Implementing SEO recommendations provided by your SEO agency can be quite costly sometimes, especially when you’ve been given an endless list of action items. In my experience, implementing SEO items is when SEO becomes challenging for businesses. To be quiet frank, only businesses who are prepared to endure this part will yield the best results. But how do you go about getting some quick wins and achieving a momentum that will keep your team focused and hungry for traffic?
Today my friends, we’ll discuss 3 SEO tactics you can leverage without exhausting your team’s resources. In particular, we’re going to focus on link acquisition tactics.
Quick Reminder: The quantity and quality of links pointing to your site has recently been nominated as one of top two ranking factors in Google’s algorithm.
Let’s skip the fluff and dive straight in, shall we?
1) Unlinked Brand Mentions:
What is it and How Does It Work?
Brands are constantly being mentioned on the web from different sources and in different contexts. The most common sources I come across are:
- News Websites ( niche & mainstream )
- Online Magazines
- Influencer Blogs
- Business Partners
- Government / Non-Profit Organisations
However, a huge portion of those mentions don’t include a link to the brand’s website.
Brand mentions represent a golden opportunity for brands to earn links back to their website. That exercise though, is not strictly limited to the brand itself. Mentions of general managers, CEOs and anyone that works in the company can also present an opportunity, should the context be suitable.
What Do I Need To Do?
The process can be split into four steps and repeated in a recurring fashion. The more frequent the brand is mentioned the larger the prospect list will be and the longer it would take to complete the process:
This is where the initial prospecting is performed. Using certain tools and scraping techniques, you’ll find mentions of your company’s brand(s) on the web. To maximise the potential of this exercise, search for mentions of all brands owned by the business. For example: The Keystone Group own a range of brands with each having its own page on the site. In this case, you would search for mentions of all individual brands owned by the Keystone Group.
How to Prospect?
There are a few ways to build a prospect list:
- Enter the query in Google and make use of advanced search operators to narrow down your search results.
- Collect search results using scraping plugins and Google Sheets. Take a minute to see it in action here
- Repeat this exercise to all the brands owned by the business.
Refine & Source Contacts:
In this step, you will closely analyse your prospect list and remove any of the following:
- Irrelevant mentions: mentions in comments, random online tools, mentions of irrelevant references ( When “Mars” is mentioned, it’ll not always be about your favourite chocolate bar but potentially about the planet Mars, Bruno Mars, Veronica Mars and the list can go and on)
- Negative mentions: let’s hope your brand hasn’t been mentioned in any negative PR stories or product review posts but if it has, you would want to ditch those mentions off your prospect list and move on.
- Linking mentions: Mentions that already link to your website (using xpath query & google sheets you’ll be able to detect if there is a link to your site)
As you’re refining your prospect list, pull the contact details of the ones you want to go after. I suggest to aim for phone numbers rather than emails. Emails and contact forms should be your last resort type of contact.
Now that you’ve got a filtered list of opportunities with their contact details, it’s time to put on your sales cap, pick up the phone and make some calls. When submitting requests, keep it simple and explain what you’re after in layman terms. Further details can be provided in a follow up email.
Your success will depend on how you submit your request and who you’re dealing with. This task needs a person with solid communication skills and immaculate phone manners. Try and get a hold of the editor in charge as they will likely be responsible of granting your request.
Tip: You’d want to be able to know how you’re doing in terms of results at any point in time. Properly organising and managing your spreadsheet will greatly help in tracking results, making any changes to your strategy and staying on top of things.
Don’t miss any easy opportunities, not all promises are delivered, not all requests are trusted. Editors often take time to actually add the link and sometimes they completely forget. On the other hand, your initial email, may have not receive the attention it needed for some reason or another. Follow ups will ensure that you don’t miss out on any real opportunities to earn links. I’d suggest to do two follow up rounds with a week difference in between.
2) Link Reclamation
Link reclamation is the process of finding broken URLs on your site with links pointing to them. Such links wouldn’t be delivering any value to your site since the landing page returns a 404 status code. For that reason, it is important to detect broken URLs and redirect them to their most relevant pages so your links actually transmits some authority to your site. Additionally, some of those links could be sending traffic to your site and you surely wouldn’t want that traffic to land on a broken page.
Link Reclamation Tools:
There are a couple of tools that will help you capture broken backlink opportunities. The ideal approach is to use a combination of the following tools and remove any duplicates:
Once you’ve compiled a unique list of broken URLs with links pointing to them, your next step is to map each URL to its live equivalent page. You’ll end having a list of 301 redirects that you can pass on to your developers to implement.
3) Partners & Suppliers Links
The idea of the partners & suppliers links is quite simple yet very effective: Investigate your partners & suppliers’ websites and find opportunities to add links to your site. Leveraging your business relationships should be one of the first opportunities to investigate. After all, I believe that links from local businesses, especially if such businesses are in the same industry as yours, will send strong signals to Google that your business is an authority in its niche.
How to Tackle Partners / Suppliers Link opportunities?
Firstly, we need to create a prospect list of partners and suppliers. It is suggested to conduct internal meetings to come up with the most comprehensive list of Partners and Suppliers.
Tip: Involve your accounts payable person when it comes to suppliers as they should be able to provide you with a list of all suppliers that your company process payment to.
The second step is the most important part of the process and it can get a bit tricky. Here is what’s involved in the second step:
- Filter your prospect list. It’s likely that not all your partners & suppliers are suitable for this exercise as it depends on their business, website and the nature of your relationship with them. For that reason, you need to narrow down your list to include more practical opportunities. Try to include specific point of contacts for each prospects especially if you have a good relationship with them.
- Develop tactics. Investigate your final prospect list carefully and develop tactics to target each. Here are some common tactics that I have come across :
- Testimonial: Do they have a testimonials page, can your business offer them a testimonial.
- Partners Section: Do they have a page listing their partners? Can your business be added?
- Useful Links / Resources: Do their site host a useful links section?
- Fresh Content Section: Do they have a blog section where you can provide useful content or be featured in one of their blogs?
- Industry Content: Do you have unique relevant industry content on your site that they can link to?
Once you’ve developed tactics for each prospect, go ahead and pitch your requests. Make sure to track your results as you progress and don’t forget to follow up.
So there you have it guys, three SEO tactics that you can action today. Go ahead give them a try and let me know how you go or if you need any help. If you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share it around by clicking the share buttons below.