I met Eric Enge author for Search Engine Land and…
Did you get an email from WordTracker about a Link Building webinar? Is it worth your time?
Frequently SEO consultants and SEO tool providers create and circulate videos promoted as how-to or help resource videos. But a lot of time these videos have little helpful content amidst a lot of marketing. Want to save some time? This video by Ken McGaffin, Chief Marketing Officer of WordTracker is over an hour long. Here is my review of the video on linkbuilding, produced by WordTracker.
For starters, the webpage containing the video gives a list of How-To’s for the hardest parts of linkbuilding. It makes claims to solve the hardest problems in linkbuilding. However, on the outset of the video, you are given a list of some pretty elementary topics.
- 6 ways link building helps your website.
- Why would another site link to yours
- How to find quality link prospects
- How to determine a quality link?
- How to get organic links (backlinks without asking)
- Pitfalls of most link building campaigns
- How to Plan a blog campaign.
Keep reading below the video for my in depth review before you watch.
After an introduction selling you on the importance of linkbuilding, you are given a sales pitch to purchase this linkbuilding tool. For the most part, the demo of the tool WordPress Link Builder gives you a start to end process of managing your linkbuilding campaign. Some common tools are built in. For the most part, these tools can be replicated by using advance search parameters in search engines, for example to find back links for your competitive websites.
As far as finding link prospects, I can do much better using Aaron Walls SEOBook Hub Finder tool. This tool actually gives you common backlinks for your top competitors for a keyword phrase. The WordPress Link Builder tool, on the other hand falls short in that it simply gives you backlink counts for websites that you enter, as well as another screen for backlink counts for sites that rank for a keyword. SEO Quake and SEOBook browser plugins can give you this info at a glance or export to a spreadsheet.
The Hubfinder tool does this for you, AND narrows your search by only providing those backlink sources that are COMMON between your keyword competitors (and of course you can specify additional competitors into that mix). Of course the Hubfinder tool ONLY comes with a $300 per month membership. It’s up to you whether you want to save time or money. You can do the same thing by hand by compiling a spreadsheet of keyword competitor backlinks and searching for common domains among the backlinks of your top keyword competitors.
The other major tool I see in the video for thisWordTracker Link Builder tool is a PageRank indicator for each domain providing a backlink, as well as the ability to order prospects in your list by their backlink counts. So you have backlinks to competitors and counts for their backlinks. I suppose that’s good if you are in a hurry and don’t want to bother thinking about anything else. I generally use more ways to judge the quality of a link prospect. For example:
- How many unique domain outgoing links are on that page?
- Is it a .edu or .gov top level domain?
- Does the site have .edu or .gov backlinks?
- Are the links using no-follow code? (duh)
- How old is the backlink prospect?
Later in the video, Ken McGaffin gives a list of 12 questions to consider in deciding if a site would be a high quality backlink. This is very good information, however not built into the tool. You can find spreadsheet templates out there with checklists built in for these items.
- Is the site relevant to your website?
- Does the site link out and are they real links?
- Are the pages indexed by Google?
- Does the site invite submissions or guest posts?
- Has the site been around for a while?
- an you find the humans behind the site and are they easy to contact?
- Does the site have a good number of inbound links?
- Have the articles been published recently?
- Is the editorial of good quality?
- Does the editorial attract comments?
- Are the links in the body copy?
- Do the links stay in place?
Besides these tools I mentioned, the main other uses of the link building tool WordTracker is selling is management. It lets you check different back link prospects from the list and and them to a sub list that you can label. There are places to enter notes for each prospect, etc.
WordTracker Link Builder leaves it up to you to decide how to apply these questions. I like to keep a spreadsheet with a lot of these questions where the answer is in number form using some sort of ranking.
Here is where most of the learning and teaching in the video comes in. The tool that Ken McGaffin demos is not that impressive, but he does give some good examples of digging up subcategories. He shows where you can find related communities of bloggers. There’s no secret really to finding them other than surfing around within a "community" of interlinked websites. He gives examples of link bait, such as the www.willitblend.com viral videos, controversial articles, surveys, contents, lists, etc.
Ken McGaffin of WordTracker also gives a list of pitfalls for link builders. These are what he identifies as the most common problems for link building campaigns.
- Doesn’t create a good enough reason to link
- Doesn’t spend enough time researching who is important
- Goes for quantity over quality
- Expects immediate results
- Doesn’t engage with the specific community
- Doesn’t work link building into their regular routine.
At the end of the video, Ken McGaffin describes the process WordTracker performed in a link building campaign centering the SEO Blogger keyword tool. This includes
- a synopsis of research
creating the tool
- commissioned a book about the tool
created section of content on the website about the tool
directly contacted authority individuals in the market and asked their opinion of the tool before launch
wrote and distributed customized press releases for different markets
tweeted about the SEO Blogger tool launch
The video closes with some more calls to action to buy the WordTracker Link Builder tool.