Hello everyone! Yesterday we were so excited to host our first-ever webinar. And, although I might be biased, I would say it went extremely well.
We enjoyed discussing link building, trends, our philosophies, and where it's all headed. Best of all was everyone's participation and the wonderful questions. If you missed it never fear - we recorded the entire event. And, as promised, today I'm posting both the video and a recap of events.
Pretty nifty, eh?
Let's break it into digestible portions.
- Moderator: Jesse Stoler - Staff Writer, Linkarati
- Speaker #1: Cory Collins - Managing Editor, Linkarati
- Speaker #2: Nicholas (Nick) Chimonas - Director of Product Development, Page One Power
- Speaker #3: Joe Oliver - Director of Production, Page One Power
The webinar handily breaks down into five separate sections:
- The introduction.
- Question One: Cory (begins at 4:12).
- Question Two: Nicholas (begins at 11:56).
- Question Three: Joe (begins at 24:13).
- Audience Questions (varied).
IMPORTANT: I embed videos below, but if they don't play at the correct time click the linked time-stamp above. That should open a new YouTube tab where the video will play at the correct time.
Let's take a look at each one.
Jesse Stoler, staff writer at Linkarati, Content Marketing Specialist at Page One Power, and comedian extraordinaire was our fantastic moderator. Although this was his first webinar, Jesse has a wealth of experience with public speaking, introductions, and even moderating events due to his experience as a stand-up comedian.
I dare say Jesse found a crowd of SEOs, marketers, and business owners a refreshing change of pace from his usual.
That leads us into question one, which was for myself (Cory).
Question One: Where Does Link Building Fit Within Online Marketing
The first question was aimed at myself (Cory), and begins at the 4:12 mark.
The question was "where does link building fit within the spectrum of online marketing?"
My answer: link building is evolving, becoming more and more integral to comprehensive and holistic online marketing.
- Google's Penguin algorithm driving link building legitimacy and the need for real links
- Link building as promotion
- The complementary nature of online marketing
- Content marketing and link building
- The growing understanding of links and their importance as online marketing and digital marketing continue to grow.
Basically, online marketing is becoming increasingly important to businesses across the globe. SEO continues to be an extremely influential and important online marketing channel, and links are extremely important to search. As marketers and businesses fully invest into online opportunities, they'll learn the importance of links.
And you'll never get all the links you deserve without doing the work. Links don't just roll in naturally - you need to market yourself intelligently, with a dedicated member or staff responsible for links. Otherwise, you'll be leaving links on the table.
Check out both Jesse and Nick's response to my answer at the 9:50 mark.
Jesse emphasizes link building as promotion, noting the time of manipulation is ending, and the need to build relationships in conjunction with building links. Nick talks about the need for marketing within content marketing - not just content. Otherwise, as Nick says, your content will be drowned out in a sea of online content as content bloat continues across the web.
Question Two: How Will Link Building Evolve in 2015?
The second question was for Nick, Director of Product Development at Page One Power, and begins at the 11:56 mark.
The question: How will link building evolve in 2015? Where is it headed?
Nick's answer: SEO and link building will need to be concerned with users, as Google's algorithms improve and better enforce their guidelines, and SEO continues to evolve more into marketing. Quality will continue to be what drives rankings and link building success. Algorithms will continue to improve and become constantly run as opposed to big updates.
- Google's stance on SEO and search
- Link building tactics and their viability
- Matt Cutts' departure
- Penguin and other algorithm updates
- Links as a ranking signal
- Measuring success within link building and SEO.
Joe also jumps into the discussion, with prompting from Jesse at 21:11. Joe discusses reporting links and the work involved to clients, specifically quality versus quantity.
Question Three: What is the Actual Work of Building Links? Sweat Plus Creativity.
The third question from Jesse was for Joe, the Director of Production at Page One Power. The question begins at 24:13.
The question: Matt Cutts said at SMX that link building is sweat plus creativity. What exactly is sweat plus creativity? What does he mean? What is the actual work of link building?
Joe's answer: Link building is the hardest thing to do in the SEO industry. Link building takes a whole-brained approach. You need to engage the left side for structure, processes, and analysis, but you also need the right brain to creatively approach the project, innovate, and problem solve. There is no simple answer in link building - you're dealing with real people, and that takes sweat and creativity to build worthwhile links.
The reward of link building is a journey, a campaign, a project. There's very little immediacy within link building - it's a journey of good marketing. Link building lives at the top of the marketing funnel.
Going into this webinar, one of our primary goals at Linkarati was to create a worthwhile experience for our community. We truly wanted to focus on exposing and explaining common dialogues we have around Linkarti and Page One Power; to share our insight and experience in the link building and SEO world.
To that end, we purposely set aside time for audience questions. Doing a webinar such as this, it's hard to predict the response. The online marketing world is full of constant action and busy-ness business. We wanted to balance your time versus the opportunity to participate.
We were absolutely blown away by your response. Sincerely, to everyone who joined the webinar, watched the recording, or are reading this now: thank you so, so much. We value your time and involvement. We were blown away by the response to this webinar and the incredible questions posed by the audience.
Let's jump into them.
Why Would Someone Link To Your Content?
Question number one came from Don Sturgill, a longtime friend of Linkarati.
This question starts at 30:57.
Don asked: what are some of the reasons someone would want to link to your content?
My (Cory) answer: This is part of content planning, strategy, and ideation (content idea generating).
You need to plan beforehand who your content helps, how specifically it helps them, how it addresses their problem, and who would be likely to link to it. This is the marketing part of content marketing. You need to have a promotional plan in place before you even begin creating the content.
This will not only make building links easier, but ensure you have a strong avenue for content promotion after publication.
Jesse agreed, chiming in that content planning and strategy is how you build links for users, not just Google. If you can make sure users have a reason to link, you're able to build links that matter.
Nick jumped into the conversation as well. Nick pointed out that many companies think marketing is about talking about themselves, but that the best kind of marketing is when you talk about your audience, their problems, and being part of the solution.
How Do You Find Quality Sites?
Our second question came from Matt, at 34:56:
Matt asked: How do you find quality sites to target for links?
Nick answered: Start with Google, emulating searches your target demographic would use. Keyword research is a must. Competitor backlink analysis is helpful. BuzzSumo will help you discover popular content within your industry/niche as well.
Jesse: I love competitive research - it's such a natural and easy way to find great link opportunities.
Cory: social media is often overlooked for website finding. Check out communities, lists, whatever form they take on that platform. Check bios for people who are self-identifying as belonging to an industry/niche and see what websites they've connected to their profile. Breaking away from Google can take you in a whole new direction.
How Should a Link Builder Start Their Day?
At 41:13 Sivagopi asked: what does a link builders daily routine look like?
Joe's answer: it depends on the individual, but site finding and outreach are probably the two biggest pieces of a link builder's day. Within that, there's a need to be innovative, creative, and work as a team. There's also a need for project analysis and determining success versus what isn't working.
Cory: Agree with Joe completely - link building is a project and you must constantly assess success and think critically about what more you could be doing. The need for innovation in link building is a constant. All of that should fuel your site finding, outreach, and current tactics. The project itself determines your daily activities.
Could You Explain More About BuzzSumo?
At 46:50 Christy asked us to expand more on BuzzSumo.
Nick: I wrote a Tutorial Tuesday about BuzzSumo, but basically BuzzSumo shows you popular content within your industry or niche as determined by social shares. You can also use BuzzSumo to discover specific authors, influencers, etc. Great for understanding content performance and important topics. BuzzSumo is a great tool and I really recommend it. Vital to content marketing.
Do You Have Any Advice on Building Links to Start-ups?
At 50:10 Claude C. asks "Do you have any advice for building links to start-ups?
Cory: For any new or start-up business odds are your best bet will be tactics that don't require content. Jon wrote a great piece on SEJ about link building tactics for small businesses. Linkarati also has our resource guide to building links without content. I'd recommend checking out the eBook I wrote with Jon Ball as well: Link Building: From Beginning to Launch.
Nick: Build relationships with allies and other mid-level businesses. Partnerships and offline relationships you build with other businesses are vital for your company, and can help drive your link building as well.
How Do You Incorporate Teamwork into Link Building?
Kyle asks around 52:53 how to incorporate teamwork into link building:
Joe: You have to encourage it across the board. For Page One Power we have it embedded in our DNA - everyone works in the same office, we sit in teams within teams, and every process we have encourages teamwork. There are no lone rangers.
Nick: It's not just philosophies, it has to be reality as well. If you walk into our office you'd immediately see the embedded teamwork - everyone sits in groups, our office is structured around teamwork.
That was our webinar in a nutshell! Phew.
Everything written here is a simplification of the actual discussion for brevity and accuracy. I'd truly recommend listening to the audio of a question if you're interested (or the whole webinar!) - I've tried to embed videos to the correct point in case you wanted to only listen to a couple questions.
With YouTube embedding, if you've already seen/clicked around the video it will take you back to the point you left off at. So it may or may not work. I've included the times as well if you want to skip to a specific question. Clicking the linked time-stamp will open up a new tab to YouTube at the correct time.
Thank you again for your support and encouragement.