The recession is more than just news fodder these days, it’s a reality many of us as service providers are feeling. At Alliance-Link we’re watching our clients cut back their on and offline advertising expenditures which makes it difficult for us to build custom linking programs. All of our programs use offline elements to drive links and without the advertising budgets, we’ve had to regroup and seriously rethink our strategies.
I’ve never been one to shrink from a challenge but even this has given me cause to pause. Our situation made me think about a quote I read a short while ago which said:
“Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.”
How true and smart! So smart we’ve taken the quote to heart and decided the key to our linking success in 2009 depends on our ability to look at long-term search trends and incorporate them into our linking mix as a key element now rather than an add-on or after thought later.
Contacting librarians, doing directory submissions, running contests to attract .edu links… it’s all still good but I seriously believe if you want to be great, you need to look at where the engines are going and create strategies to place you in their path.
More than just text
With the engines incorporating more and more personalized and universal search into their results, it makes sense your ranking success or failure may be tied to these elements. You may not like hearing this over-used cliche but “content is king” now more than ever and not just in written form. Video, podcasts, photos… all of these elements are in demand by both humans and search engine bots. If you want to be the one they turn to, and more importantly, link to you need these elements on your site.
What are customers looking for?
Get a jump start on your competition and start researching and developing content your customers are looking for. Start by surveying, calling, or emailing your clients and find out what they want to see and then give it to them in multiple formats. Promote your new elements through social media and traditional press releases, add an incentive so the campaign goes viral. Study the search results for your key phrases and take note of what’s there and what’s not. Link smart or die in 2009.
Before I go, a personal note. This is my last post for 2008 and I wanted take the opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday and joyous New Year. “May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back.” I wish you, your family and business much success in 2009. Debra :)
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.