Sustainable Link Building Strategy
Moz pays special tribute to the late SEO pioneer Eric Ward. His linking strategies formed the basis of many of today’s smartest approaches to links.
Eric is one of the pioneers of the SEO industry. In fact, he was a link strategist and creator of links for websites before the search engines even had valuable links on the internet. He was the first affiliate marketer that Amazon.com hired. He had a testimonial from Jeff Bezos on his website, from Google’s Matt Cutts years ago, and worked with hundreds, if not thousands, of organizations to improve their linking strategies.
In addition, Eric is a notable contributor to the SEO field through conferences and events, through webinars, through his blog and Twitter accounts, and through countless conversations with fellow SEOs, SEOer. In fact, Eric was one of the first people to help me understand how affiliate strategy works.
For those of you who are active link builders and link strategists, much of this may be familiar. But I bet for your client, for your team, for your boss, for the people you work with, this kind of strategic thinking is sometimes overlooked and it means you don’t always get get the credit you should have.
So let’s learn some lessons, these are just a few of the values Eric has provided over the decades he has been in our field.
People And Organizations Affiliated For
First of all, Eric likes to talk about why people and organizations get together, and I think there’s really some great strategic and strategic thinking here.
Content Deserves Recognition
First of all, he talked about the Content they will link to that really deserves their recognition. Which I think makes intuitive sense, but is something that isn’t usually considered in link building lists. When we create our lists, we sometimes overlook that.
They Have A Non-Financial Incentive To Link Up
Which makes sense. If you’re trying to get someone to link, they need to have a reason. An emotional reason, a business-driven reason, a partnership-driven reason. If it’s financial, of course, the search engines will penalize it or eventually penalize it.
The Right People Let Them Know That They Should Quote
This is the form of work that Eric focused specifically on early in his career. When he was a tactical alignment strategist and I think it made a lot of sense. But often overlooked, that we don’t find the right people among us the organizations to make that connection, that we really don’t make the organizations that should affiliated with us know why a linking should happen and where it should exist. And this work, while very manual, is also very powerful. It can drive direct traffic, and of course it boosts rankings in search engines.
Content Really Matters To Their Audience
Whoever you are reaching, this reason, this incentive needs to connect with their audience. Otherwise, Google does not have the ability to count that link, and the visitor cannot click it. I do think the two might be related, that there is some form of browser level data, user data and usage data that Google is using here.
New Content (Or Recently Updated)
I find this fascinating that Eric pointed out how easy it is to get content to earn links from its audience. A lot easier, from a target if it’s new or recently updated. It’s much more difficult to do it with older content.
That’s one of the reasons why so many strategies or so many tactical elements he suggested. When working with our clients the focus should be on: How are we going to update, redo, or make something new that will make all of these things true?
I think if you can check these five, you’ve got a great set to be able to go out and tell people why those links should exist.
A quote from Eric: “Identify and contact places that will tend to be interested in new content enough to write about it and/or link to it.” I think that’s really PR. That’s public relations, only in the digital marketing capacity, and is actually a huge part of what successful outreach looks like.
Great Execution Is The Result Of Strategy And Planning
Next, great execution is the result of strategy and planning. I know. Who knows what is true in every other part of the business world and in every other part of the world of gains that is also true in link building? Yes, it is.
Strategy Comes From Understanding Your Topic And The Online Space
Eric likes to say that strategy stems from a deep understanding of the subject and the space. That’s why a lot of services that you can find online, very cheap or very scalable, don’t work well in links. Because they don’t have deep subject matter and deep spatial understanding. When you have a deep understanding of topic and space, you can better target your link earning potential.
A Blueprint On How To Earn Links From A Variety Of Different Types Of Goals Greatly Increases The Success Rate
So two interesting things here. If you have a blueprint, it means you have a structure for how you will target and how you will approach. If you look at different types of goals and Eric mentions some of them on his website. I’m planning to link to link to a bunch of resources from Eric.
If you choose those different types of goals, over time you will discover which ones are consistently high performing for you and have the best chance of earning you links that will make all the difference in your campaigns.
Eric will say what we do and he uses “we” here to refer to link strategists instead of just link building, “What we do is help content find an audience.” audience it’s intended for, and the audience finds the content. “I love that. It has a beautiful simplicity, but also a profound strategy that unfortunately a lot of link building campaigns don’t pay attention to.
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