As Ayima’s Jane Copland explains, her talk focuses on: “the biggest link building issues you can face in competitive markets, and their solutions”. She runs through some common problems and questions:
No two industries are alike, the rules change. It’s not necessarily about Google treating industries differently, it’s about who’s competing in them. You don’t need to understand what’s working for everyone else, you need to focus on what is going to work for what you want to rank for.
Who cares? No matter how competitive the environment is, you are more than likely to benefit from ‘brand’, ‘random’ or ‘mixed’ link. What about what is surrounding the link on the page that is pointing to you? You’re getting good, natural-looking links – there is no such thing as a perfect backlink profile, but natural is better than over manipulated.
There are some places you never get links from. Think how easy it is for Google to pick out sites that have unnatural amounts of outbound commercial anchor text links, or an uncommon amount of outbound links to sites unrelated to its topic (regardless of anchor text)?
Tip: If you see a site that has massive scores on SEOMoz’s toolbar but very low PageRank, this could be a general sign that something is wrong.
You need a lot of different types of links for a good, natural-looking backlink profile, this includes:
- Volume: you can’t get around it, you still do need a solid quantity
- Topic Quality: there needs to be a solid relationship between the linked pages
- Authoritative Quality: links from strong sites are a solid boost, ideally still on topic
- Natural Noise – you need a mix of ‘noise’ around your brand, some social media, some press releases, remember diversification
- Editorial Quality – content is king?
If you miss out one of these types of links, your rankings are likely to not be as good as they could be. Most people tend to be better at getting one type of link over another, we should be continually testing what the balance should be for each.
Tip: If you are outsourcing link building, make sure you are getting solid reporting from them on exactly where they are getting links from! If they refuse to, there’s a reason why.
If you don’t get a reply at first, sending a follow-up email a week later will increase the conversion rate of that mail.
- Test different email templates and styles, think of it as a webpage.
- Use Mechanical Turk to collect contact details if you’re emailing a large number of leads (but find the websites yourself!)
- Include a professional signature AND a phone number that you will definitely answer. People want to know you’re not a spammer, who can answer their questions
- Don’t expect anything for free, more people are savvy these days and know the value of a link. You may not want to take the risk of paying for links, but there are other ways of trading – from products to expert services. There is always something helpful you can offer in exchange.
There are always new places you can look! Where can you go to promote your content? Offer to guest blog? Think about who you can look for within your niche. Brainstorm!
Bonus Tip: If you think that you are going overboard on exact match terms to deep pages… consider just using the url, which may contain the term without looking to spammy.