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Link Building eBook
Link Building eBook
Link Building eBook
Link Building eBook
Link Building eBook
Link Building eBook
Link Building eBook
Link Building eBook
Link Building eBook
Link Building eBook
Link Building eBook
Link Building eBook
Link Building eBook
Link Building eBook
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Link Building eBook

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A helpful e-book resource to empower your small business to improve SEO performance through Link Building.

A helpful e-book resource to empower your small business to improve SEO performance through Link Building.

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  • 1. w N w . WHOLE NEW WEB Strategic Online Marketing Whole New Web 1 Global Place Glendale, AZ 85306 T 1-800-768-7661 F 602-439-1435 info@wholenewweb.com www.wholenewweb.com “Link Building: What To Do” An eBook From Whole New Web Table of Contents Introduction: Why This E-Book? Why link building should be 60%+ of your SEO strategy • Who should do the link building? Chapter One: The Basics of Link Building • • • • • • • Getting found online The different kinds of links GET THIS GOING NOW! Who your audience should be and who will link to you What will link building do for you The right mindset for link building Time commitment Paying for Links Chapter Two: What You Need to Get Started • • Content Different Methods of Attracting Links Chapter Three: Keywords & Composing for Search Engines • Knowing the keywords your potential customers are using • Store your keywords in an Excel File • Where keywords need to be on page • 5 steps for creating content Chapter Four: How to Begin to Build Powerful Links – Step by Step • • What not to do Campaigns that will show you how to take action and start earning links FAQs Additional Information & Resources • How HubSpot can improve your link building efforts and make them fit within your overall online marketing strategy
  • 2. w N w . Introduction: Why This E-Book? I have read blogs, article, e-books, whitepapers and everything I could ever get my hands on about link building. What I found was that these sources, though sometimes insightful, focused more on the big picture and less on the “how” to get it done. A lot of the authors are very successful link builders, and seem removed from the challenges that novices and entry level link builders are facing. For example, some e-books out there talk about how you need to go and comment on the discussions that are taking place about your press releases. You definitely need to do this, but at this stage I doubt that there are a ton of blogs and forums that are talking about your press release! There is advanced material in this e-book that will get you great results, but I also pay special attention to those of you who are new to this and starting from the ground up. The “how” is what I feel will make you successful at making links, and hopefully I have spelled it out in a followable and implementable way in this e-book. Who gains and who should do the link building? If your company has an online presence, then you and everyone in your company will benefit from the added traffic that link building will bring. More traffic from link building ultimately brings more revenue; something everyone in your organization should be striving for and consider a priority. If you are a one person website, then you should do the link building yourself and watch your business grow as your online presence grows. If you have a staff, then your web designer, marketing person, and almost anyone else should be able to get involved with your link building initiative. It should be a top down approach; the higher the link builder is in the organization the more he/she will have expertise and understand how to connect with the online community. It will carry more weight if you mention you are the owner of your own business as you engage in conversations and create content that you hope people will link to. If someone else is going to handle it, make sure they have an appropriate title and are savvy about your business model and how to open online relationships. Important Note to Readers In an attempt to keep this e-book short and relevant for you, I have taken sections from the chapters and uploaded them on my blog. This gives you a choice about what material you want to cover, as I know the link building level of people reading this will vary considerably. If you want to learn more, simply click the chapter link provided and you will be brought to a blog post that continues where the e-book leaves off. Chapter One: The Basics of Link Building Getting Found Requires Getting Good at Link Building Getting found online is the name of the game these days. From a business standpoint, getting eyeballs for your website online makes more financial sense than conventional methods like TV or flyers on a windshield. You can get found online a number of ways. One of the most important ways is when a potential customer uses a search engine like Google and types in a keyword like “Phoenix Pest Control” and finds you because you have optimized your site for that term. That is the goal of SEO, to reach the top spot of the search engine rankings. Link building will boost your ability to show up in the search rankings, organically, and will also help people find your site wherever they find one of the links that you u’ve left or other people have shared. Link building will help you get off of PPC (pay per click) and give you amazing ROI for your time investment when it’s all said and done. Page 2 Whole New Web 1 Global Place Glendale AZ 85306 Tel: 1-800-768-7661 info@wholenewweb.com
  • 3. w N w . On page and off page SEO SEO has two parts: On page and off page. On page SEO is what you actually do to your content on the page it is contained in. The title tags, headlines of the pages – these are properties that you control. Off page SEO is more than 60% of what will get you found online. Links are the most important part of off page SEO. Site age and site size (pages) are also important, and blogging is great because it will add a page to your site every time you publish a blog post. Before we move on, you should understand that you need to have your on page SEO figured out before you proceed to off page SEO with link building. For a deeper look at on page SEO, check out our “Understanding On Page Before Moving to Off Page SEO” blog post. This blog post talks about on page SEO, Gogle’s PageRank, and the different types of links you need to be aware of. Continue this Section Online in our “Understanding On Page Before Moving to Off Page SEO” blog post. How many links do you need? There is no set number. High ranking sites can have hundreds of thousands of links. You’re site might be fine with 100 or so quality, relevant links. A good rule of thumb is to strive to obtain more quality links than your closest competitor. My favorite way to track links is using the Link Grader Tool in HubSpot inbound marketing software, because it lets you monitor and grade your links as well as your competitors. “One Trillion Links!” Identifying Your Audience to Link With Choosing an appropriate audience to build links with is a major consideration. You are investing your time, and you need to invest it wisely by approaching web sites that you want to link with and websites that will want to link back with you. For more info on choosing targeting your audience, check out the Choosing the Best Audience to Link Build with blog post. This post will cover both how and why to build relationships with your audience, how to find the most relevant sites for your cause, and strategy for how to position yourself. Continue this Section Online in the “Choosing the Best Audience to Link Build with” blog post. Page 3 Whole New Web 1 Global Place Glendale AZ 85306 Tel: 1-800-768-7661 info@wholenewweb.com
  • 4. w N w . A Link Building Mindset: Commitment In order to be good at linking building, you need to be focused, creative, and organized all at the same time. Link Building will get easier the more you develop and practice the methodologies in this e-book and hone them to your own personal style. Patience is a virtue, and you won’t get very far in link building without it. Sometimes, it may take a couple months before the blog you have been diligently commenting on even notices you, and then if you ask them for a link, they might turn you don’t turn for an unknown reason. This is a reality, but don’t let it be something that stops you from moving on and creating new link building relationships. There is a critical mass in link building; once you have reached it, you will really start to take off – and so will your search rankings. In order to stay organized and on top of all your link building opportunities, you will need to create a spreadsheet using a program like Excel. Nothing fancy, just a few items listed on the top that you can use to keep track of link building opportunities you are involved in. Here is a link to an Excel spreadsheet that you can download and use to organize your link building (add link here). Right now, take the time to list 25 websites, blogs, forums, etc. that you want to receive inbound links from, and put them in to the spreadsheet. How much time should I devote to link building? Link building requires effort and could potentially be a full time job. However, if you pace yourself and remain consistent, and spend adequate time really learning this stuff in the beginning, it can definitely become manageable. As a professional operating your own business, it is up to you to determine how often and with what amount of vigor you can employ the teachings and campaign examples provided in this e-book. It’s also difficult to assign a time value to link building because it is so woven into the bigger picture with blogging and content creation for your website. To satisfy you with a number, try to stay consistent by applying 5-10 hours per week on the campaign examples in chapter four. This will help keep you in the right link building mindset and should be enough time for you to get some real and measurable results. Paying For Links There are a million ways to pay a million dollars to get links. You can pay for directories, pay for software, and pay for agencies to link build for you. Bottom line: All of these methods can be incredibly effective or incredibly fruitless. You can spend a couple hundred dollars to be placed in Yahoo’s directory, or you can try to get a better return by working on the link building yourself. Some software will help manage your operations and other software will claim it can get you thousands of links in five minutes – this is the type of software that will get you deleted from Google’s search results – not good. Paying for links from sites that simply sell them is frowned upon by Google so you should stay away from it. You should also be weary of working with an SEO or marketing agency that promises you the world. Link building is careful process that takes time, and you should shy away from anyone that claims to guarantee they can get you the number one spot on Google, because they don’t have the authority to make that claim. There are a lot of great resources out there to help you with your link building, just make sure you consider what they are and how they get the job done before you shell out your hard earned dollars. Chapter Two: What You Need to Get Started Content Content is truly the crux of a good website and link building campaign. Content is anything that you create that can be shared on the web. Here is a blog post about the importance of colossal content. Page 4 Whole New Web 1 Global Place Glendale AZ 85306 Tel: 1-800-768-7661 info@wholenewweb.com
  • 5. w N w . Types of Content Link building is the most important chunk of SEO, but it is reduced to nothing without CONTENT. All the different sources you want to link with will only do so if you give them a reason; that reason is your creative content. Just as links will not get built without content, your content will not get spread without links. HubSpot, a great online marketing company, has a three step process for getting found: 1) Create content 2) Optimize your content for SEO with keywords, title tags, etc. 3) Promote in your online community For content creation strategies and a look at where and how to publish content, check out our “7 Ways to Create and Share Content” blog post. It discusses how to use tools like whitepapers and infographics as well as the importance of creating a personal and differentiating voice that your online audience will trust. Continue this Section Online in the “7 Ways to Create and Share Content” blog post. Chapter Three: Keywords & Composition for Search Engines Knowing the keywords your potential customers are using You can have anywhere from 1 to thousands of keywords to optimize for. The general consensus is that you should try to optimize a smaller number of keywords first, somewhere in the teens like 15, and then you can move on to optimizing other keywords. This is the way that Google wants to see you grow, so it is recommended that you start out this way. How do you know what keywords you want? This is something that you should already know, but if not, don’t worry we will cover it here. The first question you need to ask yourself is “how is my business positioned?” If you are a pool cleaning company located in Santa Fe, New Mexico and you offer the best cleaning services to high income households, then you better have most of that in your top keywords. If you are local, optimize for local keywords like the cities you offer your products and services to. If you want to use your competition’s keywords, you can do a quick check to see what they are by viewing their website’s source code. Go to your competition’s website and do the following: • For most every browser (I use Firefox), you can go to the top and click on the “view” pull down menu. This is usually just a couple spots away from the “file” tab. • You should then be able to see an option that says something like “Page Source.” Click “Page Source.” • You should now have a page in front of you that is littered with html code. You don’t have to have any knowledge of how to read html. • Now I want you to enter in a keyboard command. Press and hold “Ctrl” (located in the bottom left of your keyboard). While holding “Ctrl,” press “f.” A search box should have popped up in the bottom of the page allowing you to enter a word to search for. • Type in the word “keyword.” Now you have the section of html where your competition had embedded their keywords. Also try typing in meta, title, and other areas of on page SEO worth to see what keywords you can find. • Get these keywords into an Excel file, and use the ones you think are relevant for your business. Later in this chapter we will cover more about title tags, headings and subheadings, body copy, and link text – these are the keyword areas you are looking at now in order for your own keyword ideas. Page 5 Whole New Web 1 Global Place Glendale AZ 85306 Tel: 1-800-768-7661 info@wholenewweb.com
  • 6. w N w . Check pages other than just the homepage. If the website has proper SEO, different pages will be marked with different keywords. It is a poor practice to use the same keywords across all of your pages. Optional tool: get the Firebug html viewer plug-in for Firefox. It will create a separate window on the bottom pane of your browser that displays the complete HTML code for the current page you are viewing. This is just if you want to quickly scan the keywords, but if you want to do detailed research on the keywords, see our blog post “What Keywords Do You Need Links For?” for a discussion of several methods. Okay, I know what you’re thinking: That was simply too painstaking for you to do with every page of your competition’s website. There must be a better way to do it. Unless you want to go broke and blind while doing keyword research, you need to equip yourself with a well thought out tool to take the manual labor out of it. I am a huge advocate of the marketing software known as HubSpot. Why do I love HubSpot you ask? I love HubSpot because in the time it took me to manually check the page source code for keywords from a few urls from just one competitor, I could have gotten the keyword information from 10 competitors using HubSpot. With HubSpot you don’t have to do anything manually like this. HubSpot gives you everything in one place so you can take immediate advantage of it for your on and off page SEO. Here is a look at the Hubspot Keyword Grader Page 6 Whole New Web 1 Global Place Glendale AZ 85306 Tel: 1-800-768-7661 info@wholenewweb.com
  • 7. w N w . Once You Have Your Keywords to Optimize For For what to do once you have your keywords, go to this blog post: “6 Steps for Creating SEO Content.” The post discusses best practices for fusing your content with keywords that will get you found online. It also discusses the critical importance of incorporating blogging into your keyword optimization strategy. Continue this Section Online in the “6 Steps for Creating SEO Content” blog post. Internal and External Linking and On Page SEO Importance This section is also available via blog post by clicking “Internal and External Linking and On Page SEO Importance.” You will find a helpful chart that illustrates where your on page SEO effort should be concentrated. There is a valuable discussion on internal and external linking and how to use anchor text, as well as a detailed infographic on what to include in a powerful press release. Continue this Section Online in the “Internal and External Linking and On Page SEO Importance.” blog post. Chapter Four: 7 Different Strategies for Link Building Up until this point, we’ve talked lot about the big picture stuff and you’ve been given tons of new information to digest. Don’t worry, in this chapter we will get down to the nitty gritty of link building and actually give examples of how to do it in 7 different ways. Before we dive in, let me remind you of the major concepts you should be familiar with before proceeding: •Content: This is the ingredient that makes websites want to link with you. It includes blogs, your website, info-graphics, e-books, video; the list goes on and on. Don’t forget to optimize for SEO. •Tone: You need to sound genuine, different, and vibrant in order to get people’s attention. You also want to keep it simple while you avoid being overly formal. •Know You Audience: Start to think strategically about where your customers are online. Start learning and building relationships with the top sites that you find, and look to where your completion is linking. •Link Building Mindset: You have to be patient and realize that results won’t happen overnight. Link building is a campaign, not a one shot thing. •Organization: As you become more involved in your link building efforts, you will need to catalogue you progress using the Excel spreadsheet I provided earlier. •Measure: Use a resource like HubSpot that will let you see where you are starting to build links that are follow vs. no follow. Tools you have been equipped with: On your quest to become a link building phenomenon, you should have picked up the following tools: • • • • • Page 7 List of Keywords you want to optimize for. Start with your top 15 keywords, then expand the keyword list as necessary to optimize for other important terms. A list of 15 competitors and websites that link to them. A list of 25 blogs and websites that are relevant to your industry that you want to build links with. Download the link building Excel spreadsheet to track your link building efforts. The understanding to target 3-5 keywords when you write content like blog posts. Try to write content to build links that refer to a specific page on your website. Whole New Web 1 Global Place Glendale AZ 85306 Tel: 1-800-768-7661 info@wholenewweb.com
  • 8. • • Firebug plug-in for Firefox or a tool like it for viewing html source code. The Alexa Toolbar for traffic and PageRank What not to do: In the old days, link building abuse and spam were considered normal and shrugged off. Nowadays, the search engine algorithms are so darn intelligent that they will smell your bad intentions from a mile away and punish you by lowering your search ranking. If you truly view the web as a social community, as you should, you should not try to be a member of the community that exploits it. In an effort to segment link building campaigns, let’s group link building into two separate categories: Share Linking and Relationship Linking. Share Linking will refer to when you are hoping to get links from content being passed on. Relationship Linking will be when you develop rapport with an audience and are thus awarded a link for you insight and contribution. Share Building and Relationship building go hand in hand, but the differentiation can be seen in the following campaigns examples. Share Linking: Strategy #1: Blogging and Inbound Links Preparation: You will need a functional blog and keywords to target in your blog posts. Steps: 1. Get a blog up and running. I am partial to using HubSpot’s blog because it will automatically make sure your blog is running under your current domain and you will get all the SEO credit together. You will also have integrated access to analytics tools like the keyword grader and link grader. 2. Choose 3-5 keywords that you want to focus on for your blog (as we have discussed). Make sure to embed these keywords in the title tags, headings and subheadings, body copy, alt text, and hyperlink text. If you’re using the Hubspot blog, turn on the optimizer tool and it will allow you to check that you’ve included keywords in the Page Title and body text, as well as used Alt Image text, keywords and meta descriptions which contain them as well. 3. Write a blog post about something engaging and interesting to your online audience. If you sell used cars, write an article about how CarMax has made it easier to see the maintenance records of pre-owned vehicles. You could also have some fun and talk about how funny the CarMax commercials are. 4. You should have noticed by now that this e-book contains countless links to other websites. When you are writing your blog posts, make sure to include hyperlinks to the list of audience websites that you have compiled. When the webmaster of the site you are hyper linking to see that you are linking to them, they may follow the etiquette of linking back to you in appreciation. With this in mind, it is better to hyperlink to relevant websites that are not corporate giants like Coca-Cola or Walmart – you want to link to websites that will take an interest in the fact that you have chosen to link to them. 5. Include internal links within your blog. Have these internal links in your blog link back to a relevant page on your website. Using the CarMax example, you could use the link text using CarMax for used vehicle research and have it link to an internal page on your site that is a relevant reference. 6. We and our clients love using the Hubspot blog, because of the integrated social media auto-publishing and sharing features. If you take a look at my online marketing blog, you notice that there are ways to tweet, share on Facebook, StumbleUpon, and many more. These icons are essential, and you will want to promote your blog on all of these. Set up an account, and once you’ve published a blog post, republish it to these sites as well. Not only might you get a lot of extra page views by using these other platforms, but they will generate links for you. Page 8 Whole New Web 1 Global Place Glendale AZ 85306 Tel: 1-800-768-7661 info@wholenewweb.com
  • 9. Here’s a screen shot of a Hubspot blog, where you see the integrated social media tools: Remember: Think of your blog posts as digital messages that can be transformed into different formats: what starts out in the blog could easily be expanded to become an article (.doc, .pdf), presentation (.ppt, .pdf), video (.mpeg, .mp4), or podcast (mp3), and then get posted out to the appropriate online channels. To trace your blog topics and what keywords you are optimizing for, I suggest you create an Excel spreadsheet for keywords to optimize. It is a good practice to review this keyword sheet before you create content, that way you create content with keyword optimization in mind from the beginning. Campaign Example #2: Article Link Building Preparation: You will need some great content, as discussed in chapter two, in the form of an article. This is one of my favorite ways to build inbound links because it encourages you to create remarkable content and you get good inbound links in return. Steps: List of Article Submission sites: These sites will allow you to register and put content in the form of articles on their website. They will provide you with quality one-way inbound links that count as follow links for SEO credit. Ezine.com topix.net GoArticles.com propeller.com ArticlesBase.com Buzzle.com Ideamarketers.com Articlecity.com Articledashboard.com Searchwarp.com 1. You can either write a new article or be resourceful and use one of the blog articles you have written a post it on one of the sites from the list. I think Ezine is a great source, but they are going to demand that your articles are of a high quality in order to pass their review process. 2. You need to go to Ezine and set up an account. You then need to put your articles in the right category so you reach your relevant audience. Page 9 Whole New Web 1 Global Place Glendale AZ 85306 Tel: 1-800-768-7661 info@wholenewweb.com
  • 10. 3. You will be given the option to link back to your web page. You can choose the page you want to create a link for. 4. In my experience, Ezine should give you a new link for every article you write, but it does not always. Ezine has strict guidelines for how you can hyper link within articles published there. I suggest you try changing where your article links to with every new submission. Try to hit your website pages that you are having trouble optimizing for. If the page on your website you are linking to is optimized for the 3 words- money, time, and more, then try to include those keywords in the hyperlink that you are putting in your Ezine article and account. 5. That wasn’t so hard, was it? So if you just signed up for Ezine, you now have a new username and password that you need to keep track of. Stay organized! If you want 10 inbound links from Ezine, you will need to submit 10 quality articles. Tips for article writing: - Make the titles informative and exciting. Try to include steps (e.g. 5 steps for effective article writing), questions, controversial topics, and numbers of percentages if possible. Don’t let the title be less than four words or more than ten words. - Make sure the article avoids self promotion or information that is there just for advertising you or your company. The article is meant to be helpful for others, not about you. - Use small paragraphs and put an introduction that entices the reader to finish the article. - Having the call to action in your article link to a specific landing page will give you an even better chance of turning traffic into a lead. Offer the visitor a white-paper or an e-book in return for their e-mail address. This is a great way to convert traffic into leads. - Upload a photo if the site allows it. You want to be perceived as a living, breathing human being that is an expert. Pay attention to the elements of TONE that we have discussed. If possible, end the article with a “call to action” that will direct the reader to a page on your website via one of the hyperlinks you have included in the article. Relationship Linking: Campaign Example #3: Blog and Forum Commenting Preparation: Identify a relevant blog or forum that you want to link build with that allows you to leave comments. Steps: 1. For this link building campaign, I will use B2C Marketing Insider’s blog as an example. This blog is relevant to me because it is in the social media and online marketing realm; areas that I am able to offer value in. 2. Here, blog posts are arranged by date and are written by several different authors. Scan the blog posts for titles that you are interested and may be able to contribute to. 3. Try to find fresh blog posts that don’t have lot of comments yet – being the first person to comment shows commitment and credibility. 4. I just went B2C Marketing Insider’s blog and read a post about online lead generation. The author mentioned landing as crucial for your website’s lead generation. 5. I agreed with the authors comments and stated how valuable the information was. 6. I then remarked how personalization for landing pages is becoming increasingly important to build customer trust. Having a picture of who the potential customer would speak to along with other custom information will go a long way towards getting a customer to proceed on the landing page. 7. I left a comment that regarded the valuable contribution of the author, and I expanded on the author’s content with my own insight – I added value. 8. I ended my comment by saying that I love the blog as an expert resource. I invited the author to come and visit my social media/online marketing blog because it has relevant information. I left the hyperlink to my blog. Page 10 Whole New Web 1 Global Place Glendale AZ 85306 Tel: 1-800-768-7661 info@wholenewweb.com
  • 11. 9. Remember, you don’t have to simply link to your homepage. You can link to one of the other pages you are trying to optimize for. If you have written an article or blog post of your own that is relevant to the one you are commenting on, then link to that content source to appear extra credible. 10. In many blogs, once you submit a comment it will be reviewed by the blog author/webmaster before it is published. If you write a good enough comment, it will be published and you will get an inbound link that will give your site some SEO credit. 1. The SEO credit that you will get from leaving hyperlinks in comments will be minimal. Therefore, you should think of commenting in blogs and forums as a way to build relationships above simply getting the minimal SEO benefit. Leaving an insightful comment and getting traffic from it is part of the goal, commenting for link credit alone should not be. Remember, many blogs and forums are “no follow,” in which case you will receive zero credit from an inbound link standpoint. Campaign Example #4: A Link Exchange E-mail Preparation: Have a professional e-mail template saved that requests a relevant website to link with you. Steps: 1. Once you have identified a website you want to link with and have already left comments on their site, you can try to get a link via e-mail. 2. You will want to have a professional template drawn up that can be customized. This will keep you on track and save you time. Let’s look at a sample. Hello, My name is Adam and I am a regular at your social media blog – it’s where I go everyday for some inspiration. I regularly post comments and share your articles with my clients, and I have linked to you on my website. I run an internet marketing company and was hoping you would link to some of my content. I have an entire section of my website dedicated to free online SEO training and I also offer e-books and white-paper. Would http://www.seocialise.com/marketplace/ on your site be a good place to put my http://www.aimintegratedmarketing.com/internet-marketing-blog/ link? Please feel free to call me at 520-743-6878; it’s great to finally open an online relationship with you. ~Your E-mail Signature Here 3. Note how I included both where I wanted my link to be placed as well as the text I wanted in my hyperlink. It is also a bonus if you have already linked to their website before you ask for one back. People will be more open to a reciprocal link exchange, but remember that a one-way inbound link always gives you more SEO credit. 4. Keep the e-mail short, but don’t be afraid to mention something extremely specific that you like about the website/blog. 5. Don’t sound like a robot, or you will tossed in the spam folder right away. For your e-mail subject, avoid the common language like “trading links” or “want to exchange links?” Don’t have a misleading subject, but you can try something like “really enjoyed your last blog post” as a subject that segues into why you think you should get a link. 6. That sums it up for the e-mail link building approach. You should also try to incorporate these ideas into a telephone link building campaign. Find a phone number and call and ask for the same thing. Page 11 Whole New Web 1 Global Place Glendale AZ 85306 Tel: 1-800-768-7661 info@wholenewweb.com
  • 12. Campaign Example #5: A Recommended Vendors Page Preparation: Have a page on you website titled “Recommended Vendors/Suppliers” Steps: 1. Think about the relationships you already have with companies in your industry. 2. If it makes sense, create a page for them so you can link to them. 3. Then reach out, in the way you normally do, and find out how you could get them to reciprocate with a link to your site – it is somewhat proper etiquette for them to do so. • There is a way that I have noticed websites have been able to amass a large amount of links. I will go into it in short detail here. I do not condone it because it goes against the premise of link building by earning it through sharing valuable content and offering expert advice, but you should be aware that it takes place. o Some companies approach their existing customers and ask them to put “hidden” links to their website on their customer pages. I don’t recommend practicing this, but generally what people do is     Use white text on a white background Put text behind an image Hide text using CSS Set font sizes to 0 You can go to this page on Google to learn more about hidden links. A word to the wise- Google gets savvier every day and if they catch you doing something with SEO that they don’t like, you will be heavily penalized in the search rankings and even banned from the site entirely. In short, stay away from practices like these. Link Building is about earning links through relationships and providing content, not deception. Campaign Example #6: Partner Posting with Vendors/Suppliers/Clients Preparation: Have a list of every company you do business with, whether upstream or downstream. This campaign is a more genuine way of leveraging your relationships than campaign #5. Steps: 1. Once you have your list of business partners, choose one. Now brainstorm about a ~500 word article that you could write for your partner. 2. The goal is for them to pass your article on to their clients. The idea is to offer copy that gives you a link and gives your partner something of value to share with their own business partners. 3. For example, if you have a supplier that gives you the bathroom equipment you use for home remodeling, do some research on trends for that industry. Maybe you write an article that offers information and news weaved into a customer testimonial. Do whatever makes sense. Try to think of something that is shareable, so when you send it your business partner they can’t wait to share it for you. Campaign Example #7: Guest Blogging Preparation: Find a blog that will accept a freshly written post from you. Steps: 1. Some of the blogs you visit will openly display that they accept blog posts. With others, you will need to indicate your interest by writing a request to write a guest post in your comments along with an e-mail address, hoping they will reach out to you directly. You can also call or send an e-mail, similar to campaign #5, and go from there. 2. A guest post is a great way to open a relationship with a resource that you respect. The blog you are writing for will want original material nine times out of ten, so be prepared to spend some extra time writing copy. The payoff is that you will get a guaranteed inbound link. Since you are equipped with the PageRank tool, Page 12 Whole New Web 1 Global Place Glendale AZ 85306 Tel: 1-800-768-7661 info@wholenewweb.com
  • 13. you should choose to guest blog with sites that have a high PageRank so you get a better SEO return with your inbound link. 3. When you get your inbound link from guest blogging, you should be able to choose the anchor text for the hyperlink. This is critical. Every time you guest blog, you can choose the same anchor text for your link in order to get a high rank for that search term. You can also choose different anchor text for different keywords; it all depends on what your strategy is for your keywords. 4. If you write a guest blog that the regular author likes, he or she will invite you to do it again. That means you will get more inbound links. The other benefit is that you will be getting the traffic and potential customers from the blog you are guest posting at. 5. Make it clear that you offer guest blogging on your own blog either in your closing statements or in a menu tab. 6. As an added guest blogging resource, go to guestblogging.com. They have some excellent free videos to sign up for that go into guest blogging detail. FAQ’s Question: How relevant should the sites be that I link to? Answer: Relevancy is very important, especially when considering the type of traffic you will be getting from your link. Relevancy will also matter form an SEO standpoint, as search engine algorithms will be able to detect that your site has or doesn’t have relevancy to the site you are linking to. However, getting an inbound link from a site with a high PageRank will always help you, even if it is not directly tied to your industry. Question: How will I know that my link building has paid off? Answer: You can monitor success by evaluating key performance indicators, or KPI’s. KPI’s will vary according to you company business model. Before you start link building, you should identify the KPI’s that you want to evaluate and improve, and record a baseline to measure that improvements against. Some KPI’s to consider are - What spot you are in the search rankings Traffic Traffic to lead conversion rate Time customers spend online with you. What your best performing pages are Keywords you want to rank for, and how much traffic and leads you are getting from them Your revenue and bottom line *To monitor your marketing effectively, you will want to use software like HubSpot or Google Analytics. HubSpot puts everything under one roof, whereas Google Analytics will be more of a piece meal process. Question: I heard that forums are good for link building, what about starting my own? Answer: Starting your own forum is definitely a good option to consider. If well managed, it will position your site as a place of active and fresh conversations that provides benefits to your customers. Make sure that you make your forum SEO friendly, so the people commenting get “link juice” (SEO credit for their links). Keep in mind, having a forum that you don’t have time to manage or introduce interesting topics to can be worse than not having one. I personally see it as a bad sign when I find websites with blogs or forums that are lifeless and show lack of commitment. * FYI, using HubSpot will allow you to create your own forum rather easily. In Closing: I can’t stress enough how important is for you to just go out there and link build. The number one reason that people never get good at link building is because it’s not as easy as 1-2-3. That’s why this is your competitive advantage – you are now equipped to link build better than the competition. If you follow the steps I have outlined, your online presence will begin to strengthen and your online relationship building skills will grow too. Link building has many positive offshoots! The quality links you earn will take time, but in the end you will earn more traffic and a better chance at the #1 spot in search engines. Page 13 Whole New Web 1 Global Place Glendale AZ 85306 Tel: 1-800-768-7661 info@wholenewweb.com
  • 14. Remember – becoming a master link builder depends on being a master content author too. Good luck and have fun creating content that sizzles and is inherently shareable. Additional Information and Resources: HubSpot Some of you readers out there may be looking for additional help – this section is for you. I’ve mentioned HubSpot a couple of times in the e-book; so what is HubSpot? HubSpot is a company that provides online marketing software. Their software will not only help you with your link building, it will help make your online strategy whole by looking at the big picture. Link Building with help you get found; HubSpot will help you get found, convert traffic into leads, and analyze and improve on what you are doing. HubSpot has offered their award winning software to over 3,000 customers. It’s an essential tool for staying organized and getting your traffic to increase while also increasing the conversion rate of leads that purchase your product or service. It’s important that once you start getting traffic to your site and begin generating leads, that you offer a website environment that welcomes customers with valuable and meaningful content. You want better search rankings, but the bigger picture is that you want lead generation and customers. Attracting and managing customers is part of an overall inbound marketing program with calls to action, lead nurturing, landing pages, blogging, and more. If you would like some free advice and a free 30-day trial of HubSpot marketing software, contact us here at Whole New Web. We are a HubSpot certified partner, and we believe in building customer relationships built on transparency and results. Whole New Web works with HubSpot software to create online marketing solution that bring traffic and leads to you website that will grow your sales. We do website redesign, SEO, social media campaigns, link building, blogging, and much more. Here at Whole New Web, we help you Get Found, Content to Lead. Page 14 Whole New Web 1 Global Place Glendale AZ 85306 Tel: 1-800-768-7661 info@wholenewweb.com

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