Getting good links to your website is essential your success online. There is no shortage of information on the web about how to get backlinks, so I will skip the usual “ask nicely for them, write link-worthy content” list and try to explain some of our link building philosophy.
Well, actually I will talk about link worthy content a little but not in the usual way.
We have no trouble getting our clients to rank highly for their keywords, and it leads to targeted visitors and conversions. Why?
Our clients are really cool.
Yep. That’s our secret to success.
Yes, we do traditional technical SEO and some link building, but this is how we really like to develop a complete web presence for our clients. We look for what sets you apart, what makes you cool. Then we make sure everyone can see that on your website, in social media like Facebook and Twitter, and even in Google search results.
If you have been looking for systems, formulas, charts or software to build backlinks to your website, then you are missing the first place you should look – in the mirror.
Look at your website or your Facebook page. Would you link to it or like it if it wasn’t your own? How about your business – do you do things that will make people say “wow that’s really cool that they are doing that”? Remember that internet users and Facebook friends are not just “traffic” or potential customers, they are people. People will give the thumbs up (or the link) to things that are informative, useful or just plain awesome. Videos and websites don’t go viral just because someone asked a million people to like it.
So how can you be cool?
Being cool isn’t always easy. If you do interesting things that people would want to let others know about, then you might be cool. If your business is painfully boring or maybe even annoying to anyone who is not in your industry, you may have to work a little harder at it. It used to be enough to have a really cool website – maybe a really interesting user interface, games, forums, etc. Not anymore. Now, what you do also has to be cooler than your competitors.
Here is a great example:
HighwaterFilters.com. They sell portable water filters that are used by backpackers, hikers, survivalists and in some cases, disaster relief and recovery. That is pretty interesting if you are into that kind of thing, but earlier this week they did something really cool. They wanted to donate some water filters to help out with disaster relief efforts in Japan, but realized that a more effective way to help would be to donate some money to organizations that do know how to use it effectively. Even though Highwater has only been in business a short time, they pledged a percentage of their sales to go to aid organizations and encouraged their customers and anyone else to do the same. Pretty cool. Who wouldn’t like someone who does that?
Since their web presence is young, we started working to make sure everyone knows just how cool Highwater Filters is. They are getting links, making friends and making sales. And it is infectious – Ker Communications will be doing the same as soon as we figure out exactly who can make the best use of our donation, and we are about to set up a community outreach program where we will provide discounted or free services and consultation to charity organizations. We are also looking at the possibility of doing the same for business start-ups which are products of the recession and long term unemployment driving people into starting their own business. We just need to work out the logistics and verification so we don’t end up giving our services away to people who don’t really need the help. We already have low cost web design and local search marketing for small businesses, but we want to do more to help others help themselves.
So you can do cool things like that. Support your community (yes, Japan is part of your community if you live on this planet). Donate your services, help out in the local soup kitchen or just give free or discounted products, services and advice to those who need your help (we do a lot of that). Even gazillionaires like Bill Gates and Richard Branson spend much of their time doing really great things for others. Google is doing something really cool right now by developing a way to help find people in Japan.
Speaking of doing good in the world and having good things come from it, take a look at this case study of a fundraising website that helps people start their own online fundraiser for all sorts of good causes. They provide this service for free, are funded mostly by donations, and are wildly successful.
It doesn’t have to be world changing, just interesting and unique, which brings us back to “link worthy content”. The point is that not only should the content of your website be worth linking to, but you and your business should try to be linkable and likable as well.
If you can’t come up with something really great to do for others in your community, and you can always be cool when surfing the web or using social media. When you find other people doing good things that make you think “that’s cool” – link to it, like it, retweet it. That in itself is a cool thing to do and trust me, it will come back to you.