Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dude, Your Site Is Boring No Links For You

At last week's SMB Unleashed Conference in Houston someone asked what was the hardest part of my job as a link builder. Was it the:

Massive amount of time involved in competitive research? Or -

The massive amount of time involved in negotiating space? Or -

Developing new and creative content that continually attracts links?

Nope, no and no again.

IMO, the hardest part of my job is telling someone you won't be able to secure the authority links they so desperately want because their site is a boring, forgetable mess. That doesn't mean I would muster up low quality links either, I just wouldn't work for them period unless they were willing to make some changes.

No matter how I spin it, when I tell someone " your site is boring and lacks credibility as a result. No one will link to it unless you make some changes..." that doesn't go over well with most people. It's easier when you have something tangible to point to like poor design, poor usability, outdated content, broken links, over-use of Adsense and no About Us page. But you're not always that lucky and it's never that easy, sometimes it's just a case of dull and boring.

It's easier to define credibility than "dull" since "dull" is somewhat subjective. Boring content is unemotional, unattached and one dimensional, so it stands to reason you're not going to find motivated people creating captivating pages that elicit credibility. Take dull and now add lack of trust and you have one dud site to try and secure links for.

To me, David Hasselhof is boring.

Vin Diesel is not.

Hamburger is boring. Kobe beef is not.

Birkenstocks are boring (and ugly). Jimmy Choo's are not.

Canned sales verbiage is boring and lacks credibility. Product reviews and testimonials are not.

You can say "boring" is a matter of taste much like beauty is in the eye of the beholder but really... when it comes to selling yourself and establishing credibility online, would you attract more confidence and links by:

  • Hosting information on David Hasselhof eating burgers in Birkenstocks Or --
  • Vin Diesel noshing on Kobe beef with a date in Jimmy Choos?
I'm betting the latter - unless of course you're Amish or somehow challenged.

OK so the example is a little extreme, but you get the point. Your link building and content generation campaigns shouldn't be where you scrimp on costs or creative energy, they're key to your overall online marketing success.

You can't afford to have a dull site or one lacking credibility if you want to attract links, build brand and drive targeted traffic. If you don't have content to use as a hook or the site lacks certain credibility elements then you need to spend the money and have them created otherwise, no one will link to you.

Old and stale beget no links and sales . Don’t skimp on paying for content.

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