While the digital marketing landscape is changing, one thing remains on the priority list for most marketing departments and business owners: links. No matter how much the landscape has changed, the number of high quality links leading back to your brand’s website is an important factor in your rankings, your ROI, and your brand awareness. If you want Google’s attention, you’ve got to have those links… so how do you get links when the term “link exchange” has begun to sound more and more like another word for spamming?
The answer is: earn the links!
The reason people think of link building as an SEO practice as synonymous with spamming is because in the past, it has been done the wrong way. At first, many companies built links solely by submitting spammy keyword stuffed articles to low-quality article sites, and putting their own site information on low-quality directories. This was a way to quickly build thousands of one-way backlinks to their site. This is not helping your end user, therefore, its simply not the right way to do things. It has also become a one-way ticket to becoming penalized by the search engines!
A link should be the product of a well-built relationship. Example? You just read a blog by someone who consistently has intelligent and unique insights into your industry, and you think: “Hey—this person could provide my site’s visitors with a lot of information that they would find fascinating and useful!” This is where proper link-building can begin. The next step is to build a relationship with this person, and show them that you too have great information that they, in turn, might want to share with their site visitors.
Building an online relationship is the same as building one in real life (you know, its what people did before Facebook). You don’t walk up to someone on the street and tell them to please agree to be your friend. Right now. Instead, you find common ground and strike up an interesting conversation. A normal conversation starts with an ice breaker, like a compliment to the guy standing next to you in the checkout line about his killer mustache. The most successful conversations don’t begin with a blanket statement like this: “Hi, my name is Bob from marketing and I’d like to begin a friendship with you starting immediately.”
Apply this same principal when link-building online. Tweet at an expert in your industry, complimenting them on their latest blog post. People love to be complimented, so many times this will be an easy way to get the ball rolling. Let the conversation move organically towards what you do, what they do, and how each of you could benefit from the other’s expertise and resources. People are most likely to respond more favorably to this then being one of 100 bloggers who received from you a mass e-mail asking them to promote your site.
If you build a solid relationship with an expert in your industry, whether it be the CEO of a company who offers a complimentary service, a blogger with a strong voice on a topic pertinent to your company, or a celebrity whose fans use your product, you may find a one-time link is the LEAST they’re willing to offer you. You may find yourself mentioned in their social media, recommended to their followers, or asked to be a guest blogger on their own website. Chances are, if your company is worth promoting, relationship building will be a much more effective strategy than old fashioned link building, and will help you reach your goals more efficiently.
3 Things You Must Do Off-Line To Increase Your Presence Online
42% of businesses reported that a quarter of their new customers came through social-media sites; this means what you do off-line should focus not only on personal networking, but growing your online social network as well. Here are 3 important things you can do to grow your presence online through your day-to-day off-line activities.
- Network: Put your website, Facebook URL, or Twitter handle on your business card. People are looking at your business card for the ways they can connect with you, and social media can be one of those channels. When you meet new people, tell them they can learn more about what you do at your Facebook, or ask them if they’re on Twitter– this is a good way to connect with other professionals, and leaders in your industry. This will help build your Facebook page in a big way.
- Leverage Live Events: Go to tradeshows and important events armed with a flyer. On this flyer include, once again, your Facebook/Twitter details. Like I’ve said previously, this tells other professionals and leaders that you are on these important platforms, and suggests to them that it is a great way to network with you and learn more about your brand.
- In-Store Signage: Do you have a brick-and-mortar establishment? Your customers can benefit from joining you on Facebook- they can learn more about your brand, and find exclusive offers and coupons. If they get up to the register and see a sign that says “Join Us On Facebook for Great Offers”, or something similar, you’ve got new followers, and not only that, you can capture those people on their way out of the buying cycle, bringing them back in for further purchases! You can even print a “Join us on Facebook” message at the bottom of your receipt just as that final reminder….and don’t forget the call to action!
Google’s latest beta roll-out, probably one of the most useful. Search Companion Marketing.
Google is now offering in beta – Search Companion Marketing. It’s only out on limited release, and you must qualify to be able to be included in the beta.
What is Search Companion Marketing?
Search companion marketing is a form of retargeting. Basically what it does is when someone is searching for a keyword term in search and they chose an organic listing, your ad is shown to them on the page they are visiting from the organic click. Of course, your ad will only show if that website allows Google Display ads, but it’s a pretty cool feature.
If you think about it, it will make you more competitive, say for example someone searches on a keyword, ‘womens shoes’ and click on an organic listing, because you have that keyword in your campaign and you sell ‘womens shoes’ you will also show to them on that page even if they went to a competitors website.
How would I setup my campaign?
You will need to build out a campaign similar to a contextual targeted campaign with themed ad groups and ads.
What do I need to do to be included in the beta?
Once your campaign is ready, you will contact your Google Rep to whitelist your campaign and you are good to go!
Top 5 Reasons You Should Not Use Google’s Disavow Link Tool
#1 – Its not for everyone – only if you have been manually penalized from Google
#2 – You should only consider it after you’ve already tried to remove the links with no success
#3 – It will not automatically remove your penalty
#4 – It may not help improve your rankings
#5 – If you don’t know what you are doing, you could hurt your rankings
Below is the full video from Matt Cutts regarding the tool and what you should and shouldn’t use it for. Happy viewing!
Social Media Campaigns are a vital part of your marketing strategy; but doing it right is the only way to get the full benefit of it. Is your social media marketing on the right track? This infographic from Return.On Digital has a roadmap to avoiding the pitfalls of getting your social media campaign on the wrong track.
Your Business Won’t Profit from Buying Twitter Followers
With all the effort we put into our social media, it’s always great to see people responding, and see your follower count increase. Sometimes, though, you notice those fake Twitter accounts are the ones boosting your numbers, and it may take a little air out of the celebration. It’s usually pretty easy to spot these users. They typically have very few tweets, are following many people with few following them.
There are companies out there who make it possible to buy a certain number of followers, who will then flood your Twitter account with users just like this. You pay the company a fee, and they will direct these ‘users’ to your Twitter page in order to boost your follower count. While there is nothing illegal with boosting your rating that way, there is still something odd about using this method. It is especially off-putting if a business or person claiming to be a knowledge source or expert does so. This practice raises some red flags, to say the least.
Why Should I Worry About It?
The most glaring concern is that of credibility. Credibility is something that is much sought after by social media users, and it is something that many marketers on social media fight for everyday in order to achieve it. Being seen as a credible source of information can help your online reputation in so many ways. If people do a little investigating, and find out that your 200,000 followers are made up of half real, interested fans, and half fake accounts only meant to make your account look better, it may raise some concerns with your real fans.
Think of anyone you follow on Twitter that you rely on for news or updates. Odds are you’re doing so because you enjoy what they have to say and believe that it’s true. If you found out they were inflating their following like that, you might start to question the validity of their information. I don’t think any business would want their followers to think this about them.
Everyone wants to have a Twitter following rivaling that of Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga. The only way to get there is to A) write and perform hit pop songs that are enjoyed across the world, or B) attract users through your personality and knowledge. While this way might take longer, it will be much more valuable to your business in the end.
From research and goal-setting, to measuring success and converting leads into sales, the inbound marketing process is what drives your business from start to finish. Successfully drawing prospective buyers through the stages of purchase is the only way to get customers— this infographic from Hubspot explains the inbound marketing process that drives business everywhere:
The Inbound Marketing Funnel is an integral part of your marketing efforts– outbound marketing (pushing your message on your customers) is out, and inbound marketing is in. Draw them through the marketing funnel, and bring them towards the eventual purchase by letting them make their own choice. This infographic details the different parts of the inbound marketing funnel.
J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings series is one of the most well-known and beloved fantasy series of all time. The movies, directed by Sir Peter Jackson, have become international phenomena, and blockbuster success. So what do airlines and hobbits have in common?
Air New Zealand released a new video with their safety demonstrations and instructions. Rather than just having flight attendants standing at the front of the airplane and explaining the procedures, Air New Zealand went one step further. They introduced a little magic into their video. They even got Peter Jackson to feature in it!
Check out the video below. This is an incredible way to market the airline; at the time of this writing, the views on YouTube stand at just over 3 million after only having been posted 2 days ago. Having a world-renowned director help you with your commercial might help, but what creative ideas can you implement to help spice up your marketing and video efforts? Air New Zealand is providing an excellent example of how to attract viewers. Who knew flight safety instructions could be so entertaining?
Marketing your company is important, but it can be difficult. This is especially true when it comes to digital media. Many people might feel as if they aren’t sure where to start with marketing on the Internet, and so they mightjust decide that it’s not right for them, or that more traditional methods are best. This couldn’t be further from the truth, though.
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To help explain this trial offer a little better, we’ve put together a quick video below. Two of our dedicated team members answer any and all questions you might have about this program. Everything from the inspiration behind the program to what exactly “30 days free” means (hint: it means no money at all!). Check it out below!
There aren’t any gimmicks here, nor is there any fine print to read. We’re dedicated to helping you succeed and achieve all of the results for which you’ve planned. This program is designed to give you a chance to test us out. You can see if you like what we offer, who we are, and what we can do for you. We are always available to answer each question, and our clients are always dealing with experts in digital media marketing.
If for any reason you aren’t satisfied, fire us. We believe in no contracts and no commitments, so if you are not 100% satisfied, you aren’t tied into any plan. We guarantee that you’ll love the services we offer, though.
If you would like to contact us, please visit this page. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals, and creating a great marketing campaign for you!