Building Web Links Organically
Without exception, the best method of building links is to interest people. If that equates to making news or being contrarian then so be it.
Press releases in an isolated manner will not do it. What needs to be done is;
- Newsworthiness of what is done – that does it
- Produce news that people talk about, or can’t help talking about
Applying the above point’s links will start to show up. For free!
Do something REMARKABLE. Be it an event, content, resources, a crazy or weird video, whatever.
Read “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin. This could be easily interpreted as the link-builder’s bible for organic link creation.
Above all…finding a better way in your space where you play and be different.
Apple was different – nothing too crazy but successfully change the landscape of their PC range.
We see many people pay lip service to ‘niche marketing’ while just thinking it means targeting SME / SMB customers. It doesn’t. What is really meant is taking the road less travelled.
In the context of the conversation of Link Building, it simply means being individual and remarkable. That’s not an out of this world theory. Simple terms, part of having a USP and building a brand.
Brand is another frequently mentioned but rarely grasped concept. Brand is by no means exclusive to the big boys. If anything, I would say it is far harder for a big business to have and control a genuine brand identity. In part, so many different people are involved in each decision or direction.
Real Estate is a prime area where personality can matter. Where building a brand will directly relate to profit and success because most realtors choose that other, much walked about path. Real Estate is one of those professions where customers often think the realtors are a bit shark-like, only interested in their commissions. When you meet one with genuine warmth and concern for the customer it he or she shines through.
Why wait till you meet the customer to stand out? Use a blog to show your passion for what you do, and for who you SERVE. Forget a crazy video, but what about breaking your territory down into neighbour hoods and filming a short video tour of the area, in which you show them the walk to the local coffee shop, that nice little deli on the corner, and the trip to take the kids to school. In that video, you talk about the feel of the area, and prospects see locals saying hello to you. You show people the community they’ll be buying in to.
Sure, it isn’t likely to be a massive piece of link-bait that goes viral on youtube. But it WILL get noticed, and will be remarkable. IT is taking the road less travelled and giving people a reason to link, and to like.
Got a whole lot of links from other marketers appreciating the tactic, in addition to some wider interest links from remarking (that remarkable word again) on how different this was.
The road less travelled.
PageRank is pretty irrelevant to this discussion. PageRank has nothing to do with how Google ranks web pages, it is a method for determining crawl priority mainly, and is named for Larry Page, its inventor.
Only use we found for PageRank is as a very rough rule of thumb for how deeply and often a site can get indexed and stay indexed. e.g. if you have 1,000 pages, you’d want a PageRank of around PR4 to be sure all your content was reasonably stable in the index. For 100,000 pages, you’d be wanting a PR6 or better to be reasonably certain it was all in
Building backlinks on high quality content, or amazing news, or incredibly useful tools, or even simply really enjoyable story-telling tends to last.
However, ten years ago having some links from, say, About.com would have been great. Today, the links on About.com may be worth far less with that site having been hit by several iterations of the Panda update, and Google tending to view About.com as having (in some categories) rather thin content that is mostly acting as a middleman and curator of links.
A better example still might be the once very high value of links in DMOZ and the Yahoo directory. Today such links are worth little value in part because human creation simply cannot compete with the speed at which new articles appear, and old content may vanish. Not in comparison to a search engine, at least.
To say the least, it is unfavourable to focus simply on directory links, or links from government and educational institutions, or even major newspapers and to think your task is complete and that those links will always carry the same weight.
However, taken into account the above-mentioned with these examples, all of those links retained their full value for years. Even with the current value in depreciation, they are still worth hundreds of times the links that the vast majority of ‘link building services’ will provide.
The answer has to remain that THE MOST EFFECTIVE way to develop backlinks is with great quality content of one form or another. Whether you call it link bait, or application development, viral marketing, or “Crazy/funny videos”, the core is building something that people want and choose to link to by themselves. Something you can put in front of just ten people and at least one of them tells everyone he knows about it.
Side Lesson #1: For those unfamiliar with the word content is what is on your site. It is what people go there for. For an eCommerce site, then the content is often the stock images and descriptions of the items you stock for sale. For a discussion site, the content would be interesting discussions and inspiring articles and posts. For a news site, the obvious content would be news articles.
However, high value content is what gets back links to your site.
It is all too common for an ecommerce site to just have a very basic few images of each product that look like any catalogue you’ve ever seen. A minimal paragraph or two of text about what colours it comes in, what sizes, and a little bit sometimes about the material. That’s poor content base minimum.
Much better approach to content is when the ecommerce site has taken the trouble to get images that show the products in a variety of angles and contexts – especially contexts. Sure, that jewellery looks fine on the plain background, but how does it look against skin tones? Likewise, the text should be way more than a catalogue. The text should really sell the reasons WHY you bother to stock this item, and why people should desire it. It should talk about the craftsmanship and design. It should give us the feelings that the media itself cannot. How about adding in a video as well as an image, where each product has a short video clip of a sales presentation where a professional handles and shows off the product, demonstrating its features?
Do you see how this is still ‘just content’ but is moving up in value, and becoming more likely to have a visitor say “Wow, my friend should see this” or simply saying “Now this is a place I want to come back to”?
However, for links we go even further than great content. We go to create remarkable content. For an ecommerce store, we might get a video of the factory where an item is produced if there is something awesome about the production line. We might hire a celebrity to do a few of those video sales clips. The point is, we do something that nobody has done before, or we do something in a new and remarkable way. Something that stands out.
Seriously, pop over to amazon.com right now and find the book “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin and order it. It will help you a lot, and you are going to need all the help you can get with your own ecommerce site.
Side Lesson #2: An easy way to determine who is linked to your site use http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo then add your web url link and then click on the Sites Linking In. Presto!
Of course, not every attempt to create unique, compelling, remarkable content is going to be quite as notable and remarkable to others as you’d hoped. But the point is that spending time on creating original and remarkable content will ALWAYS yield better results than spending that time on other methods of link building yields.
Sure, sometimes you only end up with a cow with a faint mauve tint, that only a few notice and remark on. But those are still genuine links and citations. Each worth a thousand links in blog comments, or a hundred link exchanges.
In a discussion of what is the MOST EFFECTIVE way to generate back-links, there is nothing that trumps remarkable content. Even when it isn’t a global viral phenomenon. It doesn’t usually need to be.
So TAKE ACTION TODAY!