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As link builders, we can get a bit “stuck in our ways”. Sometimes we focus too much on the technical aspects of building links and forget that link building should be a creative endeavor.
By allowing ourselves to be creative we begin to realize there are numerous way to build links through a multitude of channels. One such channel is offline, in the “real” world.
Although links exist online, it doesn’t mean we can’t utilize offline strategies to build links. One of the best ways to build links offline is through events, and there are a number of ways to do this.Host an Offline Event
One of the best ways to build links offline is through hosting your own event.
While links are extremely valuable in terms of SEO, it’s simply not feasible to host an event just for the sake of building some links. But there are a number of other viable reasons to host an offline event, and if you already have one planned there’s no reason you can’t build some great links as well, especially if online visibility is important to your company.
However, these links don’t come easily and much like with traditional link building, you have to do the necessary work. So let’s go through all the different types of events you might already have planned and highlight the potential link opportunities.Host a Small Local Event
If you’re a small business, it likely makes more sense for you to host local events.
For building links, the main consideration is who you will invite. Some people who may offer link opportunities include:
Local media/News Team
Prominent Bloggers and Local Influencers
Members of Target AudienceLocal Media/News Team
Although it can be difficult to entice the local media to attend your small event, there are some best practices you can follow to attract media attention. If you can convince the media to come, it is likely you can acquire a link from their site through the coverage of the event. Here is an example of a local media site covering a local event:
These links are extremely valuable as news sites are typically high-quality, trusted sites.Prominent Bloggers and Local Influencers
Inviting prominent local bloggers and influencers is another great link opportunity. Bloggers are often overlooked, but they are important in today’s digital age and are often flattered to be invited and receive recognition. These are the people who are most likely to write a review or synopsis of your event and link back to your company/site. Here is an example from a local Boise event:
Of course, this is only possible if you identify these people and ensure they receive an invitation.Members of Your Target Audience
Finally, you need to ensure members from your target audience attend your event. It’s obvious that you should invite your target audience as they are typically the whole reason you are hosting the event, but it may be less obvious that link opportunities lie with this audience as well.
Although this group may not be as influential as the one listed above, it is likely that some members of this group have their own sites/blogs and could possibly write a review of your event (complete with a link back to your site). Remember to always monitor brand mentions, as you can reach out to those who cover your event but aren’t linking to your site.Sponsor an Event
Companies often don’t have the time, energy, or resources to host an event themselves, but still want to be involved in their community. If you’re planning on sponsoring an event, there are plenty of link opportunities.
If the event you are sponsoring has a “Sponsors” page on the event’s website, you will typically receive a link. For example, here is a “Sponsors” page for a local music festival:
This is both a great way to build brand awareness and backlinks. If you’re sponsoring an event, and there’s a page listing sponsors, it’s worth having a link and the brand exposure.Host a Large Event or Conference
Finally, if you do plan to host any large events or conferences, there are some outstanding link opportunities to go along with the brand exposure involved in such large events.
Much like with smaller events, it is important to ensure the right groups attend. This includes the media, prominent bloggers, target audience/customers, industry influencers, partner companies, etc. However, there are some unique offline link building opportunities here, including:
Invite Industry Experts to Speak
Give Interviews & Provide Quotes
Give Away MerchandiseInvite Industry Experts to Speak
Inviting industry experts and influencers to speak is very common when hosting large events. Make sure to leverage this when looking for link opportunities!
Those who speak will likely write a summary of what they said on their own site and include a link back to yours. For example:
You can even write a summary of their presentation on your own site or blog to make it easier for these people to link to you.Give Interviews and Provide Quotes
Another way to build links at large events is by giving interviews or providing quotes.
Not only will those who interview you link to you, but others in the industry will often link to the interview as well – which only further increases the value of your links. This strategy only works if you are already viewed as an authority within your niche.
Here is an example of an interview Danny Sullivan did ahead of his conference (SMX West), which provided him with a link from Moz to his site (Search Engine Land).Give Away Merchandise
These large events are the perfect place to give away branded merchandise.
Conferences are great for giving away merchandise because the majority of those attending will be within your niche or industry – or at the very least, interested in your industry. These are the people who you want talking about your company, as they typically share the same audience and often have their own websites.
By giving these people merchandise you can get them talking about your company, which not only means brand exposure, but can also lead to a link.
The key here is to give away things that people actually want and would be excited to receive. Give away something that has the potential to create conversation – something unique, that people would want to tell others about (and provide a link in the process).
There is typically a lot of merchandise given away at conferences so it can be hard to stand out, and I certainly wouldn’t suggest giving someone merchandise and subsequently asking for a link. However, if you give away something that excites people, they will want to talk about it.Attend an Offline Event
Much like hosting an offline event, similar link building opportunities are available through simply attending an offline event.
For example, you can speak at an event you attend, and get links from being listed as a speaker. Here is a link I got from speaking at SES San Francisco in 2012:
You can also get links from others covering your presentation. Here is another example of a link I received from Advanced Web Ranking, as part of their coverage of SES San Francisco 2013:
Networking at these events can also provide you with quality links. Find potential partnerships, build relationships with vendors, join an association – all of these can lead to links. Simply interacting with another company in a notable or memorable (and positive) way can sometimes lead to a great link.
Here is an example of a link Page One Power got from an interview my brother and I did with Bruce Clay Inc. leading up to SES New York 2012:
The interview opportunity came from a connection I had built through attending previous conferences.
Finally, you can write a review of the event and your experiences. There will always be an audience of people who wanted to attend the event, but were unable to. If you write an in-depth review of the event, people within this audience are likely to share your review, often by linking to it.
Here is an example of Linkarati receiving a link for its coverage of the Matt Cutts Q&A Session from SMX Advanced:Recap
Links connect one website to another, which means the majority of link building strategies must be implemented online. However, this does not mean it’s impossible to build links offline. Specifically, offline events can provide a wealth of opportunities to build links, including:
Hosting a small local event
Invite local bloggers
Links from members of target audience with websites
Sponsoring an event
Be aware of sponsor mentions (leverage links where possible)
Hosting a large event/conference
Special giveaways, merchandising
Opportunities through attending an offline event
Featured Image: Created by author for SEJ
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There’s no question people get most of their information online these days.
But, did you know people are also searching for local businesses just as much as they look up answers for what ails them?
A BrightLocal consumer survey found that 99% of consumers used the internet to look up a local business in the last year.
78% look up local businesses at least once a week or more.
What does this tell you?
The internet is the phone book of the 21st century. Remember that big, thick doorstopper of a book that housed every number and address in your local area?
And if you’re not in the phone book, you’re not going to get found.
It goes without saying:
You want your business to be found online.
That means you must get your contact details in an online directory – the internet equivalent of the phone book.
Even if you’re not SEO savvy, or if building links isn’t in your wheelhouse, don’t worry…
There’s a web directory for that.3 Benefits Of Using Online Directories
Online directories – also known as business directories or business listings – are an easy way for businesses to build links and draw traffic to their site.
Here are three benefits of using an online directory:1. Targeted And Relevant Reach
Directories typically index businesses by niche, location, or category and often include reviews.
When a person uses an online directory, they want to locate a business that is relevant to their needs – to what they’re shopping for at that very moment.
A directory makes it very easy for consumers to cut through the (marketing) noise.
By having your business listed in a directory, you’re increasing your site’s visibility, which increases the chances of sales, too.2. Trusted Links
Boosting your site’s SEO and rankings is a nice byproduct of having your business listed in an online directory.
If you are listed in a popular directory that many users trust when looking for businesses, and your listing is relevant to users’ needs, directories can benefit your SEO.
This can mean improved visibility and reach. You might even see some indirect benefits that help your SEO and site rankings.3. Cost-Effectiveness
Many online directories – for example, Bing Places, Yelp, and Foursquare – allow businesses to submit their information to their index for free. Some online directories, on the other hand, do charge a listing fee.
It may be worth adding your business information to a paid directory. But be careful.
Paying for links is against Google’s guidelines, so don’t pay for listings if you’re looking for dofollow links.
Even if a paid listing provides a dofollow link, chances are good you’re throwing your money away.3 Ways To Find The Right Directory For Your Business
There are many types of online directories out there. For example, you can find general directories, business listings, local listings, and niche directories.
Choosing the directory – or directories – that you want to be listed on isn’t like throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks.
As with all other marketing tactics, you need to have a strategy for link building on web directories.
Here are a few things to consider when you’re developing your strategy:1. Relevance
Relevance – and reaching your target audience – are crucial to getting the most out of an online directory. Relevance is also a factor that search engines consider when they crawl sites.
Are you a travel agency in Texas that specializes in road trips within the continental U.S.?
Then, don’t add your business to a directory for international travel sites.
If you’re not an international travel business, you don’t want search engines to associate your website with international travel. And yes, that can hurt SEO!
Choose a directory that is relevant to your niche, and the chances of reaching your target audience and boosting your SEO will be much higher.2. Domain Authority
When you’re deciding between online directories, consider domain authority.
It can be more helpful to get an inbound link from a site with high domain authority (but not always – learn more in The Truth About Domain Authority: What Every SEO Needs to Understand).
You can check whether you’re listing your business on a trusted, well-established directory by checking the authority using a tool like Ahrefs, Semrush, or Moz. They all have slightly different scores and methods of scoring.
It’s critical to remember that all “authority” metrics are third-party. Google does not have any kind of official authority metric for domains. High authority signals generally mean that the tool you’re using considers the domain to display all the right, “good” signals. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the domain holds better SEO value for you than others.3. The Right Features
Some online directories go into more detail than others, and it’s up to you to decide whether you want a simple NAP+W listing (name, address, phone, and web URL) or a listing that features photos, reviews, and ratings.
By listing your business on a directory with added features, you’ll encourage your customers to provide feedback and ratings as well, which is helpful to boost site authority and SEO.Get The Most Out Of Online Directories: Stay Consistent
Ensure every bit of your info, down to the last detail, is accurate, on-brand, and current.
Consistency is necessary across your entire web presence, including your directory listings, if you want to strengthen your SEO and build authority.
Your reputation will be impacted if people searching for a business like yours encounter errors and inconsistencies in seemingly small details like your hours of operation, your website URL, or your email address.
Bottom line: Don’t turn people away before they have a chance to interact with your brand or visit your brick-and-mortar.
If you do it right, listing your business on a relevant online directory is one of the best ways to build high-quality links back to your site, boost your presence, and bring more customers to both your virtual and real-life doorsteps.
Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal
5 Best Link Building Techniques for SEO You Should Try Today!
In this quick guide, you will be able to understand what are the best link building techniques and how you could take benefit from these techniques.5 Best Link Building Techniques 1)Skyscraper Technique
The skyscraper technique is one of the best link building techniques that will help you build quality links. This smart technique was proposed by Backlinko’s Brian Dean. To build links using this smart technique, you need to follow 3 major steps. It includes:
Find a content that is already ranking for your target keywords
Write better content than that
Promote your content
To begin with, you need to research your target keywords and find who is ranking for them. Here, you can search these keywords on Google or other search engines (for which you want to rank) and type the keyword. Now see who all are ranking for that keyword. Research all these content pieces and check how you can write a better piece of content than available pieces.
Writing better content than that
Promoting your content
Next thing is to promote your content. Here, you need to ask for backlinks from people whom you have mentioned in your content, sites you have mentioned, and to sites who have linked to similar content. Here, you can check sites who have linked similar content on their sites and you can ask for a backlink. Remember the links should be from authority & quality sites.2) Broken Link Building
The next effective step to building a link is to check for broken links on other sites and help them fix this. Here, you can try the best link checker tools to find and identify broken links on other sites. To do this, you can check those pages that have a lot of backlinks. For example, you can checklist articles as they tend to have a lot of links.
Once you have found the broken link on any page, simply contact the site owner about the broken link on their site and ask them to include your site’s link for related content. Here, you are helping other sites fix broken links and increase chances to get quality links from authority sites.3) Blogger Outreach
Guest posting is the next best link building technique that helps generate a lot of quality links for your site. Here, you can contact bloggers from your niche and ask them to link back to your site. To do this, you can provide them quality content that will be published on their site.
Thus, it becomes a win-win deal for both parties. You get the quality link for your site and they will get a well-researched piece of content for their readers. Here, you can also use the best SEO tools to research sites that could offer you quality backlinks.4) Forum Posting
Forums are discussion platforms where people ask for their problems and other people help them find the solution. While you can find dedicated forums across niches, it is best to find a forum from your niche and help others find the solution for their problem. Here, you are not only helping others to find the solution for their problem, but forum sites also offer backlinks to related sites that helps others.
You can find dedicated forums from many big names like Apple, Microsoft to dedicated forum sites for almost all niches. In addition to forum sites, you can also look for Q&A sites like Quora to build quality backlinks for your site.5) Blog Commenting
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Engagement tips to drive offline action – a not-for-profit campaign example
Source: All images: vInspired
If we’re not getting young people to take a real-world action, to volunteer, then we are just measuring digital outcomes – what some call vanity metrics.
Our recent research, ‘Online Engagement, Offline Action’ explores digital behaviours that can be harnessed to help young people discover the value of volunteering. We identified four digital trends that can help us and other organisations use digital engagement to drive offline actions.Four digital trends to help digital engagement drive offline actions
Our Summer event, vInspired Live, aimed to demonstrate the power that young people have online. A few celebrity supporters helped us trend on Twitter, but it was the ordinary young people who had the greatest ongoing impact.
The attendees were selected for their online influence – they were no Justin Biebers but some had large networks of fellow One Direction fans, others were music or fashion bloggers. What mattered was that their followers trusted them and that they were willing to use their social profiles to promote vInspired.2. Does curating beat creating?
There is a huge amount of content created online every minute. Why add to this river of content when you can cherry-pick a selection of the best information and organise it in context that is useful to your audience?
By filtering and presenting the best bits most likely to engage and drive action in your target audience, you can become a trusted source of information. Sharing the content of others, fits with the spirit of the web and increases this trust, as opposed to the hard sell of constantly pushing your own.3. Are intrinsic or extrinsic incentives better?
Offering an iPad as a competition prize can win you lots of new fans, but the impact will be short term. When you offer a prize that has monetary value, you create a market context – the supporter expects a similar reward every time they do something for you.
A more sustainable strategy is to look for the supporter’s intrinsic motivation: why do they really want to get involved? And reward that.
When the Humane Society International in the US wanted to increase regular giving they played to their supporters’ intrinsic motivation to save animals from testing. They added an interactive slider to their fundraising page, un-caging more animals for every extra $10. The redesigned page delivered more than double the monthly sign-ups of their regular donation page.4. Is the collaborative economy an opportunity or a threat?
The trend for individuals to share access to products and services rather than having individual ownership is seen by some established businesses as a threat. The recent reaction from hotels in New York against AirBnB – a community marketplace for renting out unused accommodation, highlights how serious some perceive this threat to be.
Charities too could perceive a threat from the recent popularity of crowdfunding sites. Donors might shift from giving to established charities, preferring to directly fund people running grassroots schemes in their local communities, and why wouldn’t they?
At vInspired we took this trend as an opportunity and created our own crowdfunding site. vInspired Igniter directly gives young people an opportunity to access funding, making an impact in their communities with their own unique projects. This crowdfunding model cuts out the need for the ‘middle man’ so donors can see instantly where their money is going.
🚨 Note: All standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits on July 1, 2023. 360 Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits on October 1, 2023. That’s why it is recommended to do the GA4 migration. We’ve also created a GA4 version of this post.
Google Ads and Google Analytics are both powerful marketing tools on their own—but what if you could get the best of both worlds by connecting them?
In this guide, you’ll learn why you should link Google Ads to Google Analytics, how to do it, and how to make sense of the collected data.
An overview of what we’ll cover:
So let’s start!Why Connect Your Google Ads and Google Analytics Accounts?
Linking your Google Analytics account to your Google Ads account has two major benefits that you wouldn’t be able to leverage from these tools separately.Observe the Behavior of Google Ad Traffic
Firstly, you’ll be able to track the behavior of the users that visit your website from a Google Ad.
For example, did the user visits other pages on the website? Or did they leave immediately? Are they more likely to convert than users who arrived from other sources?
You can answer all of these questions by importing Google Analytics metrics like Bounce Rate, Pages/Session, and Average Session Duration into your Google Ads account.
Thus, linking these two accounts extends your ability to track traffic and user behavior. It also tells you about the quality of traffic that you’re buying with Google Ads.Google Analytics Retargeting Audience
Secondly, you can retarget an audience from your Google Analytics account using Google Ads.
Depending on your requirements, you can create different types of audiences in Google Analytics and target them using Google Ads.
Apart from this, you can also import Analytics goals and Ecommerce transactions into your Google Ads account for better goal tracking. Similarly, you can import cross-device conversions into your Google Ads account when you activate Google signals.
So let’s see how to connect these accounts!Log In with the Same Email Address on Both Accounts
We’ll start by logging into both of our accounts.
🚨 Note: Make sure you are logged in with the same email address on your Google Ads account that you are logged in with your Google Analytics account.
First, find your Google Ads email address at the top right-hand side of the screen.
Your Google Analytics email address will be found under your account name.
Next, we’ll need to check whether we have the correct account permissions set for connecting.Check That You Have the Right Account Permissions
One major thing we need to take care of is to grant correct permissions.
Let’s see how!Google Ads Permissions
Then, check your access under Access level. You need to have Admin access level set up with your email address.Google Analytics Permissions
Go over to the Admin section at the lower left-hand side of the platform.
Under User Management, you need to have edit access to the account.Link Your Accounts Together
Check the compatibility of your Google Ads IDs.
Choose and input an account name in the Link group title field. This way, if you have multiple accounts that you connect to your Google Ads account, you can determine where this is coming from.
Choose where you want to pull data from. You are allowed to choose multiple views.
Enable auto-tagging to automatically pull data from your Google Ads account into Google Analytics.
You may also want to leave auto-tagging settings as they are, especially if you are utilizing UTM tags and you want to avoid mixing it up with the auto-tagging feature.
You may also want to try to link Google Ads and Google Analytics through Google Ads’ linking wizard.
So let’s go ahead and see how the data will look once the two accounts are linked!Looking at Live Data
Open the homepage of your Google Analytics account. You’ll be able to see all the campaigns and reports under Acquisition → Google Ads → Campaigns.
On the top of the screen, you’ll see the sales charts. It will show the number of Users vs. Transactions report of a particular timeframe for your campaign.
Going further down on the Campaigns page, you’ll see the different metrics of your campaigns.
For example, you’ll find the Cost and Revenue in this report. You’ll also see the Ecommerce Conversion Rate, Bounce Rate, Sessions, etc. for your campaigns.
Similarly, you can analyze and compare the results of different campaigns to increase their effectiveness.
For example, the bounce rate of a smart campaign can be considered good even if it’s around 80%, but the bounce rate of a shopping campaign will be considered good only if it’s really low.
You can definitely obtain revenue-related information from your Google Ads account. But when you analyze the reports with your Google Analytics account, you can make more informed decisions as you have a holistic view of data.FAQ What account permissions do I need to connect my accounts? What data can I see once my accounts are linked?
After linking your accounts, you’ll be able to see more data in both Google Ads and Google Analytics. In Google Analytics, go to Acquisition → Google Ads → Campaigns to view campaigns and reports. You’ll see sales charts, metrics like Cost, Revenue, Ecommerce Conversion Rate, Bounce Rate, and Sessions. You can analyze and compare the results of different campaigns to optimize their effectiveness.How does linking Google Ads and Google Analytics help with decision-making?
Linking the two accounts provides a holistic view of data, allowing for more informed decision-making. While revenue-related information can be obtained from Google Ads, analyzing reports in Google Analytics provides additional insights and a comprehensive understanding of user behavior, enabling better decision-making for ad campaigns.Summary
So that’s all you need to know about linking your Google Analytics account with your Google Ads account.
Have you started doing keyword research for your Google Ads campaign? Check out our handy guide on how to use Google Keyword Planner for SEO keyword research.
LinkedIn is expanding audio-only live events, first introduced in January in a beta test, to all users who have Creator Mode turned on.
Audio-only live events are LinkedIn’s answer to the success of apps like Clubhouse, and features like Twitter Spaces.
They were always open for all LinkedIn users to listen to, and now all users who turn on Creator Mode can host their own audio events.
In an announcement, LinkedIn states:
“Audio Events are a great way for creators to authentically connect with their community. When you host and attend an Audio Event on LinkedIn, your profile comes with you, allowing you to follow and message with other speakers and attendees who are also listening and engaging in the same Audio Event as you.”
Creator Mode is available to all LinkedIn users.
Users who meet the following criteria can host audio events when Creator Mode is turned on:
An audience base of more than 150 followers and/or connections
Recent share of any type of content on the platform
A good standing record and a history of abiding by community policies.
In addition to audio events, Creator Mode grants access to live video streaming, newsletter publishing, profile videos, and post analytics.
Since its launch in March 2023, LinkedIn says 5.5 million users have turned on Creator Mode, which has led to a nearly 30% increase in content engagement by users.Additional Information About LinkedIn Audio Events
Here are some additional details and features coming with the expansion of audio events on LinkedIn:
Audio Event attendees can now turn on captions for an event.
Improved discoverability of Audio Events by featuring relevant audio events in the My Network tab.
Users can now browse and RSVP for upcoming, relevant audio events from people both in their network and beyond.
When you attend or host an Audio Event on LinkedIn, you can follow and message the event host or attendees to further engage in conversation.
Featured Image: Giama22/Shutterstock
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