SEO changes all the time and SEO’s are always looking for new ways to acquire links. With the Panda Updates so-called ‘link farms’ and other sites with unoriginal and ‘scraped’ content have been devalued by Google – this represents a significant reduction in the value of article submissions as an off-page strategy. However, let’s be honest, multiple submissions to the same article sites each month mean multiple links on the same domains, of which there are a limited number anyway – it was never going to last.
So what about all that lovingly created content? You’ve spent hours putting together some content you thought would just end up on the same old article sites and now there’s only a few to which it’s worth submitting.
The answer is guest blogging. “Yes, but I’m already doing that”, I hear you say? Well, of course you are, but you’ve now got content to spare, so you need to make use of it. So, it’s time to find some more blogs, but you’re already on it – you’ve found loads of blogs that apply to your niche, made a massive list of thirty or so and sent emails to all the webmasters. So now you wait for their reply… Days pass, sometimes weeks while you dutifully and successfully deploy all the other link building strategies you know and the replies slowly come through. But what’s this? Only five responses out of thirty emails? “I must be doing something wrong!” you tell yourself and then go off and revise your emailing strategy – you’ve tried emailing in plain text and you’ve tried flattery, but you’re still spending ages emailing and you’re getting hardly any responses. Search operators (please see previous post) can certainly improve your success rate as they help you find blogs looking for guest posts, but you may still not get the response you want.
The Harsh Reality of Link Building by Email
The harsh reality of all this is that emailing has a limited success rate because emails are easy to ignore and easy to delete. Webmasters can receive hundreds of emails a week, all proposing guest blog posts, so even if your email stands out, it could be missed and/or deleted. But there could be a way round this – something which, sat at your computer with the online world at your fingertips, you may have overlooked – that thing is the telephone.
Yes, that’s right – a virtually untouched avenue of link building. You’ve been texting and maybe calling your family and friends in your breaks, but you might never have thought about using your phone in your off-page SEO endeavours.
The most successful and sustainable link building strategies involve establishing a relationship with webmasters to whom you can come back to for more link opportunities. You may have already taken this approach when emailing webmasters, but it’s time to give a personal touch to your link building strategy. It can sometimes be difficult to find the contact telephone number of many webmasters, but if you do a bit of digging, you are likely to find what you are looking for. Use LinkedIn and other social media sites to see if you can get in touch with the webmaster over the phone. The most likely candidates will be well established, high-ranking blogs with several people in charge of content (which makes it even more important to pick up that phone!), but you might be lucky with smaller blogs too!
As with email-based link building, telephonic link building requires a strategy:
- Ask if you are talking to the person you intended to call – it’s no good if you’ve accidentally called your gran!
- Say why you are calling (and most importantly what you are offering!), on whose behalf and ask if now is a good time – people are busy and you might find them in a better mood if you call back later when they are less busy.
- It is a good idea to have a list of bullet points ready so that you cover everything you need to – avoid a script as it may cause you to panic or come across as robotic and incompetent.
- It is very important that you avoid sounding too ‘salesy’ and opt for a frank tone and clear diction – don’t mumble and try your best to sound confident. Keeping a steady tone of voice can really help you sound convincing to the webmaster.
- Make sure that you exchange contact details – have that pen and paper handy.
- Don’t panic – the call will come to an end and it will have either worked or failed. If it’s failed, there are plenty of other numbers out there and at least you’re not still waiting to be rejected!
- Try to think about how each call went and what you might do to come across better.
Telephonic link building is a great way of building relationships and it can be more effective than emailing. No matter which niche you’re targeting; if there’s a number pick up the phone and give them a call – it’s more direct, more personal, much faster, and more difficult to ignore. The best thing about it is that your call can’t be deleted!