How To Get More High Quality, Natural Links

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Recently a number of our clients have voiced a similar concern. With all the talk of the changing face of SEO, how do we adapt? How do we get those high quality, natural links that will determine if we thrive or die in a future where quality matters more than ever? It’s a challenge not all businesses are equipped to handle, but here’s one dead simple way you can embrace the changes and benefit.

Be Honest – Is Your Business Worth Talking About?

In the last six months, did your business create anything that caused people to turn their heads and take notice? I mean a product, a piece of content, a video series, a service, or anything else at all? If you can’t honestly answer yes, then why would anybody want to link to you? Duke Cannon is a perfect (but crass) example of a company that gets this, and boy are they getting links for it. Forgive me for getting so basic, but we have to get this out of the way. Natural links go to businesses that are making people talk. Do that.

Ok, that’s out of the way.

Go Find The People Talking About You

Assuming you create some kind of buzz with your products or content, you’ll come across people talking about you. If you’re big, invest in social media monitoring like Trackur to see what they’re saying and where they’re saying it. If you’re just getting going, set up a few Google Alerts around your brand name and keywords. Stay on top of what they’re saying because you might want to reach out to one of them (I’ll give you a good example of how to do this in a minute). And also, you should be where they are. If people talk about you on Twitter, you need to be there too.

Contact Those People

When you come across that glowing review of your new product, promptly contact the author. Tell them you’re grateful they wrote the review, and be generous with your praise. They may have even linked to you in their review, but if not, find a nice way to ask them to. They already love what you do, so they’ll probably support you if you tell them how much a link would help you.

Give Them Something

If you really want to make the person happy, send them some swag. Ask for their address, shirt size, etc., and tell them to expect some free stuff in the mail. This will take their reaction from “Oh how nice they thanked me for the mention” to “Wow, I didn’t expect that!”. Will they be more willing to spread the word about you? Probably.

Here’s how this works in the real world.

Some time ago, I bought a burrito at the local Sunflower Farmer’s Market. In a frozen section full of mediocre packaging, this burrito stood out. I took it home, ate it, and marveled at how delicious it was. I checked the wrapper and found information about ingredient sourcing, which prompted me to go to their very attractive website to learn more. From store to website, the brand experience was great, so I blogged about it.

Shortly afterward, I received a nice comment from a company representative. She thanked me for writing the generous post and asked for my address so she could sent me free stuff. I was thrilled! I assumed a sweet t-shirt was on its way, so imagine my surprise when I opened the mailbox and found a load of coupons for free burritos! They wowed me, and I told people about it. If I hadn’t already included a link to their site from my post, I would have done it right then. I’ve since connected with them on social networks, and I continue to buy their products.

And here’s how this all ties together.

I started out by writing I would show you a way you move toward getting more quality, natural links. You’ll get those links by creating amazing things, and what’s more, by making people happy. I don’t know if the burrito company has a social media manager that tracks company mentions, or even if they get 100 reviews written about them every day. What I care about, and what caused me to link to them and spread the word, is that they made a great product and they cared enough to reach out and reward me handsomely for my post.

If your business is accustomed to doing things like they’ve always been done, it’s time to change that. If you can’t create a new product right now, then write content that rises to the top. Make videos that you would share socially if you were the customer. Do those sort of things and people will give you attention. They’ll make it easy for you to reach out and thank them (and ask for the link if you like).

You deserve the links you get. If you want more, be better. Do you have examples of other businesses doing it right?

 

Image Credit to Max Quattromani, EVOL Foods, Duke Cannon
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12 Comments

  1. Don Rhoades says

    There’s no need to astro-turf when the you care of your lawn.

    +1 for Duke Cannon. I dig their panache, however crass. You nailed this, Nathan. I see this principle being applied to getting positive social mentions and local online reviews as well.

    • Nathan Blair says

      Absolutely. Brands who succeed at this reap the social rewards. Duke Cannon, EVOL, and so many others show how it’s done masterfully.

  2. Kirsten says

    It’s all about how you present yourself to your customers. The WOW factor works wonders. I have had similar experiences, and if you want to get out there and beat the competition, you want to try to offer something people will love. And of course if something isn’t working, try something different! Great post, love the burrito story.

  3. says

    I guess it’s pretty hard to make people pick your product instead of tons of others, so of course it’s even harder to direct the people who actually do pick your product to your website. And if that succeeds, getting them to talk about your product or brand is even harder, so I guess “the burrito case” is a pretty unique one, don’t you think? But I certainly agree that being unique, standing out, doing things differently and making things enjoyable is the first step in getting people to talk about your brand.

    The storytelling part in your story is also a great way of making people remember what you wrote. Another one of your tactics? Haha :) Awesome post man!

    • says

      I think the burrito case is unique in that most brands just don’t make the same effort as EVOL. People can tell when a brand really tries, and I think people like to use their resources online to spread the word about those brands.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Nathan Blair says

      That’s a tough place to be in for sure. Monitoring a brand online and reaching out to people can be a full time job by itself, but the brands who dedicate resources to doing it will see the payoff. If not in immediate ROI, then in positive brand awareness.

  4. says

    What if no one is talking about you?
    We run a small business that I find is different and efficient, perhaps we need to change our business model slightly?

    • Nathan Blair says

      Is your business incredible? Are you doing anything newsworthy? If you are, it’s likely you just need to be better at helping people find out about what you do.

      Case in point: what if you were in the business of selling razor blades? Boring? I think not – http://www.dollarshaveclub.com/
      (Watch the video – check out how many likes and followers they have)

      • Darren Reid says

        Thank you for that, that video was brilliant. I just “liked” it…
        I see what you mean.

        I’m fascinated by SEO so I just picked up five books online to get started, obviously there’s lots of information on sites like this, but its hard to keep track as each google search provides a maze of opinions.

        Any SEO books you can recommend that would be a good place to start? maybe your top 3?

        Thank you

        • Nathan Blair says

          I don’t read many SEO books, but I read a lot of blogs. In addition to the books you picked up, keep up to speed with good industry blogs like Search Engine Land, etc., and you’ll be golden. 

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