Clients often come to me asking for ideas on how we can optimize their web sites and I always recommend link building to them aside from on-page SEO. With clients who are already familiar with it, they usually ask for specific strategies to do this. Those who aren’t need more a little bit more explanation. Here’s one blog interview that will definitely help me explain link building to them.
If you own web sites and you want to optimize your them, you will also find this post useful. You’ll also get some ideas on what link building tasks to delegate to your virtual assistants.
Link building with Jason Acidre
I interviewed Jason because he’s really someone I can understand when it comes to SEO and link building. He gives practical and actionable link building strategies in his blog, Kaiserthestage. He and his blog has been featured in such sites as Search Engine Land, KissMetrics, Search Engine Journal, Technorati, and a lot more. So this guy really knows what he’s talking about.
Without further ado, here is my interview with Jason:
1. When I mention link building to some clients, they go “what is that?” How would you explain link building to them?
I think I haven’t tried explaining this one to any of our past clients, since most of them already know what they hired me for (SEO/link building), but if in case I will have to explain and educate future clients about how and what this process does, I’d simply say that it’s a marketing practice that can pretty much hit so many birds with one stone.
Some known advantages of implementing link building/development as a part of an online marketing strategy are:
- Links can help increase the site’s rankings on search engines, knowing that search engines use links as a factor in weighing a site’s authoritativeness, popularity and credibility (based on the kinds of sites linking to your site).
- Having links on other sites that have high amount of traffic can also result to referring more traffic to your website, as their visitors click on through the links and be directed your way. This is particularly great if you’re getting links from sites where your target customers/audience are, because they can easily be converted into leads/sales.
- Links being seen by people from other sources can also help improve and strengthen your brand presence, which most businesses really need in this age of marketing.
2. Can you please describe what’s work day like for a link builder. How many hours do you work in a day?
Back when I was still doing the hands on work, I mostly spend 2 – 4 hours (a day) in doing research, analysis and actual link acquisition per site. Though I still do manual work for some of our clients now (that I really like working and testing things with for their site, especially industries that I’m really interested in), and it still takes me 2 – 4 hours.
My days as a link builder would be best described as:
- 30% researcher – digging opportunities that we can take advantage of in terms of content ideas, link prospects and methods that we can also use for a particular client.
- 30% thinker– devising and setting up battle plans to be implemented for each week/month, which are more focused on generating ROI-oriented link building strategies (which means the strategies should not just be targeting a single part of the campaign’s end goals but should target as much as it can – like rankings, business value and revenue generation).
- 40% implementation – delegating link building tasks to other team members (content writer, outreach specialist, editor, web developer, graphic designer, and/or client(s) – if there’s something that I’m going to need from their end) and also to do the tasks that I’ll be delegating to myself.
3. Your blog is a treasure trove of link building strategies. If you are to start link building for a new web site, what are the first three things that you would do?
Three things that I would first start to do for a brand new website are:
- Set up Goals – for any strategy, it’s always important to have an objective to have better actions being implemented. I would first want to understand what goals the business/campaign should achieve. What keywords do the site need to rank, how much traffic do they need in order to make more revenue (and make the most outof the investment on link building), how long should it take to get tangible results, or where do I want the site to get featured (news sites, authority blogs, etc…) . It’s vital to ask these things first to yourself, so you can create a better strategy.
- Come up with a solid content strategy – next is to make sure that the site has a solid content strategy, since content will always be the best source of links! And if a brand new site is constantly providing great content, it’ll be so much easier to promote it and acquire links to it, since people will have better reasons to share and link to the site.
- Identify people/sites I need the site to be connected with – lastly is to make a list of people/sites/blogs that I want to acquire links from. Segment this list by levels-of-difficulties of getting links from (like authority sites such as Mashable or Techcrunch will definitely be a hard one, and there are others that will be much easier that these 2). Earn these people/sites’ attention and trust, so you can get links from them (through guest blogging or coverage from their content or on getting social shares from them).
Having all these three prepared, you’ll definitely have a sound plan of attack, and these will certainly help you choose the perfect methods to be used on acquiring links.
4. Now, I see a demand for link building virtual assistants in the marketplace. If an aspiring VA wants to specialize in this niche, what tools and resources would you recommend for them to learn?
5. In my interview with Sean Si, he mentioned that outsourcing link building to a VA is a risk he is not willing to take. I understand where he is coming from. Do you feel the same? If not, what link buildings tasks would you delegate to a VA?
No, as long as I can share our process (and he/she can follow the instructions), then I don’t see any risk in outsourcing to VAs. I actually have high-respect to virtual assistants, as I see most of them being a jack-of-all-trades, which also I believe have impressive learning curves. Training is the key to build a solid relationship between VAs and Link Building Managers.
With the tasks, I believe that VAs can easily implement these things (which are mostly done within our processes):
- Link research (competitor analysis, link prospecting, link opportunities/methodologies research and development, as well as prospect evaluation/segmentation)
- Come up with content ideas (for content marketing and guest blogging)
- Outreach (sending emails to bloggers/webmasters and engaging target link prospects through comment marketing as well as social networking)
- Creating content – if push comes to shove
Jason Acidre is the Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive and the author of Kaiserthesage – an SEO blog. He has been the online marketing strategist for Affilorama and has also been offering advanced SEO consulting and link building servicesfor the past 2 years. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre.