Outreach and Link Building
In life as in marketing, some things don’t get their due recognition and respect. In the realm of digital marketing and SEO, outreach is the weak stepchild. That’s because it’s not understood well and doing it well is a challenge.
Admittedly, link building and outreach require confidence and tolerance for frustration, and very often clients won’t pay much for this difficult task.
We’re all aware of how vital good rankings on Google are, and Google’s ranking algorithm is heavily weighted on the quality of inbound links to a website.
Acquiring links from other websites is the singular most important aspect of high rankings and thus free traffic from Google. There’s nothing like receiving free prospects who are looking for your product or service. They may even be desperate to buy right now!
Pay Google. They Love the Cash!
Despite their disappearing ad budgets, many marketing managers refuse to take link acquisition or outreach seriously. In fact, many have given up on it. The reason for that is not just a lack of respect. It’s because they have no confidence in their own business value proposition and their ability to create value for those who might link to their website.
Outreach is a process of emailing, social posting, and content placement done with the purpose of getting people to link to your web site. How persuasive and effective it is depends on your strategy. It is a process of creating value, and personal networking and persuasion.
Link outreach is a demanding process requiring creativity, persuasion, and networking skill. Those who don’t know how to do it well can learn. And those without the time, resources and creativity will want to outsource to link building experts or outreach specialists. Because the end value is tremendous.
By doing it yourself, you avoid having to buy links and risk being penalized by Google.
Here’s my Top Ten Tips for supercharging your link building outreach efforts:
- Create unique, compelling content of value to share with bloggers, journalists, top influencers etc. That might include data, infographics, photos, white papers, videos, or articles that generate good value. Your content has to be valuable to their customers or make them look good. Think of the targeted website owner as a friend whom you need to help.
- Have a plan to spread the word about your company and its unique value proposition.
- Use email to contact prospective targets and followup with additional emails (persistence)
- Use blogger outreach tools and services to make bloggers aware and convince them to talk about your company/article
- Find top influencers on social sites using followerwonk
- Use Twitter ads and Facebook ads to gain more exposure to target people
- Use Moz’s Opensite Explorer to discover who links to your competitor’s (or highest ranking) websites in your keyword category. Visit these sites and study the reasons why the site owner’s linked to your top competitor’s website.
- Develop your social media channels so you can reach potential targets directly
- Write content for various online news sites, magazines,
- Leave sincere, intelligent comments on other’s blogs and blog posts
If you’re spending $10k per month on Google Adwords, it might make sense to hire and train someone in-house to do link building and outreach. That is, if you have someone creating quality sharable content. Otherwise you will have to find a link building expert. There aren’t many of them, so be prepared to pay a great deal for the services of the best ones. This is definitely a good entrepreneurial business opportunity for those with the talent and resources.
Even if your value proposition is weak, you can still do a good job of creating sharable content and communicating value.
This process of respecting link building and outreach should encourage you to work on your UVP and your digital marketing strategy and shore up those weak spots. Give link building and outreach their due respect and focus resources on the process. Even if you do it for 6 months, you’re going to learn a great deal about your product marketing and your target customer.
Link Builders Can’t Get No Respect
Check out the salary ranges for digital marketing pros and compare: Click to Enlarge.
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