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The following excerpt is from the book Ultimate Guide to Link Building by Garrett French and Eric Ward, 2nd Edition. Buy it now on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% in this book if you use code MARKET2021 by 04/24/21.
We discovered six general factors that affect the size of a link building campaign. Ideally, your link builder will have ample time during the campaign design phase to consider all of these factors. In doing so, you are likely to discover a few more factors that are unique to your company's situation. The more factors you can consider and shape, the more unique and effective your campaign will be.
Factor 1: What is already working well for you?
We would like to start discussions with customers with a question about what is already working well – and not just when building links! For example, we can ask how our customers are currently generating their leads. Recently it found out that one of our customers had an email list of 10,000 subscribers that they'd built a good relationship with over the past 10-15 years! They estimated that at least 10 percent of their list were active web content publishers, which made this list the perfect place to start designing a campaign.
On the more link-oriented side, we recently worked through some questions with a perspective to discover your linkable assets. They didn't have the time or resources to create content. This is the connectable strength of our organization. When we asked what worked, they mentioned that they had products that they could give away for nonprofits and bloggers to use as prizes in sweepstakes and other types of contests. This understanding then informed the link possibilities that we had discovered for them by being able to systematically discover a large number of pre-qualified prospects.
We encourage you to think about what is already working well and take that into account when building your link. Supporting and growing what works can be a lot easier and more economical than trying to create something entirely new that doesn't come from strengths currently in place.
Factor 2: your business and marketing goals
Specific business and marketing goals are often lacking in link building campaign design, especially when a campaign is designed in a vacuum with no input from other departments.
Since link building has the ability to influence goals well beyond the ranking of your search engine results pages, we strongly recommend that your link building campaign supports your company's specific business and marketing goals at the design stage. You may even find a solution that is unique in the market.
Related: The Secret to Creating a Link Worthy Site
Factor 3: your linkable assets
What about your organization that can be linked? This could include internal social media celebrities, your company's brand, your company's story, your free tools or widgets, your unique and helpful content, your available creative talent, your actual budget, and much more. Also keep in mind that your industry's definition of "linkable" can and will differ from that of other industries. If all of your competitors have free web tools, this will no longer be a strong differentiator and may not generate interest or links.
Factor 4: Link possibilities in your space
The possibilities of linking existing from market to market can be very different. For example, if you are targeting a consumer marketplace, home-based bloggers might be a key segment for you. But if you're selling specialty dozer parts, hiring the daddy bloggers may not make all that sense.
Your market – especially the publishers serving your market and whom you wish to receive links from – determine the scope and nature of the opportunities available to you. Remember to always look for list results. They save you hours of searching. In addition, the presence of lists indicates a robust publishing niche.
Factor 5: departments that require your input and influence within the organization
As a link building agency, we mainly work with the search engine optimization (SEO) department within a company. Our methodologies typically include content creation and the engagement of industry experts. This sometimes means that we need to get approval from departments like PR, content strategy, social media, marketing, and even the CEO before the campaign can really get rolling.
Typically, we try to identify the department where our contact is most embedded, where they have the greatest impact, and then work to keep the campaign in their purview so we can get the fastest impact. The more departments need input, the more work the link builder has to do to convey cross-departmental concerns.
However, for sustainable, ongoing link building campaigns (and often these are not internally referred to as link building campaigns) you need to work on the political scene in your organization and constantly look for opportunities to do "link improvements". what others are already doing.
Factor 6: Your available resources
At the end of the day, your link building campaign will depend on the time and money you can put into it. Knowing how much time you can spend on your own and how much work you can ask or ask of others will help you define the overall scope of the project. Often – and rightly so – the resources you have available depend on your skills as a link builder, as well as your ability to effectively communicate probable and actual ROI.
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