Diary of a CMO - SEO Part 3

The SEO battleground is more competitive than ever. Especially in our niche. We are 3 weeks into this process and currently down on traffic by about 15% currently. I’m not concerned at the moment as we are just dealing with a legacy of issues impacting our SEO. In this issue of Diary of a CMO we discuss:

  1. Toxic links, what they are, how to find them and importantly how to get them removed.

  2. Content creation. The new plan and guides created for our writer is working well and the content is being churned out at a much faster and reliable rate.

Toxic Link removal

A key focus has been to secure backlinks to the site. We need to dramatically increase the number of incoming links to the site to boost our ranking. As a first step, we needed to audit the backlinks we currently have. I took a look at the backlink auditor to help me achieve this. It made for a concerning read as we had 40 toxic backlinks. These needed to be removed.

As you can see from the chart below not good at all. These links just get created by spammy sites. I don’t know what spammers hope to achieve with them but they need to be removed.

Option 1 is to approach the domain owners and ask them to remove. Most of these sites aren’t live or are vacant domain properties so I went straight to option 2 which is to disavow the links. SEMrush has a process to do this and it creates a .txt file which gets uploaded to Google Search console. This has now been done and submitted. Now we wait.

Key Takeaway

One of the key takeaways from researching more on SEO is the importance of picking your battles. Don’t look to compete on some keywords where you don’t stand a chance yet. You have to pick somewhere you can win. Focus on winning the wars. Get stronger, understand the process and then build-up to the war. You won’t win by walking right up to the castle gates and trying to storm the castle with one sword, no shield and not a single piece of armour insight.

Content Creation

The articles are coming thick and fast. You can see some of the most recent articles here if interested:
Amazon Self-Publishing in the UK
How to Overcome Writers Block
Copy-editing vs Proofreading: What’s the big deal?

and more currently being written. These are targeted to certain keywords but the overarching goal is long-form articles which are around 1500 words that deliver value to our audience. The lesson with content creation is to pay for someone who really understands your niche. We have an advantage here because our niche is writers and authors. This is going well but it will be sometime before I know for sure if our tactics here are working. I believe a lot this is all going to come down to how successful our outreach and link building strategy proves to be over the coming months.

Link Building - Quality over quantity.

The all-important element it seems to get results from SEO. This can’t be done the old way by simply posting links all over the internet. You have to get meaningful links. White Hat is the term these days. After much discussion on this point, research and talking with some experts I have decided upon our strategy. Quality over quantity. Given our current domain authority and where we want to compete our best bet is going to be focusing on high ranking sites. We will see how this strategy plays out. I am not concerned about the impact of links from these high-quality sites, I know it will make a difference. I’m just not sure how hard it will be for us to get the links in the first place. Will the effort be worth the reward. We shall see.


All the main statistics are in the green but

We are seeing some good initial results.

The jump on the average position is promising and this is what has been most excited at this stage.


A good start so far and I am looking forward to seeing where we can go with this strategy over the next few months. This post was a little delayed this week. New staff and an adjustment to some of our processes stole me away from marketing.

Will also do a more general update as we have been experimenting with YouTube and some changes to our social approach. The goal at the moment is to find a new channel or two where we can really double down. I don’t want to spread us too thinly. The goal at the moment is to see what works and 10X the effort on that particular channel.