You're sitting on a goldmine of untapped backlinks. They are the customers who have been with you for years, or perhaps decades. It's time to start developing those relationships to enhance your backlink profile.
While your competitors are utilizing their resources on low-value link building techniques, such as comment spam, social media spam, and link trading, your company could be focused on obtaining links with lasting value. These valuable links can lead to direct sales for years to come and build brand awareness at the same time.
Why are links from customers so important? Everyone in sales knows that normally your best new business is from customer referrals. Often those referrals are already sold on your product/service. In addition since these are the types of links Google is less likely to devalue they have a higher long-term worth. This is simply a method to obtain new customers and links at the same time. Plus, it can be used to jump-start a word-of-mouth marketing campaign.
Think of it this way. Would you choose a lawyer based on a reference from a friend or a late night television ad? Engineers at Google apply these same principles to their algorithm in regards to trust. Some links are given much more trust than others. Some links are deemed worthless and count for nothing. Google is always examining what types of links they should devalue.
Here are a couple ways to expand sales and obtain links from customers.
This is an easy way to start the process for a company that has been around for a number of years. Link recovery is the process of finding Web sites that have mentioned your company or product, then getting them to provide a link.
Want to improve the results? Offer them an incentive such as a discount off their next order, upgrade, or a free product.
Yes some may say this is buying links, but that isn't the case. The person has already reviewed and recommended your product. They simply forgot to provide their user with a link. It's simply enhancing the user's experience. Isn't that what Google preaches?
When was the last time your business asked customers to write testimonials or reviews? Create a call to action in your company's newsletters for customer reviews or mentions. Many people want to spread the word about brands or products they like. After all we are a consumerist society. This is also a great way to find your brand advocates.
The difference here is instead of publishing the review on your site, ask them to publish it on their site. It might surprise you to discover some of them have popular blogs and sites. Or they may even write for major publications. If you don't reach out and engage your customers you'll never know.
Improve the results by turning this into a contest or offering an incentive. Perhaps the top five reviews that send the most unique traffic wins a $500 gift certificate to your store. Remember once cost of goods is subtracted from the gift certificate it costs far less than $500.
Again, some will say that is buying links. But is it wrong to build traffic, sales, branding, and links all at the same time by traditional marketing techniques? I think not.
As you can see it is pretty simple to use your customers to build links and grow your business at the same time. As I always say -- good link building is just good marketing.
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