Create The Movement Podcast
Brad Post, Create the Movement: Welcome to Create the Movement podcast. We are doing Marketing Tips Tuesday. My name is Brad Post, and I’m with Josh Rich.
Josh Rich, Create the Movement: Good morning Brad. How are you?
B: I’m doing well. How are you doing sir?
J: Doing great. Doing great.
B: So, this is, kind of, maybe a Part 2 of what we discussed last week? Is that right?
J: Yeah. Last week we talked about backlinks. Kind of gave the history of a backlink. Why it’s important. And described an ideal backlink. So, this week we’re going to talk more about backlinks, and, kind of, how to get them where they are. And kind of the dos and don’ts of how to get them…
B: Okay. I like it.
J: So, first we’re going to differentiate between what we’re going to classify as a “real” link, and kind of a “fake” link.
J: So, a real link is going to be someone that puts your link on your website because they want it there. So, that’s someone that finds an article you wrote, or finds your website, and says, “Hey, this is a great resource for this. Everyone else should go look at this.”
J: That’s a real link. A fake link – and that’s probably too harsh of a word – but, a fake link is a link that you put on someone else’s website because you want it there, and they really couldn’t care less if it’s there or not. So, a lot of that’s going to be directories, or listings, or even paid links.
J: Which we’re not going to touch on a lot this week. But you can pay for links if you feel so inclined. So, the best way, that’s kind of the two different types of links. The way to get them is to go for the low hanging fruit.
J: And so, if you have, like, a personal blog, obviously put whatever you’re trying to get on there, on your personal blog. That’s free. It’s easy. And it’s somewhat effective.
The next one is, obviously, social media. And we talked a little bit about this last week. How social media is somewhat of a, or starting to be a contested idea. Because traditionally it’s been thought of as a nofollow link. But now, people are starting to think that it might start becoming a follow link by search engines. Now, Google, being one, does not give any indication that they are starting to do that. Except for the fact that tweets are now showing up
B: In search engines.
J: in Google searches. And so, I kind of think that since there’s so much data in social media posts, and social media sites, that I think that search engines have to eventually start considering those, somewhat. It’s not going to be weighted as much as like, you know, a regular, website. But I think that in some capacity they will start being weighted in some form.
J: We’ll kind of have to see how that goes. Some more on that, Matt Cutts, of Google, he was the, what was his title at Google? The former liaison of SEO basically?
B: Right. He’s no longer with them.
J: No longer with them anymore. But anyways, so, he was quoted about social media saying that if social media sites want to be followed links, then they need to go through the trouble of figuring out which posts are relevant. And then tag those as follow links, and don’t classify them as nofollows.
B: Ah. Okay.
J: So, he was saying that the responsibility needs to be on the social media site. Not on Google and search engines.
J: So, that’s a little sidebar on social media backlinks there.
Some other low hanging fruit would be listings, and people you know, if you have family and friends that have blogs, websites, you can obviously ask them to put your link on there. If you have employees or even if you’re on, associated with like professional groups, you know, whatever your industry may be.
B: Chamber of Commerce.
J: Yeah, local Chamber of Commerce. Better Business Bureau.
B: Young Professionals.
J: Yeah, anything like that is great because a lot of those are going to be dot-org’s. And so that’s going to be a stronger link.
J: So, those are great too. And if you help out with any non-profits, if you have a bio page about yourself, if you’re like a board director, put so-and-so works here.
B: Right. And put a hyperlink.
J: Yeah, exactly. Ant there’s also local directories. The biggest three are going to be, and correct me if I’m wrong about these names, they change them all the time, Google My Business, Bing places, and Yahoo! Local.
J: Because Google My Business used to be Google Places, or something, but they change it all the time. So, those are some really good ones. And then there’s ways to kind of consolidate all of those efforts into one effort, using things like Moz
B: is it Moz Local?
J: Moz Local, yeah. Or even something called Universal Business Listings, or UBL. All do the same thing, just kind of streamline your process of making sure all your information is correct.
B: And those are paid?
J: Those are paid. Yeah, they do cost, yeah. But a lot of them will offer a free service, that you can at least do an audit of your efforts.
J: So, it’s good to at least plug in your URL, and see how you’re doing.
B: Especially if you’ve had multiple companies doing your website, or SEO in the past.
J: And, especially if you’ve had multiple locations of your office, that way you can make sure that those are all okay. And you don’t have four different ones for each office. That can get a little confusing.
B: We work with a lot of people, or a lot of attorneys, that they’ll have multiple companies do their SEO. And then we’ll find that they have five different Google My Business pages out there.
J: Yeah, exactly. Well, the worst part too is they don’t remember the passwords half the time.
B: Right. Or, they didn’t set them up, or the company didn’t give them. Which we do when we set those up. We give them usernames and passwords.
J: Yeah. And some other good ways to find local listings, or local directories, is to like search for your business name, and then directory or listing.
J: A lot of times, you’ll find those small, little directories, that may not seem that credible, but they do help. And directories, if you kind of look at SEO, in terms of directories, there’s a bit of contention on that. Because a lot of people say that’s not worthwhile, that’s not good. But we seem to think that they are. They’ve kind of had good results for us.
B: Some people that say directory submissions are old SEO techniques.
J: Yeah. “They’re old. It doesn’t really work anymore.” But, for one, it’s definitely not like you’re going to get penalized for it. They’re, most time they’re free. It’s not going to hurt.
B: Unless they’re those India-made sites where they’re just spam sites.
J: Yeah. Yeah. So, when you have. We’re not talking about “link farms”. Where it’s just, “Signup and we’ll put your link on 500 sites for two-dollars a day.”
J: That’s not what we’re advocating for at all. We’re talking about real, actual business directories that are updated and maintained by real people, not robots.
B: Right. That have strong Google authority.
J: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Ideally speaking, yes. And so, another way to get links would be to send out press releases anytime something new in your business happens. Or, if you open a new location, or anything like that. So, there are some free and paid services you can use to get the word out. There’s prweb, PRBuzz, eRelease, eMagazine, and Vocus.com. And so, press releases, they’re a little trickier to write because the formatting’s a lot stricter, than say, a regular blog is. But if you can get those out, and a local news site might pick that up, and put your website on there, then that would be great.
B: A strong link too.
J: It’s a really strong link. The tricky part is a lot of those services, unless you like, pay more, they won’t let you put links in the actual article. So, it’s a little tricky. So, especially if you do pay for one of those services, you need to make sure you’re paying for one that will let you hyperlink in the text.
J: Because a lot of times they won’t. They’ll sell you one package for $50, but you have to pay the $100 package to put the hyperlink in there.
J: So, make sure that before you pay, put the credit card in, you know what you’re getting. And, like I said last week, it’s really important that you use keywords in your text, and not like, your business name. And you can do both. But make sure, like, if you’re a window repair company, that you hyperlink “window repair” and whatever town you are, and not just the name of the company.
J: You’re already going to rank well for you name. You’re trying to rank well for your keywords. Make sure to keep that in mind.
B: We do press releases here.
J: Yeah, yeah.
B: There’s also some ways to add to that. I know HubSpot offers a free template.
J: Yeah, absolutely.
B: I mean, you can just Google search “free template press release”.
J: Absolutely, and like I said, make sure your formatting is good, because news sites will not pick it up if it’s not formatted correctly.
B: Yeah. It’s just the matter of distribution that a lot of people need help with. Because they don’t have those contacts in the media.
J: Yeah, exactly. And so, another way that’s somewhat similar, is called a syndication library. The only difference between a syndication library and a press release, is that a syndication library deals more in articles, as opposed to press releases. So, an article is more like information over an overall topic as opposed to news.
J: But it works very similarly in the fact you’ll submit this article to the syndication library, and then you’ll say, “I wrote this. You can use it for whatever you want. Just make sure you credit me for it.”
J: And typically most people will. And hopefully will put your link on there. And so, some good ones for that are goarticles.com, ezine.com, and Article City. They’re all good websites to use for that. And so, the tricky thing about using press releases and syndication libraries is that you, somewhat, will run into the problem of creating duplicate content. Because a lot of times people might just like, you know, plaster whatever you put on there word for word. And so, there are some services that can kind of randomize it for you. And just rearrange the pieces of the puzzle. And you’ll kind of write five different intro paragraphs, and three different closings, and they’ll kind of mix everything up for you as to avoid that.
J: But, duplicate content, I don’t think, is as big of a deal a lot of people think it is. And I think it’s more valuable to have a good link on a good site, than get hit with duplicate content.
J: I think that it outweighs the supposed penalty of duplicate content.
B: And then, you just don’t want to copy something off of your website, and then put it out there. Because they might penalize your site?
J: Yeah, right. You just want to make sure if you publish an article on your website, and then submit it to a syndication library, that’s still okay. Because if it gets picked up enough, the amount of good that it’s going to do for your search results will definitely outweigh the bad it might do if you get penalized for duplicate content.
J: So, that is my opinion. That’s not like an industry standard.
B: So that’s the “Josh” opinion. Okay.
J: That’s my opinion.
B: And there’s a site out there called copyscape.com?
J: Yeah, exactly.
B: You put in your URL and double-check duplicate content?
J: Yeah. That’s a great tool for that, as well. And so, those are kind of some low hanging fruits that you can do. Step two, to find good backlinks, is a little trickier. But it’s just to go out and find blogs that are in your industry, and just ask if they, if you can guest blog for them, or if they’ll just throw up your link as a good resource for their readers. So, this is a lot trickier, because you don’t have as much control over this. You’re kind of at the mercy of the bloggers – the owners of those websites. And so it’s a little more tedious, a little more probably depressing because you’ll probably get rejected a lot. But that’s kind of the more traditional, and like I said phase 2, after you take care of all the low hanging fruit is to go after those blogs.
B: But you’re adding value to them. Saying, “Hey, could we submit an article, or blog post?”
J: Exactly, yeah. So, that the biggest thing is, you don’t want to say, “Hey, please put up my link on your website!”
J: You want to make sure whenever you write them an email, or whatever, make sure that you offer them some sort of value. Whether it be like, “Hey, I’m going to write a blog post for you.” Or, “Hey, I have a ton of articles on this topic that you write about. Feel free to use any of these as a resource for your readers.”
B: Is it also kind of give and take? Like, “Hey, if you post this article on our link, we’ll
J: Yeah, yeah you can definitely do a reciprocal exchange if you want to. That’s kind of, that’s definitely a tactic you can use.
J: You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.
B: Right, right.
J: And so, one thing about blogs though, is that, kind of an old SEO technique, that’s completely worthless now, and I think always has been, is to go on blogs of related industries, and like comment and just put your URL in the comment section. That is absolutely a nofollow link. It doesn’t do anything.
J: In fact, the reason why nofollow links exists is because people were doing that too much.
B: Oh, right, just putting in comments that have no value.
J: Yeah, they were just commenting. They weren’t adding value to the commentary, to the blog, or anything like that. They were trying to get a backlink to their website. So, that’s why Google came out with this idea of a nofollow link to stop blog spamming.
B: Okay. That makes sense.
J: Don’t do that. It doesn’t work. It’s worthless and annoys people. And you definitely won’t get a real blogger to post their link on your website.
J: And so, one thing to keep in mind when you’re going through this is you want to keep some sort of a link-building spreadsheet. And so, that way you kind of know where you are. If you’ve had second contact or a follow-up contact with a blogger – you know where the process is. And so, we use Raven Tools for that. That’s where we do all of our link building. There’s other tools that you can use. I’m sure Moz has something as well. But make sure you keep track or otherwise it will get really confusing, you’ll get off track.
Moving on to the third tier, the Holy Grail of link building is what’s known as link bait. And so, that’s basically where you write an article, and publish it on your website. And it’s just so good that people can’t help but link back to it.
J: And so, this is obviously a lot harder to do. It doesn’t happen as much. But this is like the ideal situation, because all you have to do is just write it and wait. And people will get the word out, obviously. But kind of going back to Matt Cutts, this is what he always talks about when people say, “How should I go about link building?” He says, “Create link bait. Just create quality content that people have to link to for your industry.” And so, basically the way you do it, you just find a hot topic, kind of something juicy. Or, it could be a step-by-step thing that people need to know. Then write it. And then just publish it to social media outlets, and press releases, and all that kind of stuff to get the word out. Make sure people know about it. And then, like I said, you just kind of have to wait for people to pick it up and start linking back to it.
So, that’s kind of a three-step system there. Three tiers if you will. And one thing I’ll say, just to kind of wrap things up, is that somewhat of a common misconception about backlinks is that it is all pagerank. And it’s not. It’s about traffic.
J: So, that’s why it’s, you know, when we talked about directories, it might not help your page rank, but you never know who’s going to go browse those directories and then click on your link from there. And we talked about paid links as well. Because a lot of paid directories, we deal with the FindLaw directory a lot.
B: We work with a lot of attorneys.
J: Yeah, and so how much does that cost?
B: I think it’s $159 a month with a year contract.
J: Yeah, so that’s pretty expensive for a directory listing. And so, if you do sign up for a paid directory listing, you need to make sure that you’re using either Google Analytics, or that directory needs to provide some sort of analytics so you know how much traffic you’re getting. So you know if your dollar is doing what it should be doing.
J: And so, you need to make sure that you’re focusing not on pagerank, but on traffic.
J: That’s what it boils down to. You want to make sure you have analytics in place to track where your traffic is coming from, and your backlinks are performing the way they should.
B: Okay. Good stuff.
J: I think that’s all we have for this week.
B: All right. Well, you’ve been listening to Create the Movement podcast. My name is Brad Post. And we’re with Josh Rich our Online Marketing Specialist. For more information, visit our website at createthemovement.com