Backlinks 101: Low-hanging Fruit

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A part of any effective search engine optimization effort is backlink generation. Links from other high-quality websites in to yours is still one of the best ways to improve your search rankings, by signaling to Google and the other search engines that your page, and your site, have a degree of authority on a given keyword or subject.

But with all the information out there about bad links, how is any marketing team supposed to know what they should and should not do to go about getting more backlinks?

Luckily, there are some areas where it makes sense to start. These ‘low-hanging fruit’ opportunities are low effort, and potentially high value.

  1. Brand mentions – scour the web for any mention of your brand name, product, etc. Everywhere you find it, check for a link. If none is provided, reach out to the author or site owner to recommend that they add one.
     
  2. Owned content – many companies have properties on the web that exist outside of our own sites, ie. business listings, article sites, microsites, etc. Any and all of these first-party sites should link back to your company’s main consumer-facing website.
     
  3. Guest posting – it is easy to develop a list of blogs and news sites related to your industry. Check to see if they accept guest posts and put together quality content for them that links back to the key pages of your website.

When working to develop backlinks for your website, remember that quality counts more than quantity. The best links come from the best sites. So start with websites that already do well in Google rankings and work backward

Top SEO Blog Posts

Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical for companies looking to get traffic from Google and other search engines [read: all companies]. For that reason, we have covered the subject many times on this blog.

We went back over all of our SEO blog posts for the past few years and grabbed the seven highest read titles. Here they are:

  1. How Are You Measuring SEO?
  2. Content for Link Building
  3. Simple SEO Checklist
  4. The Power of Page 1
  5. 10 Reasons You Need an SEO Strategy
  6. 3 SEO Strategies to Grow Organic Traffic
  7. Page Speed is King
  8. Little Things 19 – Create a Sitemap
  9. How to Increase Your SEO Traffic with Long Tail Keywords
  10. Free Marketing Ideas 10 – Alt Tags and Meta Data

Zach Heller Marketing Week in Review

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There is a great quote by Peter Drucker that I always come back to. “The aim of marketing is to making selling superfluous.” That is to say, if you do your job as a marketer, the customers will come running. You won’t have to sell to them, because the marketing alone has convinced them that they want to purchase. They have made the decision before they ever get to your store/website. Has your company achieved this goal yet? Why not?

Here are last week’s posts, in case you missed them:

  1. Top Email Marketing Blog Posts
  2. SEO: Mobile vs. Desktop
  3. How to Create an Effective Sales Call Script

Happy Saturday!

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  2. Subscribe to the monthly newsletter to get a curated list of the top marketing articles from around the web

How to Create an Effective Sales Call Script

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Depending on who you ask, the advice you are likely to get on how to conduct an effective sales call will vary. Some people insist on having an airtight script that works more times than not. Others insist on the opposite, that the best salespeople don’t work off of scripts, they cater each conversation to the prospective client.

The truth, as you likely already know, is that for most people the answer falls somewhere between these two extremes. While it may be that sticking to a script forces salespeople to sound overly robotic, having no script at all is not a recipe for success.

So the best sales call script is a loose outline that can be made to fit any conversation with any potential customer. To create this script, you must first know two things:

  1. Who are you talking to?
  2. When are you talking to them?

Salespeople and sales managers should have a clear understanding of who these potential customers are before talking to them. Why do they need what you’re selling? Do they know who you are or are they hearing about this for the first time? How does your product meet their needs and beat the competition?

You can’t create an effective sales call script without knowing who you will be talking to and where they are in the marketing funnel.

Once you know those things, your call script outline should look something like this:

Pique Interest

Right away, a salesperson should establish the value of the conversation. For the most part, the person on the other end of the line is looking for a way to end the call. It is up to the salesperson to create a reason to keep them involved. Lay out the basic value proposition in a way that keeps them engaged.

Ask Questions

Once you have a person’s interest, it is important to establish a rapport. The best way to do this is by asking questions to learn more about their needs. By listening to them speak, you can learn the proper way to frame the solution so that it makes sense to them. Different benefits or aspects of your offering will carry weight with different customers.

Ask for the Close

Once you feel confident that you have communicated the benefits of your product or service successfully, always make an attempt to close. Transition the conversation to pricing and the steps necessary to complete the transaction.

In closing, it is important to understand the likely hurdles you will encounter. These are the reasons potential customers may give for not wanting to close. An effective sales script will have rebuttals for each of these common hurdles.

Schedule Follow-Up

Not all sales calls end in a successful sale. That’s where the follow up comes into play. Once you’ve effectively asked for the close and still not gotten it, don’t give up. A follow up is a strong secondary goal for each call.

When you schedule a follow up, make it as specific as possible. Pick a time and method to follow up with this person when they will be ready to take the next step. In the meantime, there might be more information you can share with them to help make their decision simpler.

SEO: Mobile vs. Desktop

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As if the basic operating principles behind your team’s SEO strategy weren’t confusing enough before, people now perform a fair amount of search engine queries on their phones and tablets.

Google owns just over 60% of all searches, but nearly 95% of all mobile searches. And global mobile searches now make up close to 60% of all searches. Yes, more people are searching on their phones than one their desktops.

What does this mean for SEO? A lot, actually.

Google’s search results on mobile do not match Google’s search results on desktop. And there is a reason for that. The elusive ranking formula has been refined for mobile to take into account mobile usability and site speed.

If you care about rising to the top of the search results on mobile, and you should (given the stats noted above), you have to put in the work necessary to not only be a reliable, quality site in Google’s eyes, but you now have to work just as hard at making your site as mobile-friendly as possible.

And because the search experience is different on a phone vs. desktop, the argument can be made that showing up at the very top of the search results on mobile is more important. So the time to focus on mobile SEO is now.