How to Get High Quality, Natural Links to Your Website
We are constantly asked, how do you get super high quality, natural links from the search engines, especially Google? Well, first let’s get it out of the way, Google and SEO in general are constantly changing and we must always adapt in SEO practices. So how do we get those high quality, natural links that give us our Page One Placement™ we seek? Well, it’s certainly an ever changing challenge that requires expertise and precision. And not all businesses can successfully accomplish this. In fact, a recent study indicated nearly 70% of all SEO campaigns FAIL due to inexperience and lack of a strategic plan that implements white hat SEO techniques, instead of black hat (geek speak for doing it honestly instead of cheating the system).
If your marketing company cannot show your PROVEN results for their existing clients,why should you hire them?
There are some very simple methods we use that you should be aware of to help build the organic, natural SEO that delivers you to Page One Placement™ on Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines.
Are you offering value? Do people remember you?
Ask your self one pointed question, in the past three months, can you think of anything your company did to make people stand up and take notice? Did you promote some products? How about write a fantastic article that generated buzz? Wait, I know, you had a video that went viral on YouTube?
If you aren’t creating buzz, no one will want to link to you!
Think about it. When was the last time you added a website to your favorites or hit Like on Facebook? Just like you, everyone is inundated by ads, content, email, news and more. Unless your company is generating buzz and we mean the type that makes people want to link to you, then you are not going to attain the super high quality, natural links you need to get Page One Placement™ on Google.
Just in case, let me briefly explain what a high quality, natural link is. In a nutshell, natural links are when a website links to another website. This shows the search engines that someone else thinks you offer value as well. Otherwise, why would they link to you? Add to this the high quality. That means getting other high traffic, memorable websites to link to you. The quality and popularity of the sites that link to you are just as important as getting the link in the first place.
Now we understand why we want high quality, natural links, so let’s focus on the best way to achieve this.
First Create Buzz, Then Follow Up
This section could be aptly named “Find those that are singing your praises and ask them for more.” Why? Well, you already generated the buzz (which is a must for any of this to work) and people are talking. Those that are saying good things or quoting you in social media are your new friends so to speak. Once you find these folks (more on how to find them in a sec), you then need to go ask for more of the good stuff. For example, you write an informative article, such as this one and post it to your Twitter or Facebook account, where you have numerous targeted followers (if not, see this article Get a Targeted Social Media Following).
If people are already talking about you, ask them to do it some more!
Create buzz in social media and online!
If you write an article that creates value for people or post a video that really makes folks pay attention, invariably they will share it. Think about it. Do you remember the guys that were throwing basketballs off their roofs and other weird places and making the shots? So do the millions of other folks who made those videos viral instantly. Someone watched them and then thought they were so cool, they shared them with their friends. Although millions would be nice, realistically you should be thrilled if only a few hundred people re-tweet, like or re-post your content. You now have candidates you can choose from to follow up with and ask for links or more feedback. You should be very selective when seeking links or feedback, remember, you are seeking high quality versus quantity. Yes, you heard me correctly. Of course we want a lot of traffic but imagine how your business looks when you are suddenly associated with undesirable content (think about this – I don’t need to paint a picture).
Monitor Your Buzz AND Your Reputation
In this information age, monitoring your online reputation is extremely important, regardless of what your goals are. You should be doing this constantly, not just to see the positive buzz generated but also to ensure there is no negative feedback out there as well (see our article Guarding Your Online Reputation – Management Techniques). In this article, we will focus on positive feedback, aptly called your buzz! If you create buzz, rest assured people will talk about it. You now need to find it.
You can scroll through every social media venue, Google, websites and more tediously looking for what people are saying. We prefer to use tools that do the hard work for you. We use a program called Trackur which is a social media monitoring tool that shows you who is saying what. It is a bit pricey, so if you are new to all of this, think about using Google Alerts which allow you to set up alerts around your brand and keywords. Other tools include HootSuite, IceRocket and more. Check out our article, 12 Social Media Monitoring Tools. No matter the tool, it is imperative you stay on top of what people are saying (this is an integral part of our social media campaign package we offer our clients). It’s also not a bad idea to be hanging out where your target market does.
Reach Out to Your Fans
So now you are reviewing your feedback and buzz regularly and come across a great review of your service, product or video. It is now time to get in touch with your fans (don’t be embarrassed to call them fans, that is a good thing).
Gain fans that talk about your business
You want to contact the fan and generously thank them for their praises, tell them how wonderful their review was. If they have linked to you, simply thank them. This enforces their decision to link to you and makes them feel appreciated. If they have not linked to you, now is the time to ask them to. You should be nice and let them know that you value their opinion and appreciate it so much, you would really like it if they could link to your content and what a big help it would be. And if your business can afford the marketing costs, give them something unexpected and valuable for their time and effort.
Give them something for their time and effort and get free marketing in return.
Ask them in your email or phone call to provide their name and address so you can send them a nice gift. This will take them by surprise and most likely ensure not only you receive a link but also have them talking about your company or service. You of course want to give them something they will want to keep and the more exposure it brings you, the better. T-shirts are always a hit as well as beverage “koozies” (we have a great article about promotional items).
A Real World Example –
About five months ago, I went to a networking event for small businesses. I met a gentleman who had a new, cool technology to create online reviews and feedback that allowed customers to quickly scan a QR Code and then share real time feedback. I thought it was a super cool idea and he had a pretty catchy name as well. We exchanged cards and went our separate ways. About a month later, I ran across a Tweet that reminded me of this guy and his company. I was in a blogging mood, so I wrote an article about the company and his services, just because I thought he had a super cool idea and maybe my clients could find value in his product. About two weeks later, the gentleman called me after he found my article, to thank me and see how we could partner. He offered me a free six month use of his product just for giving him that great review and as a way of getting his new service out there.
Now, I had already thought he had a fabulous product. Now I find out the guy is a smart business man, has the foresight to see the value in my post (ok, we are a large marketing company in the area – that does weight us a bit) and ensure I would not only keep talking about his product, which I do, but also turn me into a partner/client. Very smart strategy.
The results – high quality links!
So as you see in the above example, a simple gesture of reaching out to me, resulted in a permanent link on my website to his.
Links to your website
We have a high ranking and would be considered a very high quality back link. I don’t know if this was the goal when this gentleman reached out to me, but Ian and I are now business partners, I use his services and he uses ours. All this culminated from simply reaching out to someone who gave him positive publicity. You can judge if it works.
If you do nothing, nothing will happen in return. If you do something, all things are possible.
So how will you implement what you have learned in this article? Will you create a new product to generate buzz? Record a super catchy video to generate buzz? Or maybe write an article that is useful, informative and most of all, well worth sharing! Whatever you do, if you want attention, you have to go get it. And once you have it, you have to cultivate and grow it into a strong, desirable brand that generates fans. And if you don’t have time to do all of this yourself, hire someone who can. It is imperative in this ever shifting world of media and social networking.
Do you have a success story?
We want to hear it! Tell us how you generated buzz that lead to exposure and ultimately links that bolstered your SEO and natural search engine rankings. We will share some of the top stories submitted here on our site (and give you a nice high quality link to your busineess). We want details and successes, so send us your stories!