How effective is your link-building strategy? I’m sure your answer is, “I wish this could be better.” I have yet to encounter a business owner or executive who is pleased with their link-building strategy after speaking with them on a regular basis. Everyone requires connections, but they are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain.
What is the real answer?
Change your approach when it comes to connection building.
We’re only interested in one thing in any company marketing strategy: revenue.
We won’t get very far if we keep concentrating on the end target. You’ll miss out on all the extra measures that inspire your customer to purchase if you just concentrate on the final sale.
It might seem self-evident (so I’ll stop now), but the argument I’m trying to make is that advertisers can’t concentrate exclusively on the final sale. Something in the middle — a secondary metric that bridges the gap between “a stranger” and “a buyer” — is needed.
This is where the word “lead” originated, referring to a contact that we consider to be a smart solution.
A visitor’s journey from “stranger” to “lead” is shorter and more predictable than a visitor’s journey from “stranger” to “buyer,” and once a visitor becomes a lead, we can connect with them in a far more meaningful and personalized way (via email, Facebook re-marketing, on-site personalization’s, etc.).
So, how does this apply to link building?
We need ties in connection building, just as we want sales in marketing. However, concentrating on the end target in link building is just as restricting as it is in marketing.
These days, very few link builders do anything more than send an email and then use automated follow-ups. In link construction, there is no such thing as “lead generation.” It’s either a “link or no link” situation when it comes to news.
And that’s where that process is broken.
All of those bloggers, publishers, editors, and others can require multiple touchpoints when it comes to connection building (from something beyond an email). Furthermore, they may not be the best decision makers in the publication you’re aiming for.
You can see much better results if you apply the lead generation method to link building, and even better, those results will expand as you acquire more leads.
How to integrate lead generation into your link-building strategy
1. Identify your linking leads before you start creating content –
This is known as outcomes-focused data strategy in B2B marketing, and it simply means you need to know exactly what you want to achieve (the outcome) before you start designing a strategy to achieve that outcome.
Unfortunately, this definition is rarely applied to link building.
What happens if you reverse the process?
• The outreach team tells the content team of what subjects is attracting connections (with examples). This information should be gleaned from prospect research, current or anticipated trends, data from previous outreach campaigns, and so on.
• The content team (in collaboration with the outreach team) creates something that is superior to what is currently available on the subject. At this stage, both teams can decide to include the linking leads in the content development process (by reaching out and asking for expert opinions on the topic).
• The outreach team distributes the content to the contacts established prior to the production of the content.
2. Organize your linking leads
As previously stated, the end goal of link building is to create a link. However, the number of touchpoints required to link different leads will vary. Furthermore, more links are preferable to one.
A lead nurturing method is used in this situation.
Similar to how B2B marketers use various methods to “warm up” leads and get them closer to a deal, in link building, you can get a lot more links if you keep reminding your leads about your asset.
That will suffice for many link-building teams. I suggest taking it a step further and implementing a strong customer experience management plan, which includes:
• Building a comprehensive profile for each lead (which would also include their sites and columns, social media profiles, etc.)
• Using social media to reach out (via advertising and/or manual outreach)
3. Inside each media, you’ll find alternative contacts and decision-makers-
This approach extends to broad multi-author publications that would be suitable and continuing back link providers for your content when it comes to link building. Consider the New York Times, Mashable, or a big research publication in your field.
Requesting a link to your study or info graphic from one of their authors might not be enough (in fact, it will hardly ever be enough).
4. Invest in a variety of assets.
Diverse touchpoints necessitate diversification of assets. If you offer your linking leads anything useful to include in their post, your outreach will be more successful.
If your first email and follow-up weren’t good, try making a visual overview (info graphic) in your second follow-up to bring them something different to look at. If you offer your outreach and content teams the resources they need to build those properties, the process can become very simple and efficient.
5. Track your team’s success.
It’s all about your team. The entire process will stall if you do not adequately train them or efficiently assign tasks among your team members.
Or in the very least, include your outreach team in your social media marketing so that they can go beyond emailing as a method of outreach. Agora pulse and other similar tools will support in this process. You can create lists, track keywords, save and delegate updates to turn them into tasks, and so on.
6. Make your landing page more effective.
The people you email should have a positive first impression of your linkable asset. There are a variety of ways to accomplish this, but certain factors are helpful in almost any SEO campaign:
• Your web page must be ad-free. I’ve seen a lot of people refuse to provide “a free link” to a page that is monetized with advertisements. It’s pointless to argue with your providing links leads about this. It’s simpler to remove the ads from the page you’re currently link-building for. Besides, it’s usually very simple to accomplish.
• Create call-to-actions (CTAs) for your linking leads. This one is a little more advanced, but it will be extremely beneficial. On the linkable asset page, change the CTAs to fit your linking leads rather than your regular ads. Instead of “Sign up for a free trial,” you could include a link to a press release or invite visitors to download more data and resources.
• Another perfect way to re-market your asset to your linking leads is to use the Facebook pixel to track anyone who came to the site through your linkable resource.
Safe ties are those that we have no influence over. This transforms the link-building process into a form of art, or a carefully designed serendipity (one of my favorite business concepts). Before you hit your end goal, you must do a lot of things while keeping your end goal in mind.
When every site owner — experienced or amateur — is inundated with link requests these days, you need to step up your link-building game. Fortunately, there is a nearby marketing area from which you can learn: lead generation. To get great links to your website, use more complex and diverse outreach approaches.