Dec 6, 2011
Training a Link Builder | A Special Breed of SEO
Link Building Defined
Link building is the process of increasing the traffic on a particular website. It is part of search engine optimizing. It specializes in linking to other websites and categorizing those links into directories. Website owners can submit their site to many of these directories.
Link building marks the presence of the website on the Internet. The question is, “How?”
Normally, all businesses with a website wish to see their website on the first page of Google, because that’s where the website is going to get “noticed” the most. If your site is languishing on page 2 or 3 (or worse), it won’t get as much traffic. You won’t sell as much of whatever it is you’re selling.
One way to move your site up through the search engine rankings is to build a network of backlinks.
Backlinks are basically links on one website pointing to another website. When someone links to another person’s website, it shows Google that their website is worth linking to. Google then gives that website being linked to preference in their search engine placements.
The higher the search engine placement, the more publicity (traffic) a business gets. A lot of people try very hard to get more and more links TO their website. There is a way to ethically “manipulate” other websites into giving you links, and if you know how to do that, then you can provide those backlnking services for a fee. Knowing the technique of link building can surely move your business up the search engine ladder of rankings.
Training a Link Builder
If you’re asking yourself how to train a link builder, here’s some advice. Good link builders are a special breed of SEO’s. There are a lot of solid SEO’s in the industry, but effectively building links is much different from keyword research, copywriting, and technical analysis.
A link builder isn’t just placing links on websites. They are building businesses. They are creating the difference between a business and its competition. As a link builder, you should be bringing hustle to your work every day. A link builder with hustle can dominate large brands and companies with large budgets by simply outworking them.
Imparting training to a link builder who knows how is almost nil of SEO can be very arduous, even for experts in the industry. For anyone unfamiliar to link building, it’s easy to get discouraged. You, as a trainer, have to know how to dumb things down while still giving adequate information. You need to make sure that you don’t overwhelm the person you are training.
Actively contacting website owners and content publishers, in order to get them to link to your website, is only a part of your entire link marketing strategy. Getting links can be challenging work, fraught with failure, rejection, mistakes, and sometimes character assassinations. Someone can learn how to speak in public, fundraise, and debate, but you cannot teach charisma, tenacity, and integrity. Those qualities are simply instinctive. Over time, those skills can be cultivated and honed. Sure, not every link builder will turn out to be a superstar, but with the right training, most people can learn to create quality links on a consistent basis.
Sequence of Training
It’s important to establish some ground rules for link builders. Make sure they know what kind of link building they are doing and what kind of links they should be getting; not because the link builder is stupid but because certain things are just dangerous, and a new link builder won’t know any better. Most people who are new to link building just don’t understand the mine field they are walking into and could easily set off a series of explosions which could rattle your entire business. Set boundaries. Teach them to pay attention to details, and instruct them as to where those really dangerous traps are before they fall into one. The best course of action is probably to provide a full scale education on the ins and outs of SEO and the function and risks of link building as a whole. If that’s not possible, a specific set of rules is essential.
Going After Target Specific Goals
Along those lines, link builders also need goals. Clearly, the purpose of any link builder’s day is to establish a network of good links. Beware of a goal structure that is purely based on numbers. Emphasizing the end result without any attention to the means of getting there can (and often will) result in cheating, corner cutting, and flat out bad decision making. Define good and bad links. Use measurements which reflect those characteristics.
Teaching link builders to understand links as a part of the “big picture” can help them become more invested in the process. Obtaining a specific number of links is somewhat gratifying, but seeing the positive effect links can have on a web site can be truly exciting. A link builder will find more satisfaction when the emphasis is placed on the larger goal as opposed to the micro-chasm of simply getting a certain number of links. There will be a greater sense of fulfillment and a stronger tendency to make the right choices.
Create a System
If you let a bunch of link builders loose on a stylistic free-for-all, you will get erratic results at best. On the other hand, by creating a system for creating and receiving links, you have a process to follow. In using a process, you can gauge strengths and weaknesses, both within the system itself and in the link builders as well. Each step of the system should be simple and easy to replicate. It’s also helpful if each part of the process can be examined on its own and tailored to suit each link builder’s individual style.
Templates in general are good, but humanized SPAM is bad. If your link builder is simply a human version of a robot, then it might be cheaper just to create an automated system to serve the same function. Auto-bots don’t require health care or lunch breaks. They do inevitably lack the judgment and insight that humans bring to the process. Anyone who has ever gotten an automated email knows that SPAM reads like SPAM no matter how may smiley faces you put in the message.
Fetching for an Ideal Candidate to Train
This can be a little tricky, as we don’t always have the luxury to be picky. You need to know what to look for. You should at least keep the people you meet in your network in case you need them in the future.
Creative social geeks tend to be awesome candidates. If they have lots of friends on Facebook and actively use Twitter, as well as other social networks, that’s a very good sign. If they love surrounding themselves with technology and are excited about new gadgets, that’s also a very good sign. If they run a WordPress blog, a Tumblr account, and have some understanding of HTML, that’s another great sign.
“Requirement” might be too strong of a word. I’ve seen people with no related skill sets whatsoever do really well. However, there are a few prerequisites that help. For example, someone with sales or cold calling experience will already understand a little bit about what they should and shouldn’t say in a correspondence with someone to achieve their desired goal.
Another big one is being proficient with Excel. With any form of SEO you WILL have spreadsheets up to your elbows. If you’re an SEO that never has to deal with spreadsheets on a daily basis, please let me know your secret! I’ve actually had to consider making a spreadsheet for my spreadsheets.
Lastly, they just have to be good with computers. You and the IT guys will save a lot of time if the person in training knows how to do simple things like removing spyware from their computer and finding what software they need for certain file types. You need someone that can be self-sufficient. I know it may be hard for some people to imagine there are still people who don’t know how to do these tasks, but I’ve seen it quite a bit and it’s painful.
The other benefit to using human link builders is that they are unique and will excel in different areas. By watching how a link builder meets their goals and performs various functions of a link building system, you can begin to see where their talents lie. Whether the strength is in identifying what will get links, who will give links, or even just exceptional typing speed, recognizing each link builder’s talents can be a crucial part of the training process. When link builders are allowed to focus on their fortes and use some creativity, managers will usually discover a host of new ideas, new techniques, and, of course, their future trainers.
Over time, most people can develop a talent for link building. Many link builders will inevitably grow the gut reaction to just know when something is right or wrong, possible or impossible, a good idea or a bad one. Yes, those instincts themselves may be difficult to “train” in someone. But with rules, goals, a system, and a focus on utilizing strengths where they naturally occur, you will create a staff that is eager to learn, produce, and excel at the art of getting links.Google+