This is the story about a successful community development among LinkResearchTools users over the course of two years and its impact on LinkResearchTools and every single LRT user. Learn from our learnings and help make the community even more valuable.
The second gathering of masterminds
On May 13 the second private event "LRT Certified 2015" took place in Vienna. This event brought together the sharpest minds of the most experienced LRT Certified Professionals, Xperts and Agencies at the Headquarters of LinkResearchTools in Vienna.
A day packed with insightful presentations from LRT Certified Professionals and LRT Certified Xperts to and for fellow certified professionals and LRT team members created an event and an atmosphere that can only be compared to other highly sought after "insider events" like the SEOktoberfest (8 years and counting, more on that later).
The “LRT Certified” event can be described as an intimate and private exchange between people that achieved the highest ranks in the LinkResearchTools training and certification program and have been professional SEOs for many years. Many of the top case studies you read from us in the past two years were written by people in this room.
But this post is not only a recap about an event with a lot of fun and knowledge; it’s a review of two years of customer community development, the development of the highly successful and sought after LRT Certified Community.
About the LRT Community and the LRT Training and Certification program
What started two years ago with the idea to get our users trained quickly developed quickly into a highly sought after community development.
Today 346 LRT Associates (the entry level), 27 LRT Certified Professionals and 5 LRT Certified Xperts prosper due to the vast experience with Google Penalties, Link Building and Link Audits and of course deep product knowledge about LinkResearchTools and Link Detox.
Many of the LRT Associates and LRT Certifieds witnessed Google Penguin from its first roll-out in 2012. They are experts in the most advanced link building and outreach techniques known in the SEO industry.
Some people call this the Ferrari class, others prefer Maserati. Whatever you prefer, it’s a group of top notch experts that you or anyone can be proud to work with.
Many open discussions and exchanges took place in the past two months that you couldn’t find elsewhere on the web
- Late night support for negative SEO attacks
- Open exchange about the biggest Negative SEO Blackmailer that EVERY SEO doing a link audits has probably encountered once, trying to extort poor clients with his banned network. We have a shared list of all his sites, which every LRT Certified disavows pro-actively.
- Top tricks and workarounds for all things Google, Exchange of insights you won’t read elsewhere
The LRT Community Value
Before going into detail on the different levels you need to understand that the LRT Certification program is about creating a community of like-minded and hard-working professionals that engage in close exchange with each other and the team of LinkResearchTools. That’s not something money can buy at all.
There is quite an entry-barrier to this exclusive club of multiple tiers.
Entry Level: LRT Associate
Even the entry level “LRT Associate” requires thorough video or webinar training plus a theory exam on all the material presented. Many people tried and passed, some people had to redo it, but others who didn't give it the needed attention simply didn't achieve this status.
LRT Associates already enjoy benefits in the LRT Community like
- direct voice on features
- free Gifts, T-Shirts and certificates
- direct contact and voice with the team and me
- up-to-the minute support between power users only. Compared to a public forum the advantage is clear – everyone in the group is trained so there’s no risk of threads getting side-tracked (off-topic) or overly confusing from having to bring newbies “on board”
- exchange of free invitations to all kinds of events, spare tickets
LRT Associates in general are “only” members of the closed community without the privilege of getting leads passed on or invitation to our private event.
Certified Level: LRT Certified Professional (CLRTP)
To become "Certified" (and join exclusive events like LRT Certified 2015 as well as enjoy leads and recommendations passed on by LRT) one needs to do the real SEO hustle.
Some people dubbed it "Guest posting for a certification", but when you read masterpieces as mentioned below, you will quickly understand that becoming a "LRT Certified Professional" is hard work, involves many hours of analysis and work with the LinkResearchTools and often many review rounds with me, Christoph C. Cemper the founder and CEO of LinkResearchTools and SEO since 2003.
Here are some masterpieces published by our LinkResearchTools Certified professionals on the linkresearchtools.com blog.
Expedia.com: FULL deep-dive into Unnatural Travel Link Schemes [update +250%]
Expedia has been hit hard with a Penalty and lost 25% of its visibility. Even a Negative-SEO attack was suspected. This deep dive by Bartosz Góralewicz looks into the backlink profile of Expedia and reveals tactics they got away with for quite a while. Bartosz walks you through the reasons Expedia experienced such a traffic drop.
A website got hit by a Google algorithmic penalty, received a Google partial match Manual Action and got hit by Negative SEO. The situation looked hopeless, but this website recovered thanks to a brilliant strategy and great SEO tools
How to Create a Google-Penalty-Proof Website with LRT
Whether you were hit by Google penguin or not, you should take care of Link Risk Management. It is the only way for you to recover and protect your site. Read this case study and learn how you can do it effectively in the simple 10 steps.
How to do outreach by using LRT and Pitchbox
PitchBox is the best outreach software on the market. In combination with LinkResearchTools you can use it for different purposes. Read this great case study and learn how to do link removal, link building and prospecting with this perfect duo.
Squeeze more Juice out of Google Webmaster Tools
Google can be infuriating. They count every link to your site but only show you a random sampling in Google Search Console (Google Webmaster Tools). But here’s a simple and genius hack to squeeze more links out of your Google Webmaster Tools account. After going through this detailed guide, you won’t believe how simple it is.
Competitive Domain Analysis with LRT
The competitive situation is different in Google for any given country, language, industry, or search term. Therefore it is crucial to develop the ability to understand your competition. This complete guide written by one of our LRT Professionals helps by providing tips for competitive domain analysis.
Why is Link Risk Management vital in 2015?
Why is Link Risk Management vital in 2015? Protect your hard-fought gains from algorithm changes and malicious actions. Keep your site from losing traffic and money. LRT Certified Professional, Arda Mendes, explains the link audit process and gives you easy tips needed for proper Link Risk Management.
Creating a Powerful PBN with LinkResearchTools
SEOs are nothing if not creative. Though Google frowns on using Private Blog Networks to build links to your Money sites, PBNs still work. Just don’t get caught. This guide helps you quickly find thousands of used domains for sale, easily find their Power*Trust, and test their value for your PBN
Link Building Tips for Small Businesses
How can small brands get high quality links? Though big brands attract links, small brands have to hunt for them. This useful guide shows you where to look to find those powerful linking opportunities. Plus, it includes overlooked strategies that will surprise you by their simplicity. Try at least one of these strategies!
Google’s First Commandment – Thou Shalt Not Hack
Happy endings exist. Though this university site was manually penalized because of hacking, Google removed it after one reconsideration request. See how they did it, and use their excellent link removal outreach email, reconsideration request, and blacklist of bad domains and URLs for your recovery.
Believe me, it's not an easy job to be a lecturer and give the final approval for those who are actually your paying clients. Some of them have been clients for years and not everyone gets a case-study published - at least not at the first try. Saying "No, this won't cut it" is very hard sometimes, knowing how many hours went into a piece already.
But in the end, every case study or tutorial we published should WOW the readers, create a decent Buzz - i.e. social distribution and make an Impact for the author and the reader.
Many LRT Certified Professionals have got leads directly from their published case-study.
Others were recommended by me and my team.
And that’s the point – I need to be sure on the skills and professionals we recommend. That has always been my mantra, and our clients trust in it.
Leads Leads Leads
So do you actually get business from becoming LRT Certified Professional?
Let one of our LRT Certified Xperts tell you…
Meet Bartosz Góralewicz
After publishing some highly successful case-studies of unseen quality, Bartosz experienced an avalanche of new business. One time he published this to our closed LRT Certified forum; (yes, there's a private group in addition to that one for LRT Associates to accommodate the lifted status)
- Hey guys, I got TOO MANY LEADS
- I can send you some of my leads
- Who wants some business from me? You’ll get them free.
Now is this an Impact or not? Some people might think – wow, can you have TOO MANY leads? In fact Bartosz grew his team from 2 to 25 within one year. 12 months! And despite that he had to feed back some of his success to our community of LRT Certified Professionals.
If that is not a good demonstration of reach and impact you can achieve by using our platform, then I don't know what is.
But Bartosz is further - he is a LRT Certified Xpert and got his company certified as one of the few LRT Certified Agencies. As you can tell from his raving presentation you’ll learn about below from Bartosz’s, his success really paid off for him.
Certified Level: LRT Certified Xpert (CLRTX)
The LRT Certified Xpert is the LRT Certified Professional on steroids basically.
- Multiple Case Studies
- Higher rates
- More leads
- More exposure
- Direct priority on basically everything over everyone (including private chats at 2AM with me sometimes :-))
Those who achieved the status of LRT Certified Xperts benefit from
- Free SEO leads passed on from inquiries to LinkResearchTools (with personal recommendation by Christoph)
- Free Promotion thru all channels of LinkResearchTools
- Free Leads for their business from thousands of readers of your examination work
- Optional license to conduct own trainings for LinkResearchTools
- Free Access to a closed LRT Certified Forum to exchange with other LRT Certifieds in private and Christoph
- Free Access to the closed member event “LRT Masterminds” in Vienna – yes, the private event we mentioned in the introduction
- Free Access to private “LRT Mastermind” webinars
Certified Company Level: LRT Certified Agency
Now if that wouldn't be enough here's the kicker. All of those certifications are personal certifications.
Personal certification only means, it’s for the person, not the company.
And while you're allowed to wear, print, copy the Certification status in all your personal areas like a blog or CV (and headhunters look for this), it won't benefit the company you're working at, or running.
To be able to advertise your company with the LRT Certified Agency brand you need, depending on your size and location, multiple people achieving LRT Certified Professional and LRT Certified Xpert statuses. The idea here is that your clients should be able to safely assume that they are in safe hands for anything Link Building, Link Detox and LinkResearchTools in general, even if one guy gets hit by a bus.
Recap of topics discussed in our closed circle of LRT Certifieds
1. Experience from one year Pitchboxing 1.000.000 people (2015)
by Geraldine Edel, Head if Inbound Marketing at MediaBase GmbH
Geraldine’s presentation was all about outreach, providing great insights on how to make the most of the integration between Pitchbox and LinkResearchTools.
She shared some great tips on how to improve the outreach process and save time. Using examples she demonstrated a couple of ways in which combining Pitchbox and LinkResearchTools can enhance anyone’s SEO work.
One interesting example was the case of a client that received a Google manual penalty because of 10.000+ hard money anchor text links. Geraldine’s objective was changing 1.000‘s of hard money anchors from high quality sites into brand anchor texts.
Geraldine used the Backlink Profiler (BLP) tool to analyze the anchor texts of the links that had “FOLLOW” status, while sorting them by Power*Trust. She managed to easily detect the hard money keywords, as well as the high quality websites where such links could be found. She demonstrated how easy it was for her to reach out to all these people using the LinkResearchTools - Pitchbox integration.
Geraldine has many years of experience using LRT and has recently published a case study on how to do outreach by using LRT and Pitchbox.
2. Making millions with Werewolf Insurance (2014)
by Rick Lomas, Owner of Indexicon
Rick gave a presentation called ‘The Highs and Lows of Working Online for 16 Years’. This was a fun presentation based on a true story of how Rick helped his friend Simon Burgess build up an online business from nothing to what became British Insurance Services. British Insurance Services was sold in 2008 for an estimated £25 million.
Along the way Rick and Simon created some of the craziest insurances that all had policies which were properly underwritten by Lloyds of London. The insurances included:
- Alien Abduction Insurance – there was a rumor that policies were purchased by the Heaven’s Gate Cult in 1997
- Immaculate Conception Insurance (a.k.a. Virgin Insurance) – this resulted in a domain name being sold to Sir Richard Branson for a ‘four figure sum’ in 1998
- WolfSafe Insurance – for human to werewolf conversion during the brightest perigee moon for 133 years. The policy ran from sunset on December 21st to sunrise on December 22nd
The purpose of these policies was not to sell policies online, but to schmooze the offline media; tabloid newspapers, BBC Radio and daytime TV. By winning friends in the press and the media it became very easy to push the British Insurance brand out to the public. Crazy? Oh yes, but it worked!
Rick also published a recap of this year’s event here: http://www.indexicon.com/lrt/certified-event-may-13-2015
3. How LRT Made Me (Us) More Successful (2015)
by Bartosz Góralewicz, CEO at Elephate
Bartosz gave us a raving presentation about how working with the platform LinkResearchTools in the past years propelled his business thru the roof. He described his partnership with LRT as being a win-win story based on mutual support and valuable networking opportunities.
He talked about the exposure and great number of leads he got by publishing very interesting case studies on linkresearchtools.com. He also stressed the benefits him and his colleagues have from being part of the community of LRT Certified Professionals.
He described the LinkResearchTools Professional Certification as a clear path to get:
- Personal branding
- Training and motivation for in-house staff
Bartosz also published a recap of this year’s event here:
by Łukasz Kalus, Link Audit Manager at Elephate
While LinkResearchTools and Link Detox are very comprehensive, smart people always find ways to improve and automate their workflow.
Łukasz pointed out that the most important thing for their agency is getting the most accurate data and finishing a link audit faster than anyone. He explained to the other certified and the team of LRT how they manage to do that in Elephate.
Łukasz gave an impressive presentation on:
- Tools to speed up the audit process
- Tools to automate the outreach
- Tools to get even more link data beyond all the 24 link data sources in LRT and Link Detox
- And so much more.
This presentation alone was worth the travel for many, as it ultimately gives the LRT Certifieds a competitive advantage vs. other users. We were surprised about all the good ideas and will certainly consider some of the improvements for the product development.
by Derek Devlin, Head of Search at Made By Crunch
Derek shared his knowledge and explained his penalty recovery workflow, along with some of his productivity tips for helping clients reverse Google Manual Actions.His company has had many successful reconsideration requests and Derek shared many cool insights on how he deals with all that.
Derek also wrote a recap here http://www.derekdevlin.com/link-research-tools-certified-penguin-mastermind/
In 2014 we exchanged best practices, tips and tricks for bringing on and successfully serving Link audit clients.
We had really interesting discussions and exchange between professionals, not for the public.
7. App Store Optimization Secrets (2015)
by Lorant Görgey,Team Lead Outreach at CatBird Seat
Lorant’s presentation was really interesting because it brought to the Certified’s attention a different kind of search optimization. He focused on App store optimization and shared his secrets.
When launching a new app, most people don’t give much thought to doing a thorough keyword research and putting some work into optimizing the title, tags and description of the App. And that’s just where they can lose a lot of money.
Lorant shared his experience and presented various examples of how proper app store optimization enabled him to increase the sales of his customers significantly.
8. Content Marketing Agency Workflow (2015)
by Lorant Görgey,Team Lead Outreach at CatBird Seat
Lorant presented the A to Z process by which his agency manages complex link building outreach campaigns and how they integrate all that with LinkResearchTools.
Apart from using the best tools out there, their outreach success is also based on the fact that they put users at the forefront of every campaign by giving them what they need and valuable content.
Lorant also showed how his agency manages relationship building, stressing that this is a very important thing to consider in today’s world of link building world.
In order to demonstrate an efficient distribution of labour, optimisation of the outreach process and time saving strategies, Lorant presented a workflow chart of his agency’s outreach model and the exact number of people in each department.
Some further Advantages LRT Certifieds had in the last year
Early Access to Pitchbox and LRT integration (2014)
Early access to the Pitchbox outreach program was granted to LRT Certified Professionals and Xperts in 2014 long before we went live with it. This gave our closed community a head start on what turned out to become the most advanced and flexible outreach solution for Link Building,
Early access to new Impactana Content Marketing software
Certified Professionals and Xperts had the honor to be among the first to learn about, see and try for themselves a new product line for Content Marketing, Video Marketing and Influencer Analysis.
The whole team got great feedback and ideas to what will soon be public.
You can also sign up here if you’d like to be among the first Impactana users.
Early Access to the LRT Power*Trust browser extension (2014)
LRT Certified Professionals already got the chance to have LRT Power*Trust on their browser toolbar as early as May 2014. We have built upon their feedback and are close to launching that Chrome extension in various flavors in the next few weeks.
The browser extension allows you to
- View LRT Power*Trust on domain level (free for everyone)
- View LRT Power*Trust on page level (paid accounts)
and is therefore a highly valuable extension for every LRT user knowing that LRT Power*Trust outperforms many other metrics, including of course the long outdated and never updated Google Page Rank.
Early Access to the new Content Marketing Toolbar (2015)
Yet another early access gave some LRT Certifieds access to a new, all free Content Marketing Toolbar that is live in the Google Chrome store already.
In the future the Content Marketing Toolbar will be combined with the Content Marketing software product mentioned above, but will be free for everyone to use.
Some features include
- Direct access to Buzz metrics from Social on a page level (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
- Direct access to Impact metrics (Clicks, Views, Downloads, Comments) on a page level (soon)
- Direct access to the page author and all his contact details (soon)
- Direct access to the publish date of a page (soon)
- Sharing and Curating actions via Buffer, Hubspot, Pocket or plain e-Mail
If you’d like to try the first beta you can download and enjoy it here.
We introduced the upcoming LORT (Link Opportunity Review Tool) that we’ll launch in the next few days that will give you
- Immediate evaluation of Link Detox Risk (DTOXRISK) for a potential link page (or dozens)
- Immediate response right in your research process
- No need to run (big) Link Detox reports using the original “Link Opportunity Audit Mode” (former What-If mode)
- The chance to give a Link Detox quality seal to every link before you actually build it.
Feedback from LRT Certified Professionals
“This was my second LRT Certified event. It is like meeting a second family with a really warm welcome from Christoph, super cool people to talk to in laid back atmosphere. One of few events when you can actually have a really good time while working.”
“I enjoy the LRT event a lot, each year it gives me the opportunity to meet and greet with SEO & Linkbuilding experts of Europe. This allows experience and knowledge to pass face to face. How cool is that!?”
Lorant Görgey, Team Lead Outreach at CatBird Seat
“I like the LRT group very much and despite the increased number of participants the atmosphere of the event is still familiar. Unlike other events, this one is reserved to a small circle from which I benefit professionally and personally. I really like being part of the LRT certified professionals. “
Sigrid Holzner, Manager SEO Bavaria
“LRT Certified 2015 was the favorite event which I ever attended. All the certified professionals shared freely their own experiences and their recipe for success. Finally, we had the chance of meeting and interacting with the whole LRT Team and we were able to discuss with them our ideas and problems. The whole organization was just brilliant, because asides the knowledge gained from the events, the social functions were amazing too. It is worth passing this certification and becoming a part of the LRT Certified Professionals because this is a community where you can learn much more than you can ever imagine.”
“The best part of the LRT Certified event 2015 was meeting all the LRT Certifieds and the LRT Team. I'd met quite a lot of them before, but it was great to get to know everyone better. The evening meal at Schweizerhaus was so much fun, I loved every minute of it.”
Rick Lomas, Owner of Indexicon
“The LRT Certified 2015 event exceeded all my expectations! This time, the event took place at the LRT headquarters. Although the office is really big, the atmosphere was very familiar. This is also due to the fact that all certifieds share the same goal: to exchange ideas as well as knowledge to become leading experts in the field of SEO. The LRT Certification program is the best platform to reach that goal. It is an honor to be part of the LRT Certified community!
Geraldine Edel, Head of Inbound Marketing at MediaBase GmbH
Want to become LRT Associate as well? It’s free!
If you missed this point – all the training for LRT Associate is free.
Don’t wait any longer and get your highly visible title and proof your expertise to the world!
Get networking opportunities with other LRT users, Christoph C. Cemper and his team and gain access to a closed LRT Associate Forum where you can exchange ideas with other LRT users.
Take the first step to becoming a LRT Certified Professional. Sign up for the Associate training, start studying at your own pace, and then complete the LRT associate exam, yielding you such a nice certificate
Completing the certifications available in the LRT Academy will help you advance in your career.
A LRT Certificate is proof that you are an experienced SEO and a proficient user of LinkResearchTools. But it’s much more than that. It gives you the opportunity to acquire new leads, new customers and the combined knowledge of a great community of SEOs.