Getting Links Built: 5 Motivators for Internal, Non-SEO Link Builders
No matter how many advantages you have as an inhouse link builder, your ability to scale your link building efforts will ALWAYS rely partially on your ability to motivate decision makers and stake holders in your organization to capitalize on opportunities. Dan London's lament sums this condition up nicely: "How much control do you [as a link builder] have over your company website? If you have little, then [link building] will be tough. I’ve worked for a company in which I had to fight for every little change."
We recently interviewed 7 inhouse link builders on everything from most important tasks to inhouse link building advantages. Here's their take on motivating people within your organization to act on potential link opportunities.
1) Explain Results Using THEIR Measures of Success
The "R" in ROI varies greatly from department to department - in other words, make sure that you understand the goals of the people you're attempting to task, and then frame the benefits of link building accordingly.
Dan London lays it out: "I dealt with a team of bloggers who couldn’t have cared less about SEO, but when I showed them how it could make their posts be read by more people, they began to listen. I also made it easy for them to do so (I also did many of the tasks myself)."
2) Align Opportunities with Potential Link Builders' Strengths
Don't put your race horse out to plow the field. Don't make your copywriters churn through a list of directory submissions. If you have an opportunity of significant depth and value, make sure that you're lining it up with the right folks internally!
Here's Ross Hudgens with more: "Leverage their strengths. I’ve had our content writers do guest posts because it’s more fun than boring content creation and they’re good at it – so it’s pretty easy to get them to do. Similarly, if I asked them to do e-mail data entry, they’d push against me – but since I found ways to leverage their competencies to get me links, great things have happened."
3) Internal Recognition + Accolade Distribution
A public pat on the back does wonders for motivating others... Do you have a company email you can add mentions in? If not, even emails with CC's to the appropriate managers can really help get busy, busy people on board with their new, foreign and seemingly un-work-related link building tasks you've assigned them!
Here's Aaron Bradley's take: "The most important impetus to get colleagues on board is to identify any and all successes that they've had with link building. If a colleague has managed to generate a link, send them an email so they know. And copy others on that email, both to highlight the importance of link building, and to bring those who might not be enthusiastic about link building into the fold."
4) Education on Importance of Link Building
It's EASY to forget that once you step outside the realm of SEO that most people could not possibly care less about links and link building. Here's what our experts thought about the importance of education in task motivation.
Al Scilitani: "Education. You have to explain to the employees involved why link building is important and train them to identify quality backlinking opportunities. Once the campaign is executed, the results will speak for themselves."
Don Rhodes: "By explaining the importance of linkbuilding to my job as an SEO. Teaching them that every press story, donation made, community event that we take part in, contains an opportunity to link. Showing them that they are an extension of my abilities – (they too are linkbuilders)."
Nadeem Anjum: "It’s a long road of explaining many different things which are best picked up by experience."
5) Share the Metrics that Demonstrate Results
Show people how their efforts moved the needle, whether it's new sales, targeted traffic or even increased rankings. Bonus points if you can broadcast their results internally!
Here's Phil Buckley on demonstrating the impact of the non-seo link builder's efforts: "I show them results. Once someone gets a taste of success, they’re happy to continue."
Special Thanks to Our Inhouse Link Building Contributors
The Inhouse Link Building Group Interview Project: 14 Answers (Aaron Bradley)
In-House Link Building Survey (Phil Buckley)
Gonzo (Inhouse) Linkbuilding Survey (Don Rhoades)
In House Link Building Interview (Al Scilitani)
Inhouse SEO Link Building Interview (Nadeem Anjum)
Inhouse Link Building Interview: Dan London (Dan London)
Inhouse Link Building Interview: Ross Hudgens (Ross Hudgens)