Use marketing to sell links

Link building is only around 10% traditional SEO techniques. A lot of the work you have to do, and consequently a lot of the work you will do for your off-page search engine optimisation, is far more human. To be a really good link builder, you need to know how to market and sell your pages to potential linkers.

Marketing and sales are really all about convincing people to do things. Whether it’s a search engine marketing ad, or a tout standing outside a store, the techniques that are going to work are the ones that touch on people’s needs and desires. The hard sell works when people want it to, and the soft sell gradually convinces people. Each of these sales techniques follows a similar path, one that you need to follow in trying to obtain links:

1. Build a relationship. This is the beginning of your negotiation. At this stage, you need to get the potential link provider to move you out of the mental category of ‘annoyance’ into the category of ‘friend.’ This isn’t easy to do, and it can be a good idea to talk to your SEO agency about opening negotiations if you’re unsure. Their experience with providing search engine optimization services will help.

2. Find the angle that helps them. This is possibly the most important part of your campaign. Few people will link without feeling that they’re going to benefit somehow. A little research will help you discover their angle, and you can discuss this with us at SEO Consult.

3. Introduce the idea that they will benefit. This is where real manipulation begins to come into play. You need to introduce the angle described above.

4. Present the request. Once you’ve prepared the way, it’s time to introduce your request for a link. It won’t come as a surprise to the potential link provider, but it will be more welcome than if you’d bluntly asked for a link right away. By this time, hopefully, the link provider perceives that it might be in their interests to give you a link.

5. Make it urgent. It is important to close the deal as soon as you can, but for this to happen you need the potential link provider to feel a sense of urgency.

6. Strong-arm them into it. Once you have the initial agreement, it’s time to push them a little. If you want your link to be effective for your search engine optimization campaign, you need to ensure that you have some control over its appearance and placement.

7. Make them feel good about their decision. The agreement to provide the link isn’t the end of the relationship. In order to maintain the link and perhaps use the relationship a little further down the track, you need to make the link provider feel good about their decision. It’s not just a case of not making them regret it, but rather making them feel positive about what they’ve done and what it will do for them.

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