The Backlink Trifecta: Forum Posting, Blog Posting, and Social Bookmarking

There are a few SEO tricks that virtually everyone puts to good use when crafting backlinks for their website: forum posting, blog posting, and social bookmarking. SEO, at least off-page SEO, is devoted almost entirely to the art of developing backlinks to your website. There are three basic attributes that make a backlink a good one: authority, persistence, and relevance.

Authority means that the backlink comes from a webpage that search engines think is important. Getting a backlink from About.com or Wikipedia.com has a lot more weight to it than getting a backlink from mommasgottablog.com or blitheringidiocy.info. In general, the older the site, the more traffic the site gets, and the higher the site’s PageRank, the more authority it has.

Persistence simply means that the backlink will continue to exist for a long, long time. Putting forth a lot of effort to get a backlink from a PageRank 8 authority site is all well and good, but if that backlink is going to get deleted in a few weeks because the page regularly rolls over and offers entirely-new content, your efforts are going to be wasted.

This is common sense. If your website is about spiders, and you get a backlink from a webpage about chicken casserole, the search engines are going to be all like “Whaa?”, and they’re going to assume that the backlink is an accident or otherwise not actually important. Much better to get a backlink from a page about surviving spider bites.

forum postingLooking at these three factors, the power of forums, blogs, and social bookmarking should make itself immediately obvious. First, most social bookmarking sites (like StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Delicious) are authority sites by their very nature. More importantly, as you add more and more social bookmarks about a specific topic, the more the page becomes relevant. And of course, the entire point of social bookmarking is to create a persistent list of items that never goes away.

Similarly, forums and blogs offer such variety that finding relevant ones is pretty easy, and they’re designed to leave the comments and conversations around forever. The challenge is finding high-authority forums and blogs to comment on, but if you can accomplish that goal, you’re on your way to a plethora of high-quality backlinks.

Putting A Face On Your Website Using a Web Presenter

A web presenter is nothing more than an animated image of a person that appears on your computer screen and talks to you about the subject matter of the webpage you’re on. It’s akin to the old paperclip Office Assistant that came out first with Microsoft Word, only its human and doesn’t turn into a bicycle and roll off when you click the ‘X’. So what’s the big deal with these animated guides?

Well, it’s common knowledge that when a surfer arrives on a website, they only spend a few choice seconds looking for the clues that will tell them whether or not they’re going to click away or not. Videos have been shown effective in getting a surfer to stay and pay attention, but in many cases they take too long to load and the surfer is already gone. Web presenters tend to be quick-loading, and more importantly they instantly command attention by virtue of being unexpected — and unexpectedly human.

first page placementMost public speakers — and all politicians — know that 90% of human communication is nonverbal. It’s based on gestures, facial expressions, and posture. The way that people stand often tells you more about how they think of you than any amount of words that come out of their mouth. One of the things that makes a traditional text-and-picture website easy to click away from is the lack of that other 90% — the part of human communication that feels ‘personal’.

A skilled web presenter can add a lot of that missing communication back to your website. By giving it a face, a voice with human inflection, hand gestures, and inviting posture, a web presenter instantly gives your website much stronger ‘stick’.

Just as importantly, once the web presenter has the attention of your audience, s/he can direct that attention to other parts of the webpage. By communicating the essential message of your website in a human way, and then giving your call to action a bit more personality than the classic “only 7 left, 60-day guarantee, click here for a no-risk trial”, a web presenter can make the sale a much less jarring prospect for a surfer — and that means more conversions.

Creating a good web presenter with a quality presentation can seem like a lot of work, especially for a smaller web-based business, but professional teams of producers that are available online can get the job done effectively and at a very reasonable cost. The benefits are huge, and the process is relatively easy. Of course, you still need to get traffic to your site to make the web presenter fully effective, but once you’ve achieved your first page placement, the presenter will turn your natural traffic into hordes of conversions and sales consistently and without a lot of ongoing effort.

Targeted Email Marketing Is Your Most Powerful Profit Leverage

Targeted email marketing sounds like exactly what it is — a marketing technique in which you send emails to a list that you have somehow chosen as your ‘target’ market. The idea of sending emails to get people to buy stuff has been around for about three days less than email itself — so clearly the trick in targeted email marketing is the targeting part.

Without targeting, you’re a spammer — something that is both ineffective and, in many places, illegal. Without the email part, you’re trying to reach millions of ‘net surfers without any real way of singling them out personally; it’s less akin to sending out flyers and more akin to posting a billboard — and equally ignorable. And, of course, if you’re not marketing, you’re just sending out a bunch of emails that may get read and provoke an interested response, but won’t ever make you any money.

But let’s assume that you’ve got the marketing and the email part down — you can write an email that will come off as genuine, interesting, and worth reading all the way through, and put a call to action in that will get some decent percentage of the readers to go click where you want them to click. How, then, do you make sure that this Email gets into the inboxes of the kinds of people who will actually give a damn?

There are a few different techniques. One of the least effective involves renting an Email list from someone. This happens more often than you might believe — there are companies out there whose sole business is collecting lists of email addresses and matching them with interests. It’s completely possible to go rent 500,000 email addresses that some company has labeled as “interested in sports”, for example. It’s the least accurate form of targeting, and it’s only marginally better than spam.

You can also put an informational site up on the topic of choice, and invite people to leave their email address in order to acquire more information. Sometimes that more information will be in the form of an email, sometimes a free short ebook, but the point is that they’ve expressed interest in the subject personally — which is much more accurate than some listrenter’s labelling. Of course, this means you have to put up some free information and engage a bit of website SEO to make sure that people actually SEE that information, but the RoI is quite worthwhile when done well.

Finally, if you have an online business, you can send marketing emails out to your own previous clients. This is the most targeted and effective kind of mailing you can send out, because the people in question have not only proven that they’re willing to spend money on your product, but they have a relationship with you already. Leaning on that will result in much better conversions than in the previous two groups.

Regardless of how you go about getting your list of email addresses, by marketing to a select list of folks that have proven that they’re interested in what you have, you can leverage that group to produce much higher conversions and more sales than any amount of unfocused, shotgun-style marketing attempts.