Five Steps for Building Links that Improve Search Results

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Join MECLABS/MarketingSherpa's Daniel Burstein and Alex Dunks of WebMarketing123 as they teach you practical steps to take – and those to avoid – in external and internal link-building …

Join MECLABS/MarketingSherpa's Daniel Burstein and Alex Dunks of WebMarketing123 as they teach you practical steps to take – and those to avoid – in external and internal link-building initiatives.

Lessons in this free, hour-long webinar, sponsored by the global marketing and design staffing solutions company, Aquent, include:

Why links should permeate an online strategy
How to create well-built links
How to make the most of a site’s internal links
Why social signals matter today
How to assess whether outsourcing these functions is right for you

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  • Everyone should have a copy of the handbook – worksheets Certification at the end of the day – Q & A at the end of each section– EvaluationsInteractive session
  • Alex DunksAlex has helped thousands of businesses achieve their online marketing goals through instructional webinars and direct consultations. Alex joined Webmarketing123 in 2010 and was soon managing a multi-million dollar portfolio of key SEO accounts. He now works on the business development side, advising marketers on how to apply the right digital marketing mix to address particular online challenges.Webmarketing123Webmarketing123 is a Bay Area based full-service digital marketing agency offering globalInternet marketing services such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, and Social Media Marketing (SMM). Webmarketing123's approach is powered by a deep expertise in increasing online visibility, creating and executing effective online advertising campaigns, and delivering measurable results.
  • We’re startingwith keywords, because one of the most important features of each link is the anchor text- that keyword-rich text that is highlighted blue by web browsers and actually points back to your website. You’ll want to create links for each of your keywords as anchor text. Google’s latest algorithm updates require that the anchor text appears in a context that is relevant to those keywords, and that the link points to a page that is also relevant to the context and keywords. This reflects Google’s efforts to reduce the influence of paid links and link schemes, whose link value Google now devalues. But it also reflects Google’s intention to deliver the most relevant page for the searcher. If you’re going to rise in the rankings, you need to pick the keywords which have search volume and are most likely to lead to conversions and sales, but you also need to have content that incorporates and elaborates on those keywords. (too text heavy?)
  • If you look in your Google Analytics, you’ll see that there are keywords that are already driving traffic to your website organically, but they represent a small fraction of all the potential keywords that represent potential buyers.
  • Introducer - Some keyword terms are introducers. Influencer - Others search terms are Influencers, and are more likely to be searched by potential buyers a little further along in their process.Closer-If a person is searching for Product Reviews, Model #’s, proprietary terms, something-something-provider, or something-something-solution, they’re closer to closing on a purchase.
  • As you develop a keyword list for linkbuilding, make sure that you’re covering the whole purchase process of your target audience.
  • Longer search terms- three or four word terms, are often made by searchers closer to purchase. The point here is that you’re going to want a mix of keywords. A portfolio of keywords that represents different stages of your purchasers’ process. In general, the shorter or branded terms tend to be introducers, and the longer or more technical.
  • Briefly!
  • There are great tools available at no cost to you, that can support your keyword research process. Adwords is one.
  • Google Insights (thinkwithgoogle.com) is another.Daniel Question: Kim asked “What are the best and most up-to-date website assessment tools which measure inbound links?”
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  • Step 2: Do You Have Tracking In Place?What is the state of your Landing Pages, Database, Analytics? Are you able to capture and track the actions of a visitor to your website?
  • When someone comes to your website and completes a form, are you capturing and tracking what keyword brought them to you?What is the state of your Landing Pages, and Analytics? Have you set up unique Thank You pages for each goal completion, and do you know where in your Analytics software you can view this data?
  • While it’s true that linkbuilding is likely to lead to more traffic and more conversions, what if it’s just 2 of your 20 keywords that are delivering conversions? Would you know? And what if none of these conversions are actually leading to proposals or deals? Would you know that? Linkbulding is an ongoing process, because your competitors are linkbuilding, too, and because you can’t build all that many links at once and expect Google to give you credit for them. If you’re going to put the resources into link building, make sure that you’ll be able to evaluate the relative success of different keywords you’re building links against.
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  • External links, the inbound links to your website, should come from a wide variety of websites. Ideally, they’ll be highly reputable sites, but they should be sites that have actual visitors, not just pages full of links. In a similar vein, your internal linking should also be deliberate, rather than relying on site-wide footer links, which have little SEO value. {CLICK} Use internal linking to delineate content silos- areas of your website clustered around a topic or product.
  • Most of your social links will already be “no follow”, meaning that there is a snippet of HTML code attached to the link that tells search engines not to give it ranking value. A normal link profile has a healthy amount of no follow links
  • There are countless types of link exchanges, link wheels, link schemes out there. With the latest rounds of algorithm updates, the reality is that these links may earn you a “unnatural link warning” from Google or a ranking penalty, but at best just won’t deliver any measurable effect, while exposing you to unnecessary risk.Daniel Question: Drew asks: “How can I measure the effectiveness of a link?”
  • Earlier we discussed that Google expects links to be grounded in a context where they appear, and link to a page that also has relevant and unique content. Where are you with content?
  • Keyword-rich descriptions of products and services, thought leadership pieces and videos that may attract social shares. Embeddable infographics. Tagged photos that will appear in Google Image Search. Take an inventory of your existing content, whether or not it is presently deployed on your website. Take an inventory, also, of your organizational capacity for content creation. Daniel Question: Brad asked, “How do you get links when the topic of your site isn’t thrilling (for example construction products, manufacturing)?”
  • Not all of your content will be suitable.
  • How realistic is it to produce new content, and then to syndicate it through a linkbuilding program?Daniel Question: Dennis asks “We are a small team. How to find an outsourcing partner without ending up with a scam artist or getting in trouble with Google?”
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  • If you’ve done a rigorous keyword research process, you may have 100 or 200 keywords that look desirable. The place to start is the low hanging fruit. Ask yourself: which of those terms have reasonable monthly search volume, logically seems to be a promising keyword (or you have existing data about how it’s converted) and it’s on page 2, or low on page 1 of the search results? These are the low-hanging fruit &There’s a big difference between each ranking position…
  • Write a press release around a release of a product, a milestone, or a company presence at an event. Syndicate your press release through a paid service like PR wire, business wire, or PR Web. Don’t be surprised that there’s a surcharge to have a live link in the press release. These sites are considered highly credible by Google, and your press release could be re-posted by tens or even hundreds or thousands of other websites.
  • Add keywords as alternative-text to photos. This is a best practice for webmasters, since some people use browser add-ons that block images, But there’s a two nuances here. The alt-text renders as a link- so you’ve created an internal link. Share the image (with the alt-text) with partner sites (corporate parent site, conference presenter site, local business directory site) and now you’ve got an external link. I use this example because this kind of opportunity happens year-round across your company, and you’ll want to increase the SEO-IQ of your team such that you’re not letting these go by.
  • Search for your field plus the words “guest blogger” and you’ll likely find more than a few site hosts eager to hear from you! It’s a lot of work to generate fresh content constantly, and bloggers are often very open to having guest posts. Giving samples or freebies to bloggers is also a standard practice.
  • Since the algorithm update called “Panda”, websites with many outbound links have been held to a higher standard by Google. In the early days of search engines, Google depended on hierarchical directories to understand the web, and early rankings leaned heavily on these. But the algorithm has grown far more sophisticated, and directories have proliferated. Still, we’ve all found useful information in websites that list resources, but these tend to be all focused on a single topic. Websites with links to all different kinds of websites? This is where your “1,000 backlinks for $10”-type backlinks will end up, and the algorithm simply ignores them.
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  • Alex DunksAlex has helped thousands of businesses achieve their online marketing goals through instructional webinars and direct consultations. Alex joined Webmarketing123 in 2010 and was soon managing a multi-million dollar portfolio of key SEO accounts. He now works on the business development side, advising marketers on how to apply the right digital marketing mix to address particular online challenges.Webmarketing123Webmarketing123 is a Bay Area based full-service digital marketing agency offering globalInternet marketing services such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, and Social Media Marketing (SMM). Webmarketing123's approach is powered by a deep expertise in increasing online visibility, creating and executing effective online advertising campaigns, and delivering measurable results.

Transcript

  • 1. Join the conversation #SherpaWebinar #sherpawebinar
  • 2. Five Steps for Building Links that Improve Search Results Sept. 13, 2012Sponsored by:
  • 3. Introductions • Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content MECLABS/MarketingSherpa Twitter: @DanielBurstein • Alex Dunks, Manager, Business Development Webmarketing123 Twitter: @acdunks #sherpawebinar
  • 4. Join the conversation #SherpaWebinar #sherpawebinar
  • 5. MarketingSherpa is a research and publishingorganization serving the marketing community• MarketingSherpa’s annual research cycle provides knowledge for continuous marketing improvement #sherpawebinar
  • 6. Research Background• We surveyed over 3,000 marketers focusedon lead generation to uncover: • Top challenges • Best marketing tactics • Lead scoring, nurturing and management • Content strategies • Marketing automation • Marketing analysis • Marketing operations and metrics• Result of this research – MarketingSherpa’s FUEL methodology to power marketing effectiveness from lead generation to sales conversion #sherpawebinar
  • 7. Laying a strong foundation aaaaaaaaaaa •According to MarketingSherpa research, 94% of inbound marketers list SEO as most valuable lead source #sherpawebinar
  • 8. Laying a strong foundation • MarketingSherpa research also indicates 33% of B2B marketers find external link building to be a very difficult tactic for capturing SEO leads #sherpawebinar
  • 9. Poll• What best defines your organization’s top goal? • Lead generation • eCommerce • Brand awareness • Supporting a cause (non-profit) • Consulting (Agency) #sherpawebinar
  • 10. Building Links that Improve Search Results1 Laying a Strong Foundation2 Do You Have Tracking in Place?3 Links as Diverse as Your Keywords41 Tailor Your Content Strategy52 Three-Month Game Plan #sherpawebinar
  • 11. Laying a strong foundation • Keyword Selection • Keyword Mapping • Keyword Benchmarking #sherpawebinar
  • 12. Laying a Strong FoundationKeyword Selection #sherpawebinar
  • 13. Laying a Strong FoundationKeyword Selection #sherpawebinar
  • 14. Laying a Strong FoundationKeyword Selection• Introducer• Influencer• Closer #sherpawebinar
  • 15. Laying a Strong FoundationKeyword Selection• Purchase Process #sherpawebinar
  • 16. Laying a Strong FoundationKeyword Selection• Portfolio #sherpawebinar
  • 17. Laying a Strong FoundationKeyword Selection• Competition/Conversion #sherpawebinar
  • 18. Laying a Strong FoundationKeyword Selection• Measure Demand #sherpawebinar
  • 19. Laying a Strong FoundationKeyword Selection• Evaluate Trends #sherpawebinar
  • 20. Laying a Strong FoundationKeyword Mapping #sherpawebinar
  • 21. Laying a Strong FoundationKeyword Benchmarking• Organic Traffic #sherpawebinar
  • 22. Building Links that Improve Search Results1 Laying a Strong Foundation2 Do You Have Tracking in Place?3 Links as Diverse as Your Keywords41 Tailor Your Content Strategy52 Three-Month Game Plan #sherpawebinar
  • 23. Do you track individual organic keywordconversion rates?• Yes• No• Only on an aggregated level #sherpawebinar
  • 24. Do You Have Tracking in Place?Keyword Tracking• Landing Pages• Analytics #sherpawebinar
  • 25. Do You Have Tracking in Place?Keyword Tracking• Evaluate Success #sherpawebinar
  • 26. Building Links that Improve Search Results1 Laying a Strong Foundation2 Do You Have Tracking in Place?3 Links as Diverse as Your Keywords41 Tailor Your Content Strategy52 Three-Month Game Plan #sherpawebinar
  • 27. Links as Diverse as Your KeywordsSeek Diversity• External/Internal #sherpawebinar
  • 28. Links As Diverse as Your KeywordsSeek Diversity• Link Profiles #sherpawebinar
  • 29. Links As Diverse as Your KeywordsSeek Diversity• Evaluate Risk #sherpawebinar
  • 30. Building Links that Improve Search Results1 Laying a Strong Foundation2 Do You Have Tracking in Place?3 Links as Diverse as Your Keywords41 Tailor Your Content Strategy52 Three-Month Game Plan #sherpawebinar
  • 31. Tailor Your Content StrategyInventory Content• Existing• Future #sherpawebinar
  • 32. Tailor Your Content StrategyEvaluate Content• Suitability #sherpawebinar
  • 33. Tailor Your Content StrategyEvaluate Content• Syndication #sherpawebinar
  • 34. Building Links that Improve Search Results1 Laying a Strong Foundation2 Do You Have Tracking in Place?3 Links as Diverse as Your Keywords41 Tailor Your Content Strategy52 Three-Month Game Plan #sherpawebinar
  • 35. Three-Month Game Plan1. Low Hanging Fruit #sherpawebinar
  • 36. Three-Month Game Plan1. Low Hanging Fruit2. Press Releases #sherpawebinar
  • 37. Three-Month Game Plan1. Low Hanging Fruit2. Press Releases3. Images & Alt Text #sherpawebinar
  • 38. Three-Month Game Plan1. Low Hanging Fruit2. Press Releases3. Images & Alt Text4. Guest Blogging #sherpawebinar
  • 39. Three-Month Game Plan1. Low Hanging Fruit2. Press Releases3. Images & Alt Text4. Guest Blogging5. Relevant Directories #sherpawebinar
  • 40. Three-Month Game Plan1. Low Hanging Fruit2. Press Releases3. Images & Alt Text4. Guest Blogging5. Relevant Directories6. Social #sherpawebinar
  • 41. Three-Month Game Plan Social /Google • Influences Search • Earn Links #sherpawebinar
  • 42. Three-Month Game Plan Social/Bing • Influence Search • Earn Links #sherpawebinar
  • 43. #sherpawebinar
  • 44. #sherpawebinar
  • 45. MECLABS.com/aquent100#sherpawebinar
  • 46. Three-Month Game Plan• Low hanging fruit• Press Releases• Images• Guest Blogging• Relevant Directories• Social #sherpawebinar
  • 47. Key Takeaways • Don’t waste effort. Lay a foundation by establishing the right keyword list and checking your goal-tracking. • Use diversity as a guiding principle for keyword strategy, link sources, and your overall link profile. • Leverage your existing collateral and empower your team to generate more unique, high quality & share-worthy content. #sherpawebinar
  • 48. Introductions • Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content MECLABS/MarketingSherpa Twitter: @DanielBurstein • Alex Dunks, Manager, Business Development Webmarketing123 Twitter: @acdunks #sherpawebinar