I’ve recently heard from a number of people throughout the last couple of years that, as link builders, we must only be focusing 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 within 2012; still worth a read), and in general, I think that what he says in the neighborhood emanates from an excellent, authentic place.
In the event you don’t wish to watch it, the typical gist than it is the majority of the links SEOs are seo link building service “don’t do just about anything for that client”, given that these links usually do not drive conversions, assisted conversions, newsletter sign ups, etc. He’s one of several people that have talked about links by doing this, and in no way am I seeking to / would like to single him out (he’s merely the most vocal / widespread of your bunch).
This concept sounds great theoretically, and can get you pretty pumped up. A few other similarly exhilarating mottos spring to mind when I listen to it (heard through the community):
“Fire your customers! Should you don’t like them, then stop working with them.”
“Build a web site for users, not search engines!”
“Just create great content, and also the links will come!”
However , we could sometimes swing very far in just one direction, whether it’s all the way to the left (i.e. black hat SEO), or up to the proper (i.e. constructing a site purely for UX). That can bring about extremes like getting penalties from search engines like yahoo using one side, and building non-indexable sites in the other.
In this instance, the concept of only going after revenue driving links, rather than any others, is a perfect demonstration of swinging very far in one direction.
1. Doing something that doesn’t directly bring about revenue
Let’s use the logic on this argument and put it on to many other parts of SEO. Browse through this and let me know that, in addition to a few specifics (i.e. page speed improvements), that these improvements lead straight to increased revenue.
We know that Google loves original content, and that we now have many listing-type pages that SEOs create content for the we can safely assume few are going to read. Maybe those product description sweat shops are writing content that individuals will make purchasing decisions based off from, but there’s a high probability not many individuals are.
So: it’s OK which every activity we’re doing as marketers doesn’t directly cause driving revenue. That’s lots of whatever we do as SEOs, anyway.
2. Links which could or otherwise not make a positive change on rankings
Wil discussed the concern the links acquired within a campaign might not exactly have the impact that you hopes to possess once the campaign is finished.
You might easily create the case that, for anything technical SEO-wise, it’s not a sure thing that the individual fix will impact rankings. Sometimes you’re at night in regards to what exactly causes the matter. That’s why audits contain a variety of items to address, because any person item will not be what Google is to take the most trouble with. So, for anything you’re doing on-site, it’s a danger on some level that it won’t have the impact you’re trying to find.
But just how does link-building compare with other marketing plan types that involve outreach / outbound elements (i.e. advertisements, PR, etc.)? Most of those, if not completely, don’t involve 100% confidence that you’ll obtain the result you’re wishing for, whether it’s branding, direct sales, or search rankings.
The expectation that a backlink building campaign would be wise to produce a clear rise in rankings, especially when confronted with a very complex, modern algorithm that may hinder a site from ranking as a consequence of numerous other issues, is a bit unfair.
3. Existing well ranking websites & their link profiles
Now let’s take a look at example. Consider the websites ranking for “San Diego Flowers”. The ideal ranking site in that city is AllensFlowers.com. They’ve got a bit of solid links that appear like they drive a few sales here & there. They have a few links which can be a lot more controversial regarding the direct, non-SEO value they give:
These were given an award from your local event. I think it’s reliable advice few individuals have groomed their list of links on this page & made purchasing decisions based off any one of them.
They were listed in a resource guide for arranging a wedding. If this type of page got a great deal traffic from qualified potential customers (people arranging a wedding), then without a doubt, I could possibly check this out link driving revenue. But according to OSE, this web site merely has 2 internal links, and I didn’t believe it is ranking well for “san diego wedding resources”, therefore i doubt greater than a couple of people begin to see the page on a monthly basis, let alone click that exact hyperlink to Allen’s Flowers.
These were cited as one example of using a certain technology. I feel 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 from the very aged, DA50 website.
Do a number of these link examples pass traffic/conversions? Maybe; there’s absolutely no way of knowing beyond doubt in any case. 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 those of its main keywords. And therefore end dexhpky71 is definitely worth going out of my way to ensure our link is included on an awards page, or which a local magazine’s resource guide includes their service together with the others in the area.
4. My experiences
Through the clients we’ve had along with the projects I’ve been a part of, among the most popular things to check out in analytics is the referral traffic in the sites we’re link building to. I want to check if several of the links we have are sending any traffic, and if they are doing, if it traffic converts.
An example that comes to mind is actually a .gov link project we did to get a real estate property site. Earlier in 2016, we built ~30 links throughout 6-9 months (a serious small campaign), so we watched their organic traffic grow ~50% over this time period.
Considering analytics, considering that the links were acquired, only 3 in the 30 have sent over 10 visits. Several them did send traffic that met conversion goals! But that wasn’t will make or break why we did the campaign from the beginning.
I recall obtaining a blogroll link a couple of years back that sent some serious traffic (mid 4 figures per month), that has been awesome. However, if I spent time only going after links that will send traffic & conversions, I would’ve built significantly less links, and drove considerably less rankings for my clients & my very own sites (which, coincidentally, leads to less revenue).
So what’s the takeaway?
I totally realise why a good deal people want to communicate this message. The short answer is that you simply attract bigger & better clients when you say stuff like this. As someone who writes more like a practitioner, and fewer as being a thought leader, it’s clear that what I’m doing isn’t the very best lead generation technique for an agency (for anyone 1 big budget client that contacts us, we get 50 small business owners unreasonably trying to spend $200/month for excellent work).
Having said that, I believe it’s important to know the concept of your message, while still keeping things practical. Here’s how you can perform it.
1. Check referral sources for opportunities
Scan referral traffic with your analytics for patterns & clues to more traffic/revenue driving opportunities. This counts both for new links you’re building, but in addition for all past manually OR naturally acquired ones.
If you notice one or two links which can be sending value, think about “are there other link opportunities available exactly like this?” For your agency, we usually think of a tactic that, at its core, is a single method of getting the link, but does apply to 1000s of sites. Maybe you have just stumbled into something where there are numerous other opportunities much like it.
By way of example – imagine an eCommerce niche electronics store choosing a link from your local robotics club’s New Member Info page for the store’s Arduino starter kit product page. You will find probably 100s of other local robotics club which may have website information for new members (and are likely to have fascination with that basic starter kit), so contacting each having a promo code for the product could scale properly, and drive lots of revenue (ensure they mention the discount code on the next club meeting, too!).
2. If you look for a revenue-generating link tactic, treat it like the golden egg that it must be
Should you do come across one, put money into it to accomplish it right if this can find yourself investing in itself.
Two general ones that come to mind are press coverage & forum link-building. If you’ve got a cool product, paying a PR professional to help you get coverage could cause direct sales. If you’re within a niche that has active & passionate communities in forums, spend money on becoming an integral part of them, and understand ways to post links in many ways that’s allowed.