How I Got A Link From The Guardian
Socrates had it right…
Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so that you shall gain easily what other have laboured hard for
If I’ve had any success as an SEO so far, it’s because I’ve learnt from an amazing community…
This post is a distillation of 29 key things I’ve learnt over the last 2 years, specifically:
Things I’ve learnt that you rarely read in the SEO press
- My thoughts on the future of SEO
What I’ve Learnt
1. Outreach - Never mention the word ‘link’ in an outreach mail (Garrett French)
How about no?
2. Scale – Linkbuilding is about scalability. If you haven’t got 500k targets after ‘target identification’, you’re doing it wrong (Ross Hudgens)
He's ACTUALLY built more links than I've had hot dinners
3. Link Qualifying – If DA is less than 30, bin it (Paddy Moogan)
4. Linkbuilding Campaign Structure - Structuring links by asset is the
best only way to manage a linkbuilding campaign and stop yourself getting bogged down in excel hell (Garrett French)
5. Relationships – 3 ways to to warm up a relationship fast
Promote their content (retweet, share)
Reference people in your content (and make them look good OR make them achieve their objectives)
Ask people for advice regarding your content (this is the fastest and most direct way to get a relationship)
6. Outsource – All time wasting tasks via Elance/ODesk. Add the 5% of your time to the linkbuilding process that creates 95% of the value. (Ross Hudgens)
Artist’s Impression of Elance
7. What links make a good profile? I really like this breakdown from Jane Copeland. It opened my eyes to the importance of natural noise links as part of a linkbuilding strategy
Volume (raw number of links)
Topic Quality (semantically relevant links)
Authoritative quality (High quality, trusted links)
Natural noise (social media links, press release links, mentions)
Editorial quality links
8. Follow up emails work – Enough said. (Paddy Moogan)
9. Linkbait Decision Making - If you can’t find 10 sites that will link to you in 10 minutes then you’re wasting your time on this linkbait (Paddy Moogan)
On Page/ Technical SEO
10. Use 304 If-Modified - To preserve and prioritise crawl budget. It’s in google’s webmaster guidelines, why wouldn’t you?
11. Content Clusters – Best way to rank a medium competition page fast is with a content cluster. Interlink from primary page to related pages, and from related pages back to primary page. Ian Lurie talked about this in his latest book
12. ABT – Always be testing - If you don’t spend your time running tests and experiments, then you’re settling for being a follower rather than an industry pioneer. This test on SEOMoz recently, is a classic example
13. E-commerce Information Architecture – Ignoring the global navigation, product pages should link to 3 things: category parent, other related products, closely related categories. Products and category pages shouldn’t link to unrelated categories (Adam Audette)
14. Use sitewide text – As a way of boosting semantic relevance for your site. Who does? Portent. What sitewide do they optimise for? ‘Internet Marketing Company’. Where are they ranking for the term? ‘8’
If it's good enough for Ian Lurie, It's good enough for me
15. Want a 50% traffic increase in 20 minutes? Update title tags for the keywords that are actually driving traffic to your pages, not the ones you optimised for (Kaiser The Sage)
16. Titles – Titles should do one thing only: Get the person to read the next line.
Intrigue – stimulate interest and get people to click:
Science vs. 50 Cent: On Masturbation
Inform – Show a clear and obvious educational benefit to the reader if they read on:
How to Consistently Build 40+ Contextual Links Every Month
17. Why Top 10 lists are so popular – Because they show the content is going to be easy and quick to read
18. People pay for magazines - They’re doing content marketing right. Copy them.
Amazing design, branding and headlines
19. Rip people off – You may have noticed that my title tag is not an original piece of work
20. Content - Should teach people or entertain them…preferably both (Brian Clark)
21. When considering linkbait…ask 3 questions:
Does it benefit my business?
Does it benefit the publisher?
Does it benefit the end user? (Ken Mcgaffin)
The little I’ve learnt about marketing is this:
22. Value – Use value as your fundamental metric. Am I creating value for my community? Does this content create value? Is what I’m doing today creating value for my client? Use ‘value’ as the prism through you which you analyse decisions. Not convinced? Read this Viperchill article on value creation
23. GAPS – Identify gaps in markets and leverage them. No point churning out the same shit as everybody else.
24. Mindset – Get in the mindset of the person you’re targeting. Take the time to get into their head and craft something that gets them to take action
25. Get Shit Done – I’ll let Seth cover this one…
The Future Of Online Marketing
26. Integrated marketing is the future
I don’t want to be an SEO. I don’t want to be an online marketer. I want to build incredible businesses for people in whatever way works, whether that’s online or offline, product driven or marketing focused.
27. Content is the future
Amazing content is an accessible USP for a business. And as markets get more competitive, USP’s are going to be increasingly hard to come by.
A killer piece of linkbait
28. PR is the future (public relations, not page rank)
If 20% of organic search clicks currently go to 5 sites, that says to me that people gravitate towards brands online. As a marketer you need to be on the top sites for people to trust you online. How? PR
29. RCS is the future
Low quality tactics can still win on the internet. But not for long. It’s only a matter of time before Google can perfectly reflect a businesses position in the real world through their algorithm.
If you want your business to stand out, you have to focus on ‘knock it out of the park’ amazing marketing. Not just from the marketing department, but as part of the company culture, from the CEO down.
N.B. The End! Client confidentiality means I couldn’t talk specifically about how I got the Guardian link, but drop me an email and I’ll happily reveal all!
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