Link building isn’t dead. It still has a very valid place in the white-hat marketer’s toolkit – and it can still deliver great results!
Example: Online Delphi Training
I was contacted a few months ago by the guys who run Online Delphi Training, a typical small business site that delivers courses in computer programming.
(In fact, it turned out that the trainer is only the cousin of my best friend from school! Small world.)
When I plotted out their marketing profile (as I teach in “Ultimate Web Design“), I realised that – although the conversion rate wasn’t great – the site’s immediate opportunity did not call for time-consuming and costly conversion optimisation work.
- I could see the domain was well-established already ranking quite well for a range of phrases related to “delphi” and “training” and “course”.
- In fact, they were ranking in top 5 positions, but outside the top spot, for some highly relevant keywords.
- And they were doing that without a great link profile (a situation common to many small biz sites).
- The competition wasn’t too strong – a good sign!
Now, the difference between ranking position 2 or 3 can be massive! On average, the result in the #1 spot in the search results will get more than twice the number of clicks the #2 results gets!
Remember, web marketing is all about increasing conversions. And to do that right, you first need to take a clear, honest look at the whole marketing environment.
- If you already have good traffic, a small increase in conversion rate might deliver quick extra profits.
- If your site is already profitable, and makes more profit per visitor than the typical PPC cost-per-click, then buying clicks could be your first step.
- But sometimes, as in this case, the low-hanging fruit could be organic traffic.
So this project called for good ol’ honest link building.
I spent a few hours in October, and here’s what has happened since…
The red vertical strip shows when I did most of my link building work.
The blue line shows the number of visits per week to the website from non-paid search.
The dark orange line shows the number of visits per month to the website from non-paid search.
As you can see, the organic traffic grew from the 150-250 visits per month range before I did my promotion, to 300-360 in November, December, and January.
- NThat’s a 50-percent increase in traffic (in fact, January 2014 already has more than double the traffic of February 2013!)
- From a sustainable source (i.e. doesn’t need to be paid for month after month).
- And using totally legitimate techniques.
Here’s What I Did
Link building doesn’t necessarily mean generating false low-value links from irrelevant websites. That’s counter-productive, often slow, and runs a significant risk of backfiring.
With a good, honest resource like this, you don’t need all that black hat cloak and dagger stuff. (Hiss, boo!!)
This is really just basic public relations! If you’ve got something good, tell the world about it, be nice and polite, and the world will usually reward you. (Yay!)
My primary technique was simply to type “Delphi links” into Google, pull up every relevant-looking links page (that Online Delphi Training should be on!) and contact the page owner to request nicely they add my friend’s cousin’s site!
A few of these lovely people helped out, and those few extra relevant links told the search engines that the rest of the web thought this site was more relevant than it had been before mid-October.
Update (June 2014): I’m doing the same thing with my client Bill Betts’ page: Tai Chi For Beginners, which is a brand-new domain, and I may add the results for that project here.
Of course you can get results like this yourself! You just need to understand how search engines work, and apply a few of the right basic techniques!
I’ll give you my complete search engine optimisation method in my “SEO from Scratch” quick course. It’s now only $47 (was $99).
(Note: Europe sales subject to 17.5% VAT)