This is the last lesson in our series and from next month the newsletter will take a different (but still very interesting) stance to help you improve your search marketing, but more about that next time.
You’ve probably had enough of me talking about link building so I promise this is the last input on the subject, but it will complete a very important topic.
I also want to introduce you to a (very low cost) resource you may wish to use to do this work for you and then talk about some measurement tools so you can keep track of your search marketing activities. But first….
The Last Word On Link Building
It really is, and for those of you who want oodles more detailed information on the subject there’s a great and comprehensive article called 131 Legitimate Link Building Strategies at http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/2160301.
It covers off how to put together a courteous letter to potential link partners, different strategies and sources of links and much more. If you dont want to read it here’s a shorter version of ways to get more links:-
1. Reciprocal Linking – your business partners, customers, suppliers, websites with complementary services – you know, I’ll give you one if you give me one. Not as good as one way links but almost if the content is relevant
2. Set up your own blog (like this one) and leave a link to your site. Also comment on other blogs and leave a link (careful though, you intent needs to be sincere – not just a device to get a link). There’s more information on this at https://www.janklin.com/blog/qa-spotto-blog-or-not-to-blogse-optimisation-and-blogging/
3.Participate in newsgoups and drop your link – http://groups.google.com/
4. Search with one of your more important keyphrases – who’s at number on in the list? Of course its your top online competitor. Check out his backlinks using one of the tools you have leaned about (Marketleap, Linkpopularity.com, Linkdomain at Yahoo). Maybe you should get some of the same links as him?
5. As 4, but try to find some not directly competitive sites in the top rankings and maybe approach them for a link.
6. Local trade organisations you may be a member of (eg your local chamber of commerce, Federation of Small Business etc)
7. Sites with geographically local content – local city council site, business link, tourist board etc
8. Professional bodies you may be affiliated to – Chartered Institute of Marketing, Institute of Directors, Fellowship of worshipful stomemasones etc
9. Set up an affiliate scheme. NB Make sure you set up your own scheme (for example My Affiliate Programme from www.kowabunga.com) rather than using an intermediary like Commission Junction, so you own the link not the intermediary.
A Useful Resource
If you want to outsource this the of course you can. The going rate for link building is around £12-£15 per link if you do this, however, here’s an interesting option.
www.elance.com is an online marketplace for web related services. Here you can post your requirement and get guys form all over the world bidding for your business. You’ll get some guy from India offering to do your link building for, lets say, a very competitive price. As little as £3 per link.
The suppliers on elance are all star rated by people who have used them so you can get a sense of the quality they offer. I’ve used the site a few times with good results. The trick here is make sure your specification is detailed enough. You can see what other people have specified as a guide but please get in touch with me if you want input and I’ll share with you the spec I used for link building.
Measure and Modify
You’ll need two essential tools to monitor your search marketing effectively. One’s a ranking checker so you can check your progress with the keyphrases you have chosen with the search engines you want good rankings in. The other is a graphically oriented web stats tool. The good news is you can get good free tools for both of these needs.
Marketleap can do this for you. If you want something a bit more automatic look at the tools I’ve mentioned previously at https://www.janklin.com/blog/qa-spot-good-tracking-tools/.If you want something completely automatic use what I use – Internet Business Promoter from www.alexa.com.
I paid for my version (which does an awful lot more than rank checking) however it does rank checking very well and you can download a free version.
You can feed in the keyphrases you are interested in, tick off the search engines you want to check, and IBP will check and report back on your positions by keyphrase for each search engine.
If you check regularly and do the things I’ve suggested you will see a gradual (sometimes sudden) improvement in rankings and of course ultimately more business.
Web Stats Tool.
There are many – a good free one is www.statcounter.com. A more comprehensive one is www.dataplain.com . The last two you’ll need to pay for so try statcounter it will probably be all you need, at least in the early stages.
What do you need to monitor?
At the very least you’ll want to display nice graphs of your monthly, or weekly, visitors so you can see the upward trend.
You’ll also want to see which search terms and which search engines are bringing you visitors.
Another useful thing to measure is your ‘keyphrase market share’. For example you could find out on the keyword assistant at Yahoo how many searches per month the phrase ‘designer giftware’ generates (don’t forget to multiply by 2.2 to take account of google). Lets say its 1000. You webstats tool will tell you how many click throughs you get for this phrase. Lets say its 10. Work out the percentage – in this case its 1% – so there’s lots of room for improvement. If its 20% maybe you’re as optimised as you can get.
Actually there’s no limit to what you can measure and how this may hone your activities.
Remember one other thing about search marketing which is different from most other forms of marketing is that when people arrive at your website having searched for a relevant phrase – you have a qualified prospect. If you sell ‘Sony Vaoi z1sp laptops’ and someone types in that phrase and lands on your site you have a high possibility of converting the visitor to a sale. This again points to the all important keyphrase selection stage.
Anyway best wishes with it and let me know how successful you are and call if you need help (Jan Klin on 01928 788100: firstname.lastname@example.org: www.janklin.com)