Businesses are constantly looking for new ways to market their name, brand, and products. But, online-based companies are finding that link building, paid links, and utilizing social media websites, like Twitter, are some of the most effective ways to market themselves. Even though all businesses are in competition with one another, there are different avenues that can be taken to be one of the best. Trademark Productions’, Dwight Zahringer, had the opportunity to welcome Debra Mastaler from Alliance-Link to the Trademark Productions Podcast Radio Show.
Mastaler knows a thing or two about link building. After spending over 15 years with a Fortune 500 company, she unknowingly created her own link building business, Organic Way Market. With Organic Way Market a thing of the past, she is currently President of Alliance-Link, an interactive marketing company that provides their clients with custom link-building campaigns and link training. Mastaler’s original link building business, Organic Way Market, was receiving more than its fair share of popularity, even though she had no idea what she was doing. Even though she no longer owns the domain, Organic Way Market provided her with a foundation in the world of link building.
“I used the Internet to look for things. And as I used it I began to understand that there was not a lot of resources online in one particular place for organic information. So I developed a directory called the Organic Way Market. I didn’t really know what I was doing at that point; I didn’t realize that I was making a directory. There was no Google yet.”
In order to gain a following, a strong customer base, link building is very important. But, there are many different ways to go about link building effectively. Using Mastaler’s basic tactics is critical to achieve success, and anyone, regardless of what demographic or geographic location the business is trying to attract, can boost their visibility online.
“Go to your Chamber of Commerce, and buy a membership so that you have the visibility there. You would join your association. When you join the association online, you get a link from your association. You would do all of the major directories. Directories are real important. They are people like Yahoo.com, Business.com, BestOfTheWeb. And while it’s hard to say you should do exactly the same thing for everybody, those types of things are foundational and everybody can do it.”
Unfortunately, many companies and businesses manipulate the link building process in order to get link popularity and higher rankings within the search engines. While search engines, like Yahoo! and Google have made it very clear that they frown upon such an act, it can’t be stopped. Even though there are individuals and groups who effectively manipulate the system, gaining link popularity is all about relevancy.
“I think part of the issue with link popularity, there are four components; one of them is link quantity, the number of links. Link quality. Some people equate this with page rank; it’s the quality of the pages that link to you. Link anchor text is the third one, and the fourth one is relevancy. Sites that are similar or complementary have a tendency to link out and to reference each other.”
There are many ways that companies try to attract link popularity and traffic to their websites. While some are more creative than others, some tactics are not effective. For Mastaler and Alliance Link, the start of any of their relationships between company and client is through surveys, which they have found is the number one and most effective way to link build.
“We send a survey to their customer base, and we’ll ask them some very basic questions, which is something any business should be doing occasionally anyway, just to keep a pulse on what their client base wants. All the demographics that go behind your products, all of the people, all of what they do, you need to know that so you can produce content or create content that they will be attracted to.”
In the most recent of years, social media and social networking websites have been one of the most effective ways that a company or business has been able build their brand. The company gains a following, and is able to reach out to a wide demographic of individuals, who may not necessarily be from the same geographic location. Twitter, one of the leading social networking websites, has been a great tool for research and identity purposes.
“Twitter is probably one of the best research tools now that we have out there. Your link-building is only as good as the research provides, so you have to find sites and you have to find partners and you have to find opportunities, and that takes a lot of time; it takes a ton of time when you’re online trying to figure out who you can approach or where’s your demographic or what can you create on your site that’s going to draw eyeballs.”
There are numerous businesses and companies who want to use link building and search engine optimization in the coming of months. In order to effectively add these techniques to their marketing strategies, Mastaler shares some tools and ideas to get these companies off to the right start.
“My number one tool that I use that I cannot live without are my alert services – Google Alerts. But if you sit down and go on the computer and just search for ‘alert services,’ many, many, many different types of them will come back. The other thing I can’t live without are my press release submission tools. PR Web is the one that I like the best, although I use several different companies. And if we’re doing content, if you’re creating content on your site, you need to let the world know it’s there, and the press release submission programs are the best way to get that out initially.”
Even though there are many ways that companies and businesses can link build, each technique and tool needs to be utilized accordingly. Not every tool will work as well for one company over another, but it is also dependent upon how it is used. Mastaler, who was a self-starter, shares some of her tips on how to get the most out of link building, and what can come out of it when it is used properly. Mastaler, frequently writes on Marketing Tools 24/7, her personal blog where she shares advice about link building.