Behind-the-Scenes with Andrew Warner and Kris Reid: Get a Glimpse into the SEO and Backlink Strategies of Ardor

Is it possible to improve your search engine ranking? Kris Reid of Ardor SEO says “yes!” In this podcast episode, Andrew Warner talks with Kris about how SEO can help you rack in traffic, so you can climb Google's PageRank system. Kris understands what it's like to struggle as a new entrepreneur, so he is generous enough to share some of the different SEO and backlinking strategies his company uses.

The MIXERGY story

Andrew Warner's MIXERGY was inspired by an underdog running for US presidency named Howard Dean, someone who dared to be heard and is quite successful at that. Andrew figured that Dean’s success could be attributed to the local meetups he had. So, Andrew decided to use the same strategy, and MIXERGY was born.

The MIXERGY Startup Stories podcast aims to inspire listeners by showcasing both the struggles and success stories of industry leaders in a series of no-holds-barred interviews with them. Andrew wants to give his listeners an alternative to 'professional know-it-all gurus', and that a single person cannot possibly know everything.

He also wants to show that nobody is an instant success; that growing one's business and brand takes more effort, courage, and determination; and that you don't have to be a genius to achieve success.

The struggle behind Kris’s success

Kris Reid

Kris founded Ardor after he lost his job as a software engineer in the financial sector after the 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis. 

Ardor started as a backlinking company. Over the years, the company grew and started offering other services, such as SEO services for businesses.

But, that's just one side of the story. What we didn't know is that Kris faced many challenges to establish his success.

From Google rolling out an update that almost single-handedly destroyed his business to having carpal tunnel syndrome and developing acute alopecia, he experienced it all. He even had to take side jobs to make ends meet while building his business. Fortunately, with a little bit of grit and a lot of determination, he got through it all.

He made a lot of changes with the way he conducted business and took better care of his health. And, it was all worth it—as evidenced by Ardor's success today.

The secret to Ardor's success

When Kris started Ardor, he was just primarily building and managing links. Customers came to his website, bought links, and then left. He didn't know what they really needed or how he could have helped them better. There was no communication between them whatsoever.

For years, this process worked for him and his business. But, after Google rolled out Penguin, an application that penalises websites with poor-quality links, he had to rethink his business practices real quick.

This was when he discovered that the secret to a business's success is communication. So, he started talking to his customers to find out exactly what they need. Now, customers cannot avail of any of Ardor's services or products without talking to someone. This new way of doing business proved fruitful because the company started gaining more clients.

Climbing Google's PageRank system

Kris also shared some SEO strategies that can help your website climb the Google ranks.


You get a backlink when a third-party website mentions your website and actually links to it. So, you can think of backlinks as incoming links from external websites. And,the more websites that link to you, the more Google will perceive you as an authority in your niche. This helps create a positive effect on your search visibility and site ranking.

Some effective ways you can get good backlinks include:

  • Guest posting. There are many authority websites that will welcome a well-written guest article with relevant content on their page. As a reward, they will link back to your website.
  • The broken-link building method. Another effective way to get good backlinks is to find broken links on the internet. A good place to start would be university websites. Professors will put resources for their courses on their site. But, they tend to forget to update them. So, over the years, some links no longer work. That's a good opportunity for you to contact the page admin to suggest your link with similar content.
  • Backlinking through infographics. Infographics are easy to understand. But, more importantly, they are very shareable. That's why they are one of the most popular ways of driving traffic to your website.

  • Building your internal linking structure. External links aren't the only ones that can bump up your ranking. Internal links can give you that link juice your website needs. A good internal linking structure can help users easily navigate your site. It also helps improve overall user experience.

  • Promoting your content. To get good backlinks, simply having great content is not enough. You need to know how to promote it as well. You can start by doing an email outreach or contacting other bloggers who are doing weekly or monthly roundups.

Local SEO citations

A local SEO citation is any online mention of the name, phone number, and address of a local business. It can occur on websites, apps, social platforms, and local business directories. Citations make it easy for internet users to find local businesses. It also has a positive impact on your local search engine rankings.


SEO keywords are the words or phrases utilised by users to find relevant content on the search engines. When optimised for search engines, a website becomes more visible on search results. Proper implementation of SEO keywords on your website can help you rank better than your competitors. So, you need to know who your target audience is and what services, products, or information they are looking for.

How to generate leads

Back when Ardor was still primarily selling backlinks, Kris and his team didn't have any interaction with their customers. It was great, and they were earning money that way.

But, the thing about business is that you should always be ready for change. Like what happened to Ardor when Google rolled out Penguin, an update that penalises websites selling artificial and poor-quality links.

So, he had to think of other ways to generate leads—and he had to do it fast. He did everything, from cold calling and cold emailing to connecting via Skype, without getting much result. 

And then, he discovered that sending lumpy mails and connecting via LinkedIn are more effective than cold calling. He also found out that he can use LinkedIn to recruit competent individuals. From there, his business started taking off. 

You can listen to the whole interview between Andrew and Kris on the Mixergy podcast.

If you want to learn more about how you can rank better on Google, don't hesitate to book a call with Ardor SEO.