Snow-forecast.com has achieved every link builder’s dream of getting powerful quality inbound links without asking.
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To find out how a small company of four became so successful, Ken McGaffin interviewed snow-forecast.com co-founder Nick Russill in the video above and he summarizes below the key takeaways you can use in your own link building efforts:
Nick Russill is primarily an entrepreneur and perhaps a bit of a geek. He achieved what he did without being a link building expert. However, he’s got a sharp business brain and a good feel for promotion.
Here are five key lessons we can all learn and use from Nick’s success with snow-forecast.com.
1) Preparing stories for the media
First and foremost Nick recognized the power of the media and the value of editorial links. He’s received fantastic coverage and he had to work hard at it, particularly in the early days.
The secret was to take raw data of snow forecasts, extract meaning from it and present it in such a way that journalists could use it easily in their stories.
Even if you don’t have a ‘feed’ of raw data like Nick does, you can still be creative about your own unique set of customers.
I once got a story for an online plumbing firm in the Financial Times because I noticed that over two thirds of their customers where women. Half a dozen calls to actual customers showed that they preferred to order online rather than endure the long, male dominated queues in trade stores. That made a great story.
2) Target quality link prospects
Nick used Link Builder to find the top prospects and concentrated his efforts on them. That did mean he had to work harder to get the links, but in the end they were more valuable than easier links.
3) Plan campaigns targeting similar types of sites
Nick looked for niches within the link prospects that Link Builder found for him.
Gearing link approaches to particular niches that share a common characteristic raises your chances of success greatly.
For example, he looked particularly at one of the strategies Link Builder automatically includes – trusted sites – and filtered for those that weren’t linking:
But he didn’t stop there.
He scanned through the link prospects and looked for interesting sites. Snow-forecast.com for example was interested in academic, clubs, hotels and resorts.
On Link Builder he used filters – a word search on the top link to each prospect, and the choice of concentrating on sites that did not already link to him.
These settings reveal prospects where the top link contains the word ‘club’ and which are not already linking to Snow-Forecast.com:
Again two filters are used here to reveal hotels that are not linking:
4) Make linking to your site irresistible
Nick recruited link prospects such as ski clubs, hotels and resorts to create content for the site – daily snow reports, photographs and announcements.
In return, they received publicity and could make announcements to snow-forecast visitors.
All this user-generated content not only provided great up-to-date content but also highly searchable content.
5) Build on success
Nick found that once he became established, journalists came looking for him. That happens for two reasons:
- He built up trust with journalists – when you do that they come back time and again to the dependable source they know.
- The great content he created and the many links he built to his site saw him perform well on search engines – which meant that even more journalists found his site when they were researching stories.
Nick Russill has built his site over the last eleven years and it now ranks well for snow forecast searches. In this case study, he’s shown how to use Link Builder creatively to build links to his site. You can try Link Builder yourself free for 7 days.
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About Ken McGaffin
Ken McGaffin is an experienced internet marketing consultant and has worked for major pharmaceutical companies, advertising agencies, government bodies and non-profit organizations.
Ken unveils the secrets of successful link building in his 384-page e-book, Successful Link Building
You can watch recordings of his extremely popular (and free) Link Building Webinars