MnSearch Summit - Session - Arnie Kuenn - Link Building Strategies That Move The Needle

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Top SEOs know that your backlink portfolio is still critical to search success. 93% of all buyers online or in stores use search engines prior to making a purchase and 86% of searchers conduct …

Top SEOs know that your backlink portfolio is still critical to search success. 93% of all buyers online or in stores use search engines prior to making a purchase and 86% of searchers conduct non-branded queries. You need to have a strong presence in the search results and links pointing to your web pages are still one of the most important aspects of search optimization. But how is it best achieved today? This session will look at real world strategies for gaining high quality links that count: links with maximum juice and no risk. Join Arnie as he walks you through several examples and methods of obtaining valuable links and how to clean up you current backlinks.

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  • 1. LINK BUILDING STRATEGIES THAT MOVE THE NEEDLE Arnie Kuenn, CEO, Vertical Measures
  • 2. @ArnieK #MnSummit About Your Presenter • Vertical Measures is a 45 person search, social & content marketing agency in Phoenix, AZ • Instructor for the Content Marketing Institute & Online Marketing Institute • Columnist for Marketing Land, Chief Content Officer & LinkedIn • Wrote the content marketing book Accelerate!
  • 3. @ArnieK #MnSummit What I’ll Cover • Most common SEO mistakes we see • Recovering from a penalty • Are links still important? • What doesn’t work • What does work
  • 4. @ArnieK #MnSummit
  • 5. @ArnieK #MnSummit Most Common Problems We Find? • Unintentional duplicate content • Duplicate title and meta tags • Blocked pages or entire site • Over optimization of anchor text in backlinks and footer
  • 6. @ArnieK #MnSummit
  • 7. @ArnieK #MnSummit Another example… • After 5 months of intense content marketing and no results. – Identified a penalty back in August of 2012 – Duplicate content issue: same text snippet shows up on 259 pages – There is wide use of duplicate or near-duplicate content in titles and page content – A big issue: 100% of their image content and 45% of their HTML/text content is hosted externally (not under the domain). – Lots of spammy anchor text in their backlink profile
  • 8. @ArnieK #MnSummit
  • 9. @ArnieK #MnSummit How to Tell if You’ve Been Affected
  • 10. @ArnieK #MnSummit Webmaster Tools - Message v
  • 11. @ArnieK #MnSummit Recovery is possible
  • 12. @ArnieK #MnSummit Manual Penalty Recovery • Removing Links Is Highest Priority • Be Thorough in Your Link Pruning (Machete time) • Be Patient & Detailed - Auditing Links Takes Time • Create a Detailed Disavow File (consider domain level) • Admit Your Sin, Detail Your Penance, Promise to Never Do It Again
  • 13. @ArnieK #MnSummit
  • 14. @ArnieK #MnSummit Are Links Still Important? Recent quotes from the infamous Matt Cutts: • “…backlinks…are a really, really big win in terms of quality for search results” • “…backlink relevance still really, really helps in making sure we return the best, most relevant, most topical set of search results.” • “…without links, it is really hard for Google to determine the quality of the page.” • “...backlinks still have many, many years left in them ... over time backlinks will become a little less important ... we will continue to use links in order to assess the basic reputation of pages and websites.”
  • 15. @ArnieK #MnSummit Are Links Still Important? Recent quotes from the infamous Matt Cutts: • “…backlinks…are a really, really big win in terms of quality for search results” • “…backlink relevance still really, really helps in making sure we return the best, most relevant, most topical set of search results.” • “…without links, it is really hard for Google to determine the quality of the page.” • “...backlinks still have many, many years left in them ... over time backlinks will become a little less important ... we will continue to use links in order to assess the basic reputation of pages and websites.”
  • 16. @ArnieK #MnSummit What Doesn’t Work Anymore? • Anything you have to pay for • Anything you think you can scale
  • 17. @ArnieK #MnSummit The Result? • Link Building got a LOT harder • Which means it is much more expensive (in dollars or hours) • The days of paying a webmaster to link to your product or services pages are over
  • 18. @ArnieK #MnSummit So What Does Work Today? • Internal Links • Brand Mentions • Link Outreach • Link Attraction
  • 19. @ArnieK #MnSummit Internal Links • Internal links are what make up your website’s navigation. − Important for usability and visibility − Internal links tell search engines and your website visitors what your site is about − Proper internal linking structure is done for your users • Use, but don’t abuse, internal text links within content • Keep footers clean and include a link to sitemap
  • 20. @ArnieK #MnSummit Great article on the patent implications here: http://moz.com/blog/panda-patent-brand-mentions
  • 21. @ArnieK #MnSummit Link Outreach • Hard work, more like a sales job than SEO • We do this every single day for our clients and have great success • We get .edu, .gov, .org links every day
  • 22. @ArnieK #MnSummit Link Outreach - What are the Keys? • Have something worth linking to • Have something worth linking to • Have something worth linking to! • Expertise in advanced search commands • Well crafted outreach emails • A sales attitude – link outreach is filled with rejection – We pay bonuses
  • 23. @ArnieK #MnSummit Advanced Search Commands • INURL:Links • SITE:ORG • ALLINTITLE:Resource • “Association” • Society OR Association • -wikipedia.org
  • 24. @ArnieK #MnSummit Work On Perfecting Your Emails
  • 25. @ArnieK #MnSummit • Find the right contact – take your time • Consider social media 1st: follow, subscribe, wait and then contact • Avoid using the word “link” • Include all the details – the pitch is everything • Brainstorm with your team: Turn No’s into Yes’s Meeting • Follow up • Test, test, test! Outreach Best Practices
  • 26. @ArnieK #MnSummit Unlinked Brand Mentions FreshWebExplorer.Moz.com
  • 27. @ArnieK #MnSummit Example #1 – Brand Mentions Tactic Positive Brand Mention w/o Link DA 84 PR 7 Live in 2 1/2 Weeks http://bit.ly/BrandMentions
  • 28. @ArnieK #MnSummit GOV’s and EDU’s link out if it makes sense!!
  • 29. @ArnieK #MnSummit • Events • Sponsors • Interviews • Student Resources • Career Resources • Curriculum Resources • Alumni Bios • Historical References • Boards/Certifications • Local Government • Chamber of Commerce • Electronic Records • Related Links • Safety Resources • Education Resources • Nutrition Information • Hero Spotlights • Veterans • Non-profits • Eco-friendly • Business Directory • Utilities • Free Resources • Travel and Tourism • Associations • School/Job/Residence Transfer Information • Community Involvement Common Reasons EDU & GOV’s Link Out
  • 30. @ArnieK #MnSummit Example #2 – directory listing Tactic EDU Links Page DA 64 PR 6 Live in 1 hour
  • 31. @ArnieK #MnSummit What resource and list pages exist in your industry?
  • 32. @ArnieK #MnSummit Example #3 – Resource Lists Tactic Resource Page INURL:LINKS DA 91 PR 5 March 18 Requested April 24th LIVE
  • 33. @ArnieK #MnSummit Email On 6/20/14
  • 34. @ArnieK #MnSummit Other Good Methods • Write for other blogs or sites (PR) • Where you have relationships (suppliers & partners) • Directories (local, industry, etc.) • The best links: – Are from trusted sites – Determined editorially
  • 35. @ArnieK #MnSummit Because most of our clients are not the NYY, we strongly suggest playing MONEYBALL (or Link Attraction) 1 in 4 at bats = hit (a success) 1 in 36 at bats = home run (a big success) 1 in 1,691 at bats = grand slam (viral success) Getting Links Can Be Fun…
  • 36. @ArnieK #MnSummit ( In order to play link MONEYBALL, you need to come up with hundreds of ideas so you can create fresh, highly converting, useful content on a frequent basis. AND ATTRACT THOSE LINKS.
  • 37. @ArnieK #MnSummit
  • 38. @ArnieK #MnSummit List All Content Ideas In A Spreadsheet
  • 39. @ArnieK #MnSummit VerticalMeasures.com/calendar Put Together An Editorial Calendar
  • 40. @ArnieK #MnSummit
  • 41. @ArnieK #MnSummit Resource Pages 38 links to this page 111 links to this page
  • 42. @ArnieK #MnSummit Infographics
  • 43. @ArnieK #MnSummit Free Guides, Case Studies & White Papers
  • 44. @ArnieK #MnSummit Free Guides, Case Studies & White Papers
  • 45. @ArnieK #MnSummit Free Guides, Case Studies & White Papers Lead generator Link attractor Long life span
  • 46. @ArnieK #MnSummit
  • 47. @ArnieK #MnSummit
  • 48. @ArnieK #MnSummit
  • 49. @ArnieK #MnSummit
  • 50. @ArnieK #MnSummit • Yale’s traffic has grown from 40,000 visitors to 150,000 annually • Leads have grown from 800 to 2,300 monthly! • Revenue is up by 40% since starting their content marketing program. • And according their president Steve Sheinkopf: “Profitability is up way more than that, because we eliminated other marketing expenses.” The Results…
  • 51. @ArnieK #MnSummit
  • 52. @ArnieK #MnSummit
  • 53. @ArnieK #MnSummit Courtesy of The Sales Lion
  • 54. @ArnieK #MnSummit 5 MONTHS
  • 55. @ArnieK #MnSummit 5 MONTHS 4.5 MONTHS
  • 56. @ArnieK #MnSummit 5 MONTHS 4.5 MONTHS 6.5 MONTHS
  • 57. @ArnieK #MnSummit Achieving Success is a Continuous Process
  • 58. @ArnieK #MnSummit The Value of Link Attraction? • Just Discovered Moz.com in last 60 Days – Stone Temple – 76 links – Vertical Measures - 166 links – TopRank - 208 links – Wordstream – 394 links – Moz - 920 links
  • 59. @ArnieK #MnSummit Shameless Plug We offer the best content marketing workshops in the industry and can bring them to you.
  • 60. @ArnieK #MnSummit More Traffic. More Leads. More Business. www.VerticalMeasures.com Tweet: @ArnieK’s content marketing book @AccelerateBook – is FREE on Amazon Kindle – Today only! #MnSummit
  • 61. @ArnieK #MnSummit Other Suggested Tweets: • @ArnieK may have just given the best link building preso I have ever seen. #MnSummit • OMG #ArnieK just made link building fun again! #MnSummit • I am having an amazing day so far at #MnSearch!