The advice of Googler’s over the recent months have lead webmasters to fear the wrath of the next algorithmic update and many sites are dishing out nofollow links like it’s 2007 all over again.
In a webmaster hangout earlier this year Google employee John Mueller advised that if you are guest posting as part of your SEO strategy then links within the articles should really be made nofollow as they are not editorially given. After all if the blog has a significant audience and the content is of a high enough quality then the reward for the post is that referral traffic will flow via these links to your web properties, not PageRank. Since I started this article Marie Haynes has covered this in more detail.
I am sure you and many bloggers will disagree with John.
The fact of the matter is that the majority of bloggers do actually care about the quality and the relevance of the links referenced within the articles they choose to host, but these types of comments do nothing to help dispel the many myths that circulate. It would be naïve to assume that all blogs are well managed but if the post has to go through any kind of manual review process why must Google feel the need to treat all bloggers who open their doors to others as a criminal associate? Continue reading →
Before you set any link building strategy into action, you need to first define your goals. While “get more links” is ultimately what you will do, it really isn’t an actionable goal.
In order to truly get the most out of your link building initiatives, your goals should be defined with your (or your client’s) specific industry in mind. The way you perform outreach for finance will be different from how you would do so for travel, and so on. Moreover, the scale, execution, and outcome of your link building efforts will vary depending on your company’s niche.
Therefore it is important that your strategy be organized around a clear set of goals. In order to optimize the time you spend on outreach (and it does require a significant amount of time) you first need to focus your goals.
Firstly, as a general rule of thumb, your link-building goals should be S.M.A.R.T.
Specific (assign a numerical value to your link-building goals based on competitor research) Measurable (assign Key Performance Indicators) Actionable (again, do not just say “get more links”. Define what kind of links you want and the results you hope to gain) Realistic (size and scale of goals should be in accordance with the size and scale of your company) Timed (assign a timeline of execution for your goals)
So what exactly do S.M.A.R.T.goals look like in a link building initiative? By far the most comprehensive list of link-building goals that I have come across is this guide by Garrett French. While I include a breakdown of the list below, I encourage you to give it a read.
What this list lacks, however, is insight into how to prioritize these goals according to your specific business needs. In recent years creating targeted industry-based goals has become increasingly important in the digital realm. The same is true of link building. Looking at finance, retail, travel, food, teach, legal, entertainment, ecommerce , auto, and health care I will explain how each industry can benefit from certain link-building goals, and how to make them work. Continue reading →
Below is a guest post from my good friend Chris Gilchrist who runs an SEO and Web development agency in Dundee, Scotland. He is one of the co-founders of Link Club a Link Building community and monthly newsletter.
Want more links and a higher response rate from your outreach?
Are you prepared to carry a fishbowl between your legs anytime you’re out in public?
A little background
You probably already know that when you meet someone for the first time you make your mind up about them in the first 7 seconds.
Not in 7 minutes. Which is enough time to convince them you’re nice. 7 seconds.
We meet. 1…2…3…4…5…6…7 seconds. That’s it. Time’s up.
My mind’s made up if I like you and trust you enough to believe or even listen to what’s going to come out your mouth next time you open it. Possibly even forever more.
Back in my first job when I sold Gas & Electricity door to door for a local electricity company I took great care to make sure that 7 seconds counted.
No one likes sales people. No one likes people knocking on their doors. Uninvited. Especially at dinner time. After a long day at work. It can bring out the worst in some people.
Which is why we dressed in the same outfits as the meter readers, because who hates the humble meter reader?
For me this meant more than just wearing the same jumper, trousers and jacket.
It meant scuffing my brand new shoes. Wearing a meter key and tools on a chain.
I probably looked more like a meter reader than half the meter readers did. And it worked. Very very well. around my neck. Having my tie poorly tied and slightly squint. A cheap bic pen behind my ear rather than a favourite expensive one. A pair of trousers just slightly on the short side. I didn’t look up from my notes when I first talked to them, because I wasn’t caring about a sale. I was just a bored meter reader letting them know about some savings they could make on their Gas and Electric. And I certainly wasn’t interested in commission so there was no excitement in my voice.
So the good news is you can influence people very quickly with a first impression.
How’d you like to learn great ways to promote your content that get you high quality links and even more traffic?
You’ve heard of Derek Halpern, right?
Derek is the guy behind the popular marketing blog Social Triggers; he is known for writing up psychological research and business case studies to help bloggers and businesses make more money online.
I’ve been reading his blog on and off for about the past 18 months and I’ve found a wealth of great tips and ideas on his site that have given me more insight into the way people think and therefore the best ways I can persuade them to link to my projects.
In this post I’ve curated a list of some of my favourite posts that I think will be of interest to you whether you’re either creating content or contacting people to promote your content; which will hopefully give you an extra little edge over others.
Create an Information Gap
If you want to write an email or a piece of content that draws people in straight away then you need to make the most of curiosity.
The first line of this blog post is just another way for me to generate an information gap to draw you in and read more!
How’d you like to learn great ways to promote your content that get you more links and more traffic?
Quite simply, curiosity, as defined by Loewenstein, is an innate human behavior that’s triggered when people feel there is a gap between what they know and what they want to know. (source).
TL:DR when you create a gap between what people know, and what people want to know, they feel compelled to fill that gap.
How to email Influencers
You don’t need me to tell you that the key to a great content promotion campaign is getting your content in front of influential people in your niche. Preferably these people will have the ability to spread the content for you online.
Avoid long emails – people are too busy
Create an Information Gap
If you visit this blog post there is some free template emails you can download which Derek personally uses when he is emailing people to share his content or if he wants them to feature on his podcast.
The name of the technique comes from the cycling term “drafting”, whereby the lead cyclist breaks the wind resistance and the riders following behind can travel at the same speed as the lead rider whilst expending less effort. Some people refer to it as slipstreaming.
There are three simple steps for using “The Drafting Technique.”
Step 1: What will you promote
Step 2: Who is interested in it
Step 3: Persuade them to feature you
TL;DR make the most of trends in your industry to help journalists and bloggers create unique content that features you or your client.
Thinking or Feeling?
In the video below Derek discusses which is more persuasive, I THINK or I FEEL?
You probably don’t THINK this is a big deal but once you watch the video below I THINK you will FEEL differently about the way in which you use these two words in your emails, blog posts or conversations with the people you work with.
The Power of Persuasion
A few days ago I finally got around to publishing my post on psychology and link building. While I was researching and writing that post Derek published a great article on the power of persuasion.
In the post he highlights a theory proposed by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner in Freakonomics.
In it, they say there are just three types of incentive:
Economic incentives – financial gains
Social incentives – looking good in the eyes of others
Moral incentives – doing the greater good
Apparently, when you want to contact someone that you don’t know, with hopes of persuading them to link to you then you should appeal to one (or all) of the three incentives.