I’ve recently heard from some people over the past year or so that, as link builders, we need to only be concentrating on links that drive traffic & revenue.
Earlier in the week I watched a video posted on Twitter from Wil Reynolds, which you’ll find below. I actually have huge respect for Wil (interviewed him within 2012; still worth a read), as well as in general, In my opinion that what he says in the neighborhood arises from a very good, authentic place.
Should you don’t want to watch it, the overall gist of this is the fact the majority of the links SEOs are seo link building service “don’t a single thing for your client”, considering the fact that these links tend not to drive conversions, assisted conversions, newsletter sign ups, etc. He’s one of many people that have discussed links in this way, and in no way am I attempting to / desire to single him out (he’s only the most vocal / widespread of the bunch).
This concept sounds great theoretically, and can get you pretty pumped up. Several other similarly exhilarating mottos pop into your head as i hear it (heard throughout the community):
“Fire your customers! In the event you don’t like them, then stop handling them.”
“Build a website for users, not search engines like yahoo!”
“Just create great content, along with the links should come!”
However , we are able to sometimes swing very far in a single direction, whether it’s up to the left (i.e. black hat SEO), or all the way to the proper (i.e. developing a site purely for UX). That can cause extremes like getting penalties from search engines like google on one side, and building non-indexable sites on the other.
In such a case, the thought of only pursuing revenue driving links, instead of any others, is an ideal example of swinging too far in a single direction.
1. Doing an issue that doesn’t directly lead to revenue
Let’s go ahead and take logic of this argument and use it for some other aspects of SEO. Read this and say that, besides a few specifics (i.e. page speed improvements), that any one of these improvements lead directly to increased revenue.
We understand that Google loves original content, and that there are many listing-type pages that SEOs create content for the we could safely assume few will certainly read. Maybe those product description sweat shops are writing content that men and women will make purchasing decisions based off from, but there’s a good chance hardly any folks are.
So: it’s OK that each and every activity we’re doing as marketers doesn’t directly bring about driving revenue. That’s a lot of everything we do as SEOs, anyway.
2. Links which may or otherwise not make a positive change on rankings
Wil described the concern that the links acquired in the campaign may not have the impact that certain hopes to have once the campaign is over.
You can easily make the case that, for anything technical SEO-wise, it’s not really a sure thing that an individual fix will impact rankings. Sometimes you’re at nighttime about what exactly is bringing about the matter. That’s why audits contain a number of items to address, because anyone item may not be what Google takes by far the most trouble with. So, for anything you’re doing on-site, it’s a risk on some level that it won’t get the impact you’re looking for.
So how does backlink building can compare to other advertising campaign types which entail outreach / outbound elements (i.e. advertisements, PR, etc.)? Almost all of those, if not all, don’t involve 100% confidence that you’ll receive the result you’re longing for, whether it’s branding, direct sales, or search rankings.
The expectation which a backlink building campaign must always lead to a clear surge in rankings, especially while confronting an incredibly complex, modern algorithm that may hinder a site from ranking due to numerous other issues, is a bit unfair.
3. Existing well ranking websites & their link profiles
Now let’s take a look at example. Take the websites ranking for “San Diego Flowers”. The very best ranking site for the reason that city is AllensFlowers.com. They’ve got some solid links that look like they drive a few sales here & there. They likewise have a few links that are a lot more controversial with regards to the direct, non-SEO value they give:
They were given an award from a local event. I do believe it’s safe to say very few people have groomed their list of links on this page & made purchasing decisions based off some of them.
These were placed in a resource guide for organising a wedding. If this page got a lot traffic from qualified prospective customers (people planning a wedding), then for certain, I could see this link driving revenue. But as outlined by OSE, this page has only 2 internal links, and that i didn’t discover it ranking well for “san diego wedding resources”, so I doubt over a handful of people see the page on a monthly basis, not to mention simply click that exact connect to Allen’s Flowers.
These folks were cited for example of employing a selected technology. I believe it’s reliable advice that no sales were driven here (who shops for florists designed to use mSQL?), and although it’s not niche or location related, it’s still the link coming from a very aged, DA50 website.
Do a few of these link examples pass traffic/conversions? Maybe; there’s no way of knowing without a doubt in any case. But the thing is: these are links I’d want, and whether they passed conversions or traffic, they’re legitimate links that pass the attention test & help this flower shop dominate for all those of its main keywords. And therefore end dexhpky71 may be worth venturing out of my way to be certain our link is included with an awards page, or which a local magazine’s resource guide includes their service with the others in the area.
4. My own experiences
Throughout the clients we’ve had and the projects I’ve been part of, certainly one of the best things to check out in analytics will be the referral traffic of the sites we’re building links to. I want to see if several of the links we receive are sending any traffic, and if they are doing, in the event that traffic converts.
An example you think of is really a .gov link project we did to get a property site. Earlier in 2016, we built ~30 links during the period of 6-9 months (a significant small campaign), therefore we watched their organic traffic grow ~50% over this time period.
Taking a look at analytics, since the links were acquired, only 3 in the 30 have sent a lot more than 10 visits. A few them did send traffic that met conversion goals! But that wasn’t intending to make or break why we did the campaign in the first place.
I remember acquiring a blogroll link quite a while back that sent some serious traffic (mid 4 figures a month), that has been awesome. But when I spent time only going after links that will send traffic & conversions, I would’ve built considerably less links, and drove significantly less rankings for my clients & my very own sites (which, coincidentally, leads to less revenue).
So what’s the takeaway?
I totally realize why a good deal people would like to communicate this message. The short answer is that you attract bigger & better clients once you say things such as this. As somebody who writes more as a practitioner, and fewer like a thought leader, it’s clear that what I’m doing isn’t the ideal lead generation technique for an agency (for everyone 1 big budget client that contacts us, we get 50 small businesses unreasonably seeking to spend $200/month for great work).
With that said, I feel it’s crucial that you be aware of the concept of your message, while still keeping things practical. Here’s how you can perform it.
1. Check referral sources for opportunities
Scan referral traffic with your analytics for patterns & clues to a boost in traffic/revenue driving opportunities. This counts for both new links you’re building, but also for all past manually OR naturally acquired ones.
If you see 1 or 2 links which can be sending value, ask yourself “are there other link opportunities available the same as this?” For your agency, we usually develop a tactic that, at its core, is a single way of getting a web link, but can be applied to 1000s of sites. You could have just stumbled into something where there are many other opportunities much like it.
As an example – imagine an eCommerce niche electronics store getting a link from your local robotics club’s New Member Info page on the store’s Arduino starter kit product page. You can find probably 100s of other local robotics club which may have website information for new members (and will probably have fascination with that basic starter kit), so contacting each using a promo code for this product could scale rather well, and drive a great deal of revenue (ensure they mention the discount code with the next club meeting, too!).
2. If you get a revenue-generating link tactic, address it just like the golden egg that it is
Should you find one, put money into it to make it happen right whether it can find yourself spending money on itself.
Two general ones that come to mind are press coverage & forum link-building. If you’ve got an awesome product, paying a PR professional to obtain coverage could result in direct sales. If you’re within a niche which has active & passionate communities in forums, purchase becoming an integral part of them, and understand how you can post links in ways that’s allowed.