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Episode 020 Transcript:
Link Building Mastery

Tori Petersen
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Did you know that mastering Link Building doesn’t have to be complex?

To show you, we’ve interviewed three Link Building experts to give you their opinion and viewpoint on how to be successful with Link Building.

From scaling to fine-tuning, we hope you enjoy this deep dive.

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When it comes to Link Building, there are only a few people we turn to for amazing advice that works across the board for different goals.

Whether you’re in SaaS, eCommerce, or lead gen, you’ll be excited to learn that the recipes this expert will share will all help you hit your goals faster.

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In Order Of The Guests Below:

BoostSauce Heads AdamSteele

Adam Steele: Founder @ Loganix

Adam has been a Link Builder/SEO since 2010. He is also the Founder of link/citation building service Loganix. On the day to day he heads up Operations and Product Development!

Nuggets dropped x62

“We try to come from a place of value”


BoostSauce Heads BritneyMuller

Britney Muller: SEO Scientist @ Moz

Britney is an SEO Scientist at Moz. She provides thought leadership by speaking at conferences worldwide, continued SEO research, educational videos, research, and assists overall product strategy.

Nuggets Dropped x63

“Target link intent keywords”


BoostSauce Heads Garret French

Garrett French: Founder @ Citation Labs

Garrett is the founder and Chief Link Strategist of Citation Labs, a link building agency and campaign incubator. He’s also the founder of ZipSprout – Citation Labs’s sister agency focused on local marketing. He’s developed multiple link building tools, including the Link Prospector and the Broken Link Finder. He also co-wrote The Ultimate Guide to Link Building with Link Moses himself, Eric Ward. Garrett and his team lead monthly webinars on enterprise content strategy and promotion from the Citation Labs Blog.

Nuggets Dropped x45

“It’s useful to the buyer, it’s probably citable”


Link Building Mastery With Adam Steele

Johnathan: Alright everyone, I have Adam Steele from Loganix on the call and he is the founder of a great link building. Are you an agency yourself or are you a service yourself? How do you define yourself?

Adam: That’s a good question, It’s a link building service

Johnathan: Perfect

Adam: We do other stuff beyond link building

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: But our bread and butter has long been link building.

Johnathan: Awesome, awesome, cool. Well we’re gonna chat about how you guys go about link building and your process. So I already, for all the listeners listening, I’ve already prepped Adam for the amount of nuggets that we’re expecting from him so he’s excited.

But let’s talk, let’s talk about, you know you guys have a great potential partner and there’s a lot of opportunity. First off, like how do you even figure out if a company has potential actually benefiting from link building?

I’m assuming like the answer is like everybody has, you know, the upside, but is there something that you guys look at differently?

Adam: I don’t know that we do this any differently than any other set of capable SEO out there, but we try to, we always say that we try not to reinvent the wheel.

Yeah. We look at what’s working in that particular search engine result page or search. So we look at their competitors that are winning for their key words and see what it is that they’re doing right. Nuggetx2

And if link building appears to be you know a big piece of their strategy and we’ll you know use tools. I’m good to mention tools?

Johnathan: Yeah, yeah, fire away.

Adam: No problem? Yeah, okay, there are some sensitivities in other ya know, so.

Johnathan: I was like, as soon as you say the first tool, I’ll be like ooh not that one, but I’m just kidding .

Adam: So we would usually put our competitor, or rather our customer, clients, partner in a draft and then we have a look at their link profile against their competitors link profile and just look for any activity on their competitors’ part and we’d also get a sense of maybe what’s working. Nuggetx2

It’s a piece of the puzzle, but in my opinion and I would probably say in the sort of greater SEO communities opinion-

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: Link building appears to be a pretty important piece. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah, that’s what I understand too after talking to enough people about it. For sure.

What, so when you look at like the competitors’ results through like Ahrefs for example, do you see that like they have a high amount of backlinks for like a certain piece of content, a service page, like a product.

Like how do you look at those results and then find things to like, take action from?

Adam: Sure so, for me and this will be different for everyone, but for me, I’m looking for activity so I’m looking for velocity. I’m looking at how many new indexed or current domains they earned in the last 30 days, or in the last 60 days or 90 days or what have you. Nuggetx2

I’m trying to get a sense of this something that they are actively doing. I’ll look at their total link profile too so how many referring domains do they have and try to get a sense of the quality of. Nuggetx1 1

So I’ll actually pull up the, the links themselves and how to look at what kind of links these are, where are they coming from? Do they appear to be natural or not natural?  Nuggetx1 1

You can gain a lot of insight from just pulling up the links and seeing the types of links that they are getting.

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: You can very quickly determine, most times you can very quickly determine whether this is a very deliberate action. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: That they’ve hired SEO help of some sort, which would give me a sense of okay, well they’re actively competing very likely. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: Or whether it’s a natural effort, and perhaps they’ve gone to work on just building their brand, and as a result of that, more work in the community, or what have you, they’re earning back links naturally. Nuggetx1 1

And so my strategy would somehow, somewhat vary depending on how active or not active their customers, or rather their competitors are.

Johnathan: Yeah, now let’s, let’s say that somebody of your client’s competitors is very active. There’s both like, they’re good at the brand building aspect, and like the organic you know of getting of backlinks.

And then they’re also doing things that don’t seem, like that seem more deliberate, like they’re seem like they’re not completely organic. Do you then go back to your client and say oh, like this is a monster that we’re going up against, like we need to do more of X-Y-Z or how do you guys approach that based of what you see from those results?

Adam: Yeah, so, definitely important to set expectations super early on. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: Because you don’t wanna get three or six months or nine months down the line and then be telling them, oh well, that you know, your competitor’s a monster. You know we’re never going to be able to beat them so- Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Right.

Adam: We aim to be as realistic as possible with them and generally speaking, they have a pretty good sense of it already or so has been my experience. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah

Adam: They know that their competitor is out there, is busy, is already ranking super well for the key words that my client or customer is after. And so, it usually it doesn’t come as a surprise.

But there’s sort of two things I like to focus on is how long have they been doing it? How entrenched are they? How far ahead are they in comparison to us. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: After that we have some sense of how far do we have to travel. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah

Adam: And that sort of helps with the expectations because if I’m able to tell them that they’ve been deliberately doing this for two years, well it’s somewhat not realistic for the client to expect that in six months we’re gonna catch up to them. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Right, Right.

Adam: I don’t think that generally makes sense though.

Johnathan: Would it make sense if like, your output of acquiring these links was at a higher velocity than that competitor, or is that not realistic either?

Adam: Yeah, super good question.

Johnathan: Yeah

Adam: Yes and no. I, we tend to determine velocity based on what is, sorry, we tend to determine what our velocity will be based on where our site is at currently. Nuggetx1 1

So if our competitors have say hundreds if not thousands of referring domains and we’ve got like ten.

Johnathan: Yeah

Adam: I’m not gonna be building a hundred referring domains per month just to catch up because that’s gonna look unnatural. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Right

Adam: And you know, could very likely get us in trouble. That’s one piece.

And the next piece my goodness I think it’s well here’s another piece. I don’t remember the original second piece. Another piece is just budget. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: It costs money to do all this outreach, or however it is that we go about you know, through sponsorships or whatever.

Johnathan: Yeah

Adam: It costs money to acquire back links quite often or it might just be creating very linkable content. That costs money and time as well. So, velocity can only, sort of high velocity can only occur where, where budget generally leaves us. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: generally speaking.

Johnathan: That makes sense, that makes sense.

So, okay let’s say that you did your competitor research and you find that, they’re not as good as you had feared and there’s a lot of opportunity.

How, what are the next steps in deciding on what to do next, basically.

Adam: So we have two sort of tracks at Loganix. We have a very manual, very custom track which we just refer to as managed, or manual guest post, or manual link outreach essentially. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Okay

Adam: And then we have a more, what we refer in-house to pay-per-link approach where we’re basically just calling on our Rolodex of webmasters and contacts and contributors and what have you, and and asking them to feature content for what have you. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Because you have the relationship with them already, right? Nuggetx1 1

Adam: Exactly, and the reason I bring those two up is in the for more pay-per-link route, you know there isn’t quite the amount of competitive analysis. So I wouldn’t want somebody to come to me, do the pay-per-link track and expect that we’re going to do a ton of analysis. Nuggetx1 1

But it doesn’t really happen but I just bring that up. But if we’re doing the more custom approach, we would do quite a bit of analysis.  And again, sort of going back to not recreating the wheel, we spend a lot of time looking at what is already working. Nuggetx2

And if we’re seeing that a particular style of link, let’s say a resource style link or a sponsorship style link like local sponsorships or links from websites within my client or their competitors locality,

Johnathan: Yeah

Adam: Appeared to be working well. I’ll give you a perfect example.

I was doing an audit last night for let’s say a manual outreach type thing, and the guy is in India, his website is in India. His customers, in general, and his traffic is India-based but we were trying to figure out, okay, am I a good solution if I don’t really have a lot of India-based contacts.

Johnathan: Right

Adam: Or like me not speaking the language would not be able to do manual outreach in India, right? Is that going to be a problem?

So I looked at their competitor and I noticed that the greatest majority, and I did all this in Ahrefs, plus an IT look up tool, I was able to determine that 60% of their referring domain, the competitor’s referring domain, were .coms or .com TLBs or similar to .dot TLB.

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: And then I was also able to determine that most of where those sites were hosted, something like 60, 70% of where those sites were hosted were also in English speaking non-India

Johnathan: Yeah

Adam: Locals, and further to that, I was able to determine that the language of those websites, the written language on those websites was also generally either English or European, some sort of European language.

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: So I was able to determine that if I was just to focus on India-based links, from India-based websites with Indian language, I probably would be somewhat wasting my time.

And so that was able to guide our overall strategy and they were very happy with that sort of approach and that thinking and that I think that will save us money down the road from potentially putting money in the wrong thing.

Johnathan: Right, that makes a ton of sense, okay. So let’s take a, let’s take an example like a US-based client and you see there’s opportunity.

Like when you guys go, let’s do the managed services aspect and you’re doing things that are, writing guest posts it sounds like. That’s part of what you guys do, right, as well?

Adam: Yeah, well where appropriate, where the webmaster allows, we will write the content. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Cool, and so, and then the outreach, how does that work? Is that where you go out and reach out to places like websites that are linking to the competitor?

Or is it just like, you know, contextually relevant links, and doesn’t, we’re not trying to get rid of links from a from one of their competitors. How does that work?

Adam: Yeah, It definitely depends on that particular, on that particular, niche really.

Johnathan: Okay.

Adam: For that particular client. But more often than not we’re not, you know, we might be targeting a particular type of link or a particular a style of website or niche, or what have you.

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: But oftentimes we’re not reaching out to a website that already links to our competitor to have them swap that with ours. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: Because we have a better piece of content or what have you.

Johnathan: Right.

Adam: A lot of times we’re just, there’s, there’s so many different styles of links out there. So many websites. There’s enough opportunities out there that I don’t really have to do that. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah

Adam: And so I will just go after websites that are contextually relevant that it would make sense if say Google reviewer or someone from Google looked at that website and looked at our link in that content, on that website, would they be able to say, oh yeah, this totally makes sense. So that’s sort of our guide. Nuggetx2

Johnathan: Right

Adam: And we’ll reach out to that website. I think one thing that sort of I would say makes us, if we could do sort of a shotgun approach and just mail tons and tons of websites, and that totally works. I know a lot of people who do that very, very successfully. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah

Adam: We’ve not reached that level of scale quite yet

Johnathan: Yeah

Adam: And so our approach, a little bit more, we’ll call it slower, where we will try to come from a place of value. So we’ll reach out to these, these really great websitesNuggetx2

Johnathan: Yeah

Adam: That will expect a lot and we come to them with hey, we’ve looked at what we believe to be our monetization model. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah

Adam: Maybe it’s ads, whatever. We’ve noticed what you currently rank for. We noticed what you don’t currently rank for.

We think based on the research we’ve done here that if we were to write a piece of X amount of words in this particular style, it would work really well on this particular, in your particular search. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Wow.

Adam: And generate two, three, four, 500 word, or sorry two, three, 400, monthly organic visitors.

Johnathan: Yeah

Adam: If we do a good job of it. We’ll even help you promote it.

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: Would you allow us to pair this piece of content for you. So we’ve come from a, instead of coming to them and saying hey, we’ve got a piece of content for your website that just is another piece of content, good or not. We’ve kind of approached them, hey, we wanna make you money. Nuggetx2

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: Here’s how we intend to do it, and so their response is totally different. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Wow.

Adam: Where one response might come back and say, hey that’s cool, but our media kit says that it’s two, three, $500 per post.

Johnathan: Yeah. Yeah.

Adam: So that’s the fee. If we can come to them from a place of value, all of a sudden that conversation goes away and we’re gonna make them money, potentially make them money on a monthly basis. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: So they’re a lot more forthcoming.

Johnathan: No I fricking, I, I’m pumped that you said that because I, we get hit up quite often with people about a guest post. But there’s no homework done, there’s no research.

And I’m sure it’s a shotgun approach because like our domain authority and the vertical that we’re in, but if somebody approached me and said you know, and it’s just different because it’s leading to more value for me that I should care about. That’s amazing.

I was even thinking like, even for placements that don’t require a pay to play like you just mentioned as an example. ‘Cause I know of those places in different areas and verticals, but I don’t see them that often.

So that’s really, really cool to see that you have something that is different than just like a spray and pray, like hey, you know, we have a guest post. It’s free content. You should just be happy with it. You’ve done some due diligence which is rad to see. So thank you. Nuggetx2

Adam: Yeah I think I’ve been in today, what our experience has been that these sites, like yours, get bombarded with these requests

Johnathan: Yeah

Adam: So, you have to. If you’re doing it at our scale, which is a slightly smaller, more manual scale, you have to get a little bit more creative. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: You have to do something different.

Johnathan: What tools do you use for like that email outreach, is anything that’s like templatized, automated, like is something to make our lives simpler?

Adam: Yeah, we’ve tried a whole bunch of different things.

Johnathan: Yeah

Adam: And there’s never been anything that that we’ve felt did exactly what we wanted to do

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: So we’ve kind of just ended up, and a lot of them are pretty expensive too. And, like, so, I don’t mind spending money on tools, we’ve spent a lot of money on tools, but if the value’s not there, like if I could get equal value just using Gmail, then I’m just gonna use Gmail. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: For sure

Adam: Hope that makes sense. So we’ve more or less reverted recently to Gmail.

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: But I’m, I’m exploring I’m always exploring other tools. I’d be happy to learn of something I haven’t tried.

Johnathan: Yeah, no for sure. We’re in the early days of exploring Pitchbox. We haven’t started yet but I’m really curious about that. One of the, one of the- Nuggetx1 1

Adam: It didn’t quite do it for us, but I, I know their support is killer. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah

Adam: And I know, you know, I know a lot of colleagues who use it and are very happy with it. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Well that’s awesome, good to know. So everybody listening, you have more confidence.

But one thing I wanted to highlight that I think was really groundbreaking ’cause I, I’m super fortunate I get to talk to a lot of people. When it comes to marketing, some things that happen again and again.

One, remember there’s a human on the other side of the screen. Two, remember that people’s time is insanely valuable and like if you’re coming with any requests, whether it’s link building, whether it’s referral marketing, like you’re asking them to do something, you have to have an incentive. Nuggetx1 1

And that can come in many different forms. So the way that you did that and actually building value without actually waving money or any other type of you know resource or asset like that, is something I never thought of and another arrow in the listener’s quiver. Nuggetx1 1

Which is, super super grateful about. So thank you for that.

Adam: Yeah, and I think a lot of people might hear that and say, oh that’s way too much work. How could you possibly do that?

We’ve narrowed it down to a process. We just put together a process we can connect to our virtual assistants, and we’ve trained them up, and it can be done in about five minutes. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: So, yeah that’s a lot of time spent at scale but again, you don’t have to do it at scale. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah exactly, and I think a lot of people try things that they’ve read about something, but then the missing part is that they don’t know what they don’t know. And many times that leads to just not, not proper execution of how they actually went about doing it.

And at the end of the day, the goal is to actually achieve the goal. Not just say that oh yeah, I tried link building outreach or I tried referral marketing. It didn’t work. I, I’m a firm believer any type of activity can work.

Like if you give me enough time and resources to advertise on a trash can and I wanted to actually prove an ROI, I would actually make it happen. I truly believe that. So, I think a lot of people don’t have that mindset, which is another part too like don’t worry about automating certain things.

Like we do, we have like triggers internally for our agency to gather case studies off of like qualitative and quantitative triggers that we know the client is happy about. And then after, we do the case study we ask for reviews.

After we’re done with the reviews, we ask for the referral, and so, but we incentivize every step of the way too. We don’t drag them through you know hell on all these different things we want to do, so we’re, we’re smart about it, but it works, and it works really, really well.

So, so that’s awesome. Cool. Adam, anything I’m not asking that you think is good for us to know?

Adam: You know, I don’t, I think more time could be spent understanding the websites that you’re hoping to get links on. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: So we talked about monetization, but just from a quality standpoint. And especially for those that if somebody’s doing a lot, if someone’s internally doing manual guest post outreach or manual link outreach, they’re just baked into that.

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: There is review time. People are going to the websites. they’re spending a little bit of time. It’s just sort of baked into the strategy typically. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: But when it comes to pay per link and they’re hiring a vendor like myself who’s, maybe just sifting through a Rolodex or what have you, its, I think it’s really important that A, you see the links before, like you see the websites before anything is placed because a lot of times it’s really hard to remove that stuff afterward. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah. Good point.

Adam: And you may have no luck doing so and then you may have just got a link from, yeah right, so it’s, I always recommend that you come to that vendor with some metric minimum, both qualitative and quantitative of your own. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: So some quantitative examples might be the websites that I would be cool, and I have to have to mention like, we are, this is against Google’s terms and conditions, buying links.

Johnathan: Yeah. Right.

Adam: So be very clear about that but one of the ways that we mitigate that is by spending the time understanding the websites. Nuggetx1 1

Understanding how we will be linked to, in what piece of content. How will that content be written? What kind of websites does this website typically link to? What is sort of the future of that website? Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: We really spend a lot of time trying to understand these websites and where they’re going to help make better decisions.

So coming to your potential link vendor with some metrics in mind and stuff like VR or how many referring domains do they have or what has their organic traffic looked like over the last year? Has it hit sharply on one of the Google’s core updates? Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah

Adam: Should you know about the, probably has there, look at the content they’ve written in the last you know, maybe the last 10 posts. Who have they been linking to? How have they been linking it? Has it been like an exact match anchor? Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah

Adam: That’s a super super obvious. Is it like content that’s exactly 500 words, every single time? Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Right Right.

Adam: These little kinds of things. So coming to them with sort of a criteria is super super important. It saves you time, saves you potential suffering.

It also saves time for the vendor cause they don’t have to guess what it is you’re you’re looking for or guess where you’re at SEO wise. Nuggetx1 1

Johnathan: Yeah.

Adam: So, I would hammer that home over and over and over again until I start seeing people coming to me with metrics Which would be awesome.

Johnathan: Yeah, yeah, no that makes sense.

Cool, well Adam, super appreciative of your time. We’re reaching the end of our time now too, so yeah, just a thank you for giving me, like I mentioned another arrow. I’m pumped about that so we’ll touch base here in the soon future.

Adam: Sounds good, I appreciate your time as well.

Johnathan: Alright, Thanks Adam. Talk soon.


Link Building Mastery With Britney Muller

Johnathan: All right everyone I got a friend in passing, Britney and I have met each other before, but Britney does a lot of interviews and so I asked her if she remembers me and she doesn’t, which is completely okay because.

Britney: I do, I said I do!

Johnathan: You do? Okay well maybe I’m just making more of a drama for the show.

But we have Britney Muller here, she’s a senior SEO Scientist at Moz, and we’re gonna be talking about link building today. So Britney you do remember me, just to set the record straight.

Britney: Yeah absolutely I remember you, and that’s why I said you’ve done several of Ross’ interview videos since, ’cause I’ve seen other ones besides the one as the same day we had it.

Johnathan: All right I’ll let you pass on this one then, you’re doing well thank you.

But Britney I know you do a ton of shows and you’ve done a lot of content obviously being part of Moz. Thank you for being here and giving us your time, really appreciated, and you know the whole setup of the show and about the nuggets and stuff like that.

So when you think about link building and you have to explain it to somebody who is five years old and they have no idea what’s going on, people might be listening to this episode and they are actually five years old, what would you recommend to them?

Britney: Ooh, what a great question. Okay if they were five years old I would explain it like children on the playground.

So if a group of kids over by the swing set tell you that Johnny has all the candy in his desk and some girl over by the tire swing says “Yeah, Johnny has all the candy at his desk.”

And maybe a couple other random kids that are running about in a field also confirm that Johnny has all the candy in his desk, you’ll likely start to think that that is the case, right?

That that puts together this confirmation of, “Okay, that’s where the candy is located.”

It’s the same thing with link building. So the more individual unrelated websites that reference and link to your site, the more confirming it is to Google that you are indeed an expert in the particular space or product in which the context is around. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: Got it, so in other words, the more candy you have and the more that people know that you have the candy, the more you run the playground and you’re an authority at the playground, and therefore people come to you because you’re more of a thought leader. Is that correct?

Britney: Boom, boom. Get that candy you know.

Johnathan: I love that analogy, that’s amazing. So for the people listening, the links are the people who are other parts of the playground that know about Johnny and his candy because they’re vouching for Johnny.

Meaning that like he has the goods, whatever those goods might be, whether that’s information on your site or something that’s of value to people. Other people that are the kids at the playground are also other websites that are linking to you in that way.

That’s how it’s supposed to be understood yeah?

Britney: Exactly, it’s like real world reputation as well. The more unlinked individuals that confirm something, the more you are to believe it to be true. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: No that makes a ton of sense. I actually love your explanation of that. I was thinking of the subreddit that’s called Explain It Like I’m Five, and you hit the nail on the head.

So for the people who are six and older listening to this show, what do you think, from a chronological perspective of link building, the foundation of being good at link building for example, where do you take the conversation next?

Britney: Ooh that’s a great question. So once they have a foundational understanding of why it’s important and sort of where that comes from, you know Google’s perspective, then you can start to move into-

I like to start honestly from non technical tactics and then move towards more technical. It’s sort of, I feel like it tends to resonate best with people and it’s also giving people the opportunity to implement fixes that bolster their link building that they actually have control over. Nuggetx2 1

‘Cause I think a lot of times when we talk about link building it is this intimidating aspect of you having to do outreach, you having to put in all this work and all this effort when really there’s a whole other side to it where you have all the control and you can make changes and improvements right now. Nuggetx1

And so I like to start with those things that you have full control over.

Johnathan: Okay, I’m all game for non technical, yes please let us know.

Britney: Yeah, okay cool. Before getting ready for this I wrote down a huge list of link building tactics and I tried to sort of order it from non technical to technical. So if you don’t mind I think I’ll just start going through these.

Johnathan: First off, you’re frigging rad for prepping for this and then secondly, I’m gonna have my finger on the nugget button so you just go ahead.

Britney: Yeah, it’s just gonna go crazy. And I also already took a photo of this ’cause I think it might by kinda, my handwriting is terrible but if this is valuable to any of your listeners they should absolutely have it.

Johnathan: All right, send us that photo when you’re done.

Britney: I will. I definitely will.

All right, so the first and easiest way to do link building is to fix broken pages that already have links to them. And there’s so many tools and resources to discover those. Nuggetx1

So Moz is a great example where you can look at your backlinks via our link explorer. And then you can filter your pages by status code and what you’re looking for is 404s, Right? Nuggetx2 1

So where you actually have link authority that you’re just dropping because it’s a broken page. And then you redirect that page instantly and boom, now you have that authority pointing properly to your website. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: Easy.

Britney: So that’s a really easy quick fix within your control, bam, bam, bam, right?

Johnathan:  Nice.

Britney: One thing that I really love too in terms of creating content on your site is to target link intent keywords. And what I mean by link intent keywords is your keyword statistics, your keyword facts. Nuggetx1

First to do some more in depth research to put together resources with that link intent. Because those keywords, and what I mean by link intent is people searching for running facts wanna reference you. They want to link to you, they want to cite it as a resource. Nuggetx1

And you’re way more apt to naturally accrue those backlinks if you bake in some link intent content and keywords. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: I have a question, this goes really hand in hand with some other conversations of people we’ve had on the show about the power of like first party data and original research. Which can obviously take longer, so that seems like those are some very, very linkable pieces of content if you can have that data or those facts ready, is that correct? Nuggetx2 1

Britney: Exactly, exactly.

Johnathan: That’s a cluck. Cool.

Britney: I have a note here to not do roundup, everyone’s so sick of low quality poor roundup, it seriously depletes the authority and the trust of your website. Nuggetx1

It’s not high quality content, people don’t seek those things out, I just think it’s a royal waste of time and so many of us, we’re just too aware of it at this point, especially in our industry.

Johnathan: Lazy content.

Britney: Yeah, lazy content.

Instead focus those efforts around one in depth interview with an influencer or someone in the space. That way you can sort of give them all of your attention and focus and hype them up and then they will hopefully share that content with their audience. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: I like that, I like that.

Britney: Oh, create high quality guides and resources. So this is a little within the same vein as the link intent but so many people search for guides and resources. Nuggetx1

I can’t even tell you how much traffic comes in from the beginners guides to SEO, how many links we have because of that guide.

Creating material and more evergreen content like that does extremely, extremely well. I mean I love Orbit because Andy Crestodina always talks about you know, the best content is a mix with opinion and unique research and that continues to do very well for Orbit. Nuggetx2 1

And then they throw money at really great graphic design, and one my biggest and favorite tips of all time when it comes to some of this content stuff, is repurposing your top performing content. Nuggetx1

People listening, they know exactly what performs well on any individual site. Just off the top of your head you know what brings in the majority of the traffic to your site or what might convert the best.

Why on earth, why wouldn’t you want to repurpose that for a SlideShare, or a YouTube video, or an audio version. I think also giving people options to consume your content does extremely well, because you don’t know the use case that someone’s in when they encounter your content. Nuggetx1

Maybe they’re on their commute to work or walking somewhere. And so giving people different options to consume it, not only does really, really well for content repurposing but it allows these different avenues of people to come in across numerous platforms like SlideShare or YouTube or podcast apps, you name it. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: Yeah there’s a ton of that and it’s not that difficult to do and you can literally outsource that too. Let’s say you wanna outsource that to a graphic designer you can do like the LinkedIn carousel organic post, the Facebook carousel organic post.

The list is pretty wide, so really good point and so few, we don’t even do it. And so it’s a great idea for people to take advantage of to see the longevity of their content.

And it doesn’t mean that you publish the content and you’re really proud of it then and you do the promotion or you do that repurposing and you’re done, you can do that a month later, or three months later as well.

Britney: Exactly, exactly. It reminds me so much of the talks Ross Simmons has given recently as well, about remixing and repurposing your top content and how much success they’ve seen from experimenting on different platforms with content. Nuggetx1

You know you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, there’s so many things that you already have access to.

Johnathan: Makes total sense, I agree.

Britney: Yeah I love that one. This one’s funny because I say to do it but I haven’t done this today which is funny.

But to do podcasts and to do them specifically. I’ve talked to a lot of people about this that go into podcasts strategically with a piece of content in mind that they wanna bolster and request a link for. Nuggetx2 1

So, you know, I’m sure you have show notes, most podcasts offer show notes and links to resources and materials talked about within the podcast. And it’s so funny ’cause I should have something in mind that you could link to, one of the easiest ways to get a link. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: We can do that later.

Britney: Yeah I’ll think of something. But it’s just such an easy way to get a link and also to have a podcast, exactly what you’re doing. Nuggetx1

I would love to mention and link to your podcast and to this episode when talking to people about link building, instead of going through all of these things in person, go listen to this great podcast.

Johnathan: You can still do that, but no you’re right with what you’re saying.

Britney: Yeah exactly, it’s awesome. And from your side of things too, I’m curious, do you guys transcribe your episodes?

Johnathan: We do yeah, we actually have a camera recording just me which we found is pretty boring ’cause it’s just on my face the whole time and so we also put it on YouTube.

So it’s in audio format, it’s transcribed, and then in the transcription we like count the nuggets and then in the video version it’s on YouTube as well too. But just again, of my face, not that interesting. Nuggetx1

Britney: I was wondering ’cause I was looking for a link because I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be on camera either today.

Johnathan: We can fit you in. We’ll just make you, right now as I’m saying this, our video guy will edit a picture of your face on the video, done. Now you’re in it.

Britney: Perfect. Perfect, great, I love it, it’s like magic. Very cool.

Oh this one’s such a good one and I feel like so many people don’t think to do this, it’s crazy. I bet, I know you’ve done this.

Johnathan: I probably have.

Britney: Basically connect, I feel like you have and if you haven’t we should chat. But connect with other like minded marketers and SEOs who are actively seeking out link building. We already have that common knowledge and trust and rapport established. Nuggetx1

And so let’s say you, me, Ross, and a couple other people form a little network and anytime you publish something you’re really excited about and wanna build links to, you let us know and whenever it’s a good fit for us, or for one of our clients we can integrate that link and we know that you’re gonna do that for us down the road.  Nuggetx1

Do you know what I mean?

Johnathan: 100%.

Britney: And it’s not a sketchy reciprocal weird paid link building, it’s just a group of trusted friends who support each other’s content and work. Nuggetx1

And it is incredible how generous other people in this space are, with links, with sharing on socials, I mean this is one of the most underutilized tactics that I see, all the time.

Johnathan: Totally. So this is funny because in the past we used to do this a lot and we were part of marketing slack channels that had just that happen.

Or it was like, guest interview request, or different things that were like, you being a guest on the show and then I tell you, “Oh it’d be really great to talk to somebody who has expertise in blah, blah, blah.” And you write that on Slack and then other people will see it and then like you can vouch.

So we used to do that, which is really embarrassing, but it was so easy, and then we just like, we’re idiots and now we stopped doing it, I don’t know why, but that’s a great idea.

Britney: You’re not an idiot, you’re killing it. That’s so funny.

You know what’s something that I’ve kind of noticed too in that vein is like, I think it’s so important to lift up the people that you respect and admire and are in your space, because people have done that for us. Nuggetx1

No one’s self made, there’s so many people that have helped all of us get to where we are today. And so I genuinely really love and look forward to including my peer’s work and their resources or things that they have discovered into my content, whether it be a Whiteboard Friday or a talk or whatever. Nuggetx1

But what I’ve now started noticing is that that almost comes back tenfold to me because it’s this boomerang effect where, recently I mentioned Andy Crestodina’s work with one of this talks and Whiteboard Friday, and he shared it across all these platforms and drove all this traffic to that video. Nuggetx1

And that wasn’t my intention at all, but I think that was a really cool way of just giving and supporting other people, it will typically come back tenfold and that’s like the coolest part.

Johnathan: There’s been so many talks that I’ve had where it like boils down to, there’s a human on the other side of the device and it is relationship building. Same thing with I think like content promotion and getting backlinks on well respected sites like Huff Post and things like that. Nuggetx1

It’s not just like, you can’t just do it. People listening to this, they hope for silver bullets and a lot of them can be easy fixes but a lot of it starts with just being, one, a quality person, and two, coming out with quality content. And then you know it kinda works out as you go along.

Britney: Yes exactly, exactly, I love that.

Johnathan: Even though you forgot who I was earlier but that’s okay.

Britney: I was just gonna say I did not, I did not. I absolutely did not, that was so funny.

And I was gonna say, which now sounds like I’m making this up or something because you think I didn’t remember you, but to genuinely connect with people in a way that you’re not selling yourself either, or asking of them. Nuggetx1

I think that’s so important at conferences, if you catch me with my conference tag hidden or thrown over, I don’t want people to focus on where I work or what my title is. I genuinely crave those human connections and interactions and I want them to be authentic. Nuggetx1

And I get so disappointed when I show up to a local meetup or something and people are flipping out their business cards or trying to sell each other. Connecting first as humans will take you so far.

That’s how I met Brian Dean, was in the lobby actually of MozCon and we connected about how weird “The Star Spangled Banner” was and it was the funniest conversation I had that whole week.

I don’t even think we talked much about marketing or SEO at all, and that’s something I still think about all the time when I am seeing his stuff.

Johnathan: That’s awesome, he’s also been on this show, that’s rad.

Britney: Really? Oh he’s the best, he’s the best.

Johnathan: Very funny.

Britney: Yeah, that’s a really good one.

Johnathan: All right well, Britney, not to hurry you up but we got some time left, but not a lot. How long is that list?

Britney: Oh my god we’re not even halfway.

Johnathan: All right let’s blaze through them.

Britney: Can I just fly through them?

Johnathan: Yeah let’s do it.

Britney: Okay, I’m just gonna start reading. Okay, find local companies or services to mention and link out to. So that’s like creating a page of our local favorites, especially for local SEO I’ve seen that working incredibly well. Nuggetx1

And honestly it’s just like again, it’s friends supporting friends and it should make sense within the vein of your service, right? So like there should be parallel connections. Nuggetx1

Absolutely buy Eric Ward and Garret French’s new “Ultimate Guide to Link Building” book, it’s unbelievable, there are so many things in there that you’ll read and be like, “Why the heck didn’t I think of that?” Nuggetx1

Johnathan: What’s the name of it again?

Britney: It’s the updated “Ultimate Guide to Link Building“, it’s on Amazon.

Johnathan: We’ll get that in the show notes.

Britney: I flew through it in a week and I was like, this is genius.

Johnathan: You could have just gone on the show and been like, “Hey, just go buy this book, episode over, bye.”

Britney: Trust me I wanted to, for sure.

Johnathan: Awesome.

Britney: To do unique surveys, you’d kind of mentioned that earlier, it does really really well. Nuggetx1

Find common competitive backlinks that don’t link to you. Right? So if there’s multiple websites that link to a bunch of your competitors and not to you, there’s no real reason why they couldn’t, they’re great opportunities to get. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: Got it.

Britney: Hire graphic designers to repurpose some of your top content and provide really great things for social and just throughout your posts. Nuggetx1

Free stuff. Giveaways, contests, services. Still a great way to get links.  Nuggetx1

Listen to your audience. What do they want?  What is something they would genuinely like to reference or link to or mention? Just kind of being aware of that is huge. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: Okay.

Britney: Find other platform opportunities. And I think Moz is a great resource for this but also SparkToro which is gonna be releasing that product in I think a couple months. Nuggetx2 1

But it basically allows you to type in your target audience and where they spend time online. And how can you market on those platforms whether it be Reddit, Quora, et cetera. Nuggetx1

Doing advanced search queries still works really well. So if you type in your target audience plus in title, full colon, and then, within quotes, right for us. Or you could put in various options like that just to see what opportunities there are for creating content on platforms where your audience exists already. Nuggetx2 1

And I love what Eric Ward used to always say which was getting a link is great, but you should be link building as if Google were to be gone tomorrow. Right? Nuggetx1

So if Google were to disappear, could you still support your website via traffic from these other platforms and the other content you get links from? You really should be keeping that in mind.

Johnathan: That’s a scary thought.

Britney: Sponsor or donate to charitable causes. I love that, so good. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: Yeah that’s awesome.

Britney: Broken link building or out of date link building still seems to work extremely well. Nuggetx1

Two older resources that again probably two of my other top favorites is Jon Cooper’s online link building course and then Paddy Moogan’s link building book. I forget what the name is but it’s amazing. Nuggetx2 1

Johnathan: We’ll figure that out.

Britney: Looking into college and EDU links. Colleges naturally wanna link to resources and again that’s sort of where that link intent and the guides and resources come in. But if you can provide some of that. Nuggetx1

And to also just manually evaluate what’s working really well. Right? What sort of content does really well and how can you improve upon it, or do something way better. Nuggetx1

Local meetups actually is a great way to get links from other local businesses. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: Like you just ask them in person? Like, “Hi, I’m Britney, can I have a link?”

Britney: Yeah I started a video series ’cause I recorded myself asking that to several people in Denver and most of the time they were like, “What?” Nuggetx1

Johnathan: You actually did that?

Britney: Yeah, I should absolutely find those videos but they’re so lame and weird.

Johnathan: Did it work though?

Britney: Oh it worked for a couple yeah. And a couple of the people I asked just thought it was the weirdest funniest question, they’re like, “Sure?” Nuggetx1

Johnathan: So I’m just like an idiot asking as if it was a joke and then you actually back it up and say, “No I actually have video recording of me doing this in person in Denver, and it worked.” Okay I need to shut up.

Britney: It’s so embarrassing, it’s so embarrassing. So this is great, I used to when I first started link building, I would send plants to people’s offices as like an olive branch-

Johnathan: You’re amazing.

Britney: Of like will you link to my-.

Johnathan: That’s amazing. People here would freak out, people would give you like, our entire blog would be one big link for you. People love plants here.

Britney: It was so bad though. My success percentage was so low and I vividly remember cold calling this summer camp in Minnesota trying to get a link and it was the most brutal phone call of my life. It did not go well, I tried so hard.

Johnathan: People probably had no idea what you were talking about, “What the frick do you mean a link?”

Britney: No idea. Yeah and I was really trying to like sell it like it was doing them a favor, you know what I mean? “This will be so great, your traffic really needs this resource.” Oh it was so bad.

Johnathan: You’re like, “But I gave you a plant,” and they’re like, “Ma’am, we have nothing but plants, we’re in the forest, like shut up, can we be done with this call?”

Britney: “You’ll be hearing from our lawyers ma’am.”

Johnathan: Blocked. That’s funny. All right what else we got?

Britney: The last one I have here is leverage existing opportunities. So websites for relationships you already currently have established, absolutely tap into some of those because that, I mean, that’s already all set up for you. Nuggetx2 1

Johnathan: That’s amazing. And the people listening, just like the example that I gave that we did something that you mentioned earlier but then we stopped doing it and we don’t know why.

I think the best way to remedy that, if you’re listening, you wanna implement some of these ideas from Britney is decide on what you wanna do, track it, have somebody have ownership over it, and then audit it on a weekly or monthly basis to make sure that you’re keeping steady pressure on that goal. Nuggetx1

‘Cause I think a lot of us people, we’re like, “Oh squirrel.” What’s the next golden thing or shiny object thing that we can go after? And it comes down to some of the basics sometimes.

So Britney, I really, really appreciate your time, I’m really thankful that you remember me as well and hopefully we get to do this again.

Britney: I hope so. It was such an honor to be on here. I really appreciate it, Johnathan.

Johnathan: And then we’ll get the link from you that you want us to link to. So we’ll put it in action.

Britney: Woo hoo, see how easy this is?

Johnathan: So easy. All right Britney, take care, thank you so much.

Britney: Awesome thank you.

Johnathan: All right, bye.


Link Building Mastery With Garrett French

Johnathan: All right, everyone, I have a really cool guy named Garrett French. You may have heard of him before. He’s the founder at Citation Labs, and we’re gonna be talking about link building today, and I asked him to keep it super tactical and focused, and the guy knows a lot, will talk a lot, so Garrett, excited to have you here, man.

Thank you for being here.

Garrett: Hey, thanks for having me. I’m excited.

Johnathan:  Awesome, so when you have a conversation with people in public, and they ask, “Garrett, what do you do?,” how do you explain that to them?

Garrett: Well, I try to keep it real simple. I say, “I run a marketing agency.”

Johnathan:  Okay.

Garrett: I don’t go into detail around link building. It’s confusing. And, not confusing, but just for people to have to walk along the path with me all the way from link building to impact on search rankings-

That’s a lot of steps for someone to take who really doesn’t think about searches having anything to do with the rest of the internet, or any of the connectivity of the internet as a whole, no one really, it’s way more than they wanted to know.

I feel like the oceanographer, it’s like, “So, tell me about sea urchins,” and you’re just gonna get a lot more than you want to know.

Johnathan:  Yeah.

Garrett: But anyhow, I do love when people take interest in my career, but it’s, I do just tell them I run a marketing agency.

Johnathan:  Nice, so I actually do the same thing, too. It gets really complicated when you start talking even with the paid ad sites.

Garrett: Real fast.

Johnathan:  Exactly, so let’s say somebody actually knows about the value of link building. If you were to take us through chronologically what you recommend from a foundational perspective that these are the bases that we have to cover.

Whether they’re your client or not, a good friend or not, how do you approach that conversation? What do you recommend?

Garrett: Sure, there’s baseline stuff that, I mean, it’s gonna vary from industry to industry, but participate would be baseline. Nuggetx1

Johnathan:  Okay.

Garrett: If you’re a local business, participate in local events, and sponsor them. Go to the Chamber of Commerce, and join the Chamber. So links come that way, often. Nuggetx1

Johnathan:  Yeah.

Garrett: There’s some local startups, and I love talking with startup folks. They’re so, I love the energy, the entrepreneurial energy. A lot of these guys, there’s a lot of SAS stuff going on, and there, you’re just looking for, it’s more of a thought leadership play.

Some of the baseline stuff is more thought leadership, and really explaining clearly how to have an impact on whatever market you’re working in, and then, you have a platform that you can use to go out to podcasts. Nuggetx2 1

And so, really, your baseline link building really should be more focused on reaching an audience, all right? The stuff we do is paged as scaled work. We work primarily in B to C spaces. Nuggetx1

Johnathan:  Yeah.

Garrett: So we’re trying to build lots of links to someone’s page that is, it’s not, there’s not a lot of real things you can necessarily do to, participatory audience seeking things that you can do to build those links.

So really, you’re saying, “How do we contribute in a meaningful way to the audience of our potential customers?” And so, and that’s what businesses should be asking anyhow, but it’s gonna vary. Nuggetx1

And where does your audience go? And you’re in paid media. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Where’s the audience? How do we go there with something that’s valuable that’s gonna get them to take action? Nuggetx1

Johnathan:  Yeah.

Garrett: And so, that’s not really the purview of the link builder, at least, the Citation Labs, as the link builder. It’s really an in-house thing that you have to determine for yourself, is how are we gonna give back to our space? What are we gonna, what does our space even want?

So on the SAS side, it’s a lot of where, well, this one company in particular I’ve talked with a lot, they’ve got a freemium version of their tool that they have, which is a perfect example of something that’s gonna build links and help sell. Nuggetx1

Johnathan:  Yeah.

Garrett: You can convert with it, right? But it’s also, if they go out with the, I call it a platform, but if they knock on podcast doors, and, “Hey, I’d love to speak to your audience about having,” because they help with pitching.

Johnathan:  Yeah.

Garrett: Or help with forecasting revenue for startups, so it’s like, “Hey, here’s how to make a great forecast that’s gonna help you when you’re selling to investors.”

Johnathan:  Right.

Garrett: But that’s something you can knock on doors, you have podcasts with, and give some advice around, and there’s the, you’re able to talk about, “Hey, you should use our freemium version of our tool. You can go check it out right now.”

So it’s a lot about how do we, what are we selling, and then, how do we speak usefully, and in an instructive manner, not a sales manner, but an instructive manner, and in a way that’s gonna help people do things better and reach audiences with that message. Nuggetx1

Johnathan:  For sure.

Garrett: And that’s, I feel like, baseline link building.

Johnathan: Yeah.

Garrett: For any given company. Doesn’t necessarily play in large B to C spaces, right, but definitely B to B, it’s, this is, I think, what you should be doing.

But if you don’t have that capability or capacity, you should at least be, if you’re in B to B spaces, you should be sponsoring the conferences, getting involved in the conferences, at least attending, if not trying to find something to speak on at the conferences. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: Right.

Garrett: So it’s not, link building is what happens after you’ve been contributing. The most natural link building you can do is that that occurs after you’ve been contributing to your market, or to your audience things that they actually want, things of value, advice of value. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: Right.

Garrett: Guidance of value, freemium offerings, that sort of thing.

Johnathan: Yeah.

Garrett: So reel me back in, dude. I went way too far with this question, seven different ways. That’s what I do.

Johnathan: No, no, it’s good. It’s awesome. People have a 360 view of what your thought process is behind it because boiling it down, and starting with give value, and then those things can happen.

For the B to C, which seems like the world that you operate best in, what tools, research do you guys use to figure out a plan of attack from a link building perspective?

Garrett: Sure, we start with the URL that the client wants us to build links to. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: Okay.

Garrett: Everything centers around that, right? What’s the URL? Is there anything citable? Citable, useful that helps people do things better, like cost? Is there any guidance on using the item, if it’s an item? Or fixing it, or whatever? Nuggetx1

I don’t know what even the page is that we’re talking about, but you’re looking for elements on that page that are justifiably linkable in a context that can reach your target audience, okay? Nuggetx1

Johnathan: Okay.

Garrett: So the starting point is always the page that we’re building links to, and is there enough information, or the right kinds of information on this page to support a campaign? Nuggetx1

Johnathan: Got it, something of value.

Garrett: To do a link campaign.

Johnathan: Is it valuable content?

Garrett: Basically, and it doesn’t have to be a 7,000 words, or it can be, I think, pricing information and cost, cost, and how long things take, setting expectations, adjusting expectations is really good, also.

But there has to be, you have to give, for the link builder to work, you’ve gotta give them something to work with on the page that fits in a context outside of selling this object. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: Got it.

Garrett: They can, if it’s cost of a painter in city name, well, this page has a bunch of painters, and you’re trying to do lead gen, and you’re selling, you’re trying to build links for their painters in city name page, but you’ve gotta have a cost, the cost of painting in city name, or how long does it take to paint a room. Nuggetx1

Stuff like that that’s related to the, people will call it, purchase journey, but related to what the consumers are concerned with, but that doesn’t necessarily, and it helps them make a choice on that page, and it informs them, and it’s related to that page, and it’s related to all the information on the page that fits. Nuggetx2 1

But then, it’s also, if you’re writing an article, or you find someone’s article, you’re doing an insert, or an edit, trying to get somebody to add a link to a page-

“Hey, here’s a great resource you could cite if you wanna talk about painting a room in city name, or painting a room in general, you should mention how long it takes to paint. Here’s a little factoid about it, and here’s a snippet.”

And so, you’ve gotta be able to support that justifiable link, justifiable citation. We think about them. We try to think about them as citations because when you take a step back from the link, the physical link, or the, it’s digital, but you know what I mean. Nuggetx1

The actual link, you’re staying, in the classic sense, when you’re citing something, it’s because it’s important to the context of the point you’re making. So anyhow, reel me back in. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: I love it. You’re great. It’s actually very similar to when we do conversion rate optimization, and we figure out what the frequently asked questions of the client’s perspective customers are.

It sounds like if I were to call a painting service, I would ask them, how do you charge, how long does it take, those things that seem to be the value base that you’re giving as info, in your example, so that’s awesome, very similar.

Garrett: Correct, correct.

Johnathan: Cool, so.

Garrett: Yeah, if it’s useful to the buyer, if it’s useful to the buyer, it’s probably going to be citable, as long as it’s not position, branded positioning of the company. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: Right.

Garrett: So that’s the one, it needs to be factual, and it needs to be data-driven, and not necessarily be a reason to purchase from company X, Y, or Z. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: Right.

Garrett: But yes, it absolutely needs to be useful to the customer, yeah.

Johnathan: For sure, again, down to the foundational value, and just being honest with yourself, is this something people would care about?

So let’s say you have that figured out, and you’re really confident with the value, and the citation pieces on that page that URL that you’re trying to build links to.

What tools, methods, and things like that do you do after, and we have about six minutes to speed that up, if we can, no pressure, Garrett.

Garrett: I told you I was a long talker, man. All right, so you’re starting to get, you’re starting to ask technical questions.

Johnathan: Yes. We love those.

Garrett: So let’s go back to the painting model, okay?

Johnathan: Okay.

Garrett: Yeah, yeah, so let’s go back to painting. So where I’m gonna go is, I’m gonna say, “What kinds of queries are people making about painting?”  Nuggetx1

So we have some tools we built out, and there’s ton that are out there for scraping Google Suggest, Google suggestions, so we start looking at painting a room, painting a, how to paint a room.

Johnathan: What are those tools? What would you recommend?

Garrett: Oh, mine that we have in-house, the one I use. There’s one called dang, what is it? Answer the Public. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: Okay.

Garrett: They did one that was pretty interesting, and so, it’s just a Google Suggest scraper. You can put in painting a room, or how to paint a room, and just get a sense of the array of questions and queries that people have around the topic. Nuggetx2 1

But then, we would take every single query we could find that seemed to be more how-to related, so you could do painting a room how-to, or how to paint, DIY room painting help, or advice, or tips, stuff like that that’s gonna bring back informational, or informative results.

And then, you’re gonna take all of those queries and we work at largest possible volume, but you can take all those queries, and combine them with stuff like in-URL blogs because you’re gonna be looking for blog publishers, primarily. You can just run the queries straight through Google, as well. Nuggetx2 1

And then, I go over to a tool that we built called the Link Prospector. This one is available commercially. It has a monthly rental on it, or monthly fee. I think it’s, I don’t remember what the prices are. Nuggetx1

But if anybody listening wants to try it, I’ll give you free credits. You can email me, Garrett@CitationLabs.com if you’re interested in getting some trial credits.  Nuggetx1

But I’ll take every query that Google suggests, I’ll combine it with in-URL blogs, and then, I’m gonna search probably from the last year or so. I restrict the results that come back to pages that have been published or modified in the past year.  Nuggetx1

So I know they’re more active publishers, and now, I’ve got a whole set of publishers who write about painting rooms, and so now, I’ve got my, topically, I know where I need to go. These are my publishers.

Johnathan: Got it.

Garrett: So now, I’ve gotta go to them with content that’s better, or either content that’s better, or link suggestions or recommendations to make for specific pages that are already existing, or, “Hey, here’s our infographic that we’ve done on room painting, and cost, and cost expectations and how long it takes.” Nuggetx1

But you know now who all your publishers are, who your universe of publishers who write about what your core topic is.

Johnathan: Right.

Garrett: So then, you’re making sure that the target URL fits within the whole pitch that you’re making, right? Whether you’re suggesting they publish an article of yours, or an infographic.

Now you know that you’re going to people who publish on these topics, so that would be how we develop or create our universe of prospects, and then, we email them all, as we try to make the magic happen. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: Yeah, that’s awesome. What tool do you recommend for emailing them, and the second question I have is, what’s a good expectation from a conversion rate?

Meaning if people actually do take action that you’re asking them to do, what do you think is a good expectation to have?

Garrett: Sure, good question, so we have in-house tools for outreach. We primarily use Gmail, though, but we have tools for helping make that fast. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: Okay.

Garrett: A lot of our team is on the mailing side of things. So I would recommend folks start with something like BuzzStream. It’s a fantastic outreach tool. Nuggetx1

It supports most in-house scale, if you’re an in-house SEO, if you’re an agency, it should support what you’re doing, and then, what conversion rates, that’s gonna vary.

Johnathan: Yeah.

Garrett: It’s gonna vary based on, are you outreaching as an agency? Are you outreaching as a brand? Who are you? And then, there’s tons of stuff like subject lines, and but I’ll just say what we’ve found all along has been the transactional style emails work best. Nuggetx1

I don’t know that that’s the case for, will be the case for everyone, because we’re emailing at a scale that I don’t think is normal, or I think is larger than most agencies.

So we get excited about when we have out of 100 people that we’ve emailed, if we get four of them to publish one of our links, right? So pretty low conversion rate, but we work at large, we sell. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: Right, no, it’s still impressive.

Garrett: There’s people who get much higher conversion rates than us. There’s an agency called NeoMam. I’m always blown away by them. Jon Cooper, I don’t know if he’s still building links. I think he is, but he was getting crazy conversion rates. Ross Hudgens’ team at Siege Media.

Johnathan: Yeah.

Garrett: Gets crazy conversion rates. They’re doing different tactics than we are, right? But, and they’ve worked, they know the, they’re more PR, these guys. They’re really more PR.

We’re picking up where PR doesn’t go. We go to the, we say we go to the other 99% of publishers, right? Because PR focuses on 1%, or really, .01% of the internet, probably, or less. Nuggetx1

But we’re looking at everybody else. Who are the other publishers out there who are getting less, usually, less attention from PR and SEOs? And that’s where we found fertile ground for our efforts. Nuggetx1

Johnathan:  That’s amazing, man. So we’re at the end of our show. I wanted to, we’re gonna basically make sure we have your show notes in the transcript, and where people can reach out to you mentioned, as well.

Is there anything else, as far as have you published anything, is there anything that you would wanna offer the people listening because I wanna thank you for your time, so pitch as much as you want.

Garrett: Yeah, I’m glad you brought that up. We just, the second edition of the Ultimate Guide to Link Building is out from Entrepreneur Press, so my co-author on that, Eric Ward, is no longer with us, sadly, but some of his work is still in there, and he’s really the Godfather of link building. Nuggetx1

So I’d love to offer, I guess, the first 10 people who email me, a book. Nuggetx1

Johnathan: Oh, nice.

Garrett: But we can only send books in the U.S. If you’re outside the U.S., we’re gonna have to send you an ebook, so sorry. It’s just what, that’s what Entrepreneur Press is doing to me.

Johnathan: That’s okay.

Garrett: It’s not cool, but it’s what it is, so yeah, what I’ll do is, I’ll get a form together, and they can go, so I said the first 10 people that email me, but let’s do, I’ll put a form together and get that over to you guys.

I’ll put a copy of the book out there, too. It would be cool if people also bought it, not just got free copies.

Johnathan: Right.

Garrett: But whatever. I’d love to put a copy of that out there.

Johnathan: Love it.

Garrett: So yeah, I mean, we’re doing a lot of, I love– If I’m allowed to pitch services–

Johnathan: Please.

Garrett: I’d love to have conversations with folks looking to really measure the impact of their link building, or, well, our link building, but it’s what we see a lot in-house, and Enterprise, is that folks aren’t really doing a lot to measure what impact the links that they’re building are actually having. Nuggetx2 1

So that’s what we’ve been doing the last year and a half, is really putting the pieces in place to say, “Hey, here’s what happened to this URL after we built X number of links.” Here’s what the growth looked like,” so they can really better demonstrate link building ROI. Nuggetx1

Which has been real, it’s historically difficult. It’s still, I’m not saying it’s simple, but anyhow, that was a really long pitch. Please make me sound more eloquent.

Johnathan: You do, no, you come with authority, man, that’s why you’re on this show. It’s huge, so appreciate you being here and taking the time.

We’ll hype that up. We’ll make it sound prettier. You already made it sound great, so thank you so much for your time again, man.

Garrett: Hey, it’s been a blast. I really appreciate the opportunity, and listen, 15 minutes isn’t very long for link building, so if you ever want me to come back, or you need to do 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there, I’m your guy. I’ll be honored to do that.

Johnathan: We’ll do that, we’ll do that. We’ll do a longer one. Sounds good, man. Thank you again.

Garrett: Thank you.

Johnathan: All right, bye.

Garrett: Cheers, guys.