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Giving Back to Get: 5 Ideas to Build Links by Helping Others

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You already have a strategy in place for link building, right?

Your plan probably includes at least one of the following link building tactics:

The above tactics aren’t enough, though.

If your link building strategy feels like it’s missing something, that’s because it is missing something.

Interacting with real human beings – being a part of a community and helping others – is always good for business, and should be a part of your link building strategy.

Here are five ideas to build links by giving back.

1. Be a Guest Writer

Guest blogging is one of the most obvious ways to build links.

While it does require a little more effort than other link building tactics (You actually have to write something! Gasp!), it is an effective way to increase site traffic and boost SEO.

How It Works

It’s simple. Guest blogging – also known as guest writing or guest posting – is when you write or share your own content on other relevant websites.

As you’re writing your guest post, incorporate a link to your website into the text, if backlinking has been approved.

You should also add a link to your site in your author or contributor byline.

Giving Back to Get: 5 Ideas to Build Links by Helping Others

What to Watch For

Keep in mind that backlinks from websites with a low domain authority might do more harm than good.

Before you agree to guest post or before you pitch your content to another site, do a background check.

Make sure you’re writing for a trusted site by checking their domain authority on a site like Ahrefs or Alexa.

2. Get Involved in a Greater Cause

Whether you’re planting trees, volunteering at a local shelter, contributing to scholarships, or hosting an online business seminar, your involvement in the community or your contribution to an impactful cause is important to your brand’s reputation.

You may find it surprising though that it can also drive traffic to your site and increase conversions!

How It Works

Get involved with a project in your community, or even with a national or worldwide project.

Many causes will have their own website, an email list, or pamphlets or flyers listing businesses including yours who are contributing to their campaign.

Share your involvement with your customers and prospects by publishing blog posts, updating your website, sharing on social media (don’t forget to use appropriate hashtags!), and using email campaigns.

By encouraging your customers and prospects to get involved, or by raising awareness of the cause you’re working for, you’ll establish yourself as a trustworthy company that has the community’s – and the world’s – best interests at heart.

Giving Back to Get: 5 Ideas to Build Links by Helping Others

What to Watch For

Understand that you’ll need to volunteer time and resources, and possibly money, products, or services.

Always remember the real purpose of your involvement with the project you choose.

While ultimately good for business, involvement in impactful causes is more about creating connections and benefiting your community than it is about earning a backlink.

3. Offer Free Resources

Everyone loves free stuff, especially useful free stuff that they can access with one click.

By offering free online tools and resources, your business will have an excellent opportunity to earn some quality backlinks.

How It Works

Create – or hire someone on your team to create – a valuable resource such as an ebook, a printable list or cheat sheet, an email course, a stock photo gallery, or a calculator.

These freebies are often offered as opt-ins, accessible once someone signs up for your email list.

Users will often mention your free resource without being asked (if it’s useful enough to be mentioned!).

Encourage user-generated content by requesting that your audience share posts or photos of your freebie in use in exchange for a feature, often in the form of a retweet, a regram, or a shout out on Facebook.

Giving Back to Get: 5 Ideas to Build Links by Helping Others

What to Watch For

Be open to updating and tweaking the design and functionality of your resource to keep it relevant and useful.

Also, keep in mind that your audience may not be interested in sharing or promoting your tool or resource.

You’ll still need to promote your tool online using standard marketing tactics. Promoting your free resource should become a part of your overall marketing strategy.

4. Share Reviews & Testimonials

Sharing reviews and testimonials for services or products you use may be just as helpful as receiving reviews and testimonials for services or products you offer.

Newer companies, especially, are trying to build credibility and site authority, so they will be glad to feature your review or testimonial which includes a backlink on their site.

How It Works

If there’s a service or product that you use and love, write a review or testimonial.

Send the review, including your business name and a link to your site, giving the company permission to use your review on their website.

Reviews and testimonials are often linked 1-2 clicks away from a website’s homepage, so they carry a good deal of weight.

Giving Back to Get: 5 Ideas to Build Links by Helping Others

What to Watch For

Even if a company posts your testimonial on their site, you’re not guaranteed a link.

Also, remember that inbound links from websites with a low domain authority could do more harm than good.

Find the company’s website domain authority on a site like Ahrefs or Alexa.

5. Ask & Answer Questions

Participating in forums or leaving thoughtful, relevant comments on other blog posts are valid ways to improve authority and increase traffic to your site.

How It Works

Your customers are on Quora and Reddit. Join the conversation there.

Ask and answer questions and share thoughtful feedback.

These forums are great places to market your website and build relevant links.

Likewise, regularly posting comments on other blogs who are speaking to your target audience is a great way to build links and lend authority to your site.

It’s also a community-building tactic that’ll pay off in the long run.

Giving Back to Get: 5 Ideas to Build Links by Helping Others

What to Watch For

Links shared in forums and blog post comments are typically “nofollow” links.

These links are not ideal, but keep in mind that your link profile should be diverse anyway, which will include nofollowed links.

Customize Your Strategy

High-quality, trusted backlinks will boost your site’s visibility and authority and are a huge help to SEO efforts.

Link building doesn’t have to be complicated.

When you’re giving back and helping others in the process, building links can even be fun and meaningful.

Some tactics will work, and some won’t. Test different methods to determine which is best for your business.

Summary

Timeframe: Month 8, then ongoing monthly

Results detected: 4-12 months

Average links per month: 10

Tools:

  • Domain authority check
  • Content (guest posts, reviews, and testimonials, blog post comments, forum participation, etc.)

Benefits:

  • Improve trust and site authority
  • Attract diverse links
  • Community-building

Image Credits

Featured Image: Julia McCoy
All screenshots taken by author, September 2019

Searchenginejournal.com

MARKETING

SEO Recap: ChatGPT – Moz

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SEO Recap: ChatGPT - Moz

The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

We’re back with another SEO recap with Tom Capper! As you’ve probably noticed, ChatGPT has taken the search world by storm. But does GPT-3 mean the end of SEO as we know it, or are there ways to incorporate the AI model into our daily work?

Tom tries to tackle this question by demonstrating how he plans to use ChatGPT, along with other natural language processing systems, in his own work.

Be sure to check out the commentary on ChatGPT from our other Moz subject matter experts, Dr. Pete Meyers and Miriam Ellis:

Video Transcription

Hello, I’m Tom Capper from Moz, and today I want to talk about how I’m going to use ChatGPT and NLP, natural language processing apps in general in my day-to-day SEO tasks. This has been a big topic recently. I’ve seen a lot of people tweeting about this. Some people saying SEO is dead. This is the beginning of the end. As always, I think that’s maybe a bit too dramatic, but there are some big ways that this can be useful and that this will affect SEOs in their industry I think.

The first question I want to ask is, “Can we use this instead of Google? Are people going to start using NLP-powered assistants instead of search engines in a big way?”

So just being meta here, I asked ChatGPT to write a song about Google’s search results being ruined by an influx of AI content. This is obviously something that Google themselves is really concerned about, right? They talked about it with the helpful content update. Now I think the fact that we can be concerned about AI content ruining search results suggests there might be some problem with an AI-powered search engine, right?

No, AI powered is maybe the wrong term because, obviously, Google themselves are at some degree AI powered, but I mean pure, AI-written results. So for example, I stole this from a tweet and I’ve credited the account below, but if you ask it, “What is the fastest marine mammal,” the fastest marine mammal is the peregrine falcon. That is not a mammal.

Then it mentions the sailfish, which is not a mammal, and marlin, which is not a mammal. This is a particularly bad result. Whereas if I google this, great, that is an example of a fast mammal. We’re at least on the right track. Similarly, if I’m looking for a specific article on a specific web page, I’ve searched Atlantic article about the declining quality of search results, and even though clearly, if you look at the other information that it surfaces, clearly this has consumed some kind of selection of web pages, it’s refusing to acknowledge that here.

Whereas obviously, if I google that, very easy. I can find what I’m looking for straightaway. So yeah, maybe I’m not going to just replace Google with ChatGPT just yet. What about writing copy though? What about I’m fed up of having to manually write blog posts about content that I want to rank for or that I think my audience want to hear about?

So I’m just going to outsource it to a robot. Well, here’s an example. “Write a blog post about the future of NLP in SEO.” Now, at first glance, this looks okay. But actually, when you look a little bit closer, it’s a bluff. It’s vapid. It doesn’t really use any concrete examples.

It doesn’t really read the room. It doesn’t talk about sort of how our industry might be affected more broadly. It just uses some quick tactical examples. It’s not the worst article you could find. I’m sure if you pulled a teenager off the street who knew nothing about this and asked them to write about it, they would probably produce something worse than this.

But on the other hand, if you saw an article on the Moz blog or on another industry credible source, you’d expect something better than this. So yeah, I don’t think that we’re going to be using ChatGPT as our copywriter right away, but there may be some nuance, which I’ll get to in just a bit. What about writing descriptions though?

I thought this was pretty good. “Write a meta description for my Moz blog post about SEO predictions in 2023.” Now I could do a lot better with the query here. I could tell it what my post is going to be about for starters so that it could write a more specific description. But this is already quite good. It’s the right length for a meta description. It covers the bases.

It’s inviting people to click. It makes it sound exciting. This is pretty good. Now you’d obviously want a human to review these for the factual issues we talked about before. But I think a human plus the AI is going to be more effective here than just the human or at least more time efficient. So that’s a potential use case.

What about ideating copy? So I said that the pure ChatGPT written blog post wasn’t great. But one thing I could do is get it to give me a list of subtopics or subheadings that I might want to include in my own post. So here, although it is not the best blog post in the world, it has covered some topics that I might not have thought about.

So I might want to include those in my own post. So instead of asking it “write a blog post about the future of NLP in SEO,” I could say, “Write a bullet point list of ways NLP might affect SEO.” Then I could steal some of those, if I hadn’t thought of them myself, as potential topics that my own ideation had missed. Similarly you could use that as a copywriter’s brief or something like that, again in addition to human participation.

My favorite use case so far though is coding. So personally, I’m not a developer by trade, but often, like many SEOs, I have to interact with SQL, with JavaScript, with Excel, and these kinds of things. That often results in a lot of googling from first principles for someone less experienced in those areas.

Even experienced coders often find themselves falling back to Stack Overflow and this kind of thing. So here’s an example. “Write an SQL query that extracts all the rows from table2 where column A also exists as a row in table1.” So that’s quite complex. I’ve not really made an effort to make that query very easy to understand, but the result is actually pretty good.

It’s a working piece of SQL with an explanation below. This is much quicker than me figuring this out from first principles, and I can take that myself and work it into something good. So again, this is AI plus human rather than just AI or just human being the most effective. I could get a lot of value out of this, and I definitely will. I think in the future, rather than starting by going to Stack Overflow or googling something where I hope to see a Stack Overflow result, I think I would start just by asking here and then work from there.

That’s all. So that’s how I think I’m going to be using ChatGPT in my day-to-day SEO tasks. I’d love to hear what you’ve got planned. Let me know. Thanks.

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What Is a White Paper? [FAQs]

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What Is a White Paper? [FAQs]

The definition of a whitepaper varies heavily from industry to industry, which can be a little confusing for marketers looking to create one for their business.

The old-school definition comes from politics, where it means a legislative document explaining and supporting a particular political solution.

(more…)

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HubSpot to cut around 7% of workforce by end of Q1

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HubSpot to cut around 7% of workforce by end of Q1

This afternoon, HubSpot announced it would be making cuts in its workforce during Q1 2023. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing it put the scale of the cuts at 7%. This would mean losing around 500 employees from its workforce of over 7,000.

The reasons cited were a downward trend in business and a “faster deceleration” than expected following positive growth during the pandemic.

Layoffs follow swift growth. Indeed, the layoffs need to be seen against the background of very rapid growth at the company. The size of the workforce at HubSpot grew over 40% between the end of 2020 and today.

In 2022 it announced a major expansion of its international presence with new operations in Spain and the Netherlands and a plan to expand its Canadian presence in 2023.

Why we care. The current cool down in the martech space, and in tech generally, does need to be seen in the context of startling leaps forward made under pandemic conditions. As the importance of digital marketing and the digital environment in general grew at an unprecedented rate, vendors saw opportunities for growth.

The world is re-adjusting. We may not be seeing a bubble burst, but we are seeing a bubble undergoing some slight but predictable deflation.


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About the author

Kim Davis

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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