I’ve recently heard from a number of people over the past couple of years that, as link builders, we must just be centering on links that drive traffic & revenue.
Earlier this week I watched a youtube video posted on Twitter from Wil Reynolds, which you’ll find below. I have huge respect for Wil (interviewed him here in 2012; still worth a read), and in general, I think that what he says locally emanates from a really good, authentic place.
In the event you don’t want to watch it, the general gist of it is the fact that the majority of the links SEOs are seo link building services “don’t do just about anything for your client”, provided that these links usually do not drive conversions, assisted conversions, newsletter sign ups, etc. He’s one of several people with mentioned links this way, and by no means am I attempting to / wish to single him out (he’s merely the most vocal / widespread of your bunch).
This concept sounds great in theory, and will get you pretty pumped up. A few other similarly exhilarating mottos spring to mind after i hear it (heard during the entire community):
“Fire your clients! Should you don’t like them, then stop handling them.”
“Build an internet site for users, not search engines!”
“Just create great content, along with the links should come!”
The problem is that we are able to sometimes swing very far in just one direction, whether it’s up to the left (i.e. black hat SEO), or up to the right (i.e. creating a site purely for UX). That can result in extremes like getting penalties from search engine listings in one side, and building non-indexable sites around the other.
In such a case, the concept of only going after revenue driving links, and never any others, is a perfect example of swinging too far in a single direction.
1. Doing an issue that doesn’t directly cause revenue
Let’s go ahead and take logic with this argument and put it to use to other areas of SEO. Read through this and inform me that, aside from a couple of specifics (i.e. page speed improvements), that any one of these improvements lead right to increased revenue.
We also know that Google loves original content, and that we now have many listing-type pages that SEOs create content for your we can safely assume few will certainly read. Maybe those product description sweat shops are writing content that men and women is likely to make purchasing decisions based off from, but there’s a good chance only a few people are.
So: it’s OK that each activity we’re doing as marketers doesn’t directly result in driving revenue. That’s lots of what we should do as SEOs, anyway.
2. Links that could or perhaps not make an impact on rankings
Wil talked about the concern the links acquired in the campaign may well not hold the impact that a person hopes to obtain once the campaign is finished.
You can easily create the case that, for anything technical SEO-wise, it’s not really a sure thing an individual fix will impact rankings. Sometimes you’re at night to what exactly is causing the matter. That’s why audits contain a variety of items to address, because any individual item is probably not what Google takes one of the most trouble with. So, for anything you’re doing on-site, it’s a danger on some level that this won’t possess the impact you’re looking for.
But exactly how does backlink building compare with other marketing strategy types that entail outreach / outbound elements (i.e. advertisements, PR, etc.)? Most of those, if not all, don’t involve 100% confidence that you’ll obtain the result you’re dreaming about, whether it’s branding, direct sales, or search rankings.
The expectation that the backlink building campaign should produce a clear boost in rankings, especially when dealing with a very complex, modern algorithm which could hinder a website from ranking as a result of numerous other issues, is a little unfair.
3. Existing well ranking websites & their link profiles
Now let’s examine example. Use the websites ranking for “San Diego Flowers”. The very best ranking site for the reason that city is AllensFlowers.com. They’ve got a bit of solid links that seem to be like they drive several sales here & there. They likewise have a number of links that happen to be considerably more controversial in terms of the direct, non-SEO value they provide:
These were given an award from your local event. I believe it’s reliable advice few individuals have groomed their list of links in this posting & made purchasing decisions based off some of them.
They were placed in a resource guide for planning for a wedding. If it page got a whole lot traffic from qualified potential prospects (people organising a wedding), then for sure, I could possibly see this link driving revenue. But in accordance with OSE, this site just has 2 internal links, and that i didn’t think it is ranking well for “san diego wedding resources”, thus i doubt more than a few people begin to see the page each month, much less select that particular link to Allen’s Flowers.
These folks were cited for example of employing a specific technology. I do believe it’s safe to say that no sales were driven here (who shops for florists that utilize mSQL?), and although it’s not niche or location related, it’s still the link coming from a very aged, DA50 website.
Do a few of these link examples pass traffic/conversions? Maybe; there’s not a way of knowing for certain in any event. But the thing is: they are links I’d want, and whether they passed conversions or traffic, they’re legitimate links that pass the attention test & help this flower shop dominate for all those of its main keywords. And therefore end dexhpky71 may be worth venturing out of my way to be certain our link is included upon an awards page, or that the local magazine’s resource guide includes their service using the others in the community.
4. My very own experiences
With the clients we’ve had along with the projects I’ve been an integral part of, one of the best things to think about in analytics is definitely the referral traffic of the sites we’re building links to. I would like to see if several of the links we receive are sending any traffic, of course, if they do, in the event that traffic converts.
One example that comes to mind can be a .gov link project we did to get a property site. Earlier in 2016, we built ~30 links over the course of 6-9 months (a serious small campaign), therefore we watched their organic traffic grow ~50% over that point period.
Taking a look at analytics, because the links were acquired, only 3 of the 30 have sent over 10 visits. A couple of them did send traffic that met conversion goals! But that wasn’t will make or break why we did the campaign to begin with.
I remember acquiring a blogroll link many years back that sent some serious traffic (mid 4 figures monthly), which had been awesome. But if I spent time only pursuing links that might send traffic & conversions, I would’ve built considerably less links, and drove considerably less rankings for my clients & my sites (which, coincidentally, results in less revenue).
So what’s the takeaway?
I totally discover why a good deal people desire to communicate this message. The short answer is basically that you attract bigger & better clients whenever you say things such as this. As someone who writes more like a practitioner, and much less as a thought leader, it’s clear that what I’m doing isn’t the most effective lead generation strategy for an agency (for anyone 1 big budget client that contacts us, we get 50 small business owners unreasonably seeking to spend $200/month for great work).
Having said that, I feel it’s important to understand the concept of your message, while still keeping things practical. Here’s how you are capable of doing it.
1. Check referral sources for opportunities
Scan referral traffic inside your analytics for patterns & clues to increased traffic/revenue driving opportunities. This counts for both new links you’re building, but in addition for all past manually OR naturally acquired ones.
If you notice a couple of links that are sending value, think about “are there other link opportunities around exactly like this?” For your agency, we usually come up with a tactic that, at its core, is really a single way of getting a hyperlink, but does apply to 1000s of sites. You may have just stumbled into something where there are numerous other opportunities much like it.
For example – imagine an eCommerce niche electronics store locating a link from your local robotics club’s New Member Info page towards the store’s Arduino starter kit product page. There are actually probably 100s of other local robotics club who have website information for brand new members (and will probably have desire for that starter kit), so contacting each with a promo code for that product could scale rather well, and drive a lot of revenue (ensure they mention the promo code in the next club meeting, too!).
2. Should you locate a revenue-generating link tactic, treat it just like the golden egg that it is
Should you do come across one, purchase it to make it happen right whether it can end up purchasing itself.
Two general ones that pop into your head are press coverage & forum building links. If you’ve got an awesome product, paying a PR professional to get you coverage could cause direct selling. If you’re inside a niche that has active & passionate communities in forums, put money into becoming part of them, and understand how you can post links in such a way that’s allowed.