I attended the highly popular Distilled & SEOmoz link building seminar in London in mid March. Speakers were from various SEO backgrounds and topics ranged from personal link building mistakes to the future of link building – even touching on some dark hat tactics that surprisingly many agencies still adopt!
I won’t go into full detail of each talk but have compiled the top advice and insights:
Having a plan for all your link building activity might sound obvious, but it was highlighted how many times a great idea is executed without considering the wider context. Always have a solid plan and map it back to your wider strategy before embarking on any link building activity. At Leapfrogg we always create central content plans at the start of campaigns that all creative content and link building cascades from. This helps tie all activity into the wider marketing mix and enables all communication output to be unified.
An important aspect for any brand is building advocates – these can be on topic bloggers or even better, current users of your site. If you have an active community on your site already, use them! Continue to build an ‘army’ by creating blogger relationships and nurturing them well before you think you may want their input in return.
Using social media does work. It may not deliver rankings per se, but will enforce the voice of your brand amongst your target audience. You can use Twitter as a short term strategy to see temporary boosts in rankings. As social search is becoming more vital in the consumer purchase journey, it’s important to be fully aware of the power of these channels.
There have been some opinions that widgets are an old and useless tactic. However, widgets still work – any embedded content does! This is good news for me, as I’m about to embark on some widget building activity… (more on that later!).
Finally, don’t forget the importance of existing links. Link reclamation is often a quick and powerful win. If you can’t get a keyword rich link, ensure your brand or website link is correct – this will still add value to your whole domain.
The main take out was simple: always think of the end user first, search engines second – by creating diverse, compelling content…not spam! This is the same message that Leapfrogg has been advocating since 2003 when the agency started out so nothing particularly new there. But it was good to see even some of the most hardened black hatters in attendance coming round to this way of thinking.