Put the Muscle Into Your Link Building

Wendy “The Hulk” WhippetWhile there is not one single blueprint for the perfect search engine marketing or search engine optimization campaign, one thing is for certain, link building is an integral part of it. You can optimize until you are blue in the face but anything competitive and there’s not much of a chance to rank well.

For this reason, putting muscle into your link building campaign can make all of your optimization efforts worth it. The links not only help build link popularity, but they also help build a buzz and visibility for those who might not have heard of your site or service.

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Sphinn Selling

Danny Sullivan and the rest of the crew over at Search Engine Land launched their own Digg-style social media site today called Sphinn (pronounced “spin”). It seems like it’s going to be pretty cool so I’d encourage everyone to go register. This should be yet another great resource for industry news, discussions, and networking so get on it!

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Is anyone going to Affiliate Summit?

We’re off to Affiliate Summit in Miami this weekend and I wanted to make one more announcement just in case any of our people will be there.

Anyone going? Beuler?

Ron and I will both be there and we’d love to meet you if you’ll be attending. Post a comment or just simply start yelling our names at the show and we’ll find you.

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Having the Right Words

Being a good blogger requires having all the right words. Personally, I often have a hard time putting the right words together and saying it like it is. If there was an award for typos, I’d win hands downd! (I purposely did that by the way) Sometimes when you want to describe your own product and/or service, you can be so married to it, words just do not give enough justice. You might have the sensation of drawing it out on the whiteboard or creating a Photoshop image that will better tell the story. Of course, I have never done this because I don’t have a whiteboard or Photoshop. . .

Ron’s Office

My point is sometimes allowing another person review your own products and/or services with an unbiased review can help put things into perspective. Rob StGeorge at TextLinkBuzz threw up a great review of LinkWorth and “all” of our products. Most people put us into the class of “link broker” but we are a jack of all trades. We compete not only with Text Link Ads, but also with Intellitxt & Kontera and the many other companies that do article submissions and press releases, not to mention SEO consulting.

Thanks for the kind words Rob!

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Grassroots Social Networking

One of the best parts about what we do is being exposed to so many different websites. And in today’s world, that typically means blog sites where people are just chatting it up and anyone interested is free to chime in. And take it from me, it’s a lot better when you actually participate in the conversations.

I haven’t always done that, but I’ve been trying to do a lot more of it this year. I’ve mentioned it here and there and I can honestly say that I’ve been making an effort. Lurking is easier…non-committal. But communicating is much more rewarding.

And there are so many cool sites out there that it amazes me. Some make a huge impression just because they way they look. You know, as soon as the page loads you’re like, “Wow. That’s a pretty cool site.” Other times a site is great because the voice of the writer grabs you in that certain way. Or maybe the content is really useful. Maybe you like the message. Maybe you bought something. It can be a lot of things but what you shouldn’t do, is move on without saying something. Anything.

Now when I come across something I’ve never seen before and really like what they’re doing, I’ll just leave a quick comment on their blog. And what normally happens is that person will comment back or shoot me an email. And there it is; dialogue. Isn’t that awesome?

A lot of times what you’ll find, depending on the reason you contacted them to begin with, is that the person on the other end of the line is really interesting or really friendly or could be an asset to you in some way. (And they can also be jackasses or rude or almost worse; non-responsive.) But no matter what, just being social is what it’s really all about.

It’s been a lot of fun reaching out to people and I’m going to try to pick up some steam on this. But for the folks I’ve met recently – whether you’re a LinkWorther or not – here’s my shout-out to you.


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Threadwatch: will it really close down?

I remember when I first started in the industry and I’d have a question about God-knows-what. Ron would say, “You been to Threadwatch yet?”

I’ve always been a lurker there more than a participant. The reason was simple enough, I didn’t want to look like a dumbass amongst all these knowledge SEO-types! But I’d always go read the threads and enjoy the conversations. I realize now, years later, that I should’ve participated more because it seems they’re either shutting it down, pulling a prank, or trying to sell it.

Tomorrow is d-day, supposedly. Personally, I hope it stays around. I’ve always used it as a resource like so many others have. And even though I’ve typically been on the sidelines there, I’ve really always loved that community because of the gloves-off mentality it’s had.

If you are indeed closing, TW, I’d like to bid a fine farewell to Aaron. If you’re not and this is a bit of some sort, nicely done!

I guess we’ll see tomorrow…

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A Sight For Sore Sites

Changing your website design can sometimes be well worth it, sometimes be a wrong move and other times be a big waste of time. How do you know if it is the right thing to do? I’m definitely not here to tell you I know the exact answer, but I’ll definitely fill you in on what we did to decide it was time.

  1. Ask your customers for suggestions to improve your site. If you find customers having a hard time getting around or quite a few make comments about the look and feel, it might be that time to either improve or redesign.
  2. Track the traffic and conversions. If you notice you’re getting one conversion with thousands of visits, there is something that can be improved to convert a higher percentage and a new design could be the trick.
  3. Compare your site to other sites within your market. I compare it to my senior year in high school when I was looking around at all of my friends hair styles one day during lunch and realized I was the only one sporting a mullet. At that point, I realized it was time for a redesign of my hair. If your site is the mullet of your market, stop feathering it and try a younger, more hip style.
  4. Read up on new technologies and see if there is a more proficient way to display your content. For example, designing with tables is a thing of the past and CSS is now the cool kid on the block.
  5. My last tip is a simple, but great idea. Ask a family member, friend or business associate that has no idea what your website does and have them to go through and make notes about parts they find confusing or difficult. This might cost you a case of beer or maybe a few bucks, but it is well worth it. As a webmaster, what might be trivial to you, could be the most complicated task to a typical visitor of your site.

As Matt mentioned in the previous post, we recently launched a new front end of our website. All of the suggestions above were used and it all pointed to the fact our old website just sucked. And to prove the differences between our old site and our new site, I pulled our tracking info we have for the month of May ’07 compared to the month of June ’07. We launched our new site on June 1st.

This first screen shot is for the month of May. You will see we had a fair amount of “pay per click” traffic over the month.

May Pay Per Click Conversions

Now this next screen shot is for the month of June. Our new design was up and running on June 1, so this is our PPC conversions after we chopped the mullet off. Traffic is pretty much the same, but notice the conversion numbers:

June PPC Conversions

So in summary, if you currently sport a mullet, I am not saying it doesn’t work for you. I’m just suggesting maybe you ask your friends how it looks and if they understand it. Oh yeah, (a shameless plug) make sure you notice the conversion rate of our LinkWords program. It is our highest conversion percentage of all marketing techniques we use.

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Welcome new LinkWorthers!

June has been a crazy month with our site upgrade and all that’s going on internally, but I thought now might be a good time to say “WELCOME!” to all of the new Partners and Advertisers that have come to us over the past several weeks. We’re happy to have you and look forward to working with you all!

A few cool things you should know…

ONE: We recently launched a new front-end to our site and will soon be launching a new backend. Exactly when? Don’t know yet but Ron’s pretty good about posting updates…so keep your ears listening. The guys back there are doing a great job and I’ve seen a lot of the new UI. Can you say, “AWESOME?” I think everyone’s going to love it.

We’re adding some muscle to our affiliate program. Details will be available soon and this will be another great way to make some money. Want to get paid for referring Partner websites? It’s coming. There are tons of new affiliate banners in all sizes in the Partner Control Centers, so check ’em out.

Advertisers, as it stands now, you need to convert your account to a “Combo Account” to get an affiliate ID. You obviously don’t have to sell ads on your site, but for now that’s how you must sign up. That’ll change soon and be convenient for everyone.

THREE: We’re here for you. Questions? Conerns? Comments? Fire away. Contact support or give us a call. Hell, you can email me at matt at linkworth dot com if you want to. We’re all here to help and it’s an exciting time for you to join us!

Talk to you soon…

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LinkInTxt – If At First You Do Not Succeed . . .

. . .blame it on the next guy! Some of you have been asking us about the first LinkInTxt crawl and we have good news and bad news. Which do you want first? Ok, ok. I’ll give you the good news first. The good news is we were just a few hours away from a successful complete crawl with literally thousands upon thousands of keywords ready to be bought up. During a test, we found the most unique keywords one could imagine, meaning it will work for almost any niche website out there.

Now I guess the time has come to announce the bad news. Did you hear that business.com is for sale to whoever has a spare FOUR HUNDRED MILLION in their pocket? Oh right, the bad news. 🙂 Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication with our server administrators regarding a routine hard drive corruption test that required a restart of our operating system. This restart occurred this morning about three hours before the entire process was going to end. We expected there was a way to simply resume the process, however, since it was ended abruptly, it corrupted all of our data. Can you say “BUMMER!”

Where does this leave us? “On the road again . . .” crawling again. Smarter. Wiser. Faster. If we want to go tech-talk, we might call this LinkInTxt v2.1.

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Affiliate Summit Miami

Ron and I will be making our first appearance at the Affiliate Summit Conference in Miami a couple weeks from now and from what I can tell, there will be several members of the LinkWorth community in attendance. So, if you’re going to be there, let us know in advance so we can make plans to hook up.

I’m really looking forward to this trip. We’ve talked a little bit lately about spicing up our affiliate program and I’d love to hear some feedback from you guys. What do you like or dislike about our current setup and what would you like to see? Just curious. Your input matters to us…trust me. Recommendations or affirmations are both welcome!

Okay, hope to see you in Miami!

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