One of the most common conversations that I have with my customers surrounds the idea that they need to create content with their competitors in mind. Common reactions include:
- "I don’t want to help my competitors!"
- "Why on earth would I do that!? My competitors will never link to me!"
- "Why do I even want my competitors to link to me?"
You may feel this way as well. It does sound kind of strange. After working in this industry now for about 13 years, I have learned something extremely important. If you can get a small majority of the people that currently rank in the search engines for the same keywords that you want to rank for, Google often considers you the expert.
Search Engines Want Authorities Appearing In Their Search Result Pages.
Think about the logic to this. Google wants to show its users the most relevant search results. Therefore, the pages that currently come up in the top 100 or so of the search results, are the sites that Google feels are the most relevant. So, if 10 of those 100 sites link to your website, with specific anchor text that contains the keyword you want to rank for, Google is obviously going to consider your website an authority on that topic.
Creating Something Great For Your Industry.
As an example, in 2007, I opened an Internet marketing agency with my business partners. We knew, that because the website was so new (brand-new in fact), we were going to have to do something really impactful if we were going to rank well for keyword phrases related to "Internet marketing agency". Obviously, there would be a large number of websites that had a lot of great links already because of us being in the seo service industry. We looked for "holes" in the content currently available… needs that maybe we could fill and we created a list of well linked to resource pages in the industry. We determined, through all of this research, that there was a great need for a link building chart. So, we created a visual representation of the methods in which you can use to build links into your website. We allow the people to download a high-resolution version of this in PDF format. Then, we actually put a price tag on it and allow people to purchase the chart in printed form.
Spread The Word About Your Awesome Stuff.
Next, we put together a list of websites that commonly talked about link building. We found their e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and other contact information and simply reached out to them. We said things like, "I hope all is well with you. We just wanted to reach out quickly and let you know that we have created a really cool chart that breaks down all of the different ways in which your customers can build links into their websites. We think that they’ll probably find it pretty useful and it could be a really great resource for you to be able to share with them in a graphical manner how you build links. Feel free to use it as often as you like. All that we ask, is that you mention it on your website and give us some credit. Have an incredible day!"
Within a week, we had hundreds of links pointing into our website. Today even, if you Google "SEO link building," you’ll find the chart somewhere on the first page of Google. Not positive, but I’m pretty sure we have not built a link to that page since we created the chart.
Make It Unique Or Better Than What’s Already Out There.
Now, you don’t have to spend the money or time creating and infographic, a laboratory, or anything like that. But, as long as you create something that is better or more unique than anything else that’s out there, you can have a winner!
Think about this! If you’re in the insurance industry, and you’re really great at sales, why not make a guide that contains information and links to every single insurance sales related resource on the Internet? Then, go to forums and comment on blogs that a lot of insurance salespeople read and tell them about it.
Help And Be Helped.
But don’t forget this. If you sound overly promotional and not very helpful your not going to get the results you’re looking for. Zig Zigler said it best, "if you help enough people to get what they want, you’re sure to get what you want."