Thursday, January 22, 2009

Helping Clients See The Bigger Linking Picture


Good read written by Mike Moran over at SearchEngineGuide titled How do I get links to my Web site?

The site in question was an ecommerce site. Skis and snowboards.

Sites that are primarily ecommerce oriented present special linking challenges. Several times each month I get questions like Mike did. Ecommerce sites want links. How do they do it? Will I do it? What will it cost? How long before they see improvement in rank?

Owners of those sites are sometimes willing to listen to what I tell them, accept what they are up against, and decide what to do about it. But some want no part of an actual linking strategy. They want a quick fix. They may be resistant to the "let's add great content" approach, or if they try it, they short-cut the process because they are doing it only because they feel they have to. And even if they have a passion for the subject, they aren't writers, they are store owners.

One of the more eye-opening ways to show the client the link attraction power of passionate content is to find sites in their niche that have already attracted high value links as a result of specific content. Show them the links, show them the content linked to. Then show them a search result like this one for snowboard linkbait, so they see first hand how advanced some folks are already getting, as well as how silly. How many "snowboard selector tools" does the web need? Apparently 163,000. Seeing that I'd be tempted to go old school and create another snowboard glossary (shudder). Heck, why not just aggregate the already existing snowboard video tips onto one central page, living on your site? Nobody's done it yet.

After this exercise, show them subject specific sites they may have never thought of, but which illustrate the potential for high trust inbounds in certain niches. I use cocitation analysis, show them a specific example, and then hope the light comes on for them. For the ski equipment site, show them these pages

http://staff.niacc.edu/skiclub/
http://www.crescentskicouncil.org/clubs.html
http://www.scwdc.org/
and
http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/student/club/ski/Index.htm

They may not see the multiple and larger strategic linking implications and opportunities such sites present. Do you?



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The Link Building Best Practices Q and A is provided free by Eric Ward. For sites with high value content, I offer several fee-based strategic linking services on a project basis.

3 Comments:

Blogger Mike Archer said...

Hi Eric, great post!

I didn't quite follow the last part regarding the co-citation analysis.

You mentioned showing the ski equipment company the sites you listed. Was that to show them what pages to target FOR links or to demonstrate how other sites are using linkbait?

January 23, 2009 5:15 PM  
Blogger Eric Ward said...

Hi Mike - both, plus to help them see the potential within the narrow linking vertical of Ski club web sites. I want the client to see there are hundreds of such sites, representing thousands of skiers. These smaller enthusiast sites have tremendous value, both from a linkng standpoint and otherwise.

January 26, 2009 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Vikrant Mathur said...

Eric,

I noticed that all the sites that you have listed are .org and .edu. None of these pages or the respective home pages have a great page rank. How can we evaluate the quality of links coming from thse pages in that case ?

April 4, 2009 11:27 PM  

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