How To Rank Nationally With Local Links

When you think "Local SEO", what generally comes to mind is the 7-pack, reviews, local dominated search results, distance from the centroid, and other miscellaneous terms that mean you can rank for "city keyword". Because of this, the strategies between local and national SEO tend to segregate. Not as much as say, PPC and SEO, but the fact that local SEO specialists exist (and thrive) shows that there is a distinct ideology at play there that separates it from national strategies. If your business has a publicly listed physical address, you have some incredible link opportunities that ex [...]

A Link Building Blueprint: The Foundation

Over the next several months, I plan to use my column here at Link Week to lay out a link building blueprint you can use as a guide in your linking efforts. We'll start with foundational tactics and some of the side opportunities they offer, and keep going into the more detailed "advanced" techniques toward the end. If you follow the blueprint and implement what we cover, by the end of the series you should have a nice collection of links. Before I start, let's take a quick look at what happened last week with Google's algorithm tweak, how it may affect your linking and why now more [...]

A Plea To Make Your Links More User Friendly

Have you noticed that it's harder to find critical contact information these days? If you have a question about an online order, finding a phone number so that you can speak to an actual person is a nightmare at times. Some sites are automatically setting ridiculous default options for you (yay spammy and for-sale email lists!) and opting you in for more headaches. My latest flipout occurred when my children's school lunch prepay system wanted $10 to show me my balance, information that is obviously there and easy to display. It's become very fashionable to totally inconvenience consumers. [...]

How To Clean Up Your Link Profile

When a potential client comes to us for a proposal, the first thing that we do is to analyze the existing backlink profile. We used to put an insane amount of time into this exercise, but when that time is weighed against other tasks for existing clients, we decided that it needed to be made a bit quicker. We've explored various methods of doing this, but here's our current favorite, using Raven SEO Tools. If you're not a subscriber you can do a free 30 day trial, by the way. 1. Go to Raven SEO Tools Backlink Explorer (after you login, it's under Links) and enter the URL you wish you examin [...]

How To Help Clients Through Link Building Confusion

This is my first column since returning from SMX East. Thank you to Debra, Danny, Chris, Karen, Elisabeth and everyone else who made this a fantastic show. I even spent time in the exhibitor hall, which I haven't been able to bring myself to do since back in the 90's when a vendor brought in Riverdance for a product roll out at Internet WORLD. It was loud. If one thing stuck with me from my Link Building Fundamentals session, it was the number of people who stayed afterwards to talk. Our session was just before lunch, so that made it easier for people to hang around without missing anoth [...]

How To Use Google Instant As A Powerful Link Building X-Ray

Google instant caused a near freak out within the SEO world, but oddly there has not been a peep about Google instant and link building. Have a look at the below Google search results as of 9/28/2010. Exact Match Search TermResults "google instant and seo"36,700 "google instant and ppc"25,800 "google instant kills seo"2,700 "google instant and link building"0 What? Instant has been out for less than a month and there's already nearly 40,000 articles about the impact on SEO, (some of which have been truly excellent), but there hasn't been a single article about the effect instant mig [...]

How To Use Referrers To Track Link Building Efforts

Last month, I wrote about how to use your site's bounce rate for link building purposes. Someone emailed me privately to ask if there were any other (perhaps not so standard) metrics that I used outside of toolbar PageRank, keyword rankings, and traffic. In an effort to see if I could find something I've never used before, I took a close look at the Google Analytics for a few sites that I work with, and I quickly realized that I could easily get completely bogged down in the data. Some of the metrics that I looked at showed inconsistencies, which could be due to my lack of knowledge about w [...]

How To Identify Industry Specific & Mainstream Media On Twitter

Need authority links? Twitter is one of the best ways I’ve found to get your site (or yourself as the case may be) on the radar of the journalists who decide what topics and websites are discussed (and linked to) in mainstream media. Interacting with the folks who report on your chosen industry on Twitter – through being conversational, helpful and never overly promotional – is one of the quickest, and most cost effective ways to get noticed by your industry media. All you need to do is find them. And here are a few ways you can do so.. here's how. Twitter Directories You can eas [...]

Stuck In Link Limbo? How To Craft Real Business Metrics For Link Building

As the in-house person in charge of marketing the online legal directory, Avvo, I need to have accurate and timely access to all of our performance metrics. Since we launched the site three years ago, finding consistent metrics to evaluate our site’s growing link strength has been a remarkably difficult exercise. We have adopted at least three different metrics and used three different tools, yet I remain frustrated by our inability to develop a consistent model to evaluate our site’s link performance. From a business perspective, something that feels so easily quantifiable should fall [...]

How To Use Goverment Website Information To Create Sticky Link Bait

If  you have a tiny marketing budget but need big links, this sticky link bait tactic might be for you! A recent report from the Pew Research Center found 61% of all American adults (or 205 million people)  look for or completed a transaction on a government website in 2009. This information alone is impressive, but what made the report priceless from a link building standpoint was the breakdown of what people were looking for. As I read through the report, I realized the information had potential to be used to create a great piece of  sticky link bait. I say "sticky"  because [...]

How To Build Links Faster: 5 Tips For Faster Link Qualification

A little over a year ago, we published a guide to qualifying link prospects. That method still holds; however, in the past year, we have adjusted our thinking, honed our processes and most importantly created a few simple, free tools that will make your link qualification phase much faster. Before getting to the tips and tools, we'd like to quickly outline *our* model for effective link campaign design. This way, it will be easier to understand where link qualification fits and why it is such a critical step of any link building campaign. For reference, it might be best to review these p [...]

Another Big Roundup of Link Tools

One of my previous columns here on Link Week showcased a number of tools commonly used in link building. Since that post, a large number of new tools and services have come online, so I thought an update would be helpful. Not all of the sites listed will be traditional linking tools, I've also included a number of social media and general informational sites which can be used to find link partners. Before we move on, the obligatory disclaimer. I have no financial involvement with any of these tools, they are presented as source options only. Some are free, others are not, always read the [...]

71 Technical Factors For Backlink Analysis (From 30 Link Building Experts) – Part 2

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 p [...]

30 Link Builders Discuss Backlink Analysis For Campaign Design – Part 1

We asked 30 link building experts 9 questions about backlink analysis... and got 20,000 words of response. This article is part 1 of a 3 part group interview series on backlink analysis. Part 1 covers how backlink analysis - of your site and your competitors' sites, as it applies to link building campaign design. You'll find each expert's answer grouped by question. You'll have to assemble the "big picture" takeaways yourself by reading through all the responses. I've read through this at least three times now, and each time I come away with new ideas. There is repetition, but there's enoug [...]

How To Improve .EDU Link Requests Using Academic Metaphors

As a web marketer who is requesting high-quality links from the gatekeepers of academic sites, understanding the lingo and professional culture of the academic world can greatly improve your success rate. Academic environments can be a bit more formal and regulated than web or business world. When you get through to a blogger or .com webmaster and ask for a link, there's usually a minimum of red tape: they'll decide to link to you or they won't. But when you get through to an academic webmaster or university professor, you'll oftentimes encounter someone who isn't outright opposed to grant [...]

PageRank Sculpting Leaves NoFollowed Tags Behind

Six months ago, Google's Matt Cutts confirmed that NoFollowed tags no longer work as a tool for sculpting PageRank and that he would not recommend PageRank sculpting in general. Despite the passage of time and much discussion in forums and on blogs, many website owners are still confused about the importance of optimizing how PageRank flows throughout their site. My personal opinion, based on experience we've had working with client sites, is that it can still be important to optimize PageRank flow through a site. In this article, I'll explain why, along with recommendations on how to do [...]

Linkable Asset Inventory: A Starting Point For New Link Building Campaigns

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 [...]

How To Take Control Of Your Link Building In 2010

What are your link building plans for 2010? Me? I'll be making some significant changes to my business model for the first time in fourteen years. I'll be training more clients to become their own link builders. I've earned 100% of my living by providing link building tactics, strategies and services since 1994. While the methods I use have changed, the core principals that drive my strategy selections are the same as they were when I started. Here are my top tips for successful link building in 2010. Respect for people The "Interweb" is not a bunch of tubes and wires created for sell [...]

21 Link Builders Share Advanced Link Building Queries

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, t [...]

How To Research, Create And Distribute Highly-Linkable Content

Without an ordered approach, careful research and custom tools it can be difficult for link builders, writers and content strategists to know what content will attract links in a target market. This article provides a process and tools for developing and distributing linkable content based on the content that’s proven to attract links in your target keyword space.

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