The Internet Marketing Driver: Glenn Gabe's goal is to help marketers build powerful and measurable web marketing strategies.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Link Building Ideas, Teach a Man to Fish and He’ll Bring You… Links

Link Building Tip, Creating Instructional ContentWhen it comes to building high search engine rankings, building links is probably the most important thing you can do. There are obviously many factors that go into achieving high search engine rankings, but naturally building links to your website is the most important way to notify Google and the other engines that you are providing valuable content (and to prove it's valuable, other people have linked to it). Each link to your website is casting a vote for you, and the quality of the sites linking to your content is also important. For example, if you focus on business consulting, then gaining links from other business consultants is much more valuable than building links from comedy websites. I’m simplifying things a bit, but I think you get the point.

OK, I Have A Blog, But What Will I Write?
I hear this question a lot. Whenever I recommend setting up a blog, I frequently get the question, “But what will I write about?” It doesn’t matter which industry you focus on, there are always dozens of angles for blog posts. Do you sell printers? Write a blog post explaining the top ways to troubleshoot inkjet and laser printers. Are you a fitness trainer? Write about the most common ways that people injure themselves while working out and then how to correct those issues. Did you create a new beverage? Write a blog post explaining the top mixed drinks of the year and how to make them, and of course use your product for some of the recipes. :-) There’s a common thread with the examples I’ve been providing. They all teach people how to do something. In my experience with helping clients across several industries, one thing remains constant. If you teach someone to fish (or fix printers or exercise correctly or mix drinks properly), they will bring you links and exposure, which will ultimately help you increase your natural search rankings.

They’re not a flash in the pan…
Believe me, I’m definitely not against many forms of content for link-building, but in my experience, providing instructional content works extremely well. One reason for this is that instructional posts typically stand the test of time. If someone finds your post a year after you write it, you can still generate links. On the flip side, if you create an entertaining post (like a really funny video using your product), you might get a lot of exposure in the short-term, but it will probably fade out after a few weeks (or days). Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some entertaining content generate a lot of exposure, but if I had to choose, I would still recommend teaching people how to do something.

Kills Two Birds with One Stone
For those of you not familiar with link building, the content you create is often not intended to generate sales directly. Instead, it’s there to build links and exposure, which can help increase your natural search rankings, which in turn can help you generate sales down the line. That said, the content you develop can definitely increase sales if you directly link it to solving a problem for your target market. For example, if you own an electronics repair company and explain how to perform some quick fixes on the most popular digital cameras, then you could very easily end up landing new customers from that post. They might be so impressed with the information and tips you gave them in the post, that they end up getting in touch with you when they really need their camera repaired. In addition, they might link to that post from their own site or blog and possibly add that post to popular social media sites like Digg, StumbleUpon,, etc. I’m not saying that your link building content will always be a driver of sales, but it could be…

Brainstorm some link building ideas today…
Excited about link building? Then start today by brainstorming some ideas. Think about your customers, what would help them achieve their goals, what’s unique about your products or services, and then clean off that white board! If you find yourself having trouble brainstorming link building ideas, then contact me today. There’s a reason that my office is covered with post-it notes containing ideas for new blog posts! ;-)


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  • At 3:19 AM, Anonymous JDR said…

    Excellent article. Your ideas about Digg, StumbleUpon, have been especially helpful. I agree that links are there to primarily provide exposure and traffic.

    I've read a similar article from awhile back that had some similar points as your article: It's interesting to note that a lot of articles corroborate each other's ideas

  • At 6:53 AM, Blogger Glenn Gabe said…

    Hi JDR.

    I'm glad you liked the post. You might also want to find niche social media sites that might be more targeted. You never know where the next big link will come from.


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