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Over 100 Amazing Tips From Linklove 2013 (#linklove)

Mike Essex

by Mike Essex on 15th March 2013

Linklove 2013Today saw the final ever Linklove conference and we were there to send it off in style with the Distilled team and another fantastic line-up of speakers including Rand Fishkin, Ade Lewis, Wil Reynolds and Ian Lurie. And boy did the conference go out with a bang!

Wil Reynolds – “Head Smackingly Simple: Post Conversion Link Building Tips”:

  • Getting this link is not the finish line. It’s just the start to something a lot bigger.
  • Real companies have inertia and lots of content in place already which helps get links. Creating content takes time and effort but continues to generate links over and over.
  • Think about opportunities to nudge user behaviour – e.g. A page after newsletter signup that asks people to follow you on Twitter.
  • Then use the newsletter to push people to content which nudges them again.
  • Try a video after a contact form that says thanks. It’s another way to keep nudging people.
  • You don’t pay the bills in links. Those links have to do something or generate a response.
  • Blog about your vendors new features.
  • Helping people builds a lot more than links.
  • Do something for free to build links, trust and momentum.
  • Look at your existing email subscribers and see where they work – use FullContact API
  • Climbingframes.com.uk ask people to upload photos of their products for the chance to win a refund. Works great to get reviews and social proof.
  • Gplusdata.com helps you find google+ details for company employees.
  • Twtrland let’s you see who people talk to so you can be involved in the conversation.
  • Little bird tool lets you find people who are emerging in an industry so you can talk to them now. Get them before you need them!

Lyndon Antcliff – “How do I Get Them to Link?”

  • The number one problem with linkbait is attitude as knowledge can be easily picked up.
  • If you find a task hard that means you need to practice it more.
  • We don’t create content for Google, we create it for people.
  • Think publishing not linkbait.
  • Websites do not link to websites. People do the linking.
  • Natural links occur when people see content and people link to content. This is what Google want.
  • Psychographic – we have to focus on what is happening in the mind of the linker.
  • Attract people, engage them and get a reaction (link, email signup, social signal etc)
  • Aim for one link from the leader of a tribe – this then creates far more links in the future.
  • Mass Publishing – create content with a mass appeal as only a small percentage have the power to link.
  • Tabloid content – it is very hard to get people’s attention now as so many things are competing for their time.
  • It’s important to be objective over what works – just because people say infographics are overused does not mean they do not work as they still do.
  • Sometimes people get so excited by content they link without really thinking about it. This is often down to ‘tabloid style’ headlines that play on our primal emotions such as fear and greed.
  • The process of writing a great headline should take a few days – it should be as simple as possible but play on the human brain.
  • Reading poetry will help you discover how to write short sentences that are to the point.
  • Alan Carr’s book in comedy is a great book to read for linkbait title ideas.
  • Use the news for linkbait ideas as its relevant now.
  • When you want to have great links it takes a lot of time and there is a risk you won’t get it.

Hannah Smith – “23,787 Ways to Build Links in 30 Minutes”

  • Nothing has really changed with what should work and we already knew what Google found manipulative it’s just that now they are better at enforcing it.
  • Zemanta let’s you put your content in front of bloggers who are writing related posts.
  • Hannah built 257 links in a year just using Zemanta at an average cost of $14 a link. You don’t buy links you buy impressions of content.
  • Upload your images to Flickr and licence them under creative commons images, then in your description ask for them to credit your site.
  • Find sites using your images via image raider then contact them and ask to be credited.
  • If news sites cover your story ask them for an image credit, easier to get a link this way.
  • Create pages about your team – people are happier to link here as there is no commercial intent
  • Rapportive gmail plugin helps you guess contact details for websites to see if they are correct or not.
  • To build a link takes several emails, it’s very rare to get links from a single email.
  • If you build something, contact the companies whose tools you used and offer to write for them.
  • For large papers don’t ask for a guest post ask for a byline as that’s the language they understand.
  • Don’t write once and move on, become a regular contributor.
  • Leverage existing assets and create new ones you can leverage.

Ian Lurie – “Enterprise Link Spam Analysis”

  • If you need to find all your links use Google Webmaster Tools, SEOmoz and Majestic SEO.
    • Remove URLs that have bad names and look spammy
    • Remove those with bad anchor text
    • Go through and check the others for their moz rank and domain authority scores
    • Problem number 1 – you have to identify every bad link
    • Problem number 2 – you have to inform clients why links have to be removed
  • To create effective machine learning you need a training set (a list of what is good and bad) and an algorithm which then lets it give a classification for the items you put in.
  • Google is very sensitive to context so a link from a site could be great for one company but it could also be damaging you, depending on the context.
  • You need to consider how often the link from the page in that context of all the links on the site might seem spammy.
  • Google’s spam tolerance is declining over time. So what they didn’t see in 2012 they may see in 2013.
  • Clean up your link profile now even if you have never been penalised.
  • To get started with machine learning try the Google prediction API.

Richard Baxter – “How to Build Agile and Actionable Link Data Reports. With APIs”

Using APIs is easier than it looks and can be as simple as copying a URL in to Excel, it was a practical talk so it’s hard to sum up in notes but these are the best bits:

  • wipmania.com is a good API if you want a simple one to try.
  • The Seomoz API let’s you bring in links used and moz rank of pages.
  • The SEO tools for Excel plugin let’s you easily run API requests.
  • SEOGadget Open Site Explorer for Excel helps you gather further data and is a useful tool.
  • The SEOGadget API let’s you get Whois details, email addresses and more.
  • Majestic SEO API helps you get data from their fresh and historic indexes. If you pull it in to Excel you can generate charts.

Rand Fishkin – “How to Transform Your CEO into a Link Building, Social Sharing Machine”

  • The CEO plays a key role in setting the tone of the company.
  • Companies take on the personality and eccentricities of their founders and the CEO can move the needle massively on how things are done.
  • The CEO sets the mission, vision and strategy.
  • They spread the core values.
  • They allocate the company resources.
  • They can be the brand’s chief evangelist.
  • No one else will know the business as well as the CEO or have their same reach.
  • Coverage of the CEO is so much easier to get in the media than any other team member.
  • Thus the CEO’s job has to including evangelism and marketing.
  • CEO comments are more accepted on blogs and forums.
  • However the CEO does not have to be active themselves they can also encourage other people in the company to do marketing for the brand and embrace a culture that encourages this to spread.
  • You can even rely on the characters and celebrities in your adverts to act as your public face.
  • CEOs should:
    1. Explain to employees how your marketing funnel works so they can see what helps and do more of it.
    2. Be proactive in your industry
    3. Integrate company policy that can be used as PR.
    4. Empower your marketing team.
    5. Get good at a form of content.
    6. Acknowledge marketing accomplishments and reward them publicly.
    7. Optimise your online bio with links.
    8. CEOs amass favours that can be used for links and shares.
    9. Use your contacts to spread messages.
    10. Embrace authenticity as people want authentic experiences with brands.
  • Quite often we care more about the brand than what it creates.

Ade Lewis – “Small Business SEO for £350 per month”

  • With small business SEO you have to be good at everything so you can give them a great service
  • Small business SEO still has to stay away from spamming, they are equally at risk.
  • Ade classified a small business as less than 10 people.
  • The vast majority of small business owners now know what SEO is but they still want it all on a very small budget.
  • Find out about the business so you have as many ideas as possible.
  • Without goals you are just writing random content or blindly building links.
  • Educate them that it will take them a while to see results and involve them in the process.
  • The better your website is designed the easier it is to build links and do SEO.
  • Use the SEOmoz on page optimisation tool to see what changes need to be made to pages.
  • If you only do one thing for a small business client then make it Local SEO.
  • Add a blog and educate the client on what they can write about. Especially write about things that interest your customers.
  • You can help your local SEO by writing blog posts about the local area.
  • Fix links to your site that have a 404 to get extra link value.
  • A bigger website is not always better, you can merge pages to make things stronger. The key is to have pages that add value.
  • For small businesses he recommended targeting sites with a domain authority of 30-60. Below that are low quality sites, above that are too hard to get.
  • For every 30 emails of outreach Ade expects 5 to be accepted.

Claire Stokoe – “Out of 5 million infographics only 1.3% will give you an orgasm in 0.3 of a millisecond”

  • At the heart of every infographic has to be statistics and they have to be a visual representation of data.
  • Find data, sort it in to what is useful and arrange it so the data can be presented in a way so it walks people through the data.
  • Infographics are not a paradigm shift, they have existed for hundreds of years.
  • An idea that works well must be well researched, well presented and well placed.
  • Types of infographic:
      • Statistical
      • Geographic
      • Training / timelines
      • Opinion pieces
      • Sourced data
  • Always have three target audiences for everything because if it doesn’t hit then you have others to fall back on.
  • Go for the highly shareable PR sites first as it is easier to get small sites afterwards.
  • Use LinkedIn to find out blogger contact details and see what they share. You should also join groups they are in.
  • Get to know your targets across every social network they are on as they may ignore you on one but react to others.
  • A good header should tell you exactly what is in an Infographic.
  • Have a hook that draws people in.
  • Create a good clear path through the data.
  • Make it arty but simple.
  • Be creative with typography.
  • Use icons instead of text and have as little text as possible.
  • You have to add references and should include creative commons logo so you can later ask for a link.

Will Critchlow – “The Future of Link Building”

  • All of the best ways to build links now are about more than just the link.
  • Link building is a terrible name for what we do.
  • Times have moved away from getting more links to getting the right links and removing the bad links.
  • This is the last linklove because the focus on links is leading us astray. Especially as its now about content and social also.
  • People hate SEOs because they were seen to break a lot of the web – directories, comments, forms, infographics, guest posts and more.
  • If corporations are people, then brands are the celebrities.
  • Worry about how slow your website is.
  • Worry about how few journalists you know.
  • Stop worrying about nofollow. Start worrying if no one will click the link.
  • You need to be good at technology, content and fame (how to get it in front of people). Your strategy needs to cover all three.
  • Hire the right VP of marketing or you will just end up with blue pens with your logos on them.
  • Try to earn attention instead of shares.
  • Some tasks to try to improve your ability as online marketers:
    • Call three journalists and pitch them a story you found online (doesn’t have to be your story)
    • Present to a crowd of 200+ people
    • Present to a board
    • Negotiate with a sales person and get 10% off
    • Reach out to a hero
    • Debate a business case from Harvard Business Review
    • Sell something door to door or make 10 cold calls
    • Run a live usability test
    • Answer three customer calls
    • Install a web server
    • Contribute to an open source project
    • Make something and sell a copy online
    • Film and edit a video
    • Make a graphic and get 20 shares
    • Make an interactive infographic
    • Write for a publication that you’ve previously bought
Mike Essex

Mike Essex

Mike Essex specialises in digital marketing and everything search. A recent project of Mike’s was featured on BBC News, Radio 5Live and the Times here in the UK, whilst also featuring on USA Today and ABC News in the US. He will be writing throughout the month about digital marketing and much more...

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4 Comments

  • AndyK 18th March 2013

    Awesome write up Mike, thanks. Was a great day, especially loved Will Reynolds’ opening presentation.

    Cheers

    Reply to this comment

  • Gaz Copeland 18th March 2013

    Hey Mike,

    The refference to Alan Carr’s book on comedy should actually be “Jimmy Carr”. The book is called “The Naked Jape” (and is a great read!)

    Gaz

    Reply to this comment

  • Bachtiar 27th March 2013

    Nice article and tools Mike. But I find out that some of that tools mentioned above is no longer working.

    Cheers,

    Reply to this comment

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