I’ve recently heard from a number of people over the last year or two that, as link builders, we should only be working on links that drive traffic & revenue.
Earlier in the week I watched a relevant video posted on Twitter from Wil Reynolds, which you’ll find below. I have huge respect for Wil (interviewed him in 2012; still worth a read), as well as in general, I believe that what he says in the neighborhood emanates from an excellent, authentic place.
If you don’t would like to watch it, the typical gist of this is that most of the links SEOs are link building agency “don’t do anything for the client”, considering that these links will not drive conversions, assisted conversions, newsletter sign ups, etc. He’s one of the people who have discussed links this way, and by no means am I seeking to / desire to single him out (he’s just the most vocal / widespread in the bunch).
This concept sounds great theoretically, and will get you pretty pumped up. A couple of other similarly exhilarating mottos come to mind as i hear it (heard through the community):
“Fire your customers! If you don’t like them, then stop working with them.”
“Build an internet site for users, not search engines like google!”
“Just create great content, as well as the links will come!”
However , we could sometimes swing too far in one direction, whether it’s up to the left (i.e. black hat SEO), or all the way to the right (i.e. developing a site purely for UX). That can bring about extremes like getting penalties from search engine listings on a single side, and building non-indexable sites on the other.
In this case, the notion of only going after revenue driving links, and never any others, is a great demonstration of swinging too far in one direction.
1. Doing an issue that doesn’t directly bring about revenue
Let’s go ahead and take logic with this argument and use it to many other parts of SEO. Read through this and tell me that, aside from a few specifics (i.e. page speed improvements), that any of these improvements lead instantly 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 are able to safely assume few are likely to read. Maybe those product description sweat shops are writing content that folks can certainly make purchasing decisions based off from, but there’s a high probability hardly any everyone is.
So: it’s OK which every activity we’re doing as marketers doesn’t directly bring about driving revenue. That’s plenty of whatever we do as SEOs, anyway.
2. Links which may or perhaps not make a direct impact on rankings
Wil described the concern the links acquired inside a campaign might not exactly have the impact that a person hopes to obtain after the campaign is finished.
You could potentially easily make the case that, for anything technical SEO-wise, it’s not just a sure thing that the individual fix will impact rankings. Sometimes you’re at night about what exactly is causing the situation. That’s why audits contain a variety of things to address, because any person item will not be what Google takes probably the most problem with. So, for anything you’re doing on-site, it’s a risk on some level it won’t have the impact you’re seeking.
But how does building links can compare to other marketing plan types that involve outreach / outbound elements (i.e. advertisements, PR, etc.)? Nearly all of those, if not all, don’t involve 100% confidence that you’ll obtain the result you’re longing for, whether it’s branding, direct sales, or search rankings.
The expectation that the building links campaign should always produce a clear boost in rankings, especially while confronting a very complex, modern algorithm which may hinder a web site from ranking as a consequence of numerous other issues, is a little unfair.
3. Existing well ranking websites & their link profiles
Now let’s take a look at example. Go ahead and take websites ranking for “San Diego Flowers”. The best ranking site because city is AllensFlowers.com. They’ve got some solid links that appear to be like they drive a few sales here & there. They likewise have several links that are far more controversial with regards to the direct, non-SEO value they supply:
These people were given an award from your local event. I do believe it’s safe to say few people have groomed their list of links in this article & made purchasing decisions based off any one of them.
These folks were indexed in a resource guide for planning a wedding. If the page got a great deal traffic from qualified potential customers (people planning for a wedding), then beyond doubt, I could check this out link driving revenue. But according to OSE, this site only has 2 internal links, and so i didn’t believe it is ranking well for “san diego wedding resources”, thus i doubt over a couple of people begin to see the page on a monthly basis, let alone click on that specific link to Allen’s Flowers.
These folks were cited for instance of using a selected technology. I believe it’s reliable advice that no sales were driven here (who shops for florists which use mSQL?), and although it’s not niche or location related, it’s still a link from the very aged, DA50 website.
Do a few of these link examples pass traffic/conversions? Maybe; there’s absolutely no way of knowing without a doubt in any event. But the point is: these are generally links I’d want, and whether they passed conversions or traffic, they’re legitimate links that pass the eye test & help this flower shop dominate for all those of their main keywords. Which end dexhpky71 is definitely worth heading out of my way to make sure our link is included upon an awards page, or a local magazine’s resource guide includes their service with all the others in the community.
4. My very own experiences
Throughout the clients we’ve had as well as the projects I’ve been an integral part of, one among the best things to consider in analytics will be the referral traffic of your sites we’re building links to. I want to see if a number of the links we receive are sending any traffic, of course, if they actually do, if that traffic converts.
A good example you think of can be a .gov link project we did for the real-estate site. Earlier in 2016, we built ~30 links over the course of 6-9 months (quite a small campaign), and that we watched their organic traffic grow ~50% over that point period.
Taking a look at analytics, since the links were acquired, only 3 from the 30 have sent more than 10 visits. A number of them did send traffic that met conversion goals! But that wasn’t intending to make or break why we did the campaign from the beginning.
I remember getting a blogroll link many years back that sent some serious traffic (mid 4 figures monthly), which had been awesome. However, if I spent time only pursuing links that might send traffic & conversions, I would’ve built significantly less links, and drove considerably less rankings for my clients & my own, personal sites (which, coincidentally, results in less revenue).
So what’s the takeaway?
I totally discover why a good deal people want to communicate this message. The short answer is you attract bigger & better clients if you say stuff like this. As somebody who writes more as being a practitioner, and less like a thought leader, it’s clear that what I’m doing isn’t the best lead generation technique for an agency (for everyone 1 big budget client that contacts us, we obtain 50 small business owners unreasonably looking to spend $200/month for great work).
With that in mind, I think it’s essential to understand the concept of the message, while still keeping things practical. Here’s how you can do 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 new links you’re building, but in addition for all past manually OR naturally acquired ones.
If you see 1 or 2 links that are sending value, ask yourself “are there other link opportunities on the market the same as this?” For our own agency, we usually develop a tactic that, at its core, is a single way of getting the link, but does apply to 1000s of sites. You could have just stumbled into something where there are numerous other opportunities exactly like it.
For example – imagine an eCommerce niche electronics store locating a link from a local robotics club’s New Member Info page towards the store’s Arduino basic starter kit product page. There are probably 100s of other local robotics club who have website information for first time members (and may very well have fascination with that basic starter kit), so contacting each having a discount code for the product could scale rather well, and drive lots of revenue (make sure they mention the promo code on the next club meeting, too!).
2. Should you do look for a revenue-generating link tactic, address it such as the golden egg that it is
If you do encounter one, invest in 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 link building. If you’ve got a cool product, paying a PR professional to obtain coverage could result in direct selling. If you’re within a niche which has active & passionate communities in forums, put money into becoming a part of them, and understand the best way to post links in such a way that’s allowed.