I’ve found this to be especially true when it comes to link building. SEO, although technical in nature, can be explained in real-world measures to upper management. There’s data, traffic levels, technical configurations and on-site elements directly in your control to measure and report. With link building, upper management often approaches metrics in a single, dogged mindset: price per link. The easiest way to quantify the value of a link is through cost — particularly to the budgetary gatekeeper. Measuring link-building campaigns by cost is fair, but it creates the wrong mindset. It’s the difference between price and value. Today, I want to explain how SEOs can and should sell the value of link building upstream, instead of the price. Three critical stages to communicate value As an in-house SEO, you’ve reached the point where you need links to achieve your goals. So how do you request additional budget? It starts with communicating value. There are … [Read more...] about Selling the value of link building to management
Can you apply standard metrics to link development? We measure what’s going on in our PPC campaigns very easily. Metrics we have available include cost per click, cost per conversion/acquisition, total spent, number of impressions, number of clicks, etc. These numbers give us a good idea of how well our ads are performing, and we can quickly look at data that’s updated within 24 hours to see that yes, this new keyphrase is already converting or that no, that landing page is not doing well right now. We have a variety of ways to measure our SEO efforts, many of which depend upon who happens to be interested. There’s the traffic, of course, but there are also conversions, increase or decrease in keyword positions and referrals. Ah yes, referrals. That’s where link development metrics can finally enter the picture. While it’s safe to say that not every referral you notice in your analytics will be from a link that you happen to be somehow responsible for, … [Read more...] about The Importance Of Link Development Metrics
The cookie cutter approach to link building has never really worked. You can’t apply the identical linking strategy for one site to another site. Even so, services that sell that exact thing have flourished. I really can’t believe people are still buying link building packages from cheapest-priced, overseas vendors/workers who can barely type, and don’t speak English. I still get emails that say things like: Please to links now will exchange with us for pagerank 3? I go about things my own way, but I also recognize my weaknesses, and see the link building trade becoming more and more specialized. There already are specialists in certain types of link building. Social media, for example. I don’t think I have ever had a client with a site that made it to the front page of Digg – but then again, I don’t try, because the type of content I work with isn’t very Digg-y. For content that is, there are companies way better than me who can help you seek … [Read more...] about Are Specialists The Future Of Link Building?
Building links for a well known brand site that already has 100,000+ links (or even one million plus links) is an interesting challenge. If your site has that many links, chances are that your competitors have a lot as well. When your link building challenge is this big, you need to think about the problem a bit differently. Today I will review some of the things you need to consider in this type of environment for your link building to have an impact. Very high value links As with any link building strategy, you will want to include targeting very high value links. For well known brands, this usually means highly significant sites, such as the New York Times and other major media, or other very authoritative sites. These types of sites have predictably high standards, so the approach to them must be well thought out. I find that the best approach combines two major elements. First, a direct, honest approach—no room to BS here, so you need to be straightforward and factual. … [Read more...] about The Art Of Link Building For Established Brands
Over the past few years, one of the biggest problems I’ve faced is educating clients about search marketing — about what’s reasonable to expect and what isn’t in the world of link building. It can be difficult, especially in the winning-the-business stage, to admit that you can’t turn lead into gold, but being honest and clear with clients to set appropriate expectations can set you up for success in the longer term. If they’re the right client, they’ll be smart enough to understand. When we started the company, we stayed quiet and let the clients dictate what we did for the most part, mainly because we didn’t yet have our footing. We’ve always discussed risk with our clients, but we didn’t advocate for all the things that make our jobs easier and make links work better for them. Since then, we’ve gotten better about speaking up and advocating for everything from technical changes to better content. However, we still … [Read more...] about The 10 Worst Link Building Assumptions
SEO is a totally different beast today than it was just a few years ago, and many would argue that link building is the aspect that’s suffered the biggest beating since then. Yes, the process of link building today is nothing like how we did it in years past — but the qualities that make a good link have remained largely the same. Amidst all the chatter of link building dying or content marketing replacing link building, we’ve forgotten the fundamentals. In terms of what actually makes a good link (and a good link-building tactic), it’s time to get back to basics. Your Links Are Your Reputation All it takes is one questionable action to ruin your personal reputation, and the same can be said for one shady link — especially since Google has lost all of its patience with spam and link manipulation. Situate yourself in a good neighborhood of link sources, and Google will reward your good reputation (possibly with a good ranking). Do your potential link … [Read more...] about 5 Fundamentals Of Link Building That Will Never Go Away
Deep links have been a mainstay in the SEO community for more than a decade. Rather than pointing an external link to a home page, deep links point to a more specific internal page, such as a product page or a blog article. This establishes greater diversity in your link profile, increases the page authority of individual pages, and gives users greater opportunities to explore more of your website’s content. Traditionally, deep links have relied on networks of other Web pages, because until recently, that was the only place for them to exist. They might be embedded in an article, included in a forum comment, or even mentioned in a social media share. Today, there’s a new kind of deep linking emerging, and it might pave the way for the future of link building — and SEO in general. The Basic Premise Instead of deep linking to an interior page of a website, the future of the industry could establish the importance of app-based deep linking. Basically, instead of having a … [Read more...] about Could Deep Links To Apps Represent The Future Of Link Building?
Tactics, perceptions, and even the way search engines evaluate links are continuously evolving. Because of the ever-changing nature of link building, it’s always interesting to examine the state of the industry. Recently, my colleague Nicholas Chimonas partnered with Moz and Credo to conduct a link-building industry survey. Nicholas detailed his process and the results from the survey in an excellent post on Moz. I want to cover some of the key takeaways from this survey and offer my own insight and opinions on the current state and future of link building. Here are some quick, high-level stats on the survey participants: 435 people participated in the survey. Most work at agencies (42 percent) or are in-house employees (27 percent). The majority work at companies with 1–50 employees (65 percent). A large portion work alone (33 percent) or in teams of two to five people (47 percent), with varying structures. Most spend 1–25 percent (36 percent) or 26–50 percent … [Read more...] about 2016 State of Link Building Survey coverage
“Link building” is a bad word to most SEOs and online marketers. If you’re an agency who does link building, you get fired by your clients. If you’re an in-house SEO who does link building, you get fired from your company. If you do link building, your site gets hit with a penalty. However you slice it, link building is evil incarnate in the world of search engine optimization. Or is it? It seems to me as if SEOs have to tow the party line. “Link building is evil” and therefore, SEOs must act in like they believe link building is bad. Because SEO is still recovering from the smut of old link building days, we have to recover our reputation by declaring loudly, with the rest of them, that link building is horrible! But every SEO knows that link building is absolutely imperative for successful SEO (link goes to an article on the topic on my own site). We’re caught in the classic Catch-22 of modern SEO — the need and evilness of link … [Read more...] about What’s the Future of Link Building?
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?