Yesterday I attended Link Love, a link building conference hosted by Distilled at The Brewery on Chiswell Street in London. The venue, hospitality and content of this year’s conference was superb and I even picked up a dinosesaur for Comic Relief.

All of the presentations were excellent and my favourites were: Ian Lurie from Portent, Ade Lewis from Teapot Creative and Distilled’s Will Critchlow. Ian’s presentation on Enterprise Link Spam Analysis appealed to the geek in me; Ade’s Small Business SEO for £350 per Month helped provide some much needed answers to questions that I had about local SEO and Will’s presentation about The Future of Link Building was certainly the most inspirational.

Below I have provided an overview of each presentation along with the key points that I picked up, a link to the speaker’s deck and their contact details.

I’d appreciate it if you could share my write up and look forward to any feedback.

 

Head Smackingly Simple: Post Conversion Link Building Tips

Head Smackingly Simple: Post conversion Link Building Tips

Wil Reynolds / SEER Interactive
@wilreynolds / Wil on Google+ / View Wil’s Deck

  • When it comes to link building, there’s no finish line ever. In fact acquiring the link is just the beginning.
  • Companies have been writing content even before the term ‘Content Marketing’ was coined. #RCS
  • Businesses that lose money on the first purchase are obsessed with the next step.
  • Buy the book Nudge. A nudge is a small thing that leads to something; in this case it could be a link. Examples of a nudge might be a newsletter subscriber, a new Twitter follower or even a mention on Twitter.
  • What are you doing that with a few small changes you can turn them into link building opportunities? For example, after a newsletter signup, ask customers to follow you on Twitter and provide a link.
  • Blogging about your vendor’s new features is a great way to build a relationship and may lead to the acquisition of a link.
  • Share what you do! Lose the mentality that if “…we can make money from you, we’ll help you” and just help people anyway. Helping people does more than building links and as the number of people you help increases, so too does the number of people who are willing to help you.
  • Take a look at Full Contact and use it to check for content marketers in your company database. Segment this list and use it to greater effect.
  • Perform some social proof to demonstrate your product / concept to new customers using existing customers. Social Proof + Conversions > Links.
  • Analyse what your link targets link out to and then create content to target this interest.
  • Use GPlusData.com to find the details of company employees. If you’re already paying these people, utilise this and get them to link to you.
  • Check out CircleCount.com it’s a great tool for helping you to better understand Google+.
  • Twtrland is an excellent tool for helping you to analyze a user’s engagement. Using this tool makes it easier to get involved in the conversation.
  • Use Little Bird to discover emerging influencers and connect with them before they become famous.

 

How Do I Get Them To Link?

How Do I Get Them To Link?

Lyndon Antcliff / Cornwallseo
@Lyndoman / Lyndon on Google+ / View Lyndon’s Deck

  • The problem with link bait is the attitude of the creator.
  • It’s easier to pick-up knowledge than change attitude.
  • Remember that content should be created for people, not bots. People do linking, not websites.
  • It’s far better to acquire one link from ‘the leader of the tribe’ – the influencer than 1,000s of links from un-influential people.
  • Our brains have evolved to be receptive to imagery.
  • Use social media to your advantage; don’t get sucked in and become a junkie. There’s a war going on at the moment, a war for people’s attention. In publishing you either get attention or you don’t.
  • The human mind can be categorized into three sections:
  1. Primal. Wired to keep you alive, this part of your brain responds to basic stimuli; it loves a cracking headline.
  2. Mid-level. This is your sub-conscious and it’s irrational, impulsive and loves things that make us feel good.
  3. High-level. This is your conscious and responds to auditory and visual input. Most decision making is not conscious.
  • In terms of producing link bait the article headline should target the primal part of our brains; the body content should satisfy the sub-conscious and the conscious should feel like it’s making the decision.
  • Ultimately when producing link bait you need to think like the Economist and create like the Sun. Get attention and get engagement!
  • Creating content that delivers great links costs money, investment and risk, but the rewards are worth it.

 

23,787 Ways to Build Links in 30 Minutes

23,787 Ways to Build Links in 30 Minutes

Hannah Smith / Distilled
@hannah_bo_banna / Hannah on Google+ / View Hannah’s Deck

  • Don’t buy links from Fiverr – you really don’t want them.
  • Crappy link building is not sustainable. You cannot get away with manipulative link building anymore. There are a number of sustainable ways to build links.
  • Use Zemanta for outreach by delivering quality content to bloggers who are looking for references to link to. It’s worth paying to have your content promoted.
  • Make photos embeddable so that when people attempt to steal them they are presented with the option to embed an image credit back to you.
  • Upload images to Flickr and licence them under creative commons.
  • Stop referring to image credits as attribution links, non-SEOs don’t know what these are. They’re image credits!
  • Check the statistics of your YouTube videos, reach out to people who have embedded your videos and ask them for a link.
  • Rapportive is a nice tool for visualising your outreach target’s contact details inside Gmail.
  • Build something and then offer to write for the company whose tools you used. They may link back to you.
  • Add a ‘by line’ to each article you write and link this back to your Google+ profile.
  • Become a regular contributor to related blogs, not just a one night stand.
  • The Guardian published lots of high quality data; use it to create infographics that attract links.
  • Leverage existing assets and create new assets to leverage.
  • Do stuff that attracts links, rather than stuff for links.

 

Enterprise Link Spam Analysis

Enterprise Link Spam Analysis

Ian Lurie / Portent
@portentint / Ian on Google+ / View Ian’s Deck

  • When conducting enterprise link spam analysis you need to discover all of your links. Use Google Webmaster Tools, SEOmoz and Majestic SEO to ensure that you’ve captured everything.
  • Start by removing URLs that have spammy looking names or poor anchor text distribution. Filtering must be perfect otherwise you risk being shut off by Google. Next, analyze each link’s moz rank and domain authority score.
  • This process presents two difficulties: the first is that you must identify every bad link; the second is that you must communicate to your clients why the offending links must be removed. This can prove tricky if they’ve invested heavily in these low quality links.
  • Ian built a piece of software to help accomplish this and has integrated a machine learning algorithm to assist.
  • Machine learning can be divided into the following areas: ‘training set’ – data related to high quality and spammy domains; the ‘algorithm’ – supervised or unsupervised. Supervised means that the system is given the training set, whereas unsupervised indicates that the system learns on its own. Finally the result is a ‘classification’ – this is the answer, was the system correct?
  • Check out Google’s How Search Works. They’ve become very sensitive to the context of a link. They’re spam tolerance is declining and what might have been acceptable last year, will certainly not be accepted this year.
  • Clean up your link profile now or get buried.

 

How to Build Agile and Actionable Link Data Reports. With APIs. (Live Tutorial)

How to Build Agile and Actionable Link Data Reports. With APIs. (Live Tutorial)

Richard Baxter / SEOgadget
@richardbaxter / Richard on Google+

  • It’s incredibly easy to use APIs to create client reports and develop prototypes.

 

How to Transform your CEO into a Link Building, Social Sharing Machine

How to Transform your CEO into a Link Building, Social Sharing Machine

Rand Fishkin / SEOmoz
@randfish / Rand on Google+ / View Rand’s Deck

  • A CEO sets the mission, vision and strategy in an organization. They should live, breath and spread the core values. Amongst other things they should be the brand’s evangelist.
  • Why would a CEO do the marketing themselves? No one else will know the business as well as they do. No one else has the CEO’s reach or coverage. No one else has the CEO’s authority.
  • Much of what makes leaders great is also what makes them great marketers.
  • There are 3 kinds of great CEO marketers:
  1. The Richard Branson. He leverages the celebrity of himself and his position to benefit his brand.
  2. The Danielle Morrill. She’s an active blogger and social user.
  3. The Jeremy Stoppelman. Personally passionate about an issue.
  • What if you can’t be that CEO? Delegate to an internal marketing leader, rely on your product or be good at other stuff.
  • CEOs should:
  • Understand and evangelize how your funnel works.
  • Be proactive in their industry.
  • Leverage the press wisely. For example, paid, paid vacation – link building through policy.
  • Empower their marketing team.
  • Get good at one or more forms of content.
  • Recognize marketing accomplishments the way that product, engineering and financial milestones are recognized.
  • Optimize your online bio and update it regularly.
  • They amass favours and then ‘cash them in’ – possibly for links or shares.
  • They leverage their contacts to amplify messages.
  • They embrace authenticity.
  • Authenticity is winning over the old corporate world.

 

Small Business SEO for £350 per month

Small Business SEO for £350 per month

Ade Lewis / Teapot Creative
@Teapot_Ade / Ade on Google+ / View Ade’s Deck

  • Small business SEO relies on a strong relationship with your client. You need to understand and aim to be an asset to their business.
  • It’s not about doing everything, the budget probably doesn’t allow for that. It’s about doing enough to shift the needle and make a difference.
  • Stay away from spammy activity!
  • A small business is any organization comprising 10 people or less. For example, plumbers, mechanics, builders, hairdressers, fitness instructors, coaches, etc.
  • Start with some realistic goals to aim for. What can reasonably be expected within the budget.
  • Educate the client. A poor website is unlikely to convert new business leads and will reduce credibility; upgrade the site as a priority. Help your client to have a website that deserves to rank.
  • To be successful online the client must be credible online.
  • Within 15-minutes someone in your team should be able to look at a client’s existing website and come up with a whole A4 page for initial improvements.
  • Run your client’s site through the SEOmoz optimization tool and ensure that the key pages have ‘A Grades’.
  • Target local search, there are some big wins to be had.
  • Analyze target keywords using the Google keyword tool. Look at the number of local searches with an exact filter.
  • Ensure that your client has a blog and teach them how to curate content. They should be blogging about things that interest their customers and not just their business.
  • Blogging about local topics and issues is a great way to accumulate backlinks. If you’ve made someone look good, let them know.
  • A good idea is to add the local area to the blog as a category.
  • Finding and fixing orphaned links, such as 404s is a great way to approach small business SEO.
  • Combine existing pages. A bigger site is not always better; a smaller site with fewer pages that add real value is preferable.
  • Ask your client for a list of everyone that they know personally or through business who has a website. Now call each person on this list and ask them to link to your client. Offer them a free link check on their website. If you explain why links are important and tell them how to fix it you may well acquire another new client.
  • The goal is to place 5 links each month. To do this use the link prospecting tool to identify domains with domain authority 30-60. Send 25-30 outreach emails per month in batches of 10 emails.
  • Once you have your prospects, use Buzzstream to build a relationship.
  • For content creation on a budget use textbroker.co.uk or .com (.com’s cheaper). Always go for 4 star quality authors and build teams of writers. Give them a 1-day deadline and set out a rough structure for them to follow when writing the article.
  •  Identify tactics that could work for your client and breakdown into chunks.
  • Be creative. Information will get you from A to B but imagination will get you anywhere.

 

Out of 5 million infographics only 1.3% will give you an orgasm in 0.3 of a millisecond

Out of 5 million infographics only 1.3% will give you an orgasm in 0.3 of a millisecond

Claire Stoke / Mediaworks
@killer_bunnie / Claire on Google+ / View Claire’s Deck

  • At the heart of every infographic are the statistics used to create it.
  • Find data, sort it into useful chunks and then arrange it into a presentable and intuitive format.
  • An effective infographic should have a journey.
  • Infographics are nothing new; they’ve existed for hundreds of years. Even Florence Nightingale created one in 1851.
  • For an idea to work well as an infographic it must be well researched, well presented and well placed.
  • There are a number of types of infographics: statistical, geographic, training / timelines, opinion pieces and sourced data.
  • When creating infographics always have 3 target audiences in mind, that way if it doesn’t resonate with one, you have the others to fall back on.
  • Go to highly shareable, high PR sites so that it’s easier to acquire links from smaller site afterwards.
  • It’s worth using LinkedIn to engage with the owners / decision makers behind these high PR blogs. Get an introduction by joining a LinkedIn group.
  • Everyone should be creating seasonal infographics and aiming to win.
  • Save your creativity by understanding the community and developing your social accounts.
  • Every infographic needs an effective header, a hook, a path through the infographic and must be arty but simple. Consider typography, icons over text, colour palette (check out Colour Lovers) and promotion.
  • Reference your data well and add a creative commons to protect your own work.

 

The Future of Link Building

The Future of Link Building

Will Critchlow / Distilled
@willcritchlow / Will on Google+ / View Will’s Deck

  • Link Love 2013 will be the last; the focus has now shifted to content and social.
  • The question asked by most clients used to be – why don’t I rank? The answer was you need links. Fast forward to 2013 and the question has remained the same, but the answer has changed to – not those links.
  • The best ways to build links nowadays involve more than just the link.
  • Aim to build flywheels over the unsustainable.
  • Learning is greater than training.
  • Everyone hates SEOs because we have broken: directories, comments, forums, infographics and guest posting.
  • A quote from Eric Schmidt: “Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.
  • Worry about how slow your site is or how few journalists you know. Stop worrying about nofollow and start worrying about whether anyone will actually click the link.
  • You need to be good at content, technology and fame. Your strategy needs to cover all three. Try to earn attention instead of shares. Measure links based on engaged users.
  • Want to improve as an online marketer? Make yourself uncomfortable and push yourself!
  • Pitch a journalist who will run a story based on your tip. Make sure you stay in touch with that journalist.
  • Present to a crowd or board of Directors.
  • Negotiate with a salesperson and get 10% off.
  • Record a webinar.
  • Reach out to a hero.
  • Debate a business case, there are some good ones here.
  • Sell something door to door.
  • Make 10 cold calls.
  • Run a live usability test. For example, go into Starbucks and ask someone to look at or search for your site in exchange for a coffee.
  • Answer 3 customer calls.
  • Read to a child.
  • Install a web server, break it with too much traffic and then fix it.
  • Contribute to an Open Source project.
  • Make something and sell it online.
  • Film and edit some videos.
  • Make a graphic and get 20 shares.
  • Make an interactive infographics in a day.
  • Build a wireframe.
  • Remove someone from a photo.
  • Rewrite and/or redesign a landing page.
  • Write for a publication you’ve previously bought.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my write up. Feel free to leave me a comment below or connect with me on Twitter or Google+.

Article by Stephen O’Neil.