Should I Redesign My Website Before I Start Building Links?

Hung up on deciding whether to redesign your site before you start building links to it? It’s hard for me to answer that question without first knowing why you’re considering a site redesign in the first place.

If on the one hand, your current website design is stalling your brand, then I suggest holding off on building links until you get the situation rectified. The last thing you need to be doing is reaching out to people for links under those circumstances.

However, on the other hand, if you’re redesigning the site for any reason other than brand reconstruction, delaying your link building efforts will only stall what you’re trying to accomplish on your website.

That’s how I see the matter at least.

 

What Link Prospecting Targets Will Help My Business the Most?

Who should you target first in your Link Prospecting Campaign?

The answer, of course, is contingent upon what you’re looking to accomplish with the links you’re building. If you want to generate referral traffic and increase revenue, with the links you earn, I suggest you read the rest of this post carefully. If you follow my suggestions, it will produce links, referral traffic, and a substantial ROI for your efforts.

A quick warning is needed, however, everything you’re about to read flies in the teeth of what most knowledgeable SEO Trainers will teach you to do. Which is why it works to generate money, not everyone is doing it yet.

What Link Prospecting Targets Will Help My Business the Most?

Most SEO Agencies have an incredibly hard time with link prospecting because they target the wrong prospects. As a result, they spend energy and your budget barking up the wrong trees.

Sure, some of them have gotten pretty good at finding guest post opportunities, and EDU links, but will those types of links generate income for your business?

They might if Googe likes the links they build enough. But for how long? Google’s algorithm is always changing, and search engine rankings are never permanent.

That’s why I like targeting buyer prospects as the first link placement opportunities in our client’s B2B campaigns.  They’re the guys and gals buying our client’s products and services. Waiting for them to find our clients on Google makes zero sense when we can reach out to them direct via link prospecting.

Of course, we always need to create a resource those buyer prospects will want to link to, but the same goes for any link building campaign. If you have to create a resource, create it for your buyer prospects, not the search engines.

We make soft touches with these prospects and either earn their link or their business.

How Long Will It Take to See Results from My New Links?

How long does it take to see results from link building?

It depends on the type of links you’re building, and what you’re hoping to accomplish with them.

Most agencies will state that ‘SEO Takes Time,’ and to their credit, they’re correct. But how long is too long to wait? My answer to that question may surprise you; it also may upset a lot of agency owners.

If Your Links Are Not Generating Revenue From Referral  Traffic, Build Better Links

The best way top judge the effectiveness of your links is to track the revenue each link produces for your business from referral traffic. Any link that isn’t generating revenue for your business is a link you wasted either your time or your money building.

Too many smart business owners judge the success of their SEO efforts by the amount of money their website brings in from their search rankings. Which is the precise reason why so many business owners operate under the assumption that ‘SEO Takes Time.’

If you’re going to reach out to other companies for links, it might as well be the ones who can deliver the highest levels of profitable traffic. It will generate revenue for you the quickest, plus be the precise type of links the search engines will reward you for having in your link profile.

Seek New Revenue Sources For Your Business, Not Link Opportunities

If a link you build does not immediately begin generating referral traffic to your site, quit building anymore like it. You’ll save your company a boatload of time, money, and effort (and sanity!) if you do.

Anyone that tells you link building takes time before it produces results is apparently creating the wrong type of links.

How Should I Handle My Link Outreach Campaign?

Looking to add some oomph to your link outreach campaign? Sure you are, what successful link builder isn’t these days?

With a bit of elbow grease on your part and the right bit of instruction from yours truly, your outreach ratios will improve quickly. In fact, link outreach is by far the easiest discipline to master in any link building campaign.

Most novices fail at it though, read on to learn why that is, and what you need to do to ensure your outreach attempts start rocking in results.

Picture of text "Link Outreach Campaign" with blue question mark and your seo squad logo that looks like a bull.
Are You Self-Sabotaging Your Link Outreach Campaign?

Imagine for a moment that you run a major successful blog with hundreds of thousands of loyal readers.

Life is good.

You’re making more money than ever. Working fewer hours, spending quality time with your family, and you’re fit because you have time to work out and eat healthy foods.

After your morning Yoga/workout routine, you sit down to check your emails from the day before.

Checking your merchant account receipts (who doesn’t check those first!), you notice a dozen emails from people you don’t recognize.

All 12 want you to look at their content and then link to it from your blog and then share it on social media. Given the fact you built your blog up to where it is today by providing great content to your readers, your eyes flow deeper into the emails.

Immediately you recognize the wording on ten of them as being copy and pasted clones of one another. The only thing different about them is the link shared at the end of them.

You delete those ten emails without replying.

The remaining two link requests look a lot more promising, so you reply to them.

Out of the two, you end up backlinking to one of their sites.

You are aware of both link builders now but have no clue who the other ten are.

Moral of the story:

The recipients of your backlink requests will first judge those requests by the email or message you send them. If you cannot get past this initial filter, your efforts with them are doomed. Don’t send out canned emails, because you’ll come across as being fake, or worse yet, a liar.. and make sure to have your ducks in a row before starting your link outreach campaign. That means establishing your authority and your site’s authority before you do anything else.

Beyond that bit of obvious wisdom, make sure to also have your ducks in a row before starting your link outreach campaign. That means establishing your authority and your site’s authority before you do anything else.

Moving on to that.

Cold Fact: If You Lack Authority Influencers Will Avoid Your Outreach Efforts Like the Plague

You will need to establish yourself as an authority before anyone will treat you like you are one.

The best way I know to increase the success of your link outreach campaign is to become an authority in your niche. When you do, high-quality backlinks will follow.

Why do you need to have Influencers perceive you as an authority in your niche?

So, they backlink to your site, that’s why. That backlink will generate direct traffic to your site from the influencer’s site. It will help improve your search engine rankings on Google and Bing.

Not only that, the Influencer might even send an email to their list with a link to your site.

When that happens, you better boost the resources on your web hosting. Otherwise, the flood of traffic will crash your site.

Lots of good things happen when an Influencer reacts positively to your outreach to them.

But…

What exactly is an authority?

It’s someone who people pay attention to and who’s opinion they respect and even trust.

Authorities gather links and opportunities from successful link outreach campaign; non-authorities hand out their resumes at job fairs.

How to Establish Yourself as an Authority

If you want to become a successful link builder, you need to learn how to get people who matter the most to pay attention and respect you.

That’s not as easy to do as it sounds.

If you’re attempting to build backlinks without first establishing your authority you’re burnt toast.

Stop Hiding Your Knowledge Behind Price Tags and Opt-In

Forms

Want to become an influencer? Become a teacher!

Most website owners make the mistake of hiding their expertise behind price tags and opt-in forms.

The problem with this approach is that most of the Influencers they reach out to will never have access to that knowledge.

Because they hide their expertise, their authority also remains hidden.

Do Teachers Have Authority?

For sure they do!

Teachers gather high-quality links the same as authorities do.

Why?

Teachers are authorities!

Some say those who can’t do, teach. But when it comes to building backlinks, that theory falls apart. The best way to become a doer when it comes to building high-quality backlinks is to teach.

Do this mental exercise to understand why this is true.

Close your eyes and think back to who your favorite teacher was in elementary school. Once you have him or her in your mind’s eye, hold them there for a second.

Now imagine your favorite teacher from high school is standing next to him or her.

Now ask yourself this question:

Which one of these former teachers did you hold in higher regard? Chances are you are having a hard time making that distinction.

Why?

Because they were your authorities and you respected them both.

As children, we were taught to respect our teachers. If we acted up, we received discipline in some form or another. Whether it was a paddle, a pile of erasers to clean, or a stack of sentences, we got the point lightning fast.

It happened early in our lives, and there’s not much we can do about it.

Except use it to our advantage in earning links.

Do I Need to Create New Content to Earn Better Links?

If your website isn’t earning links for your business that you want, there are two likely reasons:

  1. Your content is generic and benefits no one whatsoever.
  2. Your link prospects are WEAK or nonexistent.


Competition on the Web is Fiercer Than Ever

Your content needs to WOW not only your buyer prospects but also your link prospects. If it doesn’t, your SEO campaign will fail to boost the revenue your website generates.

You say you read that posting your content on social media sites will lead to your site earning backlinks from other webmasters? Yeah, I read that too. I also spent tens of thousands of dollars implementing that tactic for my clients. The problem with it is it doesn’t work. Most people who share your content on social media sites never read it, let alone link to it from their website.

To succeed in link building today, you need to create great content and get magnificent at conducting link outreaches. There’s no shortcut around that fact either. I wish there were, but there just isn’t.

If you’re going to reach out to webmasters and bloggers for links, it might as well be to the top influencers in your industry.

To do that, though, you’re going to need first class tailored content.

To win big in link building, you need EXCELLENT CONTENT. You also need larger than life plans on how to put that content to work for you once you get that content created.

Why waste time on anything else?

Setting your sites on the biggest link targets in your industry will pay huge dividends for you because it will force you to create better content.

Target anything less; you can count on the fact you won’t put your ALL into the content you create to meet those objectives.

What Will You Need from Me to Make My Campaign a Success?

Getting involved in the work we provide you is an absolute essential if you want our help in generating a healthy ROI for your business. I like to discuss that fact with prospects well in advance of them hiring our agency. It saves a lot of hard feelings across the board.

You already know what you expect from us when you hire us; which is to bring in a healthy ROI for your business. Plus you want us to conduct ourselves in a professional manner that reflects well on your business and be easy to communicate with throughout that process.

What do we expect from you though?

Let’s discuss that for a moment.

We will need you, as well as the key players in your business, to attend an onboard call with me. This call could take as long as a couple of hours. So be prepared.

On that call, we will discuss:

  • Linkable assets you currently have at your disposal that we can use as link bait.
  • Vendors you do business with to identify possible link opportunities from their websites.
  • Key performance indicators that we can agree on to gauge the success of our efforts.
  • Job openings your business may have so we can find link opportunities for your job listings.
  • Your biggest competitors and what they are doing to build relationships with Influencers and earn links.

Those are just a few of the things we need to get ironed out in our first call together. It’s an important call, to say the least. After that, we will need you to attend an additional call every month to discuss your campaign.

Note: Most of what we cover on that first call together I follow directly from chapter five of Eric Ward’s “Ultimate Link Building Book.” It’s the book that revolutionized our agencies link building strategies. It’s a good idea to purchase the book whether you hire our company or not. I don’t get any type of commission for it either. So you can trust my recommendation. 😉

Is Link Building Dead in 2017?

Is Link Building Dead in 2017?

Building links with the sole purpose of influencing search engine rankings will die one day. It’s inevitable. You can count on it.

If that fact concerns you, I recommend you start building links that produce referral traffic to your website as well as revenue. That way you’re not dependent upon the search engines for the traffic your business needs.


Are You Making Sales from Referral Traffic on Your Site?

If you can’t track traffic and sales from the people who click on your links, sooner or later, revenue from your organic traffic will plummet, and you’ll be forced to start your efforts over from scratch.

Sure, your site might be ranking where it is today because of your backlinks, but how long are those rankings going to last?

Not for as long as you would like, unfortunately.

The good news is that there’s always going to be relationships you can build with other business owners to grow your business. You just have to use your noggin to find those opportunities, but trust me, they exist.

I call these type of links “Smart Links.” They’re smart because they earn money regardless of what the search engines happen to think about them.

Focus Your Attention on Building Links that Generate Referral Traffic and Revenue

If you make the jump to building these Smart Links, you’ll get to a point where you’ll quit worrying about your search engine rankings.

I promise.

The idea is to foster relationships (and links!) with the people in your industry that can best deliver your business referral traffic and sales and forget about building any other type of backlink.

Do that, and your business will start kicking butt and collecting links in record fashion.

Is Link Building Dead in 2017?

Anyone that tells you link building is dead is apparently building the wrong type of links.

If you build links that generate referral traffic, produce revenue for your business from that traffic, and grows relationships with the top influencers in your industry, you’ll be right where you want to be.

In the money.

What Website Performance Metrics Should I Be Tracking When Building Links?

Most of the business owners that hire our agency never ask us what website performance metrics are the most important. It’s usually our team who broaches the subject.

Starting any new endeavor without having a clear goal in mind regarding what you want to accomplish in it is scary business. But it happens all the time in the often crazy world of link building.

Due to this, I thought it would be helpful to share with you the site performance metrics I pay attention to, and those I don’t, when building links.

My Chief Performance Metric – Revenue Generated from Referral Traffic

If the revenue your website produces from referral traffic hitting it IS NOT CONSISTENTLY GROWING, your link building team is asleep at the wheel.

Which means, more likely than not, they have been focusing their efforts on improving the wrong website performance metrics.

If that’s the case, let them know you’re looking to see monthly growth in the money your site brings in from referral traffic from this point forward.

Don’t Focus Your Attention on the Wrong Website Performance Metrics.

The reason I believe most link building campaigns fail is simple, too many link builders and SEO agencies concentrate their efforts on improving the wrong metrics.

As a result, they fail.

Instead of judging the success of their efforts by the money they generate, they opt instead, to improve metrics that have nothing to do whatsoever with your revenue goals.

Metrics like:

  • Page Rank
  • Domain Authority
  • Dwell Time
  • Bounce Rate
  • Trust Flow
  • Citation Flow
  • Domain Age
  • Site Load Speed
  • First Byte Score
  • (and even) SERP Rankings

Improving those website performance metrics is a lot like putting band-aids on a gunshot wound. It might stop the bleeding, but sooner or later the wound needs to be treated by a doctor.

Therefore, the primary goal of your link building campaign should be to increase the revenue generated by your website from referral traffic.

Once you start succeeding at it, those other metrics will improve faster than a speeding rocket.

Simplify Your Link Building Efforts

Focusing on increasing the revenue your website earns from referral traffic will simplify your link building efforts big time.

Just you watch.

Eric Ward Interview – Small Business Link Earning Tips (Transcription)

Matt LaClear: Eric Ward, I appreciate you taking the time to hop on the telephone and answer a few questions for small business owners about link building.

eric-ward

Eric Ward, Master Link Builder

When you first agreed to do it, I almost fell out of my chair., because you’re a freaking rock star in the world of link building. I feel like I’m getting to interview a young Brando or Elvis Presley.

You’re awesome man.

It was an awesome, awesome privilege studying all of your content throughout this challenge I created, the Shoot for the Moon Challenge.

I know this interview is going to be beneficial to the small business owners who are listening. So, welcome!Marlon Brando and Eric Ward

Eric Ward: Well, thank you, and thank you for that complimentary introduction. I consider it an honor you mentioned me in the same sentence with Brando or Presley, but I’m not the young Brando. I think you can call me at this point, a very much nearing middle age Brando or Presley.

In both cases, that means I need to go on a diet.

Matt LaClear: A young Brando. You’re aging well and are super grounded.

Eric Ward: It’s interesting, Brando and Presley ended up larger than life; literally.

Matt LaClear: Yeah, you’re handling your later years…you’re about the same age as I am so you’re not that much into the later years. But they didn’t handle their 50’s and 60’s very well. Did Elvis even make it to his 50’s?

Eric Ward: No. I hope that I will handle my 50’s very well.

Thank you for having me on the show. I’ll do anything I can do to try to help with my answers. I certainly don’t have all the answers. If I did, I’d be retired. But as a one-person business, who is determined to stay that way, with six mouths to feed, I’m never going to retire.

At the same time, it’s still fun for me because I’m very selective about the kind of projects I take on.

One of the services I started offering, just in the last couple of years, is merger and acquisition counsel because people are buying websites because they’re tired and frustrated of not being able to figure out the right combination to get their website to convert or rank.

So all of a sudden we’re seeing mergers and acquisitions and people are buying the wrong sites. Or they’re buying the wrong assets.

I’m finding myself doing a lot more stuff where I have clients asking me, “we’re looking at buying some websites. We’ve narrowed it down to about 20, could you look do some of your analytics and tell us which ones should we be taking the strongest look at?”

I don’t mention that service on my site because I’m nervous about it. “So and so was going to write me a huge check and then you recommended he back out of the deal because you said all my links sucked, and now I’m done. See you in court!”

Eric Ward website screenshotIt’s never dull. All of these years later, there’s always something new related to links coming around the corner. I enjoy it tremendously.

Matt LaClear: It is fun work. We’re about the same age, and you’ve been into link building a lot longer than I have. It’s fun because there’s always something new to learn.

That’s what puts a lot of small business owners off is that there is always something new to learn. A lot of the people that are listening to this interview are coming right off of my Shoot for the Moon backlink training series. Many of which will listen to this interview before checking out my course.

Can you explain to those listeners what link building is?

Eric Ward: One of the easiest ways to demonstrate what link building is to a small business owner is to ask them to pull up their website on their computer and watch what they do.

They will either have to know enough about a web browser to tap into the location bar and type in their web address or click something to get there instead.

If it’s the latter, that thing they clicked to get to their site was a link.

People share links on Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Twitter, YouTube, Messenger, Skype, blogs, forums, websites, and a plethora of other places.

It’s the way we find and share stuff on the web, whether it’s the new episode of Spongebob, pizza coupons.

Or if you’re a small business person with a dental practice with five dentists, it’s a way that you can help new clients learn about your business practice. Because how are they going to do that online if they don’t already know your URL because they heard it on a radio ad, or saw it on your tv commercial.

How else are people going to get to your website? They could search for you on Google or Bing. There’s also other ways that they might find you via links.

If you’re in Knoxville, TN like I am, you’re a dentist and a runner. You might choose to sponsor the Knoxville Marathon. Now when another runner fills out the form to sign up for the marathon on the website, and they get their confirmation screen that says, please print this up and bring it with you. Enjoy your stay thanks to our sponsors.

Bingo, Bango right there is how you can have everybody from Domino’s Pizza to a plumber to a dentist, and that’s a link. It has nothing to do with Google. It has more to do with branding at that time than anything else.

At the same time, when you start to replicate and multiply this and start to talk about the process of weaving yourself into the quilt of any web content in any local marketplace, that’s where those links start to occur, that’s where traffic starts to come that doesn’t originate from a Google search.

For me, the greatest joy I get from small businesses is helping them to rely less on Google. Yeah, take what Google will give you. Maximize whatever it is in your local listing profile. Claim your Google business listing. Do those things. Make sure your citations are correct. That’s the stuff every dentist can do.

Matt LaClear: Let’s take that a little bit further. So, link building is the ability for other people to find your business online without searching for on it on a search engine.

How much impact does link building have on how the market perceives a company or the owner of that company?

Eric Ward: It can have a huge impact. I understand why you use the word link building; we could potentially swap out the word “building” for development and call it link development.

We could also take that entire phrase, “link building” and call it “awareness building” of your online business. I’ve never been a big fan of the term “link building” because it makes it sound like links are cinder blocks or bricks, and we take mortar and bricks, and we build them.

Ultimately where this all started with Google was that links were a personal recommendation from a human. Or the online manifestation of a page or a document or a research study, or a paper or a website that somebody found useful and wanted to share with others.

They could do so through the hypertext protocol that allowed them to create links.

Since I started my business four or five years before Google existed, links to me were intended to be a way to help people find what they were looking for online.

So, when I look at the perception of a business based upon the links, would an owner of a bakery want to have a link on a strip club’s website? Does he or she want people associating their bakery with that strip club?

The links a business has to their website tells a story about that business. And that story will read either like a rap sheet or a college transcript.
Your links tell a story about your website and Google can read that story. How you want people perceiving your business can be directly affected by where Google finds links, citations, mentions of your business in the online world.

In my opinion, the answer to the question is, how much impact…it’s hard to put a percentage on it because I think it also varies depending upon the industry of the business.

One thing I’m positive in saying is links have a dramatic impact on how algorithms and your prospects perceive your business.

Matt LaClear: I like what you said. Awareness building. I don’t think I’ve ever heard you say that. That nails it right there. If the right people become aware of your business, it just makes sense that it’s going to make a significant impact.

Eric Ward: If you and I sat down and we decided to build a website, and we created a bunch of HTML pages, and we agreed to store them on a desktop machine in your office. We had the bandwidth; we had the savvy to install web service software, everything we needed to do.

But let’s remember that we created a bunch of HTML documents. We just stored them on a large computer in our office. Those files are no different than Microsoft Word or Excel documents that you also have on that same machine.

A web page is invisible until somebody is unaware it exists, there’s no awareness of that page until someone knows its address.

Now, take it one step further. Even if the potential visitor knows its address, it’s on your computer, on file C://mydocuments/mywebsite/mattsawesomenewpage.html. That’s meaningless to anyone unless you also installed web service software on your computer.

Once you’ve done that and the potential visitor knows the path because you emailed it to them, you won’t need a domain name for them to access the files.

One thing so many people completely lose sight of is a website and all of its individual pages or videos or pdf docs or whatever are completely invisible until somebody knows they exist.

They don’t exist until somebody links to them or until someone tells them about them, or until a search engine crawls them.

Matt LaClear: Well, the last I checked, invisible sites don’t earn the type of revenue most business owners are looking to generate. They’re invisible.

That’s a perfect answer to what type of impact does awareness building have on business. It has a huge impact.

Eric Ward: Oh my gosh, it can have a massive impact. It can, in my opinion, especially if you’re setting up a business designed to succeed based upon online traffic, based upon online visits.

It is probably the single most important issue you’re going to face. If you’re a 25-year-old business, and finally decided to launch a website, I would say link development, or awareness building certainly is still important.

The beauty of that is it’s not like you’re going out of business if the site does not produce traffic right away.

If you’ve existed and were successful before you were ever online, to begin with, that’s the perfect scenario because now you’ve got some time to get it right, online.

If you’re launching a website online only and you have to drive traffic to your business online only, and your business model is based on Google sending you traffic. I’ve got some bad news for you. The likelihood of your success, in my opinion, is going to be driven 100% by the vertical that you’ve chosen to go into business.

If you’re going into business into something highly competitive like a golf e-commerce site you need to figure some things out.

Sure, you love golf, are semi-retired, and have thought about starting an online business for a long time. So you open up an online golf superstore.

You register a new domain called everythinggolfunderthesun.com and are ready to begin selling a product line.

So I’ll ask you the question, just out of curiosity because it sounds awesome, How many of your products can I only buy on your site versus any other site, including Amazon?

If you say, well, none, everything I have, you can buy somewhere else. I hate to say this, my advice to you is typically going to be, don’t do it.

There are better ways than trying to compete against companies that spend millions of dollars every single day to sell golf equipment.

If you’re a dentist, and you hired an SEO agency to build you a website, and the owner of that company told you that you need to start a blog and add content to it regularly.

You have to blog; you have to have fresh content. Search engines love new content. Your answer: ‘I don’t have time to blog; I’m a dentist.’ The agency replies, ‘we can do that for you, sir. All we need to do is charge you $200-$300/month, and you’ll always have fresh content on your website for the search engine.’

Ok, great, what articles about dentistry matter? Here’s an example for you.

I’m going to do a Google search on “how to floss your teeth.” I know how to floss my teeth. I’ve been flossing my teeth for 50 years. Ok, well, gosh, there’s only 600,000 results for how to floss your teeth. Do we need 600,000? Not only that, Wikipedia has one with pictures.

Eric Ward Google search screenshotThe top result is from Colgate. How are you going to compete with Colgate? There’s a video in position four. There’s your hero.

There’s a dentist in Hermosa Beach, California who is at position four here on how to floss your teeth. The reason I think he’s there because he took the time to put together a minute and 45-second video on how to floss your teeth.

That video illustrates another thing about Google, they want to display video content in their search results.

But if you’re a dentist in Knoxville, TN and you call me, and I can not, in good faith, say you need to write an article on how to floss your teeth.

Why?

There’s already half a million articles about that and competing against those numbers is going to be murder on your patience as well as your pocket book.

Instead what you have to do is identify content gaps, which is a term people in our industry use often. It’s just a fancy way of saying you have to find something which somebody hasn’t written about or done yet.

Let me explain.

Matt, you and I talked about it, kind of jokingly, but it also might make sense. We talked about if you’re a dentist, order in bulk about 500 of those little tiny containers of dental floss.

Then call the local radio and television stations and tell them that two weeks from Friday you’re going to have the first annual “Floss Toss.” To participate, all anyone has to do is drive up into our parking lot, and we’re going to come out to their window and toss them a tiny container of floss, and they can then go on with their day.

Matt LaClear: I love it.

Eric Ward: The Floss Toss is just funny enough but also valuable enough that it might get some human interest. If you have one public relations bone in your body, you would be able to take some time to send out some emails to radio stations and newspapers, mommy bloggers in town, and let them know that you’re about to host the first Annual Floss Toss.

That is the kind of thing someone will cover. The beauty of the web is when I say cover that, whether it gets covered on radio, or television, or online, that’s the kind of event that turns into links online. That wasn’t necessarily your intent in the first place. The other thing is, even if it doesn’t, it’s an incredible public relation opportunity.

Put a sign out front. Spend $20 on a banner that you can probably get at FedEx Kinkos. “Don’t forget, this coming Friday, from Noon to 2 pm, the first Annual Floss Toss.” With a cute drawing. Hire some college kids to create a logo for it.

I’m telling you, this stuff works, I’ve been testing this on similar campaigns for as long as I can remember. These things turn into online mentions, publicity, and attention.

Sometimes the difficult challenge here is getting a client to buy-in. But when you show them a Google search for articles about flossing your teeth and say, there’s 645,000, do they want to be 645,001 with Colgate sitting in the top position? Is that article or blog post going to help them? Is it going to generate any publicity for them?

Or, should their blog post say something about the first annual Floss Toss? They could write 400 words on what it is, and why they’re doing it. Then invite the media via your blog post, as well as place a few phone calls and emails.

The other thing is, they could have someone come out there with an iPhone and film it. They don’t need high production values for that. They can upload that video, and now they have a new content asset for their site. Then take it a step further and suggestion, because it’s free, that the client creates a Youtube channel.

The Floss Toss wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to pull off either. Even if nobody showed up, the dentist’s staff could hand out the extra dental floss to their patients.

Matt LaClear: One of the big problems with creating content, and a lot of people don’t get this, especially small business owners when they get into content creation, is you can put all the effort in the world creating excellent content, but then you have to go out and promote that content.

Can you image encouraging potential link prospects to link to, “How to Floss your Teeth” blog post? That’s just not going to happen.

Eric Ward: If I were a dentist, do you know what I would write? I would write a blog post, “The 20 Worst Pieces of Advice I have Ever Read About Flossing your Teeth.” That’s the kind of thing that no one’s writing.

By the way, that’s another trick that I will use. I’ll try to brainstorm an article, and I’ll ask myself, “Gee, I wonder if anybody’s ever written that?”

I’ll think through, what would the title be to the article? Let’s say we’re running a small business and we make pies based on an old family recipe. What’s our content going to look like for something like that?

Well, first of all, we have something immediately visual. Can you imagine doing any content asset where you didn’t show the pies?

It might be something like, this Thanksgiving, serve your family, the best pumpkin pie, they have ever tasted. Or, a 75-year-old recipe for pumpkin pie courtesy of the Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop.

Going with what you said a moment ago, it’s invisible, even when you click post in your management system for your blog, if you use WordPress like everybody else does, now it’s live on your website.

If you set your site up correctly, it’s now the lead post on your homepage, but it’s still invisible unless somebody knows that article exists. So you still have to figure out a way to promote it.

That’s the challenge that every small business faces, and, in my opinion, there is no standard fixed answer where you can say, “here are the 27 different places where you’re going to go to promote this article.” That’s where the puzzle comes in.

Now we have to decide who the people that are most likely going to care about this are.

It is a Thanksgiving related article, are there any other companies that we could potentially partner up with that aren’t competitors?

Ham and Goodies specialize in selling unbelievable ham and side orders. What’s to stop the owners of these two businesses, the pie shop and Ham and Goodies to putting together a joint promotion?

Whether it’s two pumpkin pies for the price of one, or whatever it might be, and then it might make sense for you to issue a press release and very carefully find 20 news outlets in Knoxville that would be most likely to care.

I can guarantee you that somebody in Atlanta, they don’t care about a local promotion in Knoxville about a pie company and a company that specializes in Ham and Vinnies. They don’t care.

On your website, you write a blog post about this upcoming special promotion. Now, on your website, you also have a new section called, our partners. Because Ham and Goodies are going be your first partner, but you’re going to have a second one, and a third one, and a fourth one.

You’ll find partners that aren’t competitors, and you’ll also now be weaving your site into that quilt that represents your local city and town. So real business connections turn into online partnerships into links.

Matt LaClear: Unfortunately, that’s all we have time for on this call, I know you need to run Eric.

As an owner of multiple small businesses, I know Link Moses is a steal at $8 a month. Come on. If you get one tip out of it a year that you can make money with, it more than pays for the entire annual fee of the newsletter. It’s a complete no-brainer.

Eric, why should small business owners be reading your newsletter LinkMoses?

Eric Ward: Matt, I think that LinkMoses is good for small businesses. It actually might be better for the small companies than larger ones because some people think at that price point, it won’t be helpful.

But the reality is, it can be extremely useful for a small business because it will help them see the great diversity of opportunities that are out there for them for promotion, awareness building.

There are link opportunities included in every issue, but they’re not appropriate for every type of business. That is one of the points I want to make with that newsletter. I want to show people that there are so many different strategies that you can deploy for your business, depending on what kind of business you have.

I would very much suggest for small business owners giving it a try.

Matt LaClear: Ok, I love it. Tell us about your consultation services.

Eric Ward: As far as my consulting services go, you can see on my website that I offer consulting services.

The reason I chose to do that is the companies that provide link building services, that provide any linking strategy development that I’ve seen out there, there are so many of them that charge so much they’ve priced themselves to a point where they’re not even in a realm where a small business can consider.

Link development, content publicity, promotion of your brand in the online world is something that is tough to scale as an agency. What are they going to do? Have 50 people in cubicles each with ten clients each?

Just how much passion are they going to have for any particular customer? If you hire them, you’re going to just be a number, for the most part, and you’re paying a fortune for them.

I offer a 75-minute call, and you’ll see the pricing on the website, I think it’s very reasonable. Some people have told me I could charge more for that, but I don’t want to.

My goal with that call is we do live screen share, and I record it, so you’ll hear your voice and my voice. You’ll see what I’m showing you on the screen.

My goal is to analyze your site from a linking perspective, promotion, and publicity perspective. Looking at what your competitors are up to and finding content and strategy gaps to take advantage of that are in alignment with the strengths of that small business.

At the end of the call, you will come away with an actionable blueprint of specific tactics that you can go out and execute. That for me at that price point is exactly the type of thing I designed so that it would be helpful to small businesses.

Rather than those small businesses feeling like, “Oh my gosh, I have to sign up for something I can’t afford, without really knowing if it’s going to help me.” Before you know it, they’ve spent $20,000 on four months worth of link building services that didn’t assist them at all.

I know this is happening because someone will contact me for a consulting call, I’ll look at their backlink profile, and I’ll say, “Tell me where these links came from, and how did this happen? Were you involved with this?”

And they’ll say “No, this is what my agency did for me.”

And I’ll ask, “What did they charge you?”

“Well, I was paying $6,000 a month for x number of links.”

I don’t have the heart to tell them, but I try to convey to them that for the most part, everything they paid, they were on the hook for three months, they just dropped around $20,000 for nothing. For something that won’t help them with click traffic, will not help them with branding, will not help them with Google organic rankings.

I wanted to design a consulting approach that would be actionable, affordable and something that would help small business owners understand that links aren’t things, links aren’t little nuggets of something that you stick in a slot machine, and then if you get lucky, you’ll end up ranking higher at Google

Links have so many different things they can do for you. In addition to, and along with potentially helping you with Google. But most people just really don’t see it and especially don’t see it for their specific site and their particular niche. My goal is to help them with that consult to see that.

That was probably more than you wanted to hear about it. That kind of sums up why I think that’s a service that might make sense for some of the listeners out there.

Matt LaClear: Eric, that clears up a lot of things. Thank you for sharing. Thank you again for the interview.

It’s been a pleasure; I look forward to networking with you in the future and doing further projects with you.

Thanks, Eric!

Link Building Resources

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for great link building resources you can sink your teeth into and devour. Got your oversized bib ready? Chow’s on!

Link Building Resources with drowning person reaching up hand to a life preserver.

Eric Ward (LinkMoses) – EricWard.com

Eric Ward is the undisputed Godfather of link building and should be respected as such. Ignore what he teaches at your own peril.

Yoast.com Resources

One of the smartest people in SEO and link building is Joost de Valk, and if you didn’t know that fact yet you owe it to yourself to go read everything on his site regarding Link Building.

Brian Dean – Backlinko.com

To say Brian Dean has taken the link build world by storm and is now King of the Hill would be an understatement. If you’re a link builder, go through his posts and educate yourself on every tactic he teaches, and pray your competitors don’t do it before you do.

Sean Si – SEO-Hacker.com

Why did I include Sean Si’s website on this list? For one, I have been following Sean for a long time and have learned a lot from doing so. You will too once you read his link building content.

Eric Enge – StoneTemple.com

Eric is the lead author of the book, “The Art of SEO” which is used as a textbook in several universities. After reading it cover to cover recently, I started following Eric on social media and reading his blog posts, and watching his long-running Here’s Why video series that he does with Mark Traphagen, I became an instant fan.

 Shaun Anderson – Link Building: How To Build Links To Your Website in 2017

Shaun was extremely thorough putting his tutorial together and is something I recommend you read whether you’re new to link building, or are if you’re looking for a few new tactics to roll out.

Virginia Nussey – BruceClay.com

Virginia is the Content and Media Manager at Bruce Clay, Inc., and does a fabulous job editing and authoring the company’s publications since 2008. Pay attention to what this powerhouse agency posts on their blog, you’ll make more money if you do.

Disavow Link Resources

How to Remove Bad Backlinks & Spam + Disavow Tool File Generator