Tom Critchlow: Good to Great | Linklove Boston

Good SEO is grit. and is hard. It’s about real results in the long term. Slow, steady.

Tom’s case study. 2009 – buying a lot of links. Because their competitors were. This is a case study. You can’t just turn off paid links, it’s about risk management. Reduced budget to 2010.
They purchased data sets – they don’t have anything that makes them unique. The data sets that they bought – they started building out good content. They built their own CMS to manage their content production.

Nothing earthshattering happened in 2010 – they had growth, but more importantly they realized they could live without paid links. In 2011, they launched a full redesign.They start to gain credibility – and they started to reduce ads on site. And they had a small drop in conversion, which was justifed by an increase in links.

They hired a great blogger. (brilliant!) Apparently the blogger isn’t really that brilliant. Oops.
Began building permission marketing assets (ie facebook and twitter) but it didn’t do anything for them. Nothing happened except for the slow steady and boring growth of followers. 2011 showed stable growth.

In 2012 they reached the “tipping point” of social media and the engagement started to pay off – but in and of itself it’s not the only thing. It’s a combination of everything that happened.

They also did CRO. They started doing PPC. They got a return on running ads. Which turbo-charges their flywheel. They did paid SU campaign that drove over 60,000 free visits. The post that went crazy was an “infograpnic” – 500 words of text with a good headline and an excel graph. It didn’t look fancy, but it was interesting. People were engaging with it. Blogging actually started paying off. They were being referenced in the industry as the go-to, as the authority. They were ever so slightly ahead of the curve, but they didn’t try to do something that they weren’t equipped to do because they thought that they had to do it and it would get them links.

What can we learn?

Build permission assets: Facebook, Twitter, DistilledU, build people that you can spread content to “without people noticing” – earned media here.
Nail the basics: Have good imagery. The web is visual. What is the Boston Big Picture? Look it up. Post high-res images!

Google rolled out Google Customer surveys. Gets instant feedback – get data if you don’t have it.

Be exceptional and be prepared to fail. Use influencers! You’re not going to get there if you don’t try. Go for the big guys and get better results.

Focus on niche-relevant hyper-engaged audience for your influencer.
Remember – long term work needs a vision pitch.

John Doherty: Best in Show, Tools For Linkbuilding | Linklove Boston

Need to know when to use what tools. But how to make the data actionable?

What do they need? Why? Who is linking to your compeititors? Outreach? How do you scale it up? How do we track it?

Two types of tools – paid Absolutely recomend. Buzzstream. Ontolo.
Free, excel, hustle!

Starting a campaign:
-Analytics and Rankerizer.
-Keyword Spy:same concept of semrush – find what keywords your competitors are ranking for.
-Searchmetrics (paid, enterprise level): “essentials.”

Rank checking:
-Authority Labs
-Raven Tools

What links do I need:
-LinkDetective(free): categorize their backlink types and what anchor text they’re targeting.

Competitor links:
– LinkResearchTools Compepetitive Landscape – who’s winning??
-SEOMoz, competitive link finder.

Link Prospecting:
-Guest post query
-Blogger Linkup
-SEO Tools for excel

-Twitter API to get website data
-Topsy Experts?! (Whaaaat)
-Egobait lists

-Buzzstream Contact Finder (free) (free!) – email inbox for your social life
Zemanta – content discovery engine. (paid)

Followup –
– Boomerang

Wil Reynolds: Building Links and Relationships | Linklove Boston

Become a link stalker. For realz.


Use for Chrome.

Step 1: Target somebody big. Getting links from big targets. Look for someone influentual that doesn’t follow you. How to create value for them? Does a comparision of followers (where?)

Use igoogle goals to stalk folks. ( add igoogle twitter feed. But it’s not found. Make a Twitter profile gadget!

Then stalk the news. Big players are mentioned in the news – find out when!

Then stalk the blog. Theirs, that is. Google+, Quora – wherever they are, you are. All in one place. And find out who they follow, and be more like them.

Use tag crowd and the free follower wonk type thing.

Stalking a publication

Meet people in real life – use follower wonk to search who they are.

*super tip* HAVE COFFEE WITH THEM and if you can’t have copy with them, figure out when they’re coming to you.

RSS= really simple stalking.


What is Mozenda – @aimclear.

Drop in a + after to see how far it goes.

Rhea Drysdale: Building a Link Development Calendar | Linklove Boston

Emphasize process and emphazise low-risk natural approach to link development.

“Content marketing is intimate.” (Need to get to know the business -target market, goals, etc. )

We’re all re-inventing the wheel when it comes to link-dev. Content marketing isn’t new. How do we customize link building for a client? Consultants – come to us to understand your business on the web.

Example – client blocked off all their attempts, save for link building as personae. They were pissed. So they realized that they needed to re-vamp their own process.

Note: Look into commemorative dates for blog ideas.


-What have I not asked you that you think I need to know?

Ross Hudgens: Linkbuilding by Imitation | Linklove Boston

“How To Steal Your Way to #1″ :)

Tip 1 – Leverage social proff of existing content to create linkbait. Repurpose and improve. Find the potential for already sucessful social shares and make it linkbait. Add value.
-Use Hacker News to create viral infographics. They hate infograhics, generally, as well as linkbait, generally. Hacker News loves data/interesting stuff. The foolproof Hacker News formula (until they find this presentation).
– Find an already existing article that is relevant to your niche and has a lot of upvotes. etc etc.
-Recreate the article as a digital viz. Contact the original article creator, the people that originally shared, etc.

But how!?
-Browse Hacker News all the time.

Tip 2 – Find successful linkable assests in similar verticals, twist and work it for the links. (Targeted focus interest groups with a simple, well-written text based guide; evergreen).
–Citation Labs – free tool? Look into this.
– But as always, ask if it connects back to your business and adds value for your customers.
Crowdsourced, high quality sites, like Huffingtonpost, wisebread, etc.

Tip 4 – Steal From PPC!
-Capitalize meta-description texts! It’s sales copy and makes sense to attract impressions. Include phone numbers. (Ross saw 50% increase in phone calls)
Title tags – combine brand. What makes sense. Use sales copy.

Tip 5- Steal steal steal steal
Don’t be so specific, think about people other than your direct competitors.
Learn from Twitter! (Look into Zemanta)
-Use compete numbers for the traffic of the site for payment rates. Ask for approval before going for a guest post.
And apparently storify is shutting down soon…huh. That sucks.

Justin Briggs | Linklove Boston

How to quanitfy the business value of links. The problem with link building is that it’s not really about the links.

Linkbuilding – Hustle, and just fucking do it.

Yolinks – replaces some of the functionality of Yahoo site explorer. How are we actually reporting the ROI of our links?

What is toutapp? Look into it.

Operational metrics ARE NOT result metrics. (Value of a link isn’t based on cost to acquire it).

SEO outcome reporting – allows you to create correlation reports to correlate links, traffic and revenue in YOY changes.

It’s not about discrete link value. Go after the retention customers. Think about the users.
Link building and cohort analysis.
How to start with cohort analsis. Build a really really big database. Figure out the lifetime value of a customer.
Custom Variables in Google Analytics. He’s going to write a blog post about it. User-level metric.
Link networks? Graph – content marketing vs. paid marketing.
Combine paid and content links – knowing that you’re going to pull out of the paid networks, in order to get a bigger ROI.
Download Gephi. Link visualizer.


Rand Speaks | Linklove Boston

So we should check out – articles in the niche. Apparently.

Rand, more straegic view on building lins. Woooo. Here we go.

Slide – Fuck Linkbuilding. Content marketing FTW.

Fivver is apparently a jolly good time. :)

Rand goes through the process of sucky manual link building and then talks about how we give in to the dark side and buy links, then get burned.

Why is linkbuilding broken?? Well, lets find out…

Google is trying to move beyond links after Wil Renyolds and his post about how Google makes liars out of the good guys. Other things matter more, now, than links – like Facebook shares (things that Google says they don’t have access to). Something connects, but what is it? It’s not the linkerati anymore – it’s about 60% of the web has ability to share and create link signals.

So we want to rank for knives. Fuck yeah. Huh – about 18% of people click on paid search reesults. SEO is about maintaining and getting new customers and keeping them at a lower ccost than anyone else.

Invest in conent – why? Improves every aspect of marketing. Build branding.┬áDuckduckgo – brand powered. What if that happens? The button that rand has that gets his 400 new linking root domains is the “publish” button. Because he has a wicked strong brand.

He shows us a video about a knifemaker. To push home the idea of brand, I’m sure, but he’s yet to explain. AAnd storytelling, plus trust.

Content can mean actual content, or community, or products or a platform, or data.

Content ideas – fedorastore.Portlandia – ironically enjoy hipster culture slash hipsters – demographic. ego bait for links. infographic for when to where what hat.

Content ideas – – overcaffiniated graph. Caffeine tracking – like foursquare. Caffeine scale.

Content ideas – costumes. Buy a costume blogger. Set up searches for costumes on twitter and ask permission to use images.

Hazmat – on travel and security intersection.
What to do if seos can’t use social? Google social connections.
Senior care? own the politcal lean and/or opinion for the majority of the demographic.

I know, I know

It’s been over a month since I’ve posted, but I haven’t had anything to say – and I’ve been posting over at My SEO Community.

But I just wanted to give everyone a heads up, I’m going to be live-blogging from the Distilled Linklove conference on Monday. Exciting!

Targeting Long Tail Vs. Head Terms

This is one thing that I’ve been curious about because I haven’t had the leeway to experiment on client websites and I haven’t had the time to experiment on my own.

While I agree with Rand and a lot of other inbound marketers that it is the long tail that brings in a whole lot of traffic and often and whole lot more conversions than the head terms that you may target, I’ve had the experience that targeting the head terms on main category pages will lift up all the products underneath (I typically work with e-commerce sites) and in strengthening the head terms, you pull in more long-tail traffic.

But I also wouldn’t be surprised if doing things the other way around works just as well. I’d be curious to hear others opinions on whether you prefer to actually target the long tail to help bring in more head term traffic, or target the head terms to bring in more long tail traffic.

I don’t have an answer here, but I’d be interested in having a discussion.

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