Link building is crucial, but linkbait tactics that worked this year may not be as effective next year. This session focuses on the underlying quality as well as ingenuity needed to get other websites to link to you early and often. It will also explain how you should approach journalists, bloggers and other authoritative sources to enhance your company's online reputation, whether or not you get links. Moderator:
* Sage Lewis, Search Engine Watch Expert and President, SageRock.com
* Chris Boggs, Manager, Search Engine Optimization, eMergent Marketing/BRULANT, Inc. * Sally Falkow, President, Expansion Plus Inc. * Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank Online Marketing
First up is Sally Falkow.
What is an authoritative site? A site with strongly themed content about one topic that is updated frequently. Has hundreds of outgoing links and incoming links.
A different approach to authoritative links - public relations: there is a news story in any business.
HerRoom.com - videos of women in different sized bras - the "bounce test" videos. A number of people have been looking at them and it is building a lot of links. Interviews with doctor in podcast format.
Search results - previously not in the top 100. Sunday they were at #17. Now they're at #14 for sports bras.
If you can find a story in bouncing boobs, you can find a story in anything.
There's always a way to turn the content that you have into an interesting news story.
Chris Boggs speaks next.
Why go beyond linkbait? Apply it with oldschool stuff and offside linkbait.
The long term value of social media links is questionable. Digg links are great but it doesn't drive sales. There are exceptions to the rule but it's a fair argument that social media links may not be the way that you want to go. Links can become stale very quickly because of a fickle community that votes or links to sites. Also, linkbait can be confusing to clients.
A holistic approach is both natural and effective in growing inbound links.
Back to old school - - Monitoring inbound links and its continued importance in structuring advanced strategies - you can remove this in Yahoo Site Explorer. - Reciprocal linking - can it still work? - Building directory links. Good directories = good deep links. Use Best of the Web as a directory.
Offsite linkbait - YouTube, challenge the linkerati. No more top 10s! Be creative and not salesy but remember that there are haters out there. Case study with a client - over 25k viiews were genreated from YouTube and video search engines. To date, links to the entire site as a result of the project are over 5000.
Advanced strategies: - Link remediation - Link requests from relevant content sites - Directory submissions - Optimized press releases - Optimized articles - Site sponsorships - Blogging - and some other stuff. He purposely killed the slide before discussing each in detail or letting me see what the rest said. :)
Lee Odden is up and talks about media and blogger relations.
Push and pull PR Push - outreach effort - wire services, networking, pitching, and RSS. Pull - optimized content press release, newsroom, social media, media coverage
Outreach side - whether you're engaged in blogger or media relations, it comes down to persuasion. Have a compelling and relevant story.
Build relationships with folks who can extend your message.
Do your homework and be relevant. - Biggest complaint that journalists/bloggers have: getting irrelevant pitches - Research the target market - articles and bog posts - Use tools like MyEdcals and Cision - Technorati, blogrolls, social media monitoring - Journalists need reliable resources (and tend not to link out), whereas bloggers need compelling content. If you're going to pitch to bloggers, have a blog yourself.
Make it easy: - For journalists, make sure the pitch is meaningful for their needs and audience - Offer high res images, videos, or presentations - Provide extra resources to help them write the story - For bloggers, write a summary of the news. They might even use it as a blog post.
Publicize your publicity: - Blog about your coverage that will provoke dialogue - Archive your past press releases and media coverage - Offer RSS feeds - Invite social bookmarking and news submissions - Encourage social voting.
Don't be sloppy or spammy. - Avoid broadcast email pitches without a qualifying list - Avoid impersonal and irrelevant pitches - Be sure to QA broadcast email pitches - QA efforts should be used to personalize pitches Don't be a one trick pony - Once coverage is gained, keep coming back - Develop relationships - Be a trusted, consistent resource - Continue to send story ideas - Don't give up Don't be arrogant - Never assume a journalist has to write about your company - Don't treat bloggers like they're second rate - Treat influential bloggers just as you would treat mainstream media - Skipping lesser known sites will also skip out on links - Many journalists are also bloggers Don't ignore multiple promotion channels - Flickr, BusinessWire, RSS, delicious, PRWeb, Odeo, Facebook, Reddit, PR Newswire, Twitter, and more. Don't forget to say thank you - Journalists and bloggers are people too. Thank them! - A little bit of appreciation goes a long way toward relationship building - paying repeat dividends Takeaways - Do your homework - Build a list - Be relevant - Be personal - Make it easy - Develop a relationship