Search Methodologies – Caper
- Organisations with great optimised content already
- Organisations who need lots of optimised links
- Organisations who want more traffic
- Organisations looking to rank higher for particular keywords
This stage involves analysing your existing content. If your site already has photos, blogs, RSS, widgets, calculators, guides, videos, games, resource centres or articles, you’re in a great position. Prioritise the content that you want to promote first, based on your keyword research.
What audience does the content appeal to? Create a picture of who the audiences are, what websites do they visit, what do they spend their day doing? What brands do they come into contact with?
Where do they go on holiday? What do they do in their spare time? What’s their job title? Look at the THEME model for more information on defining audiences into tribes.
Once you know who you’re trying to reach, the next stage is to find out where your tribes are online. Which website owners, media owners, magazines, bloggers and other customer influencers like associations and agencies already run sites and newsletters for these audiences?
You may also have defined social networking platforms such as YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace & Twitter or blog spaces like WordPress, Blogger and Technorati as the place to find your tribe.
For a searchable directory of all the web 2.0 sites: www.go2web20.net
But before you go wading in, listen to the conversations your tribes are having. Set up Twitter feeds, RSS feeds and Google Alerts to monitor comments and understand what your tribes really value.
So you know what content you’re using to target for links and you know who you’re trying to reach, this stage is about getting out there and engaging with the community.
What is the purpose of the websites you want to contact, what are their hot buttons? What could you say to them that would be a benefit to them, a benefit to their visitors AND be a benefit to you? Think of what’s going to secure you a link on their site, if you can’t think of a reason why they’d want to link to you, neither will they. This stage does take a bit of thought, but will see your link building conversion rate go through the roof.
Make sure your contact email (or phone call outline) is succinct and to the point; demonstrates that you have looked at their site and has a strong call to action. For example “Which is why, if you could add a link to X page it would benefit you by Y and your visitors by Z.”
Test a few propositions first and roll out the best converting one to the rest of your list, personalising as much as possible. If you’re emailing someone, you don’t have any eye contact or any tone of your voice to rely on, so re-read your email before you send it. One sentence read the wrong way may sound pushy or even rude. Webmasters are busy people and smaller community sites and blogs are run part time, so being complimentary to the site they spend all their time maintaining goes a long way.
This final stage is looking at the great content you’ve produced and seeing if it can be repurposed in any way.
Do you have a white paper that can be turned into a series of blog posts or a series of blog posts that can be turned into a white paper?
Do you have a transcript of a video or podcast you’ve done? Not only is this great for people that may be viewing your content at work where they are less likely to have sound, but it is essential if you want your website to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act (See Accessibility Principle in the SEO Hygiene Chapter for further information).
Not only is the value of getting a transcript essential to ensure your website is not breaking the law but a text rich transcript is like a three course meal for a search engine spider! They’ll love indexing content like that and it will help you to appear in search results for more long tail keyword phrases too.
Driving more relevant traffic to your site, that is more likely to convert.