In 2017, a strong web presence can be the difference between a business succeeding or failing. For most marketers, search traffic plays a significant role in creating a strong web presence — and search traffic in turn hinges upon good, relevant links to targeted pages. Links improve rankings and visibility in Google’s search results. As your audience searches for terms related to your business, they find your website which creates a favorable brand impression, a stronger web presence, and more traffic. If you plan to hire an SEO agency to build links to your site in 2017, you’ll need to vet multiple SEO agencies. This is no small task. Let me explain: As much as it pains me to say, low-quality link building agencies are still very prevalent in the current SEO market. Worse, low-quality link building services often offer guarantees which appeal directly to those who aren’t savvy in SEO. And finally, lower quality services typically offer a better price point … [Read more...] about 40+ Questions to Ask When Vetting Link Building Agencies
Link building agency
Advanced link building queries, for the link builders who use them extensively, remain a closely guarded secret. It’s easy to understand why. For one, they want to protect a valued link source from getting flooded with link requests from the general link-seeking public. Secondly, there are some choice opportunities out there that would lose their value if the entire SEO community happened to learn about them. Another complication with discussing and sharing link building queries is that they’re often tailored towards the linkable and shareable assets of a particular organization. Further, two businesses within the same vertical may have widely different linkable assets, and therefore will need to seek different link targets, which requires different queries. Despite their link-protecting reticence and the complexity of communication, the 21 link builders I surveyed delivered a highly-valuable array of advanced link building queries. Thank you to all who participated! … [Read more...] about 21 Link Builders Share Advanced Link Building Queries
What is it about your website (or your organization) that is truly linkable? What’s the most effective way to structure a link building campaign? What is the most effective first task for a link builder? By creating an inventory of link building assets, you lay the foundation for a sustainable link building campaign, whether you’re a one person business or leading a link building team at an organization with thousands of employees, and hundreds of thousands of website pages. The most effective way to structure a link building campaign is based on the organization’s linkable assets, and the most effective first task for a link builder is to create a linkable assets inventory. We’ll begin with a working definition of link building assets, follow with a process for creating a linkable asset inventory, and then provide resources and encouragement for turning your assets into links. We first advanced the link building asset idea in 21 Link Builders Share Advanced … [Read more...] about A Starting Point For New Link Building Campaigns
Welcome to part 2 of our 3-part group interview series on backlink profile analysis. Part 1 covered backlink analysis for link building campaign design. Part 2 covers the more technical aspects of analysis, and what elements that link building experts look at to gauge the overall strength of a backlink profile. 14 URL factors in backlink profile analysis The URLs of linking pages can tell you a great deal about a given site’s backlink profile. The URLs themselves can shed some light too when evaluating the quality of a given link prospect. Some of the link builders interviewed didn’t place value in URL analysis when investigating backlink profiles. Some did. Often, this comes down to differences in style and process. TLD (if .govs or .edus have been linking it can indicate high-trust, high-value content) Target keywords in the URL Target keywords in the hostname Number of URL parameters Depth of the page on the site (as measured by /’s) Iterations of ? and other … [Read more...] about 71 Technical Factors For Backlink Analysis (From 30 Link Building Experts)
Welcome to the third and final installment of our group interview of 30 link building experts. In part one, we asked about backlink analysis as it applies to link building campaign design. Then, we followed up with the technical factors which our experts analyzed within the backlink graph. In this third and final installment, we look at ways that the experts apply backlink analysis beyond link building campaigns, and wrap up with questions the experts suggested and then answered. 20 applications for backlink analysis beyond link building Links are an astoundingly rich source of data for all manner of marketing and business decisions. Here are 20 different ways our experts suggested to draw value from backlink analysis, ordered based on the number of mentions each one received. Competitive intelligence: 7 mentions Find new content ideas: 6 Appraise a domain for purchase: 3 Measure previous SEO efforts: 3 “Risk tolerances” of competition: 2 SEO-awareness of competition: 2 … [Read more...] about 20 Uses Beyond Link Building, Part 3 of 3
Whether it’s your CMO, your client or your client’s boss, we’ve all worked with someone who just doesn’t quite get search. And that’s OK. We can’t expect everyone to understand the intricacies behind what goes into that No. 1 ranking. SEO is easy in theory, but it’s a daunting task to take on, and Google isn’t exactly making it any easier on us. Still, having to explain the same thing dozens and dozens of times isn’t why we got into this business. Anyone would go a little crazy if they did that. So, in an effort to make both of our lives just a little easier, here are seven things I wish executives knew about link building and SEO. 1. Yes, You Still Need Links To Rank No matter what you read, link building is not dead. As long as people still rely on search engines to find information and as long as those search engines rely on links for rankings — and they do — link building isn’t going anywhere. Of course, the … [Read more...] about 7 Things I Wish Execs Knew About Link Building
Your content team fires on all cylinders. You have processes in place that enable your content to garner social shares, page views and engagement from your target audiences. Fantastic! The only problem is that links aren’t happening — and the exec team is looking at your SEO team to explain why. Link acquisition, at an enterprise scale, requires a careful and strategy-driven division of labor. We’ve identified four distinct, task-based roles — the first and most important of which is the link strategist, covered in this article. An Enterprise Link-Building Team: The Lineup I’ll be covering all these roles over the course of this series, but here’s a basic description of each. The Strategist. The Link Strategist is the captain of the ship. He or she drives the campaign, designs the strategy, develops a unique mission, and serves as the liaison between link building efforts, the SEO team, the PR team and the content team. The Prospector. The … [Read more...] about The Missing Role For Enterprise-Level Link Building
Link building is a rapidly changing profession. Best practices today may not be best practices just six months from now. This happens at an unusually high frequency, and it’s a consequence of Google’s ever-evolving stance on link building. Right now, a slew of SEOs are moving towards content marketing as a primary method of link building. I’m not going to tell you that content marketing doesn’t work. What you’re reading right now is an example of content marketing. What am going to say is content marketing should not be pursued primarily or solely as a link building tactic, because content marketing and link building are two different things completely. I really get irked whenever I see content marketing and link building conflated. There are some similarities to be sure. For instance, they share common end goals, including (but not exclusive to): Driving traffic Increasing conversions Brand building Creating relationships Improving online visibility … [Read more...] about Link Building and Content Marketing: Two Different Peas in a Pod
I’ve spent the last three years of my life professionally obsessed with links. My agency’s primary specialization is link-building, but it’s often impossible to build links if the site itself isn’t well optimized, and furthermore less likely to have the desired impact. Link-building is the majority of what we do, but we have to do everything in between in order to really make the link-building shine. My day-to-day job is 100 percent content marketing, but I work for a link-building agency. I very much have a foot in both worlds, which I’d like to think gives me a unique perspective. Today, I want to share with you my perspective on link-building and why I think links will continue to matter for real businesses in 2015. The Evolution of Link-Building and My Definition Despite having the job title of “link builder” for longer than a year, explaining the term “link-building” is surprisingly hard. I’ve had to do it for friends, … [Read more...] about What Is Link-Building, and Why Does It Matter in 2015?
In a recent Google+ live hangout, Google’s webmaster trends analyst, John Mueller, answered a common question: “Is link building in any way good?” His answer was somewhat surprising. “In general, I’d try to avoid that,” he said, indicating that link building, long believed to be an essential process in SEO, is no longer advisable. Mueller elaborated on his answer, saying that Google does take links into consideration as part of its ranking algorithm, but that building links directly isn’t the right way to go about it. He stated that your goal should be to make sure your content “stands on its own” and easy for your users to share on their own blogs and websites. He also downplayed the importance of links, insisting that the ranking algorithm takes many factors into consideration, and building links might ultimately do more harm than good for your site. Links Doing More Harm Than Good? The short version of Mueller’s response is … [Read more...] about What’s The State Of Link Building For SEO In 2015 & Beyond?