Using Badges for Link Building: How We Increased Traffic by 905%
Effective link building strategies are one of the most tightly kept secrets amongst SEOs. However, most link building isn’t brain surgery. It’s analyzing the niche, determining the content that relevant websites in that niche like to consume, and creating great content to market to them. Add in a healthy dose of ego appeal, and you have a recipe for success.
Recently, we finished an SEO campaign for a business in the very competitive niche of distance learning.
When we begin an SEO campaign, we always begin with the end-game in mind. In other words, as we are performing an intense, full-site audit, determining the right keywords to target, and developing content, we are always strategizing on how to build links. And while there are many moving parts in SEO that all work in conjunction with each other, effective linkbuilding is what can help take a website over the top.
How Is Using a Badge an Effective Link Building Strategy
When linkbuilding, it is essential to consider a few elements:
- What type of content do people in your niche like to consume?
- How can you develop content that appeals to website owners egos?
- How can you develop content that will be relevant and worthwhile to search engine users?
When you can combine all three elements, you have a recipe for success. And using a badge combines all three.
As you can see in the top image, our overall SEO strategy helped give a 905% increase in search engine traffic year over year. If that’s hard to see, here’s the image a little larger:
And below is an image of month by month traffic:
As you can see, the traffic really started to climb July through September. It isn’t without coincidence that we began our marketing campaign in mid-June.
So, let’s take a step back and discuss how this link building strategy works:
How to Link Build With Badges
When you decide to launch an embeddable content link building strategy, the first thing you need to do is brainstorm important themes in your niche. For example, if you’re an eCommerce website that sells dog products, some important themes could include dog training, dog health, dog adoption, hiking with dogs.
Then, you’ll need to comb the Internet to find 50-100 high quality blogs that cover those specific themes. Remember, the key is high quality blogs. You don’t want garbage websites. And you don’t want corporate websites. You want bloggers.
What you’re essentially doing is creating a list of the Top X Theme Blogs. Not only is this a great link building strategy, but you’ll also get a lot of targeted traffic to your website as hundreds of people every month search for ‘Best Dog Training Blogs’ or ‘Best Dog Blogs’ etc.
Once you have your list of bloggers, you’ll want to write 50-75 words about each blog. I recommend keeping all this information in a spreadsheet.
You can then easily export the content to your website in the following format:
1. Name of Blog – Description of blog
2. Name of Blog – Description of blog
I’d also recommend creating a link to the blog. Sure, this will dilute the power of any incoming links you receive, but so long as you’re linking to authoritative blogs, your article in turn will rank higher due to you linking out to relevant, authoritative websites. Remember, you’re creating content for visitors, not search engines, so always keep that in mind.
Make it Easy to Share
When link building via an embeddable content strategy (in this case, badges), you want to encourage people to share. This includes the standard social media sharing at the top and bottom of a page. Alternately, you can use Cevher Share (what I use on Brighter Vision), to keep sharing visible while scrolling down the page.
Social sharing is important. But you also want people to share the content on their websites. You want them to embed the badge you gave them. There are two ways to do this:
- Give them the HTML directly in the email (will discuss more below).
- Give them the HTML directly on the Top 100 Theme Blogs page.
By combining all 3, you greatly increase the probability that your targets (and future organic visitors) will share it either socially or by embedding on their site.
In order to give your targets the HTML directly on the top of the page, you need to use a plugin like Syntax Highlighter, so that they can easily copy and paste the code to go to their site. For instance:[html] <a href=”Your URL”><img src=”Your Image” alt=”” /></a>
Text about you with an <a href=”Deep Link”>Anchor Text</a>[/html]
Notify Your List of Best Blogs
If your website makes a list of the best 100 blogs in the world on a specific topic and nobody knows about it, what good does it do? The next thing you need to do is notify the list of site owners.
I’d recommend keeping an Excel Spreadsheet of all your contacts so you can easily coordinate all the information. There’s numerous strategies for the best way to reach out to your contacts. For my clients & for my network of websites, I use the method described on my How to Get High PR Backlinks article. I’m not going to re-hash that, so read it, if you want. Otherwise, just reach out to them.
I’d recommend using the following guidelines in your email:
- Address the person by their first name.
- Give them a link to the blog post.
- Give them the HTML at the bottom of the email.
- Keep it short and sweet. No more than 3 paragraphs.
- Ask them to let you know if you need the badge resized, and to let you know if they add it.
After you notify everyone, you’ll want to color code your spreadsheet to monitor who responds favorably, who doesn’t, and who adds a link.
I recommend using Green for people who add the link, Orange for people who respond but don’t commit, and Blue for people who reject your request. But really, use whatever colors you want 🙂
Important: It’s vital to track your link building campaigns and monitor who you reach out to, where your links are, and the status of them to ensure they aren’t removed. I highly recommend RavenTools for this. I spend a few hundred dollars per month on RavenTools to monitor my link building campaigns for my sites, client sites, and track my rankings.
Finally, a week after you launch, you’ll want to re-reach out to people colored Orange and those that never replied. In this email, just remind them about your article and ask if they want to add the badge. You’ll find a number of websites that never replied back have actually added you. Score!
And That’s It!
That about covers how I use badges and embeddable content for link building. Questions? Please ask them in the comments section below.
Now, doing this once for a website takes time, but is fairly straight forward. But a lot of businesses (especially those that target a National audience) require diverse link building strategies, and numerous campaigns. If you’re a business or own a website and want to attract a national audience, please contact me today and I’d be happy to show you how I’ll get you more business.
Alternately, feel free to take a look at my SEO prices to get a rough overview of what I charge. My rates are competitive and designed for any sized business to get a positive ROI.