We’ve been very lucky recently to be joined by Simon (who I’ll introduce properly on the blog soon.) he’s been helping us on a variety or projects; but one area he’s already having a huge influence is with some tools we’re building to help automate some elements of our [tag]link building process[/tag].
All your links belong to us… photo credit: MShades
I’ve been a huge critic of any tool that claimed to automate SEO in the past, and I haven’t changed my opinion, but the process of developing these tools has taught me that if you have the right intentions and software you can make huge improvement on your productivity.
Stop anything repetitive – if you’ve been checking the back links of ten different sites in the same way why carry them out separately when you can combine them? You’ll be able to see who’s linking to more than one and save you weeding them if you’ve already contacted them. Have you been personalising your emails in but changing them in the same way? Could a tool speed that process?
I still think there are a time and a place for the human touch; but if you find yourself ploughing through huge back link lists or cutting and pasting email address for hours on end maybe some automation would help.
But always check the website by hand before contacting them, and proof your emails, nothing reflects worse on you and your client than an emails to Joe Blogs saying hello to Joanne Smith.
If it’s a pattern it can be an algorithm – a good link builder will know implicitly whether a website link will have good value, will they respond positively to your suggestion and whether they are likely to have a formal relationship with your competitor. They are based on experience, but that experience is gained from patterns.
If there’s a pattern a human can spot there’s a good chance a computer can see it too. An [tag]SEO tool [/tag]won’t be able to do it from scratch, but if you’ve been contacting websites about links for years see what you do implicitly can be turned into a test run by a machine.
Use the free time to experiment – if these tools free up your time, don’t use that to take on more work, use the efficiency savings to invest time in the elements of link building which take the most time but offer the most rewards. Produce content that people can’t help but link to. Build up relationships with online bloggers and journalists and contribute to their stories, this editorial content will work wonders for your rankings.
Every SEO knows these techniques work but often won’t have the time or the budget for the more involved techniques. You’d be surprised how 5 minutes saved off sending every link request build up over a month or two.
Don’t get Lazy – just because you’ve suddenly got tool which makes your life easier doesn’t mean you can slack off, in fact it should give you the freedom to refine your process so the tools become more efficient and you can use your expertise in link building to do exactly that, build links not carry out simple repetitive tasks.