Thursday, October 30, 2008

Get In Touch With Your Inner Link Self

We don't talk much about surveys when we discuss link building, probably because a lot of webmasters feel their keyword lists should suffice as research when they're trolling for links.
But really - your keyword lists don't tell you about people's loyalties or personal preferences which is what you need to know before engaging in the more promotional link building.

From my experience, people like to have packaged solutions, they want specific tactics and the sites to use them on. I think that's why directory submissions are so popular and the center of so many link discussions. People can wrap their heads around the whole process because it's a no-brainer.

Find directory, qualify, pay for submission, submit. Bam, one-way link in place. Easy peezy.

I like easy too but know from doing SEO that easy doesn't boost your site in the serps. That easy normally begets links that don't pass strong link popularity and that easy ends up making you work harder down the road.

Which sucks. That's where the research in the beginning really pays off. Talking to people, doing surveys, buying trend reports etc - all those things help you get in touch with your customer base and eventually in touch with your inner link self.

I say this all the time ad-nauseom but it's true: if you were doing business on Main Street you wouldn't just take out a yellow page advertisment and be done with it. You'd find out from:

  • friends

  • family

  • the Chamber of Commerce

  • Better Business Bureau

  • your industry association

  • trend reports

  • local newspapers


  • SBA (Small Business Admin)

  • resources like

  • Federal Citizen Information Center (in Pueblo CO)


... and so on where the people likely to buy your products frequent, trends in their demographic, what publications they read, etc. Then you'd go and advertise there as well.

Talk to the people who buy your stuff. Talk to friends and family and figure out what they're doing online. We live in a SEO centric world and don't search or think like the average consumer. Don't assume your customers think like you do, or search like you do because they DON'T.
Find out where your customers go and do everything you can to place ads in those locations. Keep talking to them, keep asking questions, keep in touch. You'll build exposure, gain trust and accrue links if you do.
photo found on AzureInspired

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Friends And Photos From SMBU

Here's a bunch of photos from the last Small Business Marketing Unleashed conference in Columbus Ohio. It was a great show and I enjoyed being part of it.

This is Diane Aull (Torka) and I at the COSI charity dinner the night before the conference started.

Rachel Phillips of Search Engine Guide and Diana Adams from Pole Position Marketing.

Matt McGee and I

Christine Churchill in one of her sessions talking about keywords.

Rachel Phillips, Irma and David Wallace who all apparantely coordinated wardrobes.

Robert Clough and Jennifer Laycock of Search Engine Guide. Along with Rachel and Vickie Evans (Jen's mom) they did a great job putting this conference together :)

Michael Stebbins and Matt McGee. Mouths open and in awe of something witty I said. (cough)

Stoney deGeyter being Stoney.

Notice his photo is larger than the rest. That's because I wanted everyone to see his new long hair-do and because I took these photos from his Flickr account without asking.

Chris, Heather Lloyd-Martin and myself at dinner the first night.

One of the best parts of being at these shows is seeing your buds. Heather was the first person I made contact with in this business, it was sometime in either 2000 or 2001. (neither of us can remember).

I met Chris (along with Jill) in Dec 2002 at my first SES in Dallas. I had been working for Jill for almost a year at that point but had never met her in person. That was the last time for Dallas, the show moved to Chicago the next year.

Seems like yesterday :)

Here's the rest of the photos: SMBU Flickr and Stoney's set. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Who Knew Martha Stewart Was A Link Building Role Model?

If you’re planning to attend Search Marketing Expo East 2008 in New York October 6-8th, stop by one of the linking sessions and say hello.

I'll be on three panels; Link Building Bootcamp, External Linking Tactics and Tools Glorious Tools where I'll be doing what else... link tools!

If you still need to register I’d be more than happy to share my SMX Speakers’ discount which is $150 off the all-access pass. Whoo hoo!! Just holler!

That's right, a clear no link required freebie. No request for a link, no requirement for anchor text. Just a promo code for $150 bucks. Unlike our friends at Martha, we're not asking for a thing in order to get the freebie.

Isn't that great? Yeah we know the freebie isn't coming out of our pockets but we didn't have to mention it now did we.

I mean, answering all that email and sending out the promo code will take a ton of time but hey, that's ok with us! Even though time is money we're going to smile smile smile and email along because we're hoping our karma attracts lots of quality inbound links to this blog.

Aren't we the best? Time to go and play on twitter, see you around SMX East!