitrary number that we see based on the data.

Problem number two, if you remember is not is like our people don't know the type of links that they need. So that's the second thing they should do. Once you know how many then you should know what type of links you need to be able to see that it's basically very similar. So, you can like reverse engineer what the other guys are doing. So, for example, let's say that the top 10 ranking pages have 20 links, like each but then you can dive deeper into the data and see, for example, the majority of those links are links that are in the buckets, domain rating 50, to 70.

So that's the best possible types of links that you should prioritize, then you can do the exact same thing with the URL rating. So, the strength of the specific page, you can do the same with the traffic for the backlinks that they have. So, you can like basically use like all of these data to be able to specifically target the best possible type of links that the other pages have. Then the last piece of the puzzle, essentially, once you have all of the metrics in terms of like link juice, let's say, is a topical relevance.

So topical relevance is the topic that the pages that are linking to the competition are talking about. So, you can use those to find similar pages, right, covering similar topics. And the last thing is the anchor text. So most of the times, you probably won't have control over the anchor text. Yeah, unless you're doing guest posting, which means that you like are controlling the anchor text for the backlinks. Yeah. But that said, in the situation where you do have some control, you can try to shoot for, like the average kind of numbers that the other guys are doing.

We divide the anger text into four main buckets. Number one is exact match. So that's the exact keyword number two is partial. That's a keyword that contains some of the words from the exact and then we have other, which is anything else like brand term, or click here, see this? And then we have a URL anchor text. So, like the naked URL?

Jaryd Krause (12:47)

Okay. So, there’s, well, man, there's so much in that I just want to like, sort of come back down for people. So basically.

Alan Silvestri (12:56)

I'm sorry, I kind of tend to nerd out once.

Jaryd Krause (13:00)

That's good. I'm following on tracking quite well. So, the type of backlinks is sort of determined by a few factors, which, you know, the metrics, topical relevancy, anchor texts, exact match, you know, similar, or phrase. So that's how you decide the type of so you look at the links that the competitors have to their science, and work out how you can get metrics that are similar, if not slightly better, or massively better, but on the same, on the same path, like the same topical relevancy with similar type of metrics and similar, if not better, anchor texts. Sorry.

Alan Silvestri (13:44)

Exactly. So, it's actually three by three, to recap, everything is how many links you need, and how fast right so for example, five links per month, then the type specifically talking about metrics, we typically use domain rating, URL rating and traffic as well, both traffic to the domain but also traffic to the page if possible. And that's a small intermission here is because there's a lot of websites that have recently been able to kind of fake the domain matrix, right?

For example, typically, people when they buy a website, they look at the domain rating the traffic to the domain or when they want to get a link from a website, they look at the domain matrix, a link that's coming from a high authority domain with a lot of traffic but that's coming from a page that has zero traffic and zero links is not going to do much for you anyways, right? So, you always want to get a link from a good domain but also from a good page specifically because that's actually probably most important than a link from any.

Jaryd Krause (14:46)

Good topical relevancy as well. Right? You don't want to have saved a high branded domain with a high dr and lots of traffic to the site in general and then you get it from maybe you are good page as a lot of traffic, but that traffic is talking about something slightly different. And there's just a small little snippet or sentence in it, they could squeeze in an anchor text that just to make it work so they could sell a link, right?

Alan Silvestri (15:12)

Yeah, definitely. That's not very good.

And also, for most sites like us, it's really kind of easy by now to spot the so-called link farms, because these are sites that have been built with the main purpose of just selling backlinks. So, chances are they will probably have a header like a menu header with, like, every single niche under the sun. Business health, spirituality, food are the best things, Eric. That's not very good for topical relevancy, because it dilutes the link profile and everything, and it's not very focused on what you want. So, you want the right quantity with possibly the velocity have links to keep up with the competition, then you want the right metrics to the domain and to the page, and then the right topical relevancy as well.

Jaryd Krause (16:02)

I've also seen that there can be pages because a link, you'll be able to sell the link for more if you're linking from the homepage of a site. And so I've seen sites that just have the whole blog posts as homepage, and each blog post is like only on the homepage, and it's just got a bunch of different random blog posts about every single topic under the sun as well.

Alan Silvestri (16:24)

I mean, that's kind of like an old practice is it's probably something that was like, like mostly then a couple of years ago PBN. PBN days, but yeah, especially in like affiliate websites, kind of niches that still pretty common.

Jaryd Krause (16:40)

Have you got any examples of sites that you've worked with? Where you put this into practices? And some case studies or? Yes. Where it went to where it is now, type thing.

Alan Silvestri (16:53)

So I can share the specific lines name, just because we signed contracts. But yeah, we with a good client that we recently started working with, we are now at month six, and we've been doubling the traffic by quarter by quarter. So, first quarter with double the traffic and the number of keywords rankings in page one, right? And second quarter, we essentially repeated the same thing. The main reason why I think this has been working as well, because number one, the client, they have a very good brand, right? So, they're well known in the industry.

This in turn kind of allows us as well to do a better job at acquiring backlinks simply because we can reach out and because we typically reach out from the clients. Like Brian, you are about a brand. So, they have a good brand good, really good quality content, as well. So those are the three most important things, the good brand the promotion that needs to be done. Right. So, one, so when we reach out to someone, also, it's important to mention that we don't like literally pitch for a link, we essentially try to like promote, right, so how do we promote, you reach out to people that you think could be a good fit for that resource? Or that specific page, you tell them why you think they should have a look at your content?

And that's basically that's it like you leave it kind of up to them, right? So, you can be like, I would love some feedback. And then if you like it, feel free to mention it somewhere. But yeah, that's typically what we do. We don't go actually there and say, can you link to my page from this exact word in this page? Because that's really spammy? And no, people do it.

Jaryd Krause (18:31)

And it's so annoying. And it's so the energy of it, the energy of it—I'm big on energy—the energy of it is just so disgusting. And you can feel the neediness of it. I need a link, I need a link, and I need the follow up like the follow up. And I mean, the follow up is in the Fortune, it's good, and it's worthy. But I think the easiest way to get a link is to have the best piece of content on the subject. It's so good that people are going to be like, "I can't not link to this, because that's right.

Alan Silvestri (19:06)

That's very true. And also, there are a couple of other pieces to this. So, the number one is to reach out to the right people, to the right person, or like role, for example for that. Because if you reach out to someone in the sales department, chances are they're not going to be able to do anything with that. So, you want to reach out to someone that actually has the ability to read the page, either because they're interested in it or because they are able to actually go in there and make an edit to the page, right?

So, someone like the editor of the site, or the author of the actual article, that's typically very good because they invested in the topic, so they're interested as well. And then lastly, someone in marketing might be there, so we always try to get started from those three positions.

Typically, the author first, if we can find the author, we reach out to the editor of the site, and if we can't find the editor, we reach out to someone that's in market thing, if you're reaching out to a solo kind of blogger, you obviously want to try and reach out to the owner. Yeah. But that's the most important thing. Second, is reaching out to them at the right time and also ad from the right medium, right.

So, email is not always the best possible place. Some people don't really check emails, or they are so used to being spammed by link builders that they basically have a mental filter. So as soon as they see an email that looks vaguely like a man building an email, they archive it. So, you want to try and vary the medium as well. We sometimes use social media, like LinkedIn, Twitter, and things like that.

Jaryd Krause (20:41)

Will you do something like reach out via LinkedIn to the person's, the author of the server, or the client that you're working with? Will you reach out using their LinkedIn account? At times, automatically account?

Alan Silvestri (20:58)

So what we usually do is leave this totally up to the client, depending on what they want to do. Yeah. So. So either they create a fake persona that works inside their company—this could be the head of outreach, for example—or they give us a real profile of someone real. So, if they create the fake persona, then they will have to create a LinkedIn profile and all the other things. And if they give us someone that's actually, like, real and existing in the companies, we're just going to use their accounts for that.

Jaryd Krause (21:27)

So, I want to talk about the content distribution system. What for people who don't know what a content distribution system.

Alan Silvestri (21:37)

The way that I see it, the content distribution system covers two main aspects, right? Promotion is the backlinks, but it's also the distribution. So, distribution for me is taking the content that you are already producing, and finding ways to spread it out across the web.

So, this could be either on social media, like LinkedIn or Twitter, with things like scheduling, automatic posting, but also with things like repurposing content into different formats. So, if you have an article, you can turn it into a YouTube video, or you can turn it into a Reddit post, and things like that. So, anything that essentially allows you to leverage existing content to make the most of it is a form of distribution.

Jaryd Krause (22:22)

Okay, great. So, part of the distribution is linking buildings. And then part of it can be repurposed. When do you repurpose? Are you just creating a full YouTube video of the article and linking back to it? Or you're creating just a portion of it, say the first half or a quarter? Or third? And then, what is it? What does that look like? Is it determined by what suits the platform best? And then, when you choose a platform, and I'm going like very, very deep here, like a fair few questions, they do look at where the market is for that particular business in terms of how they like to consume their content.

I know that when I talk about content promotion, it's like some people in a certain niche don't really hang out on Reddit, but other people in another niche really do. Do you figure out where those people are hanging out and then create the content that suits how they like to consume it? And then what sort of size, like a quarter of an article or a small snippet? What does it look like.

Alan Silvestri (23:21)

There's definitely quite a lot of research that you need to do. Because like you mentioned, not all platforms are going to work well for the same for different industries, different topics. So, you always want to make sure that what you're doing is not just for the sake of doing it because this is what most people do; they think that distributing is basically just using all of their social media to just spread-out content that's not very effective. So, if you decide to do it, you really want to do it in a meaningful way.

Jaryd Krause (23:53)

Model wise as well. Right? More focused way to the best platforms.

Alan Silvestri (23:58)

Because, basically, if you want to have a higher ROI from this process, you need to do it in this focused way. So yeah, like you mentioned with the research, the easiest way to do this is to type the main keyword that you're targeting into Google or YouTube depending on what you're trying to do, for example, into Facebook as well if you're trying to post on our Facebook page or LinkedIn, so give it a try and type domain target keywords and see what you get.

And then based on that, you can decide, for example, that if I type in the main keywords, which might be a broad topic, but I only get short posts or short videos that I've been proven to be doing well, then, I know that it doesn't make sense for me to repurpose the whole article into a giant long video, but it might be better to just do short snippets of the specific sections or subparagraphs.

Jaryd Krause (24:48)

Because success leaves clues, like what's winning and how the content is winning on that platform. You don't need to recreate the wheel; just do it for others.

Alan Silvestri (24:59)

If you believe what I mean, we live in a world that's kind of controlled by algorithms. And so, the easiest way to see what an algorithm wants is to just see what kind of results they're providing you with. So, it's basically hidden in plain sight; it's just a matter of being able to take the data and use it to your advantage.

Jaryd Krause (25:20)

I know this is going to be a tough one to answer because every business is going to need a different sort of approach. But if somebody's got a budget of, you know, $1,000 2000, up to three or $5,000 per month wanting to promote their content, typically, this is going to be an average because we don't have an example there unless you have two different types of examples you'd like to give. What sort of splits in resources? Would you put towards repurposing versus link building?

Alan Silvestri (25:51)

It's a very good question. I would say, it depends on what you're seeing in your industry. What are the other guys doing? Are they doing more? In terms of social, or are they being super aggressive in building links? Yeah, once you've seen that, and also, depending on the competitiveness of the keywords that you're trying to rank, you know, whether you should double down more on the links, if, for example, you do the analysis that we talked about before, and you see that you need 50 links per month, then you know, that you should like spend 90% of your time there, because that's a lot of links that you need.

So, you don't have a lot of time or resources for everything else. But it also depends on the revenue potential, right? So, if you do so, if, for example, you see that by just doing a couple of YouTube videos, you can get referral traffic directly to the site, that might be faster than just spending six months to try and rank a page. So yeah, there might be a better, like, thing to do in that situation. As if you knew that some other people were having good results with that.

Jaryd Krause (26:58)

So, it comes back to success, leaving clues, seeing what's working well, and not reinventing the wheel.

Alan Silvestri (27:06)

definitely. I mean, on the other hand, the only kind of thing that we control is data, right? So, it doesn't make sense to just make guesses or work out of assumptions; to me, the best thing that we can do is just look at the data.

Jaryd Krause (27:20)

See, so have a success. Speaking of that, where can people find out more about you and what you're doing? Like, I just want to say thanks for coming on that podcast has been so good to hear so much so fast, but I feel like we just.

Alan Silvestri (27:33)

Keep going and do another episode where we can dive deeper into some people.

Jaryd Krause (27:38)

Cool. Where can we go? Where can we send people to check out more about what you're doing?

Alan Silvestri (27:42)

The main place is a website, which is mygrowthgorilla.com, or I'm very active on Twitter. So, if you guys have any questions on, like, anything that we talked about today, you can reach out and message me on Twitter. I'm at Island G Gorilla. You can find me there.

Jaryd Krause (28:01)

I've got links to both of those guys in the show notes for you, Alan, thanks so much for coming on. Everybody who is listening. Thank you so much for listening. If you own a blog or are about to own one, do yourself a favor, save this episode and rewatch it or listen to it again, because we went through a lot. And I want you to re listen to it right now, since you've just bought your first business, so you can implement some of these strategies.

And if you know somebody who either owns a site or is about to own one, would you do them the massive favor of sharing this podcast episode with them selfishly? Yes, it helps Allen and myself help more people through what we've talked about here, but it also helps grow the podcast to help us help more people buy great businesses. So, thanks, guys.

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Jaryd Krause is a serial entrepreneur who helps people buy online businesses so they can spend more time doing what they love with who they love. He’s helped people buy and scale sites all the way up to 8 figures – from eCommerce to content websites. He spends his time surfing and traveling, and his biggest goals are around making a real tangible impact on people’s lives. 

Resource Links:

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Page Optimizer Pro (SEO tool for optimising web pages) – https://bit.ly/3wQCzin


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