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Link Building For Consulting Companies


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10 replies to this topic

#1 AdamRamshaw

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 05:31 PM

Hi Everyone,

I'd really appreciate some advice here. We've been running our consulting practice site [removed] for a number of years.

As far as I can tell we've hit most of the SEO high points: we have a blog with a new content rich post each week linked to internal pages. We have key word optimized most of our pages. We optimized the load speed. In general these approaches have worked pretty well and we have a good stream of inbound search based visitors. All good.

The issue we have is with inbound linking; we have never been able to really ramp up the inbound links. We post considered, useful (I hope) comments on relevant blogs, However, they often come with nofollow attached. We also do some guest blog posts and have some pretty solid giveaway whitepapers and tools so there is good content for people to link to. From what I can tell "directory" links are not that valuable, and can be harmful, so we have not pursued that much at all.

The issue is that as a consulting organisation most of the places that would be suitable to get an inbound link from consider us competitors in some way and so don't link to us.

Does anyone have any suggestions on ways we could build good quality inbound links?

Adam Ramshaw

#2 Jill

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 05:49 PM

The idea of the blog posts is that they'll be interesting for others to share and link to.

Are yours?

If so, that's when you need to get on Twitter and Facebook and start promoting them.

#3 AdamRamshaw

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 05:56 PM

Jill,

Thanks for your reply.

We I am biased about the content of the posts but yes I think that they are of good quality; offering useful and valuable information about the fields in which we specialize. They are not "salesy" although they do have a call to action at the end but that is normally for a free download. The posts themselves receive good a good stream of search traffic.

When we post we cross promote on Twitter and LinkedIn, not Facebook as I'm not convinced that is right for our B2B space.

My thought is that we don't receive inbound links to those posts as the people who would consider linking also consider us a competitor. Of course they could just be poor posts but I'm hoping that's not the case.


PS -- good to finally converse with you live. I've been reading your posts and insights for many years: thank you.





#4 Jill

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 06:28 PM

But are people retweeting your content? That counts for a lot these days and might even be better than links themselves.

But on another note, competitors link to my content all the time, as I do to theirs, so it really just depends on what that content consists of.

#5 Michael Martinez

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 07:27 PM

I'm curious what you feel you need the links for. Do you have a specific set of goals you're pursuing?

#6 AdamRamshaw

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 07:32 PM

QUOTE(Michael Martinez @ Nov 1 2011, 11:27 AM) View Post
I'm curious what you feel you need the links for. Do you have a specific set of goals you're pursuing?


Michael -- only because I've heard and read so many times that inbound links are important for SEO. In the drive for higher inbound search hits (our goal) I feel it's the only big piece we are missing.

Adam



#7 Michael Martinez

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 12:26 PM

QUOTE(AdamRamshaw @ Oct 31 2011, 05:32 PM) View Post
Michael -- only because I've heard and read so many times that inbound links are important for SEO. In the drive for higher inbound search hits (our goal) I feel it's the only big piece we are missing.

Adam


Well, there's another piece to the puzzle beyond that. And another piece beyond THAT one.

Sure, we need links for search engine optimization. But we don't need links just because someone says we need links. We need links in order to accomplish specific goals.

Links rarely help with rankings. Most SEOs would disagree with that statement but it's the absolute truth. The majority of links don't appear to pass any value (PageRank or Anchor Text) any more. Of the links that DO pass value, well, the majority of THEM appear to be using brand- or domain-relevant anchor text, so you get the PageRank but if your site is XYZshoes and you're hoping to rank for "Nike Running Shoes", you're lucky to get the word "shoes" in most of your anchor text.

You can certainly augment your ranking strategy with targeted anchor text but those are artificial links -- and then again you're dealing with the problem that most links don't pass value. So you have to build links in volume in order to get the rankings success you want, and while you're concentrating on a handful of expressions with targeted anchor text you're probably doing a much better job of focusing on thousands of long-tail queries through your content because you simply cannot "build" enough links for all those queries.

A well-rounded SEO strategy or plan assigns specific goals to the link building. What do you want the links to do? Don't worry about what other people think they should do -- what do YOU want them to do?

If you cannot decide that for yourself, then what is the quality of the advice you give to your clients?


#8 NewspaperLinks

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 08:48 PM

QUOTE(AdamRamshaw @ Oct 31 2011, 03:31 PM) View Post
Hi Everyone,
Does anyone have any suggestions on ways we could build good quality inbound links?



There are several places that aren't competitors of yours to get links from, newspapers, profile links, social bookmarking, directories. It's good to get a blend of all of them.

#9 AdamRamshaw

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 09:49 PM

QUOTE(Michael Martinez @ Nov 2 2011, 04:26 AM) View Post
Links rarely help with rankings. Most SEOs would disagree with that statement but it's the absolute truth.

I am aware of the nofollow attribute but other than that all the other advice I have heard says that inbound links (from good neighbourhoods) help to drive good rankings.

QUOTE(Michael Martinez @ Nov 2 2011, 04:26 AM) View Post
If you cannot decide that for yourself, then what is the quality of the advice you give to your clients?

Actually the quality of advice that I provide is very high. We are not an SEO company. We consult in the area of customer management.




#10 Michael Martinez

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 01:30 PM

QUOTE(AdamRamshaw @ Nov 22 2011, 06:49 PM) View Post
I am aware of the nofollow attribute but other than that all the other advice I have heard says that inbound links (from good neighbourhoods) help to drive good rankings.


Since no one in the SEO industry has the ability to tell which links are passing value, that is advice you should take with a HUGE bag of salt.

Yes, value-passing links can help with your rankings -- but "rankings" is a vague term. You cannot possibly influence all the queries your content is relevant for with link anchor text. Most sites are not so narrowly focused.

QUOTE
Actually the quality of advice that I provide is very high. We are not an SEO company. We consult in the area of customer management.


Fair enough -- but the quality of SEO advice in general is very murky. Even the best among us can be wrong, although more often people simply seem to find OLD advice that was good in its day but is not relevant to the search environment today.

A link-driven SEO strategy is inefficient and not very cost-effective. A lot of people get stuck on that treadmill for a long time before realizing that links are not the magic bullet "SEO advice" makes them appear to be.

#11 thomasr

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 04:36 PM

You can certainly augment your ranking strategy with targeted anchor text but those are artificial links -- and then again you're dealing with the problem that most links don't pass value.


Yikes Michael......how come SEOMOZ show Page Level Link Metrics and Domain Level Link Authority as having the biggest impacts on Search Engine Ranking Factors?

Wiep Knol
I'd say that the quantity of unique linking root domains that contain a link employing the keyword as the exact anchor text is the most important factor, as long as you have a large amount of naturally looking links to back it up.

Richard Baxter
Topical relevance is incredibly weak in comparison to raw inbound link diversity (root domain links) and anchor text optimization. That point amazes me but most SERPs still show evidence of this tactic working well.




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