Screw Link Building - Its called Relationship Building, #SESNY Notes

Screw Link Building - Its called Relationship Building

Jo Turnbull

Case Studies

  1. Search London
  2. SEO.jo blogs
  3. Clients
  • low cost for you / client
  • long term
  • beneficial to you and the client
  • quality link building is about relationship building

How to build relationships

  • be honest and open

  • attend events

  • take the long term view

  • do something different - stand out

  • ask why?

  • Search London

    • took over ownership oct 2010
    • goal was to grow the event
    • wanted to know more people in search
    • Changed name to “Search London” simpler and more effective
    • doubled in size from relationship building
    • How did I do it?
      1. Strong domain, meetup.com attracts members
      2. Got Good Speakers
      3. Guest post
      4. Interact with people at event
      5. Don’t spam people
      6. Central Venues
      7. Started using #SearchLondon hashtag on twitter
      8. Film presentations for later
    • Results
      • New search London website (beta)
      • Google’s Pierre Far asked to speak at meetup
      • First day time event - Google Campus March 20th
      • Could I have built this from links?
        • Invited to guest post
        • client confidence
        • personal brand has increased in industry
        • people want to sponsor the event
        • latest conference in front of entrepreneur
        • More links to SEO Jo Blogs and referrals
        • Cost: $60 every 6 months to host the meetups on meetup.com
  • SEO.jo blogs

    • Work freelance in Perth, Australia
    • Ran 5 meetups
    • Attended 2 Brighton SEOs
    • SMX London and SMX NYC
    • How to get started?

      • Just do it.
      • Be honest and approachable
      • Don’t be afraid of using your contacts
      • find a good blog in your field
      • use rapportive to find email address
      • use follerwonk
      • follow people on twitter and @tweert them
      • is there a public facebook group
      • personalize the email
      • short version of the email (no one likes reading long emails)

      • Attend relevant events

        • Many events e.g.. meetup.com, trade shows, new product launches
      • Travel bloggers / food bloggers / mommy bloggers
      • Approach with interest in the event
      • Speak to other bloggers
      • Speak to the press

      • Do something different

        • make sure you stand out
      • Results

        • regular blogger on state of search - euro best search blog 2012
      • post on Brighton SEO was top read seo blog of the year
  • Client case studies

    • Holiday apartments in Europe

      • client has a blog that hasn’t been updated
      • sole KPI was to increase in rankings
      • only off site work was allowed
      • What can i do is different?

        • Engaged in blogger outreach
        • reciprocal blogs
        • relationship with the bloggers
        • good blogs via meetups / search events
        • updated the client blog weekly with photos of new cities
          • Results
            • increase in number of referring sites
        • more natural link profile
        • increased rankings for key terms
        • brought forward fresh way of thinking
        • now the agency is engaging in blogger outreach
        • cost $300
      • Retail client

        • moving to new location in a new shopping mall
        • set up launch party
        • asked people to write their info and put it in a box
        • prize draw, doubled sales for day at the store
        • cost $1000

Building relationships takes effort

  • brainstorm ideas
  • buzz monitoring tools
  • What are people saying about the brand?
  • Topsy (what is trending)
  • Google instant search
  • Google insights / trends
  • Be prepared to address negative mentions

Find good blogs

  • search for lists
  • advanced search queries

    • inurl:guest-post
    • travel blogs “write for us”
  • Check out the blogs on the 10th page of google and work backwards

  • engage with blog communities

How to check the blogs are genuine

  • social media profiles established
  • contact us page
  • do they have google authorship?
  • look to see if there are other sites on same IP address
  • sent a test email, do they respond?

Personalize email

  • find the contact’s name and mention it in the email
  • mention if there has been communication before

    • twitter?
    • colleague?

Long term

  • don’t just look for the sponsored post
  • build up relationship with the blog owner
  • check out past posts on the blog
  • can the blogger help run a competition

    • look for comments on competition
    • who enters the competition? more potential bloggers
  • don’t give up

  • email follow up, but don’t harass

When the post is live

  • tweet
  • don’t be afraid to promote
  • share internally
  • share with friends

Ideas to do things different

  • Competition or contest
  • Sponsor an event

In summary

  • honest and approachable
  • attend events
  • take the long term view
  • do something different
  • why would the want to work with you

Part 2, Erin Everhart @erinever

Relationships require a lot of work

  • 1-on–1 relationships are the most valuable
  • Link building is hard

What do you want out of a relationship?

  • Value
  • Loyalty
  • Care
  • Friendships

Stuff not to do

  • Don’t just ask for links. It’s creepy.
  • don’t lie to people

Blogger outreach

  • Guest blogging

    • Searching for sources the old way

      • google the topic
      • Who are the people behind the website?
      • you are building relationships with people, not the website
      • learn about the people
      • New way to find sources

        • go on linkedin and search
        • search for employees from a company
        • search twitter
        • Follerwonk, SEO as a pro
        • FIND PEOPLE FIRST
        • Pinterest to find people and content that’s being shared
        • Other money keywords

          • blogger
          • blog owner
          • marketer
          • etc
        • work with what you have

          • analyze who follows you (follerwonk)
          • analyze THEIR followers
        • look for writers
        • they are already engaged with you
          • do this with your competitors
        • Don’t forget about the mass media
  • How do I contact people?

    • Do your homework, find out about these people
    • find the common denominator
    • interact with them, like, tweet, +1
    • don’t creep people out
    • on twitter instead of
      • hey I love your site can I guest post?
      • do this: start a conversation with someone, a real person
      • Call people
      • if you must email
        • make it noticeable
        • make it short, break things up in short digestible paragraphs
        • use the right address, at the domain name
        • fave subject line: “Hi NAME”
      • Talk to people like they’re your friends
    • Show you care, and people will care back
    • Ask them questions
      • people like talking about themselves
      • if you ask, they will answer
      • Give people things
        • things related to your industry
      • Be a resource
        • for other in industry
      • students
      • Lend a hand
      • do social good
      • give help with their site or whatever
      • Speak at student organizations
        • links from .EDU address (HUGE)
      • Have a personality
    • This is real company stuff @wilreynolds
      • Real companies build relationships

Maintain the relationship!

What can you expect

  • More traffic
  • More leads
  • More conversions
  • More revenue

This can’t be the only thing that you do

  • UX testing
  • Other outreach

Relationships are an investment, they have to incubate before you see any results.