The science fiction writer, A.E. van Vogt first coined the term “nexialist” – someone who was trained in “integrated science and thought.” A nexialist was able to see the connections between different disciplines that others could not see, was skilled in conflict resolution and had an uncanny ability to get people to solve complex problems and work together for the common good. That sums up what a great link builder can bring to a team.
A link builder has to embrace many skills and as the pressure to get quality links grows, then the more skills they need to bring to solve problems.
Many SEO professionals and link builders have found that HelpAReporter.com is a great way to get editorial coverage and even great editorial links for their clients.
But HARO is also great for writers and journalists who want to find real or unusual stories that they would not normally come across. Last week, in preparation for this column, I published a query looking for great examples of non-SEO tactics that had great SEO benefit.
SEO and High Impact Investigative Journalism
Dan Hurley is Director of Search Strategy at Terakeet Corporation, “One of our more successful campaigns leveraged the use of creating real, high-impact investigative journalism on one of our clients, a Connecticut plaintiff attorney specializing in asbestos tort litigation.
“Given the competition in the SEO space for this industry, we knew we had to reinforce the brand of our primary web property to garner more search engine authority.
We partnered with well-regarded Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalists to develop expose pieces on the asbestos industry and landed some impactful links in the process. Rather than simply rehashing tired content, we became a news source that was able to acquire authority based on the quality of our material.
“We identified Gary Cohn who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Journalism 1998 for his Baltimore Sun story, The Shipbreakers, which, among other detailed narratives, revealed the human hazards created by asbestos exposure in the disposal of retired Naval vessels.”
“Simply by working with Gary, we were excited to receive validation of our effort's credibility from tort blogs such as Global Tort”. Here’s an example of the link: http://www.globaltort.com/2012/04/mesothelioma-web-site-associates-with-an-investigative-reporter/
Focusing on recruiting a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist to create an investigative piece that would stand head and shoulders above competing content, pushed Terakeet outside their normal sphere of work – with excellent results.
According to CEO James Agate, involvement with Covenant House was a really enjoyable one, “it was about bringing clients together, rallying around a cause that we care about, and showing that we are human, not just link building machines”.
Since setting up SkyRocketSEO, Agate has developed his entrepreneurial skills – namely patience, persistence, and pitching.
“Patience is absolutely vital, building links takes time… persistence because some days it can be hell trying to build links if nobody is responding… pitching because if you can find the right hook for the right audience then there is far less friction. If you are pitching something that people want then the 'sale' isn't really even a sale, it's just a conversation.”
Nexialists on SEW?
Research into creativity has long recognized that stepping out of your normal sphere of working and embracing another discipline – even superficially – can boost creative output significantly. It would seem that nexialism as defined by van Vogt, has a solid basis in the science of creativity.
And there are many examples of budding nexialists in the columns of Search Engine Watch. Here are a few examples that bring different disciplines to bear on SEO and link building:
- Visual Storytelling: The Key Weapon to Content Marketing Jason Cormier explains that the power of visual storytelling is a constant and outlines with examples, the seven basic plots of stories. If you’re already producing video as part of your marketing, and your efforts are sophisticated enough to track resulting engagement and lead generation – watch what happens when your focus changes from just features and benefits to creatively telling a story. Hint: Higher levels of viewership, engagement, and sharing
- The Mayan Apocalypse Rules for MarketersThankfully, we all now know that the Mayan prediction that the world will end on December 21, 2012, and there isn't a thing we can do about it. But fear of being wrong didn’t stop marketers from capitalizing on the forbidding idea with movies, television programs, and ad campaigns. It's a natural inclination to want to tap into hot topics and cultural trends, and this event drew its fair share of attention from brands.
- How to Use Journalism to Create Context for Keywords & Content Research is one the most important elements in great writing (and journalism). And when it comes to keyword research, says Jessica Lee, you may have already put in the hours to create a comprehensive list. But without context, keywords are just words that only provide the first step in your content development plan. Lee explains how a simple journalistic trick can add that context.
- A Call To Action For Calls To Action Dave Schwartz ask do your consumers relate better to points of interest? Are they more concerned about the cut of the jean vs. the color? Is APR a driving factor in whether they’ll submit a lead? These are all questions you could answer instead of “Does ‘buy’ work better than ‘shop’?”
- 5 Ways to Use Video to Connect With Customers Lisa Barone says there’s a difference in seeing the power of video and truly using video to push your brand further and make it more connected. She’s not a video specialist but gives some solid tips on what video is capable of achieving.
- Online News Rooms Grow Up, Go Social, Get Optimized Lisa Buyer says that while most brands report having an online newsroom as part of the company website, only 14 percent of press releases were optimized for search and recent surveys indicate the entire newsroom is lacking optimization. Shocker? Maybe. But, smart marketers can take it as a digital smoke signal for SEO and PR to spark up a better relationship.
- Build Relationships, Not Links Guillaume Bouchard shows how tapping in to the study of human behavior can help us better understand people’s actions and build stronger ties in a post-Penguin/Panda world.
These examples and articles suggest that link builders and SEOs can draw inspiration from many other disciplines and add their own unique twist to create something truly memorable.
Image credit: Free Digital Photos.net
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!