Over the years, link building has changed. Anonymity, once a tool of the trade, will no longer take you far. If you truly want a link building campaign to succeed, you need to stay two steps ahead of your competition and three steps ahead of Google.
No longer can you afford to do the bare minimum when building high quality backlinks. You need to make sure that your competitors cannot duplicate them. By building a relationship with a fellow website in your related industry niche, you will be able to reach out to an audience you were unable to before and receive a high quality backlink that will make Google give you goo-goo eyes. You’ll also leave your competitor wondering how you got that perfect link.
Outreach emails are one method of building relationships, but they can be tricky. So, for this Manager Monday, I thought I’d go over a few simple tips and tricks to make the job easier.
Let’s pretend you’ve done your research and have compiled the perfect list of websites you would like to reach out to in order for them to share your spectacular content.
First, let me start off by saying outreach isn’t easy. But it isn’t hard either. Below you can find a few tips that will hopefully improve your email-to-link ratio.
- First and foremost, make sure your email is free of spelling and grammatical errors. There is nothing worse than receiving an email that sounds like it was put together by a third grader–or worse. Also, if the language you use isn’t your native tongue, own up to it. There should be no shame in being multilingual.
- What’s in it for them? Let’s be honest here; no one does anything for free. So why should the recipient link to you? If you can’t answer that question then they won’t be able to either. Don’t assume that they will be able to connect the dots. Do it for them. Perfectly lay out what they will get in return.
- Personalize. Make each and every email as unique as possible. Does this take a little extra time? Definitely. But the results speak for themselves. There is no point in sending out 1,000 cookie-cutter emails if you don’t receive a single link in return. In this day and age, spam is everywhere. Make your email stand out by talking about previous posts the recipient has done or by mentioning something they said on one of their social media profiles. Show them that you did your research and it will greatly increase your chances in either a link back or the beginning of a relationship.
Outreach Tools to Make the Job Easier
Buzzstream manages all of your link building needs. If you are unorganized, like me, this will be extremely useful.
Rapportive via Gmail
Rapporative is a Gmail plugin to help you manage your contact information.
Boomerang via Gmail
Boomerang is an easy-to-use Gmail plugin that will help you schedule emails and reminders–nothing like reaching out for a linking opportunity and missing out on it because you forgot to follow up.
And That’s It
To wrap it up: do your homework, make sure you don’t sound like a third grader and tell them how they benefit. That’s it. Like I said earlier, outreach isn’t easy but it isn’t hard either. Let me know if you have any questions about the above tools in the comments!
Every SEO wants the “perfect” link profile, amongst other things. Many digital marketers hope to one day achieve a solid link profile consisting entirely of high-quality, high-authority pages from well ranked, reputable domains. However, a majority of websites, at one point or another, have received a less-than-desirable link or two. Despite the occasional (and virtually inevitable) flaw in an otherwise pristine link profile, there is one important fact that all SEOs must remember: A few bad links don’t necessarily equate to bad rankings.
After Google algorithm updates such as Penguin debuted and affected the rankings of many sites and even caused de-indexation of others, the SEO community became extremely wary of low-quality links. Rightfully so, as such links were amongst the primary targets of the now-notorious update. In the months following the Penguin update, however, some SEOs noticed a surprising trend when analyzing their site’s link profile… a few bad links didn’t always hurt a site’s position in the SERPs.
Although “white hat” search engine optimization practitioners stand firmly behind the principles of natural, high-quality links, some sites have actually managed to avoid penalties even with several bad links pointing toward their domain. In reality, a “good” link profile is all about diversity.
Natural links from blogs or online news and media sites are important. As are links originating from relevant pages and domains. Remember, a few bad links won’t ruin an otherwise strong profile.
While tools such as the new Google Disavow are helping many webmasters eliminate the risk of particularly harmful links pointing toward their site, it can be even more problematic for a site’s rankings if used incorrectly. Even with innovations such as the Disavow tool, it is still critical for SEOs to monitor their site’s link profile closely and frequently to determine where the real concerns are.
Read more about Matt Cutts and the disavow tool related to the Penguin update.
That being said, a few bad links are not a concern for a site with an otherwise solid profile. On the other hand, a few hundred low-quality links will almost certainly negate the value of even the most authoritative sites. Overall, the best link profiles are the ones which look the most “genuine” to the search engines and as the saying goes: Nobody’s perfect.
To analyze your own site’s link profile, try our new Website Analyzer tool and feel free to share your insights on link building and monitoring techniques with me on Twitter, by email or in the comments below!
As my fellow writers and I have recommended time and time ago, it’s a good practice for companies to use social media to supplement their other organic SEO activity. Due to the ever-increasing number of users found on networks such as Facebook and Twitter, many start-up or entrepreneur company owners are sharing their own original content effortlessly with the masses. Businesses that remain active with social media sites consistently see better traffic to their online properties than those companies that don’t retweet or post status updates. It’s an exciting time for small and medium-sized businesses to be sure, but many companies are finding that their success is somewhat limited and they don’t know why.
Although everyone touts the potential of a fully-engaged social media audience, there is also a general acknowledgement that knowing when to post a link can greatly determine the reach of one’s content. Obviously status updates about trending topics are most successful when people are not away from social media while celebrating a holiday or major event. In addition to paying attention to major events, getting a gauge on when social network users are likely online during the course of a given day is an important skill for any business owner or campaign manager to have. While developing a sense for user activity levels can be tricky, a new report released by Bit.ly can help give budding social media companies some help.
Traditional Social Media Posts Hit their Stride Early
Recent statistics from the popular link-abridging website show that popular social networks Facebook and Twitter actually see the most link activity during the earlier parts of the day. According to the site’s latest blog post, the two social media sites see their link click-through rates peak in activity starting in the morning and topping off sometime before 4 PM EST. In particular, Twitter link activity is at its highest levels between noon and 3 PM EST on weekdays, while Facebook does well during a similar timespan. Both networks see greatly diminished CTRs starting Friday and going through the weekend.
Image-Based Social Networks do well in the Evening
The Bit.ly report also states that image-centric social media site Tumblr sees the most users during the evening. From the end of the work day to around 10 PM EST, the CTRs for those links generated by Bit.ly often see their highest levels. According to the blog, Monday and Tuesday nights actually see strong activity. Friday nights are also great nights for posting on Tumblr, with heightened activity a result of the oncoming weekend.
Using these Reports Wisely
The statistics reported by Bit.ly provide more guidelines that anything else. SMB owners and social media campaign managers should always remember that the industry they work in and major events should be the prime indicators of when links should be distributed on social sites. On the average day though, the aforementioned timetables for posting should give those users who are unsure when to post their links a little extra direction.
For additional information about efficient link-sharing on sites like Facebook and Twitter, I invite readers to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am more than happy to reply to any inquiries they may have.
Discussion has arisen in the world of link building of late, for good reason. Google made modifications; the search engine came down on suspicious linking practices. The purpose is to rid the Web of unrighteous rankers and unscrupulous link building practices.
I’ve read a number of posts, urging clients and brands to rethink linking. That’s great; I have experience in public relations, an aspect of link building many good practitioners encourage. I’m no Seth Godin; but, the union of link building and PR has knocked at my intuition’s door for years. Links are like votes. How do you get votes without a little socialization, facilitating exposure and understanding?
Why PR Wasn’t Always Needed
I see you. I understand how some brands got in trouble in the past; and, why some may be approached, to endure lost rankings or penalties in the future. It’s anxiety. Brands are anxious to compete in a competitive vertical.
Brands thought, “Gee, we don’t rank for major keywords right now. Natural progression takes time. How can we be impatient and get rankings now rather than later? Hmm…we can get links from anywhere, just for now…”
Many sought unscrupulous ways to build links for desired keywords. I’m not judging; however, many know the difference from a quality, natural link and one chased purely for rankings. Usually money is the only necessity to get lower-valued links; when you’re not gunning for quality, PR is not a need.
Regardless of your past or present philosophy on link building, understand that getting good-fit links is building to last. Other endeavors may not necessarily lay any lasting foundation at all; on the contrary, as we’re seeing, a short-term ‘fix’ can drastically breakdown future pursuits of success.
Why PR is a Need Now
PR is an inextricable need in organic link building these days. I hope it stays that way. My intuition tells me it will. In short, this is why PR matters when it comes to rethinking linking:
- Quality links come from quality sites. For instance, many news sites are high authority sites. Reporters and editors may randomly come across your URLs; but, don’t rely on chance. Be proactive. Find news sites covering your vertical. The former may do so in a general or niche manner, either way, this is good. What do you have of value to offer them?
- Quality links come from quality personalities. Many individuals write blogs or reference in-vertical material for readers. Do you engage in your vertical? If you don’t, bloggers (like the reporters and editors above) won’t just come across your material. However, if you regularly read blogs, comment, and show a social presence in your vertical, you can build relations and links in the process. What value can you offer bloggers and the community?
- Quality links go to authority sites. Rank is contingent on worth…to the browser, to the consumer. Other sites, bloggers, and people will draw attention to your URLs if the pages are of quality. Engagement in your respective community and engagement with consumers warrants effective PR. Effective PR doesn’t guarantee you have quality pages; but, it makes it likely you’ll be seen and gain ongoing attention. I’ll say it again; PR is a means to an end of greater exposure, but doesn’t guarantee the end itself. What value do you offer, warranting increased exposure?
Maybe this is the best way I can phrase it. Like rank, PR and link building gain a business more exposure. Getting more exposure is like your brand’s elevator pitch to the public; it helps get them to look your way and hear what you have to say. Are goods, services, and Web properties deserved of quality attention? That’s the first question to ask. Poor quality attracts the same brand of attention. Excellence begets excellent links and attention. Can you be excellent?
Chris Dyson – Optimize Your Link Building with Twitter
John Doherty – Link Branding: A Link Builder’s Marketing Mindset
I don’t need to be jostled from sleep by Sonny and Cher; judging by the “Phil Murray” and “Punxsutawney Phil” Twitter trends, it’s February second. How many more days of winter? I live in LA; don’t hate; there’s plenty of sunshine, yes, but smog, ebb-less traffic, and unrelenting crowds of people live here too. I’m not worried about the fate of winter; but, being in online marketing, I am interested in link building processes. If you operate a business, tips on link building should have you ‘walking on sunshine,’ because it’s no secret of success – link building improves authority, rankings, and exposure.
I read an awesome post today by Neil Patel, receiving ten insightful tips related to seeking and acquiring link opportunities. Does your brand want to brook more time within a winter of ‘dissed’ content or do you want your content to gain more attention? I don’t need to wait for a reply or a groundhog (I’m definitely not waiting for a ‘PR Panda’) to rear its head to know your brand is ready to spring into action regarding link building. However, you should wait before composing your next piece and consider the following; if you release your content without some pre-consideration, you may find no one’s popping their head out of their respective days’ work to give your content a look, prolonging the winter of dissed content.
Before You Write
Okay, you wrote some good content. Now, it’s time to give it a social nudge. Which social sites is your brand leveraging? Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, all of the above? Go ahead and push them through… Oh, you’ve done that before but didn’t see much traction? Let’s consider some “social” things you could do before you compose a piece.
Rand Fishkin suggested contacting ‘influencers’ in your field before composing a piece. An ‘influencer’ is a ‘big fish’ in your industry (CEO, popular blogger, etc), one who can augment the piece’s immediate exposure. If more people see the work, it’s likely you’ll attract more links. In addition, as Dr. Pete advised on his Twitter account, building relationships with influencers far exceeds a one-time, link building purpose. If you can get influencers and industry cohorts to recognize your brand delivers quality and wants to add to the ongoing conversation, that social connection is priceless.
What are the hot topics going on right now in your industry? It’s important to voraciously read sources of information. It may be popular newspapers like the New York Times or niche bloggers, aligned with your industry. While writing upon currently-popular topics is a good way to attract attention, make sure you pay attention to timing; understand with each passing moment, tons of other brands could be generating similar content; you need to ‘get there’ first. However, as Neil suggests in his post, you could find a ‘window’ of opportunity, making the hot topic ‘your own’ by adding something ‘new’ to the ongoing conversation. You can do it; get creative.
Your brand is looking for more links and exposure. While your copywriting team is entrenched in deep discussions with each writer’s respective muse, your savvy link building team member is contacting several other brands and bloggers, asking if one or more team members could inspire readers via a guest blog or column. If your brand is seeking more exposure then maybe copywriting endeavors could ‘hit the road’ in search of new hosting destinations. Does the process sound like a good idea? It is; that’s why Ethan Lyon wrote a post on how to use Twitter to secure more guest blogging opportunities.
Thanks for reading
In search engine optimization, “content is king” is one of the most commonly spoken terms. Content is essentially the underlying component that sets the foundation and controls the success of your website and SEO campaign. Without strong, relevant content, there is no need for a website.
WebiMax is a broad-minded online marketing and search engine optimization company, in that our team continuously conducts research on germane and timely topics that relate to your company, products, and services. Our success in evaluating the atmosphere is what leads to most of our success. We use this information to generate articles for placement on various article marketing and industry specific websites. This process acts to enhance your visibility on many websites, and position your company as experts in your industry.
It is highly important to have continuous content generation on your own site, and it is also valuable to host articles on other sites also. This process not only exposed and enhances your visibility, it alerts the search engines that the reach of your site transcends its own pages.
In addition, once our copywriters write your articles, WebiMax’s link building personnel augment the process. We leverage social marketing pipelines in order to get your company’s message to as many readers as possible. This process both increases your site’s rankings on search engines by recruiting outside links as well as promotes your business as an industry expert in the eyes of your current and future customers.