Monday, May 15, 2006

Link Building = Marketing Opportunity.

Continued from previous post:

The Directories.

I'm a directory groupie and use them as a staple in all my linking campaigns. I've posted about them before so I'll just copy and paste:

I'm a fan of Directories for many reasons but in regards to linking, if you're getting
started or want to increase your stable in short order, using Directories is
great. There are about 30 good ones (general Directories) and most of these
allow you to personalize your anchors and/or descriptions. I always make sure
the page I'm adding a description to is in the index of Google, Yahoo and MSN
and doesn't use any redirects or frames.

There are Directories for just about everything. You can easily acquire a dozen one-way links from topically relevant pages using targeted keyword anchors by adding your URL to the general and specialized Directories. Here's a couple ideas:

Have an RSS feed? Pop over to the Google Directory and add your feed to the RSS Directories they list.

Have a blog? Search on the term "blog directory" in the Google Directory and add away. Notice many will allow keyword anchors and descriptive text.

Do you write articles to generate links? The DMOZ has a great list of article directories. Double check for link friendliness (see above) and look to see if they offer an RSS. It's a good way to keep an eye on what other people are writing and submitting. Speaking of writing articles...

Writing articles to gain links.

In addition to adding your articles to the directories, find an ezine directory such as Ezinelisting and look for newsletters in your niche and complimentary niches. Once you find them, determine which ezine has been around longest (visit the site and look at volume numbers and publication dates) as it stands to reason seasoned newsletters have more readers and are established in the search engines.

Send off a sample article to the ezine owner and ask about having it/others published. Consider dangling a special offer to the ezine owner for running it and another to the readership; this encourages continued (think viral!) linking and hopefully sparks other ezine owners to contact you for articles. And don't forget to negiotiate for hyperlinked space in the body of the article as well as the contact area.

Link Tsunamis

There are a lot of terms used for marketing campaigns that are self perpetuating. "Link baiting"- "viral linking" - "stealth marketing" and the one I use -- "link tsunamis". No matter what you call it, it's one of the most positive forms of traditional and/or SEO related marketing out there because the links attracted are 100% natural. No payments, no swapping, no begging involved! Links are added because people find the promotion emotionally stimulating in some way - it's pure marketing.

Link tsunamis experience higher success rates when targeted to a pre-existing network of users. The campaign will have little effect and the promotion will end almost as soon as it's started without a network to travel or be pushed through. You can create all the cute mash-ups, funny video clips or controversial editorials you want but if it doesn't stimulate an emotion, have some direction and a large network of people to pass through -- it stalls and all your link building opportunity with it.

Creating a word of mouth campaign doesn't have to be expensive, most viral campaigns are created because marketing budgets are tight. The emotion behind the campaign seems to stimulate the linking and the size of the user network carries it forward. Link tsunami's tend to work well in the blogging community because Bloggers actively link out and support a greater communication network. Want to get a link bait program off the ground and passed around topically relevant sites fairly quickly? Start it in the blogosphere

You hear a lot of talk about creating viral linking campaigns but seldom see examples. Here's a few Marketing Sherpa collected and shared recently. My favorite was #7 - "Blogs In Space" (I love all things Star Trek, Star Wars, Muppets and space in general).

I've experienced two "downsides" to link tsunamis -
1. The campaigns tend to be short lived and
2. The links don't always use the keywords you'd like. There isn't really anything you can do about number one (except create a part one and part two linking promotion and stagger their debuts) but there may be something you can do about number two.

Once the promotion has settled down you can go back and try to reclaim the links in non-media locations. Link reclamation is a TON of work but the end result could be worth it and it's kinda fun to see who linked to you. Do people change links? Sometimes yes, sometimes really depends on the campaign and if it's even appropriate to ask.

Need to run, let's talk about buying links and content generation tomorrow.

Slashdot / / Digg

No comments: