I’m going to go into all the crazy details of what I do for each link-building client. This is pretty unheard of in the SEO industry, but it’s also why I have loyal clients that rave about my service.
Everything is completely transparent, and best of all, you get to work directly with me all the time (not a junior analyst at a big marketing firm). Believe me, I’ve been on the other side of the fence-- the junior analyst, having to stutter his way through a monthly call because the correct systems weren’t in place. You’ll love having 100% access to the person who is actually doing the work.
Just to make good on my promise of transparency, I’m going to go through just how my process works, which should answer most of your questions– also to prove why my service kicks the crap out of 95% of SEO agencies in the country.
Let's Start at the Beginning
Since I’m a one man show, I am limited in the number of clients I can take on. The nice thing though is that if you become a client, you will get a lot of my attention and get to hear my soothing voice on the phone whenever you please 🙂
Initial Audit / Analysis
Create Personalized Gmail using the business owners name– this will be used to pitch for links from the targets that I’ve found. I will be reaching out in your name, which gives me a higher probability of securing links. Sites are turned off to spammy tactics, but usually won’t mind helping out another business owner.
Access to the Essentials
Get Access to your Analytics and your Search Console – I will need to analyze the visitors, the pages they visit, and the keywords they are searching to get to those pages.
From this I will know which are the most popular items and which keywords are doing well. As well, I will know of any which are doing decent (positions 7 -35) that have the potential to get you a significant amount of traffic.
Check Anchor Text Ratio
Using Moz Pro and other tools, I’ll analyze your backlinks and the anchor text ratio. Unnatural or spammy looking link profiles are easy to spot, which have a high chance of getting flagged by Search Engines like Google.
If I see anything like that, I’ll create what I call “pillow links” to dilute the anchor text = make it look more natural.
Audit Content and Onsite SEO
Audit your Content and Onsite SEO – Does your site have content already? Is it great quality? The better the content is (thorough, good grammar, etc) the easier it will be for me to get the high quality links I’m targeting.
So I’ll assess what I can work with, the number of social shares the content has and if you have any distribution channels like a social media following or an email subscriber list.
Analyze Incoming Links
I’ll create a list of your best content and look for link targets according to who would be most interested in that particular piece.
However, if you don’t have usable content, I can hire from my list of writers (this will be an additional cost) or you can use your own writer.
Check Spam and Start Input
I'll make sure you have a “natural” keyword ratio and there are no spammy or unnatural links bringing it down. I’ll check your metrics, whether its Trust Flow, Citation Flow, or Domain Authority and Page Authority.
I could also uncover anything that isn’t being used to its full potential.
Input the Info- I’ll record the content I’ll be using into my spreadsheet (I’ll share this with you so you can track my work in real time) and which keywords we’ll be targeting for each content piece.
Generate Large Lists of Search Terms using my custom spreadsheets with the keywords I identify from your industry and geographic location.
These search operators will allow me to find just the right targets for the links I’m looking for. For example, if you're building links in the "old movies" niche, you could use the search term "old movies inurl:resources".
Use Search Operators
This will throw up results in Google about comic books, where “resources” is in the URL. Chances are, most of these will be resources about old movies and will be suitable targets for whatever piece I have.
Select types of links – whether its using Guest posts (placing our content directly on their site), Resource pages/Broken links (getting a link on their “Resources” or “Useful Links” page), Local bloggers or various other types that I use.
I’ll select the link types that will perform best for your site and become the foundation of our link-building campaign.
For example, in an industry which is perhaps not so interesting and difficult to create content for, we could concentrate mainly on links from local bloggers or businesses that are in the same location, and businesses which are somewhat related to yours, but not in direct competition (e.g. a chiropractic clinic linking to a yoga studio).
Prepare a Plan Moving Forward
Once I complete the audits, I’ll have a good sense of what needs to be done. I’ll create a special tab in the spreadsheet that details all the tasks for the next few months. It will show the due date, the status, and the type of link I’m pursuing. In short, you’ll always be in the loop.
Find our targets and point of contact
So now I’ll know:
-The keywords to target
-The content I can use to get links
-The types of links to aim for
The search engine operators to create a target list
I call this next process “prospecting”. This is an ongoing process and from day to day, the targets and status of this section of the spreadsheet will change.
We’ll ideally be trying to get a personal contact email of the owner rather than just a general enquiry email address, as it yields a better success rate.
I may not be able to grow a beard, but I can help you grow your business 🙂
Here are the links that I’ll be going after.
Usually I won’t use every single link type for every project, but the ones that are relevant and helpful to your industry.
Resource Pages /Broken links
This is an important one, and very under-utilized. You have a resource or in-depth blog post on your site.
I reach out to similar sites and pitch them on using that resource on their page in order to get a link.
These are often high-performing links that are very valuable. I pair this tactic with broken link-building, which means that we identify broken links on their site, and pitch them on a link to ours, as long as the content or resource is quality and in a similar niche.
These are pages where content about a specific subject have been compiled and placed on one page.
For example: finding a page titled “The Best Link Building Posts of 2016” and showing the owner an innovative article about Link Building, in order to get a link.
Useful when you don’t have a lot of usable content. I reach out to site owners in your industry and create a relevant, high-quality post
with a contextual backlink to your site.
These will cost money, as these site owners know the value of having good links on their site.
They will charge for a link placement (and/or a product sample). It is a useful and fast way of getting links however.
Useful if you have a long standing history of content that is already known. I’ll find any sites which have mentioned you in the past but have removed the link, and I’ll remind them to attribute your content. And I can also find sites which mention your brand/product without linking, and ask for a link.
Bridge Tactic (Location)
Find sites in your local area and ask for mutual link placement.
Bridge Tactic (Niche)
Find sites in related niches (non-competitors) and request a link.
"Real" Public Relations
This has been used forever, but recently it all seem like spam. What I want to do is legit Public Relations.
If something happens that would get journalist’s attention on major news sites, we can ask for a link to our site or add our link to an existing article. Even though they will usually cost money, these are high-quality, geo-centric links that will help your site a ton.
Many companies do charity work as well- this is an opportunity to be featured in local news stories.
There are bloggers in your area that aren’t making money from their online writing. Most of them are willing to help a local business and feature you or at least provide a link to your site.
Local blogs are hyper-relevant due to geography, and usually if they accept it will be a great addition to your link profile.
Student University Blogs
Students often have the opportunity to write articles on the University site. Since they are hosted on .edu domains, they are very authoritative and carry a lot of weight with regards to how Google views them.
I use these purely to diversify the links and dilute your anchor text, allowing your link profile to appear as natural as possible.
Manufacturer Links (ecommerce)
If you sell a product produced by another company, you can often get a link on their site as a distributor/notable affiliate. And if they don’t have a page for this purpose, its usefully not too hard to convince them to create one.
If you have any video content for your brand, we can distribute it across sites such as Youtube or Vimeo and insert a link in the description box.
If there are directories specific to your industry or business type, you should be listed on them.
If you are a member of an organization which is related to your business, you can often get a link on their page. This can also be added to your site as a user “trust symbol”- a logo or brand that the user is familiar with that will make them trust YOUR brand more.
Conferences and other events, could be another opportunity for a link.
Blog and Forum Commenting
Can be used in a spammy way by some SEOs, but done properly, can build links, direct referral traffic and build useful relationships with other content producers. The key here being to post relevant and well thought out replies.
One of the best sites in the world to get a link on. However, the link needs to be extremely relevant and useful.
Reverse engineer competitors
Can be useful to analyze the link profiles of your competitors and emulate what they have. However, I will always concentrate on getting you links which they don’t have.
If you’re in an industry where you can accumulate an interesting set of date or statistics, infographics can be a very visually appealing and compact way of sharing them. Any related sites which like the infographic will often embed the image on their site and link back to you.
An oldie, but back in fashion thanks to Brian Dean!
Simple put, you find some content which has a tonne of links, create some content which is better or more up-to-date and approach everyone who linked to the original piece, showing them your better piece.
Broken Link Building (alternate method)
I already discussed this type, but we can use another method. Find content which has a lot of links, but that no longer exists. We’ll then create our own version of the content, approach everyone who linked to the original and show them our piece.
This is very effective, as they will generally be very appreciative that you’ve pointed out a broken link on their site and offered them an alternative link which they can quickly replace it with.
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