I’ve recently heard from some people throughout the last year or so that, as link builders, we should basically be centering on links that drive traffic & revenue.
Earlier this week I watched a youtube video posted on Twitter from Wil Reynolds, which you’ll find below. I have got huge respect for Wil (interviewed him in 2012; still worth a read), and in general, I think that what he says in the community originates from an excellent, authentic place.
If you don’t want to watch it, the normal gist from it is the fact that a lot of the links SEOs are quality link building “don’t do anything for the client”, considering the fact that these links will not drive conversions, assisted conversions, newsletter sign ups, etc. He’s one of several people who have discussed links in this way, and in no way am I attempting to / wish to single him out (he’s only the most vocal / widespread of the bunch).
This concept sounds great theoretically, and will bring you pretty pumped up. Several other similarly exhilarating mottos pop into your head after i listen to it (heard during the entire community):
“Fire your clients! If you don’t like them, then stop dealing with them.”
“Build a website for users, not search engines!”
“Just create great content, as well as the links may come!”
However , we can easily sometimes swing very far in a direction, whether it’s up to the left (i.e. black hat SEO), or all the way to the correct (i.e. creating a site purely for UX). That can bring about extremes like getting penalties from search engines like yahoo on a single side, and building non-indexable sites in the other.
In this instance, the notion of only going after revenue driving links, rather than any others, is an ideal illustration of swinging too far in one direction.
1. Doing something which doesn’t directly bring about revenue
Let’s use the logic of this argument and put it to use for some other areas of SEO. Browse through this and say that, besides a number of specifics (i.e. page speed improvements), that any one of these improvements lead straight to increased revenue.
We also realize that Google loves original content, and there are many listing-type pages that SEOs create content for your we can easily safely assume few will certainly read. Maybe those product description sweat shops are writing content that individuals is likely to make purchasing decisions based off of, but there’s a high probability hardly any people are.
So: it’s OK that every activity we’re doing as marketers doesn’t directly lead to driving revenue. That’s lots of what we should do as SEOs, anyway.
2. Links which could or otherwise not make a direct impact on rankings
Wil discussed the concern that this links acquired in the campaign may not possess the impact that one hopes to get following the campaign has finished.
You could easily make your case that, for anything technical SEO-wise, it’s not really a sure thing an individual fix will impact rankings. Sometimes you’re in the dark in regards to what exactly is causing the situation. That’s why audits contain several items to address, because any person item will not be what Google takes probably the most problem with. So, for anything you’re doing on-site, it’s a risk on some level that it won’t have the impact you’re seeking.
But just how does building links compare with other marketing campaign types which involve outreach / outbound elements (i.e. advertisements, PR, etc.)? The majority of those, if not completely, don’t involve 100% confidence that you’ll receive the result you’re longing for, whether it’s branding, direct selling, or search rankings.
The expectation that the link building campaign should always result in a clear boost in rankings, especially while confronting a really complex, modern algorithm that may hinder an internet site from ranking due to numerous other issues, is a little unfair.
3. Existing well ranking websites & their link profiles
Now let’s look at example. Take the websites ranking for “San Diego Flowers”. The best ranking site because city is AllensFlowers.com. They’ve got a bit of solid links that appear like they drive a few sales here & there. They have a number of links that happen to be far more controversial regarding the direct, non-SEO value they offer:
These folks were given an award from a local event. I feel it’s safe to say few people have groomed the list of links in this article & made purchasing decisions based off any one of them.
These were placed in a resource guide for organising a wedding. If it page got a lot traffic from qualified potential clients (people planning a wedding), then beyond doubt, I really could check this out link driving revenue. But according to OSE, this web site only has 2 internal links, and so i didn’t find it ranking well for “san diego wedding resources”, thus i doubt over a handful of people start to see the page on a monthly basis, not to mention simply click that particular connect to Allen’s Flowers.
These folks were cited as one example of making use of a selected technology. I think it’s safe to say that no sales were driven here (who shops for florists which use mSQL?), and although it’s not niche or location related, it’s still a hyperlink from your very aged, DA50 website.
Do a number of these link examples pass traffic/conversions? Maybe; there’s absolutely no way of knowing beyond doubt in any event. But the idea is: these are typically 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 of their main keywords. And this end dexhpky71 is definitely worth heading out of my way to make certain our link is included by using an awards page, or that the local magazine’s resource guide includes their service using the others in the community.
4. My own experiences
Through the clients we’ve had along with the projects I’ve been part of, one of the most popular things to check out in analytics may be the referral traffic of your sites we’re link building to. I want to check if a number of the links we have are sending any traffic, and when they are doing, if this traffic converts.
One example you think of is actually a .gov link project we did for the real estate property site. Earlier in 2016, we built ~30 links throughout 6-9 months (a serious small campaign), and that we watched their organic traffic grow ~50% over that period period.
Looking at analytics, because the links were acquired, only 3 of your 30 have sent greater than 10 visits. A couple of them did send traffic that met conversion goals! But that wasn’t intending to make or break why we did the campaign from the beginning.
I recall obtaining a blogroll link quite a while back that sent some serious traffic (mid 4 figures monthly), that has been awesome. However if I spent time only pursuing links that could send traffic & conversions, I would’ve built considerably less links, and drove significantly less rankings for my clients & my very own sites (which, coincidentally, contributes to less revenue).
So what’s the takeaway?
I totally discover why a good deal people desire to communicate this message. The short answer is basically that you attract bigger & better clients whenever you say things such as this. As somebody who writes more as a practitioner, and less being a thought leader, it’s clear that what I’m doing isn’t the ideal lead generation technique for an agency (for anyone 1 big budget client that contacts us, we get 50 small businesses unreasonably trying to spend $200/month for great work).
Having said that, I think it’s important to know the meaning of your message, while still keeping things practical. Here’s how you is capable of doing it.
1. Check referral sources for opportunities
Scan referral traffic within your analytics for patterns & clues to more visitors/revenue driving opportunities. This counts both for new links you’re building, but in addition for all past manually OR naturally acquired ones.
If you find a few links that are sending value, consider “are there other link opportunities available exactly like this?” For our agency, we usually make a tactic that, at its core, can be a single method of getting a link, but can be applied to 1000s of sites. You may have just stumbled into something where there are several other opportunities exactly like it.
For instance – imagine an eCommerce niche electronics store getting a link from the local robotics club’s New Member Info page for the store’s Arduino basic starter kit product page. You can find probably 100s of other local robotics club which may have website information for brand new members (and will likely have fascination with that starter kit), so reaching out to each by using a promo code for that product could scale very well, and drive lots of revenue (be sure they mention the discount code with the next club meeting, too!).
2. Should you look for a revenue-generating link tactic, treat it like the golden egg that it is
Should you come across one, put money into it to accomplish it right if it can wind up purchasing itself.
Two general ones that come to mind are press coverage & forum link-building. If you’ve got an excellent product, paying a PR professional to help you coverage could result in direct sales. If you’re inside a niche which includes active & passionate communities in forums, purchase becoming an integral part of them, and understand how you can post links in such a way that’s allowed.