This is a guest post from Adrienne Erin. Find her on Twitter.
If you don’t change with the times, you get left behind.
That’s true in any industry, but it’s especially true in SEO, where a tiny tweak to Google’s algorithm can turn last week’s surefire search strategy into this week’s surefire way to get penalized. Things change quickly in SEO, and one thing that underscores the constant churning is the recent evolution of link building.
Once upon a time, you stuck links wherever you could squeeze them. You blasted the pages you wanted to promote with inbound links, and you could put those links on low-quality sites where it was easy to get mentions. You begged and pleaded people to accept links elsewhere, too, and back in those days not as many people saw the danger of giving in.
Today’s guest post comes from Brad Shorr, the B2B Marketing Director of Straight North, a SEO agency headquartered near Chicago. Brad writes frequently on content marketing, SEO and social media.
Publishers are inundated with spammy content pitches 24/7/365. Thanks to the plethora of pitiful pitch slingers, a good pitch from a serious SEO is no longer good enough; it takes a great pitch to get the attention of busy, successful publishers.
Being a writer, a publisher and part of our agency’s SEO group, I see content pitches from all sides. Based on that experience, here are several suggestions to transform your good pitches into great ones.
Moz recently released a new section of Open Site Explorer to help people find link building opportunities. There are three sections:
- Reclaim Links – finds pages on your site that have 3XX, 4XX, and 5XX errors
- Unlinked Mentions – leverages Fresh Web Explorer to find other sites that have mentioned (but not linked to) your site
- Link Intersect - lets you plug in two competitors to find sites that are linking to both of those competitors but not you
Moz’s redesigned Open Site Explorer.
Today’s post comes from Shawn Cohen of Standing Dog Interactive, a full service digital agency in Dallas, Texas.
The travel and hospitality industry is inspiring to work in: you know you’re helping travelers reach their destination and once they get there, you are there to ensure that they will have the best time of their lives.
Case Study: Building Links in the Travel Industry
However, it’s a crowded digital space with a lot of limitations. Depending on the brand, content, budget, and time can all be tight restrictions on SEO link building campaigns. That means we have to think creatively about where to find reputable sites that will link to individual properties that have tiny SEO budgets, run of the mill content, and just a few hours of linking time per year.
Yes, that’s right—a few hours of linking time per year.
With these limitations in mind, we’re pulling back the curtain on how we’ve built thousands of reputable links for hundreds of hotel properties since the founders of our hospitality-oriented agency opened up shop nine years ago.
Case Study: Vacations by Marriott
First, though, we’d like to bring your attention to a case study of a more sophisticated travel and hospitality link building campaign we did for Vacations by Marriott, the official travel package program of Marriott International. (more…)
Today’s post comes from Trung Ngo, SEO Strategist at Red Door Interactive. Find him on Twitter @trungvngo or his personal blog, upstreamist.co, where he writes about outreach marketing, SEO, and productivity.
The TL;DR Version
Outreach marketing aligns the client’s brand with people who have the ability to influence consumer preference in the respective industry. Links are just the cherry on top.
Here’s what we need to include in outreach marketing campaign performance reports to better communicate our value:
- Impressions and engagement on brand-related influencer tweets using TweetReach
- Social shares and total count of comments on brand-related articles from influencers using URL Profiler
- Comparison of outreach response rates and campaign goal completion rates for influencers with whom we have a pre-existing relationship to those where we do not have an existing relationship using data from BuzzStream
This data makes for a more compelling report and paves the way for a more strategic conversation about outreach marketing. Below is a sample report:
Sample link building report
We’ve talked before about best practices for pitching journalists and bloggers when you have news to share, but what should you do when your goal is partnering with a blogger to promote a product or brand? I reached out to a few lifestyle bloggers to see what they had to say about pitches, priorities, and PR people. Read their advice below.
First, A Little Bit About the Bloggers
I interviewed bloggers from Hither and Thither, OhDearDrea, PopCosmo, and Small Fry Blog. According to Moz, the bloggers had Page and Domain Authority scores ranging from 34-54. Most have at least a few hundred linking root domains. Each of the bloggers had between 6K and 16K followers on Pinterest, 1K and 5K followers on Twitter, and 2K and 40K followers on Instagram.
Kelsey Libert, VP of Marketing, and Ryan McConagill, Promotions Supervisor, oversee the Media Relations team at Frac.tl. Libert and McConagill partnered with BuzzStream for a webinar to share exclusive research on what publishers want for content creation and media outreach. They interviewed over 500 writers, editors, and publishers to present a story about a noise:value ratio that has gotten out of whack.
Libert created a survey that helps us master the art of the perfect pitch. Here are her findings:
In 2013, the most popular pieces of content on both BuzzFeed and the New York Times had something in common.
Was it that they were well-research pieces by respected journalists? No. In fact, the NYT piece was created by an intern. Did they break news? Nope, no new news was made. Were they beautiful, Snowfall-like visual constructions? Nope. They were designed from templates.
They were quizzes. The writing is on the wall: interactive content is the future of content marketing.
When you understand what your competitors are saying and doing, you become more confident in what makes your brand different and special. You get better at targeting and create more compelling messaging. An audit of your competitors’ marketing campaigns is a great place to start.
5 Steps to a Competitor Campaign Analysis
The following process will help you conduct an audit of your competitors’ marketing campaigns.
Today’s post on keeping track of disavowed and blacklisted domains comes from BuzzStream customer and friend, Martin Woods of WMG.
It’s blindingly obvious that you shouldn’t make the same mistakes twice, especially when it comes to a Google penalty. According to Matt Cutts, the consequences for the second breach of their terms & conditions are even more severe than the first.
But how do you keep a track of all the websites and contacts which you don’t want to work with? It’s especially hard when you are a large outreach team working on multiple campaigns at the same time, as it’s vital to keep everyone working holistically. (more…)