“ Eric follows
the right link building approach. He's interested in links that are given
on merit, and those are the links that stand the test of time” — Matt Cutts, Google
~ ~ ~
“ Eric Ward is THE authority on links” — Danny Sullivan, SearchEngineLand
EricWard.com - Etiologic Content Linking Strategies (Est 1994)
Experienced link building training. Ethical, effective link building services.
Credible link building strategy and counsel. Link Building Best Practices, Link building articles, webcasts, and presentations.
SEO and Link Building for Nonprofits
Conference - Nonprofits
Working the Web, Transforming the Sector
Marriott Crystal Gateway Arlington, Va., January 30, 1998
(I created this session/page
below for a conference that took place in January
of 1998, so expect links on it to have changed or be unreachable)
Hawking Your Message in the Virtual Marketplace:
Using the Web as a Marketing Tool
This presentation can be found at http://www.ericward.com/speaking/npodc/private.html
Session created and presented by Eric Ward - EricWard.com
Content Publicity & Link Building Strategies since 1994
During this presentation, we will cover the following topics...
- Holistic Link Building and
Site Promotion - finding the right resources to publicize/increase
- Appropriate methods for leveraging the search engines today
- Link building for Non profits : special opportunities exist just for you
- Press-seeking for Web site launches & events
- Third parties & automated submission engines - help or hurt?
- Maintaining your online presence
over time - see beyond the URL
Prep Work: Getting ready for site promotion
Whether you are link building for your
own site or for multiple sites for your clients, you will want to create
a text file that contains your key Web site information. This file can
be created in any Word processor or other program that allows you to easily
cut-and-paste into submission forms. Some submission software and services
will store this information for you. More on that later.
2). Company Address
3). Company Phone / Fax
4). Title of your Web site
5). URL of your Web site's homepage, and the URLs for the key sub pages as well
6). Contact Person Name
7). E-mail Addrsss for that person
8). PHONE #
9). Keywords for your Web site - discuss...
10). Category headings for your site
11). 15, 25, 50, and 70 WORD description of your Web site
12). A list of the special technical features (Java, Shockwave, VRML), with URLs
13). News Release for sending to the Internet Media folks
and we have our first major decision to make:
1). Do it yourself, manually, one submission
at a time
A: #1 For
now, let's go on the assumption that we are going the
general directories and search engines *DOES NOT* automatically
result in regular high traffic at your site, and there is no correlation
between numbers of search engines submitted to and traffic generated.
What the heck does that mean in human terms?
More submissions is not automatically better.
engines and directories, you should be sure to submit your URL to them, and then get
more focused and topic specific, submitting to resources that make sense for your site only.
Building Resources To Promote Your Site, Online and Offline
is not the only page othewrs can link to. There may well be features within your site that also
offer opportunities for promotion and links. The classic example is the mailing list. More later.
Announce Sites -
Other examples: What's New Too , WhatsNew.Com
Search Engines -
To find others, look at Yahoo list of Search Engines
To find others, start at Yahoo's Directory List.
directories, but the best ones will always be those that are highly focused on a specific
topic and created by a person/organization that knows that topic best)
Mailing Lists / Newsletters -
PAML-- P-ublically A-ccessable M-ailing L-ists http://www.neosoft.com/internet/paml/
The Liszt -- http://www.liszt.com/
Yahoo Newsletter Section -- http://www.yahoo.com/Computers_and_Internet/Internet/Newsletters/
they vary tremendously in their value. To find others, start at (you guessed it)
Best_of_the_Web/Sites_of_the___/ | A service not worth the money? (x)
USENET Newsgroups -
Newsgroups often have just the niche
you'd like to reach, however not all accept blatant
OFF-LINE Awareness Building -
Off-line isn't always offline. Print publications
now typically have an
Do newspapers, TV and radio stations really care?
Next, and just as important as ALL
of the above categories are...
An example for non-profit groups is GuideStar
An excellent place to look for others is DirectoryGuide which lists about 400 directories and search engines in 15 categories
Every search engine has its own
quirks and ranks search results differently.
The primary areas they look at are:
The absolute best possible tutorial
on how the search engines work
Beyond that, the best way to learn
about these things is at the
My rule:Study, Adjust, Submit. It's Miller Time... A little present just for NPO folks...
Ethical and Unethical Search Engine Strategies
How a search engine can become your
Special opportunities exist just for non-profits
2). If you don't have any banner ads, some companies
will make them
3). Some banner exchange services donate space to non-profit organizations
4). Some online companies have free programs that
5). Spree.com helps non-profit organizations build
e-commerce enabled stores
Press-Seeking For A Web Launch Or Web-Based Event
A whole new opportunity, and paradigm
A new genre of media and editorial publications & contacts
Standard services like PRNewswire must be augmented to reach the right online media contacts
Make sure you find the right editors for your your subject
Subtleties of the Email News-release
Understand the differences between the many Email news-release services -
For Web site launches, events, and
Web products, a service like URLwire
Using Automatic & Commercial Services For URL Submissions
A number of services exist, both free
and fee-based, that can submit your site
There is a crucial difference that needs to be understood
Automatic- done by a machine,
software, and scripts
2 key points to remember about such automated services:
1). You are using the auto-submitter's submission form, not the actual search engine's form. This means that you are depending on whoever created the automatic submitter to create a perfect "mirror image" of the "real" submission form for every search engine. My experience has proven to me that they fail more often than they work.
2). They completely miss most powerful outlets that you need to be reaching, because they only submit to the the most basic and "automate-able" outlets. They totally miss the "people" outlets.
After 4 years of experience making submissions individually, and hearing the horror stories from clients who tried to use an automated tool and had terrible results, I do not recommend the use of "auto-submission" services. If you do choose to use an automated tool, I feel that Scott Bannister's "Submit-It" (Web or New Desktop Software) will cause you the least pain and suffering.
Note however, that these services themselves hedge and disclaim.
One last thought on the human factor and missed opportunites
Some personal observations and recommendations for maintaining your presence over time...
Do you offer a mailing list? Promote it. http://www.listex.com/
Do you offer a search engine for a particular industry or niche? Promote it. http://www.search.com
Do you offer audio or video? Promote them. http://www.mojoe.com/mojoe/mojoe.html
Do you feature daily or weekly news
about a particular industry? Promote this feature. http://pppp.net/links/news/
Do you offer a Web or Email "zine"? Promote it. http://www.zinerack.com
Do you offer content relevant outside
the U.S.? Promote it.
Consider using full time help, possibly via internships.
Outsourcing Link Building or other awareness-building activities to a third party makes sense if you have few staff and if your time is at a premium.
*** If you do outsource, never select a service based only on the number of submissions they make for you, because numbers are meaningless. Why? Because not all submission sites are equal in their value, and some submission sites aren't legitimate. They are "fronts" for other businesses, and not really in the directory business at all. Anyone can submit your site to 500 of them, but those 500 submissions might be totally worthless, too.
To find some high quality, proven companies that specialize in awareness building for Web sites, use the following:
When opting for a 3rd party submission
service, the cost can vary wildly, depending on who's doing the submissions
and how deeply they are customizing the campaign for your site.
A quality site launch submission campaign should cost about $1,500 or less
for a one-time service. For ongoing services, prices are typically negotiable.