The Get Links! video training course - what it is, and why you need it.
NB This course is finished. Video and webinar recordings are available with a paid subscription to the Link Builder tool
Q1: Why is link building so important?
Well of course the first reason that anyone will get into link building is to boost their Google rankings.
There is a tremendous amount of search traffic available and people naturally want to grab as much of that as they can. The more of this ‘free’ traffic you can capture, then the better your business will perform - you’ll be grabbing customers who would otherwise end up on your competitors' sites.
And building quality links is the most effective way of boosting your rankings. Throughout all its updates, Google continues to value quality links from authority sites.
It’s something you simply can’t ignore if you want your online business to succeed.
But as well as boosting search engine rankings, I think that there's even more business benefits that people can get from link building.
Q2: Can you give us some examples of the additional benefits?
Let's suppose you've been successful at getting links and boosting your rankings. The other benefits will soon start to make themselves apparent.
The first thing you're likely to notice is that your links will bring you direct traffic - people click on those links to arrive at your site. Now those people are obviously interested in your products and they've got some validation from the site that carries the link they've followed. So you get direct traffic and traffic that is ‘pre-disposed’ to buying from you because they’ve already seen a positive link to your site. That's great for your bottom line.
The second thing you're likely to notice is that the sites who have linked to you turn out to look like potentially interesting business partners. And because they link to you, they already see you in a positive light. They're going to be amenable to any solid business proposal you might dream up - now you’ve got a relationship that might develop for business reasons, not link building ones.
The third thing is that over time you will come to much better understand the market you're in - you'll understand better what your customers are looking for, you'll understand your customers better and you'll be among the first to see new trends and turn them into opportunities.
It's for all these reasons - and more - that link building should be important to any online business or brand.
Q3: How will the “Get Links!” course be delivered?
People learn best by applying the knowledge they acquire to their real world situation - they implement with solid expectations, see what actually happens and try to do it even better next time.
That's the way people become expert at what they do.
And we want participants to become expert link builders and we've structured the course to allow that to happen.
Interactive webinars allow people to ask questions of presenters. So it's not about passively absorbing information, it's about having their own specific questions answered. That enables people to confidently apply tools and techniques to their situation. Answering questions and interacting with the audience is one of the reasons we love doing webinars so much.
And after that it comes down to learning specific techniques like 'How do you force Google to give the exact guest posting opportunities you're looking for?' There's no great mystery to that - it's just learning how to apply the technique. So I think video is the best way to do that - you just watch the video at your own pace, as many times as you like until you know exactly what you need to do. So there are 20 on-demand videos that cover the techniques you need to acquire and allow you to learn quickly at your own pace.
And the final part is ongoing support. Both myself and Garrett are committed to answering every link building question that people have. Not only will we be answering people directly but we'll also be publishing a weekly summary of all the questions and answers.
I think that gives you as complete a learning experience as is possible to get online.
Q4: What are the essentials of good link building?
Well, I'd start with great content - and I don't mean just articles, I mean content in all its forms - videos, events, publications, customer service, business ethics, even an innovative business idea. All of these can be great content that can be the foundation of extensive link building.
Next on my essential list would be networking and social media skills. That means the ability to identify, interact and build relationships within your market. Top bloggers, journalists, publishers, influencers are all important.
But never forget customers, the sectors they come from and the variety of their needs. An effective link builder needs to know these people and be able to build relationships with them.
And of course promotion in all its form is also essential. Email marketing skills are fundamental, knowing how to spread your ideas on social media and getting people to share and respond positively to your approaches. Online PR is I believe becoming increasingly important: I'm not talking about links within online press releases - they offer no SEO benefit - I'm talking about online PR that persuades journalists to write about you, cover your events and even give you nice editorial links.
Learning how to do these things well will put you head and shoulders above most competitors.
Q5: Who should be doing link building? Is it preferable to use an outside agency or to build an internal team?
Well, there two sides to the debate:
The big benefit of using an external link builder is that you get access to all their expertise, methodology and contacts. If they're good they will have to build those up over the years - few small businesses on their own would be able to come close to that expert knowledge. So if you have the budget, it's something to consider seriously. However, you get the most out of external link builders if you understand the processes and what exactly they do for your money.
The benefits of building a team in-house are clear. You'll get off to a slower start but you'll be adding to your own store of knowledge and expertise. You'll learn exactly what to do, you'll get better at it, you'll build your own networks of contacts. I also think your own product and customer knowledge and your understanding of your market will allow you to create passionate content in a way that an external agency would be unlikely to do.
But for me, I'd try to match the best of both worlds - use external experts to create exceptional stuff that would be beyond the ability of a novice team, and at the same time get the expert to work with your team on doing the day to day, solid link building work that is well within their scope.
Either way, the most important thing is to get started. The act of doing and experimenting is what will lay foundations for your future success.
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