Building links is tedious work, whether you enjoy it or not. I’ve done almost every form of SEO at one time or another, and I can truly say that link building is the absolute most time-consuming (and occasionally boring) bit. The results can be amazing, but you definitely have to work hard to see them. If you haven’t yet experienced link builder burnout, trust me…you will soon. Last month I wrote about Shaking Up Your Link Building Efforts so I thought I’d continue on with our two main methods for overcoming obstacles in our day to day efforts. They’re both super easy.
1. Calculate Your Response and Conversion Rates
Calculating your response and conversion rates is a great way to identify areas that need improvement. It’s very easy to do yet it may not be the first thing you think of when you’re wondering why no one is giving you a link.
To give you an example of why this analysis is so important, we analyze the initial and secondary response rates first whenever a link builder is having trouble getting links because this can tell us where things are going wrong. If the initial response rate is high and favorable (meaning we aren’t being told where to shove it) but the secondary response is negative, this tells us where the breakdown occurred and we’re more likely to be able to fix it. If the initial response rate is incredibly low, we’d be able to look at the initial approach and rework it.
If we did not differentiate between the initial and secondary response rates, we would waste a lot more time trying to find the exact location of the problem. With regards to conversion, if we see very high initial and secondary response rates yet low conversion rates, we’d again have a much better idea of where the breakdown occurred. All in all, separating rates out like this will save you time in the long run as you can more quickly zero in on the problem (and hopefully fix it.)
Here’s what we do to analyze our rates.
1. Record initial response rates from various sources (email, phone, social media, contact form, other.)
2. Record secondary response rates for the various sources.
3. Record conversion rates for the various sources.
Seriously, seriously easy.
It’s also helpful to record the “I Hate You and You’re Ruining the Internet” response rates.
With this information you can see which methods have the highest response rates and conversion rates (for us it’s email) and you can look for ways to improve the ones that aren’t doing so well.
2. Let Someone Proofread Your Work
Remember how your teachers and professors used to beg you to let someone else proofread your papers, because it’s difficult to see your own errors? Show your emails to another link builder, or anyone else who’ll read them and give you an honest opinion. My link builders are cranking out emails all day, and even the most grammatically sound people will screw up here and there. Depending upon the recipient’s level of anal-retention, he or she may be 100% turned off by errors. If you use “your” when you meant “you’re” then while you’re probably also totally normal, you’re also likely to annoy certain picky types.
If your email thread contains totally contradictory information (which can happen if you’re dealing with loads of responses every day) then you’re going to confuse and put people off. These types of errors are much more obvious to someone who hasn’t written the emails, trust me. If you negotiate via phone, have someone else listen in and offer advice on where you could be going wrong. Just make sure the person you choose isn’t doing ten times worse than you are, naturally.
As you can see, there’s no magic here. We’ve found that in the quest for links, people move forward and get into the rhythm so they don’t always want to slow down and examine what they’re doing. However, it’s a very small amount of time to spend on something that could definitely pay off when those links start rolling in.