Posted by rishil
I promised in my last post that I would disclose a link building strategy that small businesses have access to but tend to over look. Note that most small businesses may not need hordes of links to target the niche keywords that we identified via our Keyword Discovery Process.
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Full Disclosure: Personally I don’t think any of the ideas below are revolutionary. It just takes simple logic to come up with the right strategy for the business.
The key success of my Small Business Link Building Strategy is full client cooperation. Without your client’s input, the whole strategy hits a big FAIL. The whole process begins with a simple explanation of what link building is. And to be honest, “Links are Votes” as an analogy is one I found most effective. While explaining the value of links, I sometimes give them a tour of Yahoo Site Explorer, which kind of results in a big “Oh!” when the clients see exactly how many links their competitors have.
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We always talk about how Content is King, but who creates the content? The specialist who actually has the knowledge behind the subject matter. And if your client isn’t a specialist in their own field, what are they doing running a business, anyway?
Why do I stress this point? It’s to highlight the fact that most small businesses have been in existence for a while and have had a series of financial and non-financial relationships. And these past relationships and successes as well as their selective “micro brand” that they have built up are assets to exploit.
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As usual, the process begins with a few discovery questions, but in this instance it’s important to see what YOU know about the business and the industry it operates in.
- Specify in strict terms the nature of the business (to yourself). Understand what it’s background is to you.
- What would you link to the business, commercially and non commercially?
The above two questions force you to analyse the business and objectives and sphere of influence mentally, which puts you in the right frame of mind to proceed to drain the client of ideas.
Priming the Client
The series of questions to ask:
- What regulatory bodies monitor your industry?
- What business groups do you belong to?
- Who refers business to you?
- Who do you refer business to?
- Do you know your regular clients or customers?
- Who provides complementary services to you?
- Who are the key manufacturers that you deal with?
- Who are your key suppliers?
- Do you know any contemporaries that you don’t compete with because they are in a different geographical location?
- Do any of your relatives and friends run businesses?
- What professional groups do you belong to?
- What local businesses do you have more than casual acquaintances with?
- Are there any websites that you visit frequently as a contributor?
- Are there any hobbies or activities that you excel in or are known for?
- Do you belong to any community projects or do any charity work?
- Do you have a web profile anywhere?
I hope I am not confusing you by this time and that some of the brighter lot have started clocking on to what I am trying to establish.
But for clarity’s sake, the process above identifies what I call “quick wins.” Once you have the details above, it’s easy to establish which one of these resources or contacts have their own websites. On an average, the above delivers about 150-200 possibilities.
These then are sorted into those that have a web presence, and those that don’t.
This list is further categorised into:
- Close contact
- Fair contact
- Occasional contact
- Business or formal contact
Side tip:The above list is made in layman’s terms because most clients don’t understand terms such as “top prospect,” “possible convert,” etc. When dealing with non-web savvy clients, keep the language simple. Don’t try to impress with knowledge, but try to impress with your strategy.
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By this stage, the client is usually on board and sees what you are getting at. We are basically reverting to the traditional method of link building – manual and one on one contact. This in itself isn’t the real meat behind the strategy, but the process that that we used to gather the information. And to clients, it is reassuring to know that they contributed and will continue to contribute to the success of the strategy.
The next step is to analyse each one of the above categories and pursue a strategy that is (in my experience) optimal in acquiring that elusive link. This post is to follow, hopefully in the next couple of weeks.
- One of the best Link Building Organisation articles I have seen: Divide and Conquer: Creating and Managing Your Link Campaign
- For a quick summary of the above article, see Organising Your Link Lists for Effective Link Building
- One of the articles that mirrors some of my views on link acquisition: There’s No Shortcut for Link Building: A Case for Relationship Building
- Melanie is one of my fav writers and this is a great resource: Link Request Strategies for Blogs, Edu’s & .Gov’s: Respect My Authoritah!
- Melanie isn’t the only one sneaky enough to advise on best practice for gaining links from .Edus: Link Lust: A Lesson in .Edu Link Building
- As you can see, I optimise link opportunities, and this articles does justice to the scope of being good at it: Are You An SEO Link Opportunist?
- Nothing gains good links or makes your site more link worthy than Strategic Content as Marketing for Link Building (and the Win)
- Check your present backlinks.
- Check who YOU link to.
- Back Link Anchor Text Analysis
- Make link research easy – use the Juicy Link Finder
Don’t Go Yet!
If you would like to know other processes that I use, please feel free to read my take on SEO Swot Analysis and the Boston Consulting Matrix. If you enjoyed my writing, I invite you to catch up on my previous posts or follow me on Twitter.
More: continued here