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					Link
Building
Basics
Kick-start your link building campaign - and boost your
search engine ranking.




                                                    www.wordtracker.com
Contents
Chapter 1:                                                                                       5
      Four steps to successful link building



Chapter 2:                                                                                      19
      Links without asking – how to get quality websites to link to you


Chapter 3:                                                                                     23
      The link building mindset – the principles that will get you noticed


Chapter 4:                                                                                      31
      Well written content, links and the benefits they bring


Chapter 5:                                                                                      37
      How much is a link worth to your website?


Chapter 6:                                                                                      39
      What is a quality link?


Chapter 7:                                                                                     42
      Why would another site link to yours?


Chapter 8:                                                                                     45
      Who should do your link building?




Wordtracker.com                                                              Link Building Basics | 2
Chapter 9:                                              47
    Buying links


Chapter 10:                                             49
    Case Study: Free content – and no bones about it!
Also published by Wordtracker:




Link Building                        Google AdWords                   The Web Content
How to build links to your website   PPC Advertising                  Recipe Book
for SEO, traffic and response.       A Practical step-by-step guide   Learn the ‘Secret Recipe’ for
Click here to learn more.            for creating profitable          outstanding website content.
                                     PPC campaigns.                   Click here to learn more.
                                     Click here to learn more.




Blogging for Business                50 Kick-Ass Keyword              Writing Kick-Ass
50 Steps to Building                 Strategies                       Website Sales Copy
Traffic and Sales                    Learn 50 simple, smart and       Copywriting guru Nick Usborne
A real world guide to creating,      speedy ways to attract           reveals his secrets for writing
writing and promoting a              more customers online.           sales-exploding website copy.
successful blog.                     Click here to learn more.        Click here to learn more.
Click here to learn more.

Wordtracker.com                                                                    Link Building Basics | 4
Four steps to successful
link building

Chapter 1
Link building is not only good for search engine
rankings, it’s essential. But not all links are equal -
some links are excellent, and many others next to
useless. It’s quality, not quantity of inbound links that
make winners stand out. That’s why link building is the
biggest challenge SEOs and website owners face.
Chapter 1 | Four steps to successful link building



                         We asked our customers: what are the biggest challenges in link building? Here’s what
                         they said:

                           (i) Finding high quality link prospects - sites that could link to yours.

                           (ii) Creating effective, targeted campaigns.

                           (iii) Tracking the success of your campaigns - and knowing whether a prospect has
                                 already linked to you.

                           (iv) Learning and understanding best practice.

                         Wordtracker’s Link Builder tool helps you meet all of these important challenges.
                         Here’s how:



                         (i) Finding high quality link prospects
                         Let’s use an example to show you what Link Builder can do.

                         Suppose you manufacture hand made wooden fountain pens and want to increase
                         your online sales. You’ve got your beautiful website in place, you’ve created some
                         great content and you’ve got a payment system that allows customers to buy your
                         products.

                         You want to rank well in search engine results and to do that you need to get links.


                         So who would link to a fountain pen site?

                         Well, websites that are already linking to fountain pen websites would be a likely
                         group. Find out who is linking to some well-known fountain pen websites and you’ll
                         find link prospects.

                         In Link Builder, there are two ways to find link prospects:

                           • Type in a keyword. Choose any word or phrase that represents your market and
                             we’ll search Google for the top 10 results for your keyword. We then build your
                             campaign by collecting all the links to these results. In this case we might choose
                             fountain pens; or

                           • Enter the web address (URL) of web pages that you’d like to investigate. We then
                             build your campaign by collecting all the links that point to the URLs you’ve
                             entered.


Wordtracker.com                                                                               Link Building Basics | 6
Chapter 1 | Four steps to successful link building



                         Let’s enter the websites of four leading fountain pen brands.




                         You’ll need to add a few details that will help you manage your campaign:

                           • Add your site’s web address (mysite.com) so that we can flag link prospects that
                             are already linking to you.

                           • Choose whether to add the prospects to a new campaign or an existing campaign.

                           • For now, don’t worry about the other options. Leave them as they are.

                         When you’ve done that, click ‘Create my link building campaign’ and wait for the
                         results to appear. This can take a few minutes as we’re searching a database of over 1.7
                         trillion URLs, but you should start to see the first results within a few seconds.


                         Managing your campaigns

                         On the campaign screen, you’ll see two tabs: Analysis and Contact.

                         Use the Analysis tab to find and categorize your link prospects. See image on the
                         following page.




Wordtracker.com                                                                            Link Building Basics | 7
Chapter 1 | Four steps to successful link building




                         Taking each of the columns in turn, you’ll see:

                           • The prospect’s website (www.potentialprospect.com). We show the ‘top link’
                             from that domain to the URL you are analyzing.

                           • Moving on to the second column, you’ll see that the links are listed in order, those
                             with the highest ‘TrustRank’ come to the top (TrustRank is simply a count of the
                             number of domains linking to the URL you are analyzing: it is a good measure
                             of trust). Google values links from trusted sites - so a link from a site with a high
                             TrustRank is often much more valuable than lots of links from sites with a low
                             TrustRank.

                           • You can see the address (URL) of the page that each prospect is linking to.

                           • You can see whether a site already links to you.

                           • The co-link count helps you find sites that are actively linking in your market. A
                             high co-link count shows that the prospect links to multiple sites and is therefore
                             likely to respond positively to a link request from you.


                         Sites that already link to you

                         Many people ignore sites that already link to them. That’s a missed opportunity.
                         Sites that already link to you are some of your best prospects. You should build a
                         relationship with the people behind these sites. Because they have linked to you in the
                         past, they’ll be likely to link to you in the future, if you launch new products or want to
                         promote a story or offer.

                         In Link Builder, you can see the prospects that already link to you. Just click on
                         ‘Already linking’ in the left-hand navigation.




Wordtracker.com                                                                              Link Building Basics | 8
Chapter 1 | Four steps to successful link building



                         (ii) Creating effective, targeted campaigns
                         The prospects in your campaign are presented in descending order of TrustRank. This
                         means you can start with the most important.

                         TrustRank gives a good indication of the quality of a link prospect, but a thorough link
                         builder will visit the link prospect to make a further judgment.

                         Click on the linking domain to be taken to the home page or click on the top link to see
                         the actual page on which the link sits.

                         In the Wordtracker Academy I have posted a slide show, which outlines “Thirteen
                         ways to assess a link prospect”. It includes the key factors you should consider when
                         deciding whether to target any site.

                         You can investigate those slides at your leisure. For now, let’s look at some of the ‘Top
                         link’ pages in our fountain pen campaign.

                         www.marcuslink.com/pens/companies.html




                         So this page lists pen companies and the publisher is asking for your help in keeping
                         the information current – great, an immediate opportunity.




Wordtracker.com                                                                             Link Building Basics | 9
Chapter 1 | Four steps to successful link building



                         Scrolling down the results at www.penheaven.co.uk/About_Parker_Pens.php, we also
                         see a whole page dedicated to ‘Parker Pens’.




                         That’s great. Is your business good enough to be featured in such a way?

                         And finally, let’s look at editorial coverage, as you’d find here www.brandchannel.
                         com/features_webwatch.asp




Wordtracker.com                                                                           Link Building Basics | 10
Chapter 1 | Four steps to successful link building



                         Such editorial links are not only beneficial in themselves, but they can encourage
                         other sites to follow suit and link to you as well.

                         So in a matter of minutes, Link Builder has helped us find some great link prospects.
                         And there are thousands more to investigate.


                         Different strokes for different folks

                         Professional SEOs will tell you that different types of site require different approaches
                         to link building. For instance, you would never send a reporter the same information
                         that you would add to a directory – journalists are interested in well-told, exciting
                         stories while directory entries are factual and free of hype.

                         In Link Builder, we’ve already filtered your prospects and organized them into
                         strategies so you can tailor your link building - and increase your chances of getting a
                         link.

                         On the left-hand side of the campaign screen you can see the different strategies, all
                         containing sites that are already linking to sites in your market:

                           • Blog outreach: Blogs.

                           • Media PR: Online newspapers, magazines and broadcasters.

                           • Social Media: Highlighting discussions, comments and debates on news stories,
                             products and companies.

                           • Jobs: Sites that promote or comment upon jobs and internships.

                           • Directories: Directories and lists that offer you immediate and simple
                             opportunities for links.

                           • Shopping: Shopping directories, affiliate sites, discount and gift guides.

                           • Business: Trade associations, special interest, local and other business groups,
                             events and awards.

                           • Trusted sites: .gov, .edu and .org sites that because of their nature are likely to
                             rank well on Google.

                           • Already linking: Such sites are great places to build relationships and start new
                             initiatives.



Wordtracker.com                                                                              Link Building Basics | 11
Chapter 1 | Four steps to successful link building



                           • Co-linking: Sites that link to multiple sites in your market.

                           • Imported links: Sites that you collect from the web using Link Builder’s Firefox
                             browser extension.




                         Tagging prospects

                         You can create your own strategies too. Just add a tag to the prospects you’re
                         interested in.

                         Your tags will appear on the left-hand side of the page beneath the existing
                         categories. For example, you could have a tag for sites that are highly likely to give you
                         a link and who you’ll want to contact immediately. See image on the following page.




Wordtracker.com                                                                              Link Building Basics | 12
Chapter 1 | Four steps to successful link building




                         In my fountain pen campaign, I’ll go through the list and pick out the prospects I’d like
                         to target right away. I’ll save them to a tag called ‘Pens-immediate’.


                         Filtering your prospects

                         You’re more likely to get links if you create campaigns targeted at sites that share
                         something in common. For example, you could have a campaign targeted at green
                         (environmentally friendly) sites.

                         This is where the ‘filter’ feature helps. Just filter the results looking for all the top links
                         that contain the word ‘green’ and tag the prospects appropriately.


                         Getting in touch

                         Contacting prospects can be a time-consuming task. Link Builder makes it easier by:

                             • Finding contact details automatically

                            • Allowing you to record who you’ve contacted and see the status of each
                              prospect.

                         Let’s look at how this works. Let’s say you want to run a link building campaign that
                         targets bloggers. Click on the ‘Contact’ tab at the top of the page. Next, click on the
                         ‘Blog outreach’ link on the left-hand side of the screen - this will bring up a list of
                         prospects, people who are already blogging about fountain pens.

Wordtracker.com                                                                                Link Building Basics | 13
Chapter 1 | Four steps to successful link building




                           You’ll see your prospects and some additional columns:

                           • You get to see whether the prospect is already linking to you.

                           • You can make your own ‘Notes’ about the link prospect you have found.

                           • You can change a prospect’s ‘Status’ so that you can record what has happened
                             with that link prospect.

                         Let’s work through an example to show you how this works.


                         Find contact details quickly and easily

                         Link Builder can save you hours of research. In the ‘Contact’ tab click on ‘Find contact
                         and about links’ and we’ll search for contact details for each of your prospects. This
                         can take a few minutes, but will save you days of research.

                         It’s not always possible to find a contact page, so don’t expect to see details for every
                         prospect.

                         Let’s get back to our example. One of the top links I noticed was http://tigerpens.
                         co.uk/blog/why-not-give-a-penfor-christmas/

                         Let’s have a look at that screenshot on the following page.




Wordtracker.com                                                                             Link Building Basics | 14
Chapter 1 | Four steps to successful link building




                         So I can see this is a nicely designed blog. A quick glance at the top menu of the
                         page and I can see ‘Submit an article’ and ‘Contact’. It’s clear that this site welcomes
                         submissions and gives a link in return.

                         Follow the ‘Submit an article’ link and you’ll find submission guidelines:




Wordtracker.com                                                                             Link Building Basics | 15
Chapter 1 | Four steps to successful link building



                         This submission opportunity is exactly what I’m after.

                         Tiger Pens Blog has done a great job here and they’ve set out their guidelines.

                         You MUST follow these guidelines if you want to build a relationship: in no
                         circumstances should you submit irrelevant topics or articles that don’t fit the criteria.

                         Back in Link Builder, let’s record what we’ve found.

                         I can now type in my notes and set the status for each link prospect – ie, ‘Contacted’ or
                         ‘Not contacted’ etc.

                         This means I can now organize my work well and keep a record of exactly what I’ve
                         done. I can come back to it at any time and know exactly what stage I’m at.

                         Planning campaigns like this helps you concentrate your efforts and minimize
                         repetition – that’s an effective way to build links.


                         Collect link prospects as you browse

                         Link prospects appear all the time on the web - even when you’re not actively looking
                         for them. You see a great list of recommended websites you’d like to check out but
                         you just don’t have the time.

                         Now you can just save them directly into your Link Builder campaigns as you browse,
                         using Link Builder’s unique Firefox extension. To download the extension, just click
                         on the ‘More prospects’ link. You’ll be taken to a video showing you how to install the
                         extension.

                         Once you’ve installed it, you can go to any page, click the LB button in the toolbar and
                         select “Get external links from page”.

                         When you’re next ready to start link building, your links will be ready and waiting for
                         you in Link Builder.



                         (iv) Learning and understanding best practice
                         Link building can be an incredibly effective way of boosting your site’s rankings. But,
                         there’s no doubt, too, that there are lots of skills and techniques to learn. It’s difficult
                         to keep up with best practice.




Wordtracker.com                                                                               Link Building Basics | 16
Chapter 1 | Four steps to successful link building



                         We understand the challenges you face - and we’re here to help. It’s why we produced
                         this e-book. And it’s why you’ll find lots more great resources in the link building
                         section of the Wordtracker Academy. There are more than 50 link building articles
                         plus slide shows and videos. Here are a few of our favorites:

                           • 62 steps to the definitive link building campaign will help you plan your link
                             building

                         These articles will help you devise creative campaigns for:

                             • Sites that already link to you

                             • Blogs

                             • Media

                             • Social media

                         And we’ve advice on:

                             • How to Twitter and

                             • Online PR

                         Wordtracker runs regular live webinars. They’re free to attend, we cover lots of
                         different topics, and you can ask as many questions as you like.

                         And if you haven’t yet read our Link Building Masterclass book, you really should. It’s
                         135 pages packed with useful advice.

                         If you have any questions, any at all, our support team is happy to help (you’re likely to
                         speak with Jo, Mal or Edith). Just email support@wordtracker.com or give us a call.


                         Summary

                         In this introduction we’ve shown you how to use Link Builder to:

                           (i) Find high quality link prospects – sites that could link to yours.

                           (ii) Create effective, targeted campaigns.

                           (iii) Track the effectiveness of your campaigns - so you know whether a prospect has
                                 already linked to you.



Wordtracker.com                                                                              Link Building Basics | 17
Chapter 1 | Four steps to successful link building



                         In the rest of this free guide you’ll find more information on how to approach the
                         important task of link building for your site.

                         We often feature our customers’ sites in our case studies. So, please let us know how
                         you get on. Email us at support@wordtracker.com




Wordtracker.com                                                                           Link Building Basics | 18
Links without asking –
how to get quality
websites to link to you
Chapter 2
Sending out link requests is a time-consuming business.
So wouldn’t it be wonderful if other sites linked to you
without being asked?

Sound impossible? Well, it can be done and in this
guide, we’re going to show you how.
Chapter 2 | Links without asking – how to get quality websites to link to you



                         Asking for links won’t get you the link you want. With link requests, you first have to
                         find target websites, review them to decide if asking for a link is worthwhile, identify
                         the contact person and send them a customized link request.

                         If you can do all that in 15 minutes per request, you’ll be doing very well. On that
                         timing, you’ll be able to send out 160 requests in a 40 hour week and with a success
                         rate of say 10%, you’ll get 16 links for your efforts.

                         40 hours for 16 links - perhaps there is a better way to spend your time?

                         Sometimes the best way to get links is not to ask for them.

                         That doesn’t mean you should sit back, do nothing and wait for links to appear.

                         Spend time creating content and making sure your site is attractive – with content
                         others will want to link to. There are lots of things you can do to build your link
                         popularity without sending out link requests (though, of course, the carefully targeted
                         link request that is impossible to turn down does have its place – more of that later).

                         Here are some of the approaches we’ll be exploring in this guide:


                         (i) Play an active part in online discussion groups, forums, blog comments and
                         other social sites. Not only will you learn, you’ll also become known, spot the movers
                         and shakers, and if you post good opinions and helpful advice then people will link to
                         you.


                         (ii) Create relevant profiles on the large generic social sites (like Facebook,
                         Twitter and StumbleUpon) and on smaller specialist social sites that serve your
                         market, eg, WAYN for travel; RecipeZaar for cooking; stylehive for fashion and style.
                         Build a network of friends on these sites.


                         (iii) Publish a regular newsletter and re-use the content on your website.
                         Encourage people to link by asking, “if you’ve enjoyed this newsletter, you can link to
                         the permanent version at (insert URL)”.


                         (iv) Publish articles on other websites – blogs, ezines, information sites,
                         media sites, even article banks. You can find sites to submit articles to by doing a
                         Google search, eg, intitle:”submit an article” business and this produces over one
                         million results.




Wordtracker.com                                                                             Link Building Basics | 20
Chapter 2 | Links without asking – how to get quality websites to link to you



                         (v) Find niche blogs, sites and newsletters that serve your market and that
                         you would like to link to your site. Study the type of content they publish and adapt
                         your writing to their style.


                         (vi) Create an interactive tool. My favorite of old was ‘The Longevity Game’. You
                         answered about 20 questions and the tool predicted at what age you would be likely
                         to die. Irresistible – I still remember that my prediction was 83. The test was designed
                         and published by an insurance company – could they have been trying to sell me a
                         pension? A little bit of creativity in thinking about such tools will be time well spent
                         and a good programmer will be able to create a tool in just a few hours.


                         (vii) Create great content. (OK, it’s an old trick, but it still works.) Just keep
                         publishing great stuff. One of the best at this is online marketing expert Sean
                         D’Souza’s PsychoTactics. His site and newsletter are models of consistency and
                         genuine value to readers.


                         (viii) Submit your website to legitimate award sites like Mike Corso’s Cool
                         Site of the Day. The emergence of sites like Digg and Reddit means that such ‘pick of
                         the day’ sites will struggle long term but meanwhile they offer a quick, free link and
                         traffic opportunity.


                         (ix) Praise and link. When you find genuinely useful resources, write a short,
                         complimentary review together with a link. Then publish on your website and click on
                         it just to make sure it ends up in your target’s referrer logs. Larry Chase of Web Digest
                         for Marketers publishes a monthly newsletter that reviews about 10 web resources. A
                         few days later he writes to each reviewed site and allows them to quote his comments
                         in return for a link.


                         (x) Become a source of quotes. Provide sharp, useful, timely quotes for the
                         media. You can get yourself known and you’ll find journalists will seek you out. Sign
                         up for services such as PR Leads ($99 per month) which can put you in contact with
                         journalists looking for experts to quote.


                         (xi) Volunteer to become an editor for several directories. You’ll be able
                         to submit reviews of your own sites and you’ll have opportunities to get to know your
                         market better - that inevitably leads to more linking opportunities. Go beyond the
                         obvious - as well as DMOZ, try Joe Ant, Skaffe and Web Beacon.


                         (xii) And, of course use Wordtracker’s Link Builder tool to help you find
                         great quality link prospects.




Wordtracker.com                                                                            Link Building Basics | 21
Chapter 2 | Links without asking – how to get quality websites to link to you



                         It’s easy to get too wrapped up in sending out link requests. Stepping back and
                         thinking of some creative ways to get people to link without being asked will be time
                         well spent.

                         Wordtracker’s Link Builder tool can help you find the best link targets for your
                         business.

                         Yes, I’d like to know more about the Link Builder tool.

                         If you’d like a practical, step-by-step guide to effective link building, we recommend
                         Wordtracker Masterclass: Link Building. How to build links to your website for
                         SEO, traffic, and response. In this 135-page e-book you’ll discover the 7 stages of a
                         definitive link building campaign

                         Yes, I’d like to learn more about the Link Building e-book.




Wordtracker.com                                                                           Link Building Basics | 22
The link building
mindset – the principles
that will get you noticed
Chapter 3
Links from authority websites are essential if your link
building efforts are to be successful. But what does it
take to get those authority sites to link to you? Well,
you’ll probably guess that it is not easy – quality links
don’t materialize from feeble or automated requests.
Chapter 3 | The link building mindset – the principles that will get you noticed



                         To get those ever-so-valuable links you’ve got to adopt the right mindset – the
                         principles that show link targets you mean business and that you’re worth linking to.


                         (i) Know your online community
                         The majority if not all of your potential quality links will come from the online
                         community around your industry. This community is made up of blogs, websites,
                         forums, associations and email newsletters specializing in your industry.

                         You really must get to know this community and you must establish your position
                         within it. To do that you must devour information: you must know the best news sites,
                         the most popular newsletters, the busiest forums and the most popular blogs and
                         tweeters. Sign up for the newsletters, create Twitter lists, get yourself a news reader
                         and read as many useful RSS feeds as you can. These will deliver news to your
                         desktop rather than you having to go and search for it – used well, they can be a huge
                         time saver.


                         (ii) Obsess about your customers
                         Get to know them inside out. Understand their stories. Statistics about customers
                         on their own are not enough – statistics don’t give you much to use in link building.
                         Customer stories, on the other hand, provide wonderful material.

                         People are interested in other people and if you write web copy that highlights
                         interesting stories, you’re sure to attract links.

                         So find out about your customers. What are their needs? How did they arrive at your
                         website? What did they do when they arrived? And most importantly what did they
                         do when they left? Did they find the answer to their problem? How did your site help
                         them?

                         You can start this process simply by looking at the emails you receive – reply to
                         people’s queries, enter into email conversations, monitor your brand and products on
                         Twitter, send direct tweets, ask questions, probe a little deeper to find out more.

                         Ask your customers directly to share their stories – direct requests can give you some
                         terrific insights. You might even put a formal story-gathering project in place.

                         Whatever you decide to do, the main objective should be to add detail, opinion,
                         examples and ‘color’ to your web copy.




Wordtracker.com                                                                           Link Building Basics | 24
Chapter 3 | The link building mindset – the principles that will get you noticed



                         (iii) Use the language that your customers use
                         Keywords are just ‘the words people use when they search’. Using keywords is
                         fundamental to successful link building. There is nothing better than getting keyword
                         rich links coming back to your site.

                         Keyword rich links are easy when you’re buying directory listings or text link ads, or
                         indeed when you have relationships with other sites and can ask them to link to you
                         using your chosen keyword phrases.

                         But paid links for the sake of boosting your search engine rankings now carry a risk
                         because Google hates them (see ‘Buying links’ below). If Google finds paid links
                         without a nofollow tag it will at best remove their worth and worst penalize you.

                         But there are other ways to get keyword rich backlinks.

                         When people link, they often use the name of a product, a publication or the title of an
                         article or blog post as the linking text. So use your target keywords wherever you can
                         in names and titles – it’s a simple way to influence the words people use when they
                         link.


                         (iv) Be wary of automation
                         There are many link building schemes that claim to be able to build you inbound links
                         automatically. Avoid them like the plague – they invariably involve some variation on
                         search engine spam. Don’t waste time trying to fake an inbound link network. Better to
                         invest your time and money in building real links from quality sites.


                         (v) Be generous with your outbound links
                         Giving outbound links to quality content is one of the best ways of establishing
                         yourself in your online community. But be selective with the sites you link to – don’t
                         just link to any relevant sites you find: choose sites that have exceptional or useful
                         content.

                         Add some comments and descriptions as you link. The readers of your website
                         will appreciate it and your generosity will encourage some valuable word of mouth
                         marketing for your site.

                         And of course, the publisher of the site that you’ve linked to will appreciate it. Think
                         how badly you want links – other webmasters are the same and they will pay attention
                         to sites that link to them. Your outbound links could be the start of a beautiful
                         relationship.



Wordtracker.com                                                                           Link Building Basics | 25
Chapter 3 | The link building mindset – the principles that will get you noticed



                         (vi) Watch out for great content, no matter where it comes from

                         There’s an old technique that comedy writers use called ‘switching’. The idea is to
                         create a new joke from the basic elements of another, successful joke by switching the
                         situation. So the basic elements of a joke about salesmen could be switched to a joke
                         about teachers.

                         You can do the same switching for content ideas. Take a close look at any piece
                         of content that catches your eye – an article, a contest, a survey. Isolate the basic
                         elements and then transfer the idea to your own industry.

                         For example, online pawnbrokers Borro.com, conducted a poll to find out what things
                         women value most. Their mothers came out top, with their partners only managing
                         fifth place, below things like their mobile phone and photographs.

                         The basic element of this story is to use a survey (giving credibility) to find a surprising
                         and interesting answer (or two) to a seemingly simple question. We once used a
                         similar technique for a debt help company when a survey discovered that borrowing
                         money to pay for a wedding was a significant cause of serious debt. Could you adapt
                         this to your own industry?


                         (vii) Get your message out
                         Great content on your site is wonderful to have. But if people don’t know about it and
                         if search engines have not indexed it, then you’ll not be getting the payback that your
                         hard work deserves.

                         You need to take steps to get your message out and make sure people know about it.

                         Journalists, editors, popular bloggers and other influencers get inundated with press
                         releases and other stories – most of it has not been edited well and contains irrelevant
                         information. So take care when you contact them. The big mistake is to put in too
                         much – to try to tell people everything. That will only overwhelm them: instead, stick
                         to a single aspect of the story you have to tell.

                         Write the absolute minimum that you need to get their attention: include a link that
                         will take them to more information if they are interested.

                         Best of all, first identify and get to know your target influencers by helping them eg,
                         with comments on their posts, mentions in your own, and answering any questions
                         they ask on Twitter or in their posts.




Wordtracker.com                                                                              Link Building Basics | 26
Chapter 3 | The link building mindset – the principles that will get you noticed



                         (viii) Incorporate writing into your daily routine
                         The more you practice the better you’ll become. The web is a text based medium.
                         Even if you’re creating a software application or interactive content, you’ve still got
                         to write about it, to tell people of its existence. And since it is a text based medium,
                         you’ve got to learn how to write clearly and briefly without waffle.

                         Learn how to write great copy – even better, learn how to write great copy that contains
                         important keywords. And the best way to learn is to write a little bit every day – build
                         time for writing into your daily routine. Start simply – a 100-word blog post once a day
                         should not be beyond any of us.


                         (ix) Obsess about quality
                         It’s not the number of links you get, or the number of articles you write or the number
                         of pages that you publish. It’s about getting links from quality sites in your industry.

                         In deciding the importance of your site and your search rankings, search engines put
                         emphasis on the quality of sites that link to you. What could be a better source of
                         unbiased information than a link from an article that a journalist has written and an
                         editor approved?

                         Just as important if not more so, is that quality sites will have high levels of traffic and
                         as a result, you’ll get a lot of interested people directly visiting your site.

                         Quality links attract more links. People see a link to your site on BBC.com, NYTimes.
                         com, Digg.com and many others and they’ll be more likely to link to you. There is a
                         power law at work: the strong get stronger – people with good inbound links get more
                         inbound links without asking.

                         You can also get some pretty neat testimonials – being able to write ‘as featured on
                         the BBC’ on your website is a valuable endorsement.


                         (x) Build links offline
                         It’s people who decide to give you links and the great thing about most people is
                         that if they get to know you, they’re more than happy to help. Through comments on
                         forums and blog posts, Twitter replies and the email conversations that follow, you
                         can quickly build up contacts with people all over the world. That’s one of the great
                         strengths of the internet.




Wordtracker.com                                                                              Link Building Basics | 27
Chapter 3 | The link building mindset – the principles that will get you noticed



                         But don’t stop with just online communication – follow up and build personal
                         relationships wherever you can – those relationships can bring you many future links.
                         So make sure that you:

                         • Pick up the phone and talk to some of the people you’ve made email contact with.
                         And with the quality of Skype calls now so good, it costs next to nothing to do.

                         • Attend local business meetings, whether web specific or more general from the
                         local chamber of commerce. Funnily enough, the people who attend these meetings
                         have websites – and if they have websites, they can give you a link.

                         • Attend national events – these are not only great places to learn but they are
                         tremendous networking events. You’ll easily build contacts among fellow delegates
                         and even among some of the speakers.


                         (xi) Monitor your results
                         The number of links pointing to your site is not a good enough measure of the success
                         of your link building efforts. A website with 100 quality inbound links will outperform a
                         website with thousands of links from mediocre websites.

                         So what should you do? Here are the main things I would look at:

                         • Appearance on the most influential blogs

                         • Appearance in Google news

                         • The sites that already link to you and drive traffic

                         • News sites that link to you

                         • Deep links to pages within your site (ie, not your home page)

                         • Any link text used

                         To find and monitor your new links use:

                         • Wordtracker’s Link Builder tool.

                         • Your site statistics software, eg referrer sites on Google Analytics

                         • Your Google Webmaster account

                         • Yahoo with this search:
                         http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/search?p=yoursite.com




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Chapter 3 | The link building mindset – the principles that will get you noticed



                         (xii) Anticipate – be prepared for the unexpected
                         Things are always happening in your marketplace. Sometimes a sudden development
                         or change will catch you out and cause some real problems. Other times, changes in
                         the marketplace can present you with a sudden opportunity. If you just react to such
                         events, you’ll be in the mix with everyone else.

                         If, on the other hand, you anticipate events and do some basic preparation, you’ll be in
                         a powerful position when serendipity throws you a great opportunity.

                         Start with the easy-to-predict occurrences, like forthcoming events and any mention of
                         new personalities in your markets who might emerge to be stars. For example, if you
                         have a sports site, create pages for any promising young stars; if you are a business
                         site, create pages for new interesting companies you hear about. Then go beyond the
                         obvious...

                         How about introducing a ‘what if’ brainstorming session into your monthly routine?
                         Pull your team together and ask them to imagine what might happen in your market in
                         the next 12 months: have some fun and be as wild and imaginative as you can.

                         Draw up a list of people’s ideas and pick the top five or so. Then ask the question,
                         “What would we do if this actually happened?” Such an exercise will get your team
                         focused on your marketplace and who knows how you might take advantage if one of
                         the ideas turns out to happen?


                         (xiii) Be relentless and determined
                         Of course, the thing about quality links is that they’re hard to get – you have to really
                         make a concentrated effort, but the results will be well worth it.

                         Building quality links is rarely an overnight success but there are exceptions. Sites can
                         make a tremendous impact in a short time if they have an exceptional story to tell. But
                         for most of us, immediate success is not usually the case.

                         Sure, go for the spectacular if you can. But treat it as a bonus. Don’t forget to stick to
                         the task and build up quality links over time. If you start with content that is genuinely
                         useful, and if you target sites that are real sources of information for sizable numbers
                         of readers in your marketplace, then you will succeed and start to see powerful and
                         sustained results in a matter of months.




Wordtracker.com                                                                             Link Building Basics | 29
Chapter 3 | The link building mindset – the principles that will get you noticed



                         Wordtracker’s Link Builder tool can help you find the best link targets for your
                         business.

                         Yes, I’d like to know more about the Link Builder tool.

                         If you’d like a practical, step-by-step guide to effective link building, we recommend
                         Wordtracker Masterclass: Link Building. How to build links to your website for
                         SEO, traffic, and response. In this 135-page e-book you’ll discover the 7 stages of a
                         definitive link building campaign

                         Yes, I’d like to learn more about the Link Building e-book.




Wordtracker.com                                                                           Link Building Basics | 30
Well written content,
links and the benefits
they bring
Chapter 4
The web is used to find information, to make a
purchase or to interact with others. Whatever the
reason, content is vital.
Chapter 4 | Well written content, links and the benefits they bring



                         Here are the top four reasons why content is important.


                         • Content attracts customers. They want to know what’s on offer. If it reads well
                         and looks good, then they are more likely to part with their cash.


                         • Content is attractive to search engines. Spider bots sent out by search
                         engines are ravenous for content. They want more and more keyword rich text to index
                         and store in their databases. (Keywords, of course, are the words people use when
                         they search.)


                         • Content persuades other sites to link to yours. Great content stimulates
                         word-of-mouth marketing online and creates a network of sites that link to yours.
                         These sites are telling their audiences: “There’s something useful and interesting here
                         – have a look!”


                         • Content attracts media attention. Case studies, white papers, research
                         reports, news stories and how-to articles can all grab media attention. Editors and
                         reporters are almost as hungry for content as search engines. Learn to give them
                         what they want and they’ll come back to your site time and again, bringing hoards of
                         potential customers in their wake.

                         You don’t have to be a professional writer but you do need to learn the tricks of the
                         trade that differentiate good writing from bad. No matter how good your ideas, if they
                         are not expressed clearly, confidently and with conviction, then they are not going to
                         grab the reader.

                         Writing good content and improving the quality of the content you already have are
                         two simple and cost effective ways of improving your website’s results.

                         Remember, many people who own websites concentrate on design and construction
                         and spend very little on writing. Yet it is good content that will get your website to
                         the top of the search engine results pages and attract visitors. Invest in well written
                         content, optimized for search engines and you will out-perform competitors who are
                         still wondering which images they should include on their latest splash page design.

                         But creating content alone is not enough. You must make sure that people can get to
                         your content and the best way to achieve this is to get it linked to from well-respected
                         sites.

                         Furthermore, it’s not just the number of links that are important: it’s the quality and
                         reputation of the websites that link to you that really counts. So a link from



Wordtracker.com                                                                            Link Building Basics | 32
Chapter 4 | Well written content, links and the benefits they bring



                         CNN.com or BBC.co.uk will be much more important than a link from (the made
                         up) GeorgesPersonalPages.com.

                         Link building is the craft of persuading an unconnected website to provide a link to
                         yours. This is a powerful endorsement and one that both search engines and people
                         respect.

                         Every online marketing campaign should include a major element of link building if it
                         is to be as effective as it could be.


                         (i) People follow links like traffic follows road signs
                         As people browse the web, they move from site to site by following links. In research
                         conducted by Linking Matters among over 1,000 business executives, following a link
                         was the second most popular way to find new resources on the web (the first was using
                         search engines – whose results are, of course, highly influenced by links).

                         So the more quality links you have from external sites, the greater the chance that
                         people will find a link and follow it to your site. If potential customers see a link from a
                         website that they know and value, they’re likely to follow the recommendation.


                         (ii) Search engines pay great attention to the sites that link to you
                         All search engines now use some form of link analysis as an important part of their
                         algorithms. The theory is that since most people only link to sites they like, counting
                         the number of links pointing to a web page is a powerful way to measure quality. As
                         search engine expert Mike Grehan says: “It’s not so much what you say about yourself
                         [on-the-page], it’s what others say about you that matters [off-the-page]”.


                         (iii) Links influence your brand and online reputation
                         You are known by the company you keep. If people who are researching products
                         regularly come across your company or product names – be they in blogs, editorial,
                         product reviews or customer forums – then they start to build a picture of you as a well
                         known brand that is respected.

                         The growing market share of the Firefox browser is a case in point. Spread largely
                         by word-of-mouth recommendation and links, this competitive threat to the mighty
                         Microsoft’s Internet Explorer now has over 330 million users and, as of November
                         2009, a 25% market share.




Wordtracker.com                                                                              Link Building Basics | 33
Chapter 4 | Well written content, links and the benefits they bring



                         (iv) Links attract links
                         You’ve got to work hard to get other sites to link to you but once you’ve had some
                         success and become established, other websites will link to you without being asked.

                         Imagine you’ve established a great site for selling vintage cars online, like AntiqueCar.
                         com. Your name is recognized, you help set industry trends and occupy a powerful
                         position. How could any directory that wants to be a respected source of information
                         not link to your site? If they didn’t their reputation would suffer. A vintage car directory
                         will not want one of their visitors to say, “They don’t list AntiqueCar.com – can’t be
                         much of a directory.”

                         Likewise, a news or information site or a blog that provides regular editorial on classic
                         cars is going to write about AntiqueCar.com on occasion and, in so doing, is going to
                         provide a link to the website. Links attract links and once you are established, your
                         links will grow organically – a significant percentage of sites that link to you will do so
                         without being asked.


                         (v) Quality links are long term
                         Invariably when people link to you, the link stays – either in their archives or as part
                         of their own resources list. People are usually too busy adding new content and
                         references to review links that they’ve already created.

                         This inertia has important implications for the return on investment (ROI) of your link
                         campaign. Say you have a budget of $10,000 for an online campaign and you spend it
                         on pay per click advertising. Once you’ve spent it, it’s gone.

                         If you’ve planned your campaign well, you’ll have sold more than enough to cover your
                         costs; you’ll have attracted a number of new customers and a percentage of those will
                         turn into long term relationships. This pattern of sales over time is shown in the graph
                         on the following page.




Wordtracker.com                                                                              Link Building Basics | 34
Chapter 4 | Well written content, links and the benefits they bring




                         Figure 3.1: Pay per click (PPC) advertising has an immediate impact on sales but once you stop
                         paying, sales drop dramatically


                         With a linking campaign, however, you’ll attract a large number of visits, many of
                         whom will convert into customers, some of these long term. But unlike advertising,
                         your links won’t disappear – they’ll continue to attract customers and influence search
                         engine results day after day, month after month and even year after year. This more
                         attractive long term pattern of sales over time is shown in the graph below.




                         Figure 3.2: A linking campaign takes time to produce results but the benefits are long term - the
                         links established continue to drive traffic and boost your search engine rankings.

Wordtracker.com                                                                                 Link Building Basics | 35
Chapter 4 | Well written content, links and the benefits they bring



                         A link building investment will create a solid foundation on which your business can
                         grow. Invest in link building and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come.

                         Wordtracker’s Link Builder tool can help you find the best link targets for your
                         business.

                         Yes, I’d like to know more about the Link Builder tool.

                         If you’d like a practical, step-by-step guide to effective link building, we recommend
                         Wordtracker Masterclass: Link Building. How to build links to your website for
                         SEO, traffic, and response. In this 135-page e-book you’ll discover the 7 stages of a
                         definitive link building campaign

                         Yes, I’d like to learn more about the Link Building e-book.




Wordtracker.com                                                                           Link Building Basics | 36
How much is a link
worth to your website?

Chapter 5
Link building can be time-intensive. So, how much effort
should you put into link building?
Chapter 5 | How much is a link worth to your website?



                        What is the value of a link?

                        Every link is worth cash to your business. Let’s look at the example of an online
                        retailer. His average sale is $150 and he has a repurchase rate of four times per year.
                        So each new customer is worth $600 per year in gross revenue.

                        His conversion rate is 3% – so for every 100 visitors to his site he expects to gain three
                        new customers.

                        Suppose he has a quality link that brings him an average of five visitors per day. That’s
                        1,825 visitors per year which means 54 new customers, each worth on average $600
                        in gross revenue. That’s $32,400 in gross revenue per year from a single quality link. If
                        his link building campaign brought him an additional 20 links of the same quality, he
                        could expect additional gross revenue of $648,000.

                        Furthermore, the quality links would boost his search engine performance and bring
                        even more visitors – and revenue–to his site.




Wordtracker.com                                                                            Link Building Basics | 38
What is a
quality link?

Chapter 6
Many people use Google PageRank as a measure of the
quality of a link – usually via the little green bar that you
see when you’ve downloaded the Google toolbar. This is
a mistake as the PageRank shown on the toolbar is not
necessarily that which Google actually uses.
Chapter 6 | What is a quality link?



                         There is more to Google ranking than PageRank.

                         When assessing possible link targets, only use Google’s PageRank, or the ranking in
                         the Link Builder tool from Wordtracker, as a rough first measure of the quality of a link
                         and cross reference using the following methods:

                         (i) Is the website somewhere you’d like to be seen? That is a must when looking for
                         long term link targets. Look for popular sources of information in your industry. It’s
                         safe to say such sites will be regarded as authority sites by Google and that a link to
                         your site will be valuable.

                         (ii) Is the website relevant to your business? It should be used by people who would
                         be interested in what you have to offer. That doesn’t mean you stick rigidly to sites
                         that are exactly on topic. Look for sites that are related. So a company that offers data
                         recovery services will want to be seen not only on technology sites, but also sites
                         that concentrate on health management, education or local government and have
                         significant content on technology.

                         (iii) Is the website able to drive appropriate traffic? That not only means the same
                         target market as your website, but ideally at the right stage of the buying cycle. If a
                         website accepts comments, then the number of comments on an article is a great
                         measure of its popularity and the chances of it bringing you traffic. Also, the Alexa
                         Rank of the site will give you a guide to the site’s popularity.

                         (iv) Does the website perform well on Google? Or, at the least, are the pages upon
                         which your link might sit to be found on Google’s results pages? To find out if the page
                         has been crawled by Googlebot simply select a unique group of about 6-10 words, put
                         them into the Google search box and enclose them in quotation marks. If the page
                         has been crawled it should come up in the search results.

                         (v) Will search engines follow the link and pass on link power? Some sites hoard
                         PageRank by using the nofollow tag (discussed below) to stop search engine bots
                         following links – such links will not be recognized by search engines and are only
                         valuable for the actual traffic they bring.

                         (vi) Will the website embed your link in the body copy or editorial rather than listing
                         it at the side or end of the article? For example, we’ve found that on WebProNews,
                         an article written about Linking Matters will bring us more traffic than one of our own
                         articles that includes a link in the signature at the bottom of the article.




Wordtracker.com                                                                             Link Building Basics | 40
Chapter 6 | What is a quality link?



                         And Google almost certainly values the body copy links more highly. Indeed, some
                         search engine optimization professionals (SEOs) have reported that links in site
                         footers actually reduce their pages’ Google rankings.

                         (vii) How far away from the site’s home page will your link be? You don’t want your
                         link’s page to be too far from the home page (or other pages distributing significant
                         link power). Search engine bots struggle to go more than three levels deep on many
                         websites so links buried deeper than that may have little link power.

                         (viii) Does the website allow you to use your own linking text? Webmasters who know
                         the value of linking text will take the small bit of trouble required to link to you with
                         meaningful text rather than just your URL.

                         (ix) Will your link be to specific content (a deep link)? External links to your site,
                         particularly if they are included in editorial, should link to a specific resource, not just
                         your home page. Ideally, you want the link text used to match the target keywords of
                         the page linked to.

                         (x) How many inbound links does the page have from other domains? And from how
                         many different domains? A page may have 100 inbound links but if they all come from
                         the same domain then they are likely bought, affiliate or in some other way ‘unnatural’
                         links. If Google spots that these links are unnatural then it will pass on no link power.

                         Most link building tools, including Yahoo inbound link counts, don’t distinguish
                         between a page’s number of inbound links and the number of linking domains, but
                         Wordtracker’s Link Builder does.

                         (xi) How old is the website the page is on? Either Google likes older established pages
                         (as they are less likely to be short term spammers) or older established pages are
                         more likely to have built up their own quality inbound links. Either way, you prefer links
                         from old pages.

                         Wordtracker’s Link Builder tool can help you find the best link targets for your
                         business.

                         Yes, I’d like to know more about the Link Builder tool.

                         If you’d like a practical, step-by-step guide to effective link building, we recommend
                         Wordtracker Masterclass: Link Building. How to build links to your website for
                         SEO, traffic, and response. In this 135-page e-book you’ll discover the 7 stages of a
                         definitive link building campaign

                         Yes, I’d like to learn more about the Link Building e-book.

Wordtracker.com                                                                               Link Building Basics | 41
Why would another site
link to yours?

Chapter 7
To answer that question, let’s first turn it on its head. Why
would you link to another website? Most of our clients
usually answer, “Can’t we do this without linking out –
I’d rather not give people the chance to go to another
site before they’ve bought something because there’s a
chance they won’t come back.”

This is poor rationale. To be successful online, you
should be at the heart of your community.
Chapter 7 | Why would another site link to yours?



                        If you were setting up a hardware store in your local town, you wouldn’t look for some
                        isolated suburb: you’d look for a good location on the main street, with lots of people
                        bustling around. It’s the same online. To be successful you need to be part of a busy
                        online community, and that means links coming in and links going out.

                        Here’s a checklist of why another site would link to yours:


                        (i) You have a reciprocal link arrangement
                        They agree to link to you because you link to them. This was the main way of linking in
                        the early days of link building on the web. However, if you want to get real value from
                        a reciprocal link, make sure your link is not hidden away in a ‘links page’ that people
                        never visit.


                        (ii) It is their job to do so
                        Industry or location specific directories may have a mission to link to all relevant sites
                        and will do so either on their own initiative or when asked.


                        (iii) You have an established business relationship
                        Suppliers will often link to their customers and vice versa. If the relationship between
                        you is good, then such a link is easy to create.


                        (iv) You are a member of a trade association or organization
                        Many organizations, associations or business networks will list your site as part of their
                        membership package.


                        (v) You pay them to give you a text link
                        Many websites sell text links either direct or through brokers or auction sites. Others
                        can be approached directly. But remember that Google hates paid links (see ‘Buying
                        links’ below) without nofollow tags and will discount or not count them if it finds out
                        about them.


                        (vi) You publish useful content
                        Other websites will link to content that is useful to their customers or to content that
                        supports their sales proposition (a review, for example).




Wordtracker.com                                                                            Link Building Basics | 43
Chapter 7 | Why would another site link to yours?



                        (vii) Your company or products are being discussed
                        Many sites and blogs provide forums and comments for discussion and these can
                        contain extensive links. Some sites publish summaries of these discussions together
                        with associated links.


                        (viii) You’ve got an interesting story to tell
                        News sites, blogs and commentary sites can be a great source of topical links to your
                        company.



                        Wordtracker’s Link Builder tool can help you find the best link targets for your
                        business.

                        Yes, I’d like to know more about the Link Builder tool.

                        If you’d like a practical, step-by-step guide to effective link building, we recommend
                        Wordtracker Masterclass: Link Building. How to build links to your website for
                        SEO, traffic, and response. In this 135-page e-book you’ll discover the 7 stages of a
                        definitive link building campaign

                        Yes, I’d like to learn more about the Link Building e-book.




Wordtracker.com                                                                          Link Building Basics | 44
Who should do
your link building?

Chapter 8
The accepted wisdom in many circles is that link
building is dull and tedious and therefore to be avoided
and delegated wherever possible. As a result it’s a task
that gets handed down until some poor soul says, “OK,
I’ll do it,” and then is told to just get as many links as
possible with no real guidance or support.
This approach completely misses the point of link
building.
Chapter 8 | Who should do your link building?



                       The aim of a link building exercise is to establish your market position and bring profits
                       to your company. It should be given the importance that it deserves.

                       The reason that doesn’t happen is that many marketing directors or managers don’t
                       understand the importance and don’t take the trouble to find out. (Present company
                       excepted of course – you are reading this guide.) Unfortunately, link building in most
                       organizations is treated in one of these ways:

                       • “Give it to the office junior – it’s only grunt work anyway”.

                       • “Give it to one of the techies – they can sort all that nasty stuff out”.

                       • “Give it to our search engine optimization company – they should be experts at that”
                       (and said SEO company might just outsource your link building halfway round the
                       world).

                       • “Give it to a specialist link building company but make sure we don’t pay more than
                       $20 per link.”

                       However, the process – or at least a great part of it – should be done in-house. This is
                       because no matter how good an external agency may be, they do not have the in-
                       depth knowledge of your industry or the experience of working in it every day. Unless
                       you tap into the knowledge that exists within your company, you’re going to miss
                       opportunities. Your staff should be encouraged to contribute to the link building effort
                       because:

                       • Staff will come across websites as they do their day-to-day work. The sites they
                       visit and find useful will publish information on your industry, market trends and
                       predictions, changes in legislation, competitive activity and new products. These sites
                       should be collated formally and shared with others.

                       • Because of their insider knowledge of your industry, staff will be better able to
                       spot link targets that match your company ethos and provide appropriate linking
                       opportunities.

                       • Staff will have the experience to see the bigger picture and will be able to spot
                       market gaps and business opportunities.

                       A popular solution is to have a professional link building company start the process,
                       set up systems, train in-house staff and then maintain a consulting role and work on
                       spectacular link building projects.




Wordtracker.com                                                                             Link Building Basics | 46
Buying links


Chapter 9
Thinking of buying your links? Think again.
Chapter 9 | Buying links



                       Buying links has become a multi-million dollar industry and Google hates it. But let’s
                       be clear and say that Google hates sites buying links for ‘page rank’. That is, links that
                       will boost your site’s performance on Google’s organic (not paid) results.

                       Such bought ‘page rank’ links are identified by the absence of the nofollow tag. When
                       Google (and other search engines) find a link with a nofollow tag they don’t follow the
                       link and they don’t pass any link power or ‘page rank’ via that link. But do note that
                       even though nofollow links don’t pass on link power, they use it up – nofollow links are
                       link power black holes.

                       So, as far as Google is concerned, you can buy all the nofollow links you like, including
                       from Google itself with AdWords.

                       But if Google finds that you’re buying a lot of follow links (links without the nofollow
                       tag) then you may get your site banned. That means no more Google traffic for a while.
                       And Google ignores lots of follow links that it knows are bought – for example, the
                       links on press release pages on PRWeb and directories it has identified as giving no
                       value.

                       There are well known companies like Text Link Ads, Text Link Brokers and Linkadage
                       selling text links. Of course, Google knows about these so don’t expect their links to
                       give you any link power.

                       Search for a short while and you’ll find slightly more discreet companies selling text
                       links. Go to an online marketing show and you might be approached by an agent of a
                       company selling paid links that (it’s claimed) Google can’t identify as such. And these
                       links can bring great results quickly. But for how long?

                       It takes a professional a few seconds to spot a site that’s buying links or using a link-
                       sharing network. Within a few minutes they can gather the evidence to prove it and
                       make a complaint to Google and you lose the link power.

                       Still fancy your chances and want to buy links? There is another issue for you to
                       consider...

                       Our main objection to buying links isn’t that you might get caught – if you know the
                       risk then that’s your business: it’s that if you practise buying links then you’ll get good
                       at buying links. Much better to get good at creating link-worthy content and learn how
                       to promote it. Those same skills create satisfied loyal customers.




Wordtracker.com                                                                           Link Building Basics | 48
Case Study: Free content
– and no bones about it!

Chapter 10
Wordtracker created a free 75-page Keyword Research Guide
that attracted thousands of visitors and links – and it cost
them nothing!
Here’s how they did it…
Chapter 10 | Case Study: Free content – and no bones about it!



                        Wordtracker asked experts to give advice to a fictional vegetarian dog food company,
                        Virginia Veg.

                        The free guide was packed with useful tips on using Wordtracker and generated huge
                        publicity.

                        Worktracker’s Keywords tool identifies the most popular words (keywords) people use
                        when they’re searching online.

                        When website owners and search engine optimizers use these words in their website
                        copy, they increase their chances of getting more visitors and customers from search
                        engines.

                        But using Wordtracker requires creative thinking and a sound strategy – in expert
                        hands it will give great results, but it can leave the novice bewildered. Wordtracker
                        needed to educate people on how to get the most from its software.

                        Search engine experts are loath to give up their secrets – and even if they did, their
                        clients would not want to share the strategies with potential competitors.

                        So Wordtracker created a fictional but realistic scenario in which search engine
                        optimization advice was required. The scenario centered on Susan Webster, CEO of
                        troubled company Virginia Veg who decides to launch vegetarian dog food online.

                        The advice the experts offered to the fictional company is relevant to anyone who
                        wants to optimize their website.

                        There were four key steps to creating the Wordtracker e-book:

                        1. Wordtracker started by writing the first chapter to introduce Susan Webster and her
                        company, the problems they faced, and how she came upon the idea for vegetarian
                        dog food.

                        2. This chapter was emailed to experts from a range of disciplines – search engine
                        optimization to copywriting and advertising. They were asked to imagine Virginia Veg
                        as a real company and explain how they would use Wordtracker to help.

                        3. Advice from each expert made up a separate chapter in the guide (there were nine
                        chapters in all). Wordtracker added an introduction on ‘Why keywords matter’, and a
                        final chapter on how to incorporate keywords into website copy.




Wordtracker.com                                                                           Link Building Basics | 50
Chapter 10 | Case Study: Free content – and no bones about it!



                        4. The completed e-book was heavily promoted and given away for free – no
                        registration was required.

                        Each expert was asked to promote the e-book on their own site – this led to high
                        quality inbound links to Wordtracker.

                        Advance notice was sent to several dozen carefully selected publications and blogs.
                        Word spread quickly and it was this ‘online word-of-mouth’ that was the major driver.

                        After a week, press releases on PRWeb.com in the US and Pressdispensary.co.uk in
                        the UK added to the momentum.

                        These news stories were followed up after a month or so with a series of in-depth
                        articles on keyword research aimed at the most influential relevant websites.

                        The spread of the story was measured by doing a Google search on ‘keyword research
                        guide’. Before the guide was launched there were just 12 results ten weeks after
                        launch there were over 20,000 results, and most of these contained high quality links
                        back to Wordtracker – so it was a highly successful link building exercise.

                        Building good content and links is not easy. It takes a determined effort but once you
                        start, a linking campaign will develop its own momentum and continue to grow. You’ll
                        leave your competitors far behind.




                        We hope you found this guide useful. Please remember that Wordtracker’s Link
                        Builder tool can help you find the best link targets for your business.

                        Yes, I’d like to know more about the Link Builder tool.

                        If you’d like a practical, step-by-step guide to effective link building, we recommend
                        Wordtracker Masterclass: Link Building. How to build links to your website for
                        SEO, traffic, and response. In this 135-page e-book you’ll discover the 7 stages of a
                        definitive link building campaign

                        Yes, I’d like to learn more about the Link Building e-book. And there are lots more
                        articles about link building in Wordtracker’s Academy.




Wordtracker.com                                                                          Link Building Basics | 51
The Mysteries of Successful
Link Building Revealed
                                          Introducing a step-by-step system for
                                          improving your link building campaigns.

                                          If you found this Link Building Basics guide useful, we
                                          recommend Wordtracker Masterclass: Link Building. This
                                          135-page e-book builds on the ideas you’ve just read about
                                          and walks you through the five critical stages of successful
                                          link building:


                                          Buy the book today and you’ll discover how to:
                                          • Find quality sites that make up your market’s online
                                          community
                                          • Network and befriend influencers within that community
                                          • Create compelling, link worthy content that is also
                                          optimized for the search engines
                                          • Promote your content to your online community
                                          • Get inbound links without having to chase them down

       Product details                    Every quality inbound link is worth cold,
       Pages: 135                         hard cash to your business.

       Format: PDF                        So why wait another moment - when you can get your hands
       This is an e-book.                 on this valuable information right now?
       Once you order you’ll be able to
       download immediately.              Yes, I’d like to learn more about Wordtracker Masterclass:
                                          Link Building.
       Published: February 2010

       Price: $49


                    Buy Now



Wordtracker.com                                                                 Link Building Basics | 52

				
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