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SEO

What is White Hat Link Building Techniques ?. The Complete SEO Developer Course 2022 [Videos].

Blog comments are a great way to promote content, diversify anchor text and build out a natural link profile.

1. Blog Commenting Is More Powerful Than You Think

Thats right — the original link spam!

Or, is it?

In a Google Webmaster Q&A forum, Matt Cutts stated blog comment links are perfectly fine. In fact, its a practice he uses himself.

I leave topically relevant comments on topically relevant sites, all the time. (Source)
Matt Cutts
Matt Cutts 

Blog comments are a great way to promote content, diversify anchor text and build out a natural link profile.

But it becomes a bad practice when you outsource, automate, comment on spammy sites and jam keywords where your name should be.

For example:

how-to-leave-blog-comments-for-seo

Heres how to do it right…

Step #1: How to find quality blogs

It starts with finding a high quality blog thats relevant to yours (or the site you plan to link to).

The blog comment links I build come from blogs I watch regularly and others I find on my Twitter feed.

If youre looking for topical niche blogs, use Google blog search + advanced search operators.

For example, lets say I wanted promote content for an eCommerce shoe store. I would enter the following search operators in Google:

  • summer fashion trends “comment”
  • summer shoe trends “submit comment”
  • summer sneaker trends “leave comment”
  • summer sneaker trends “leave a reply”

This command tells Google to find blogs based on your keyword containing the word “comment” in the page. This will bring back results of pages that have comments enabled on the page.

You can then check the Connekt Teacher rank for each of these blogs to identify which of them are worth your time.

EDITORS NOTE
To save your time, you can use Batch Analysis tool to evaluate the strength of these blogs in one run, looking at their DR or AR numbers.
Nick Churick
Nick Churick

Step #2: How To Get Your Comment Approved

99.99% of quality blogs will send comments to a moderator before going live.

Since you will be dropping a link, its important to comment the right way.

  • Name field - put your name there, not your target keyword! This spam tactic will get your comment denied every time.
  • Email field — any valid email address will do (real or fake).
  • Website field — I generally leave this blank. Since youre leaving a link in the body of the comment, it shows the author youre not trying to spam their blog.
  • Comment field — Pick one point from the post thats relevant to your link and expand on it.

Lets go through an example of a recent blog comment of mine.

A few weeks ago I watch a great post by fellow marketer Robbie Richards.

So good, it prompted me to leave the following comment (its long, but I suggest you watch it):

blog-commeting-done-right

The comment caught Robbies attention — he ended up Tweeting the link I left later that day:

tweets-on-Twitter

I landed a comment link on a high authority blog + additional social exposure. Not bad for a blog comment, right?

But wait, theres more!

A few weeks later, I got the following Tweet from Robbie:

robbie-tweet

I responded to his Tweet, which was featured in his next blog update, complete with a link to my site:

website-link

One simple comment set off a chain reaction of valuable events:

  1. A blog comment link to my content on Robbies site
  2. Traffic to my site from the blog comment
  3. Social media sharing of my content
  4. Increase of social followers, shares and traffic to my site
  5. A contextual link in Robbies round up post
  6. Traffic from Robbies post
  7. Invaluable personal brand exposure being mentioned in the same post with top marketing professionals

Not bad for a simple blog comment!

EDITORS NOTE
Im moderating comments on Connekt Teacher blog myself occasionally.

And I can assure you that a well-written comment with a relevant link in it that contributes to the Video, raises or answers an interesting question will definitely be approved here. 

Nick Churick
Nick Churick

2. Alert The Press And Make Them Link To You

No, not PR submission sites. Im talking about real press from authority news sites.

Real press is hard to get. Reporters are bombarded with coverage pitches on a daily basis. The problem is, 95% of those requests are irrelevant.

Instead of forcing your business to a journalist, try adapting their column to your business.

Step 1: Finding Opportunities

Finding the right opportunities makes the process easier. There are a couple ways to do so:

  • Start local. I run a Miami based SEO agency — Miami outlets are more likely to cover my business than Boston ones.
  • Niche down. What exactly does your business do? If you run a bakery, search for columns featuring food. If you have an app, search for columns featuring tech businesses. If youre a start up, search for columns featuring entrepreneurs.

I hunt using Google search operators.

Search Operator #1 — “site:”

Use this command when you know the site you want to search.

You should know the major publications in your city. For me:

  • The Miami Herald
  • Sun Times
  • The Miami New Times

Pick one and enter it into Google, using a variety of keywords to complement:

  • site:miamiherald.com local business events
  • site:miamiherald.com miami business networking events
  • site:miamiherald.com business spotlight
  • site:miamiherald.com local business feature
  • site:miamiherald.com business feature
  • site:miamiherald.com small business spotlight
  • site:miamiherald.com entrepreneur spotlight

This search operator tells Google to comb the Miami Herald and bring back pages with the keywords that follow.

The keywords Ive chosen are some Ive had success with. I encourage you to experiment with others to find one aligning with your business.

Example:

google-command-1-example

Search Operator #2 — “inurl:”, “intitle:”

Use these command when you dont know sites to target.

This scenario happens if youre an agency servicing an out of state client (i.e. a Boston agency looking for press on a Miami based client).

Entering “inurl:” or “intitle:” into the search bar tells Google to return results containing the keywords in the URL string or page title.

Some examples:

  • inurl:miami business spotlight
  • intitle:miami business spotlight
  • inurl:miami local business feature
  • intitle:miami local business feature
  • inurl:miami local business spotlight
  • intitle:miami local business spotlight

Example:

search-operator-2

EDITORS NOTE
Connekt Teacher Content Explorer will help you find the top-quality opportunities to spwatch the word about your business.

Enter a keyword or phrase and discover the most shared and linked-to content on relevant resources.

Nick Churick
Nick Churick

Step 2: Aligning Your Content

Finding opportunities is the easy part. If you really want the link you have to fit your business to their column.

Heres a recent example (NOTE: the news outlet chose to remain private, as they didnt want an influx of requests).

After using the search operators outlined above, I came across a local outlet that ran weekly features of networking events and speaking engagements.

news-sites-links

In order to get into the publication, I needed to align my content to theirs.

From time to time I give free marketing seminars for local businesses. Theyre a great way to meet potential clients and provide value in the community.

I didnt have one planned, but Id gladly set one up for free press!

Just like that, I had a relevant pitch.

I realize, not all of you watching this can launch a seminar at the drop of a hat. Here are some client examples that landed links:

  • Bakery — We found a journalist covering businesses that give back to the community. We set up a food drive for local shelters in the area and contributed a ton of baked goods.
  • Bar / lounge — We found a journalist covering innovative business ideas. We launched an initiative that gave customers 5% off of their bill if they Instagrammed a photo of their favorite drink and tagged the location of the bar.
  • Mobile app — We found a journalist covering entreprenuers that were born, raised and educated within the city. No extra marketing efforts needed!

Step 3: Submit a Press Release

This part isnt required, but it helps.

A reporter always asks for more information. I find sending them a link to an online press release shows them youre making a conscious effort to drum up press, not just mooching links.

Screenshot of a press release from a previous seminar we gave.

Screenshot of a press release from a previous seminar we gave.

There are hundreds of free press release submission sites — any will do!

Step 4: Reaching Out

Some sites provide email addresses, some dont

finding-contact-info

If they dont, track them down on LinkedIn. A simple Google search should do the trick:

Author Name + LinkedIn + News Publication”

Make sure to connect before sending a message. After they accept, send them a brief message, not a pitch! If theyre interested, they will respond.

Heres my go to:

If they like what you have to say, they should respond with their contact email.

Heres the follow up email I sent after the LinkedIn message:

real-link-news-outreach-email

And her response:

real-news-link

From there, I sent her the link to the press release as well as the page on my site.

Two weeks later, she included my business in her update.

Getting the link was a lot of work, but well worth it.

webris-analytics

Just 3 hours after the link went live, I received 126 quality visits, including 2 leads, both of whom I secured as clients.

3. Networking With Results In Mind

Networking = link outreach, version 2.0.

I charge clients by the hour so I keep close tabs on work performed. Over the last 3 months, heres my data:

  • Broken link building: finding sites with broken links, emailing them to notify and giving them a link with similar content to fix it. 
    • 567 emails sent, 23 links placed (4% success rate)
  • Updated content link building: finding sites with similar content, identifying links to dated content, emailing them to notify and giving them a link with more relevant content to replace it. 
    • 987 requests for links; 13 successfully placed (1.3% success rate)

This wasnt always the case. When I first started using white hat techniques success rates were as high as 15%.

Times have changed.

68% of companies say content marketing is their top priority. Theyre spending money and resources to create engaging content for their audience.

Finding a broken link in their page doesnt qualify your content to replace it.

  • Theres old sales quote that applies perfectly to this situation:
  • People do business with people they know, like and trust”.

Its the same with linking. Websites link to sites they know, like and trust.

Thats where networking comes in.

Link outreach targets contact emails scraped from a long list of sites.

Networking targets the people behind the content. By simply connecting social media you have a number of ways to get their attention the right way.

The success rates Ive had using networking techniques is astounding:

93 requests; 65 successfully placed (70% success rate)

Heres how you can do it too…

Step 1: Finding Opportunities

The best place to start is with sites that do link round ups. These sites are actively seeking links to share so success rates are always higher.

Once again, use advanced search operators to identify opportunities.

  • your keyword “top posts this week”
  • your keyword “monday link round up”
  • your keyword “top posts this month”
  • your keyword “friday link round up”
  • your keyword “weekend link round up”
  • your keyword “best posts of the week”
  • your keyword “best posts of the month”
  • your keyword “best Videos of the week”

Also, use Googles “Search Tools” feature to select content posted in the last month:

link-roundups

You want to make sure that website is actively posting round up updates.

EDITORS NOTE
Again, Content Explorer will make your search more efficient.

Content Explorer will show you the numbers of social shares, referring domains, and traffic these link round-ups are getting. From these numbers you will easily decide if the result is worth targeting. 

Nick Churick

Step 2: Connecting

Using the search operators you should be able to find a few dozen targets. Resist the urge to email them directly!

99% of sites will list their social media profiles in the author box. Pick a couple platforms and connect.

link-roundups

  • I like LinkedIn because of the ability to write messages. I always like to drop a nice note when connecting:
  • Hey [name here],
  • Just finished your Video on [site.com]. Love your work!
  • -Ryan

Its an easy way to break the ice and let them know you exist.

Step 3: Engaging

Engaging with their content does 2 things:

  1. Provides value: by re-Tweeting and sharing youre spwatching their contents reach. If you have a decent social media following, you can help drive quality traffic to their site.
  2. Grabs attention: by re-Tweeting and sharing youre getting their attention. Every time my links are shared I check the source. This often leads to me poking around their profiles and checking out their sites.

I like to re-Tweet, share, comment and interact with their content at least once a week for a month. In my experience, this is enough time to get their attention and recognize your name.

Part 4: Requesting a link

Now, the ice is broken. Feel free to reach out with a request to be featured.

Continuing the example from above, I chose to reach out via LinkedIn:

link-networking

A few weeks later, I published a piece of content I thought would be a good fit for his round up. I Tweeted him the link.

link-networking-2

Later that day, I noticed an increase in referral traffic.

link-netoworking-3

I checked the source:

secured-link

Link secured!

Closing

Im still learning the white hat techniques.

While white hat techniques are more work, they provide better results. If you put in the time and effort, your results will reflect it!

Would you argue with that?

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