Control the Links: Targeting People

Getting the people who control the links for your industry to notice your site is essential to top rankings. A dozen high-quality links from the right sites can drastically increase rankings and referral traffic. The trick is getting them to notice your company. Who and Where to Target First, decide on the group of people to target. Select a group who has the attention of the people who control the links. For B2B, this could be industry writers. A clothing retailer might target prominent fashion bloggers. A luxury resort could target travel writers. Next, ask yourself where these people spend their time on the Web. Where do they get their information? Do some research and put together a list of sites where they congregate. These could include industry news sites, blogs, forums, industry associations, journals, and newspapers. Now it's time to get their attention. Last time, I discussed creating a brand awareness campaign for link marketing. Here, I would specifically tailor it to the group you're targeting with a tool, widget, or resource. This should be something noteworthy and highly useful. How to Get in Front of This Group of People Take the list of sites you created and find out what types of advertisements are available. This could be anything from banner ads to PPC to sponsorships. Use these advertisement vehicles as a public relations campaign to promote the tool or resource to them. Some advice and strategies:
  • Geo-Targeting Ads: If you know where these people tend to live, target your ads to that area. Does your target group mostly live in major metropolitan areas with a high number of universities? Then target those areas.
  • PPC & Blog Ads: Specially use site targeting. That's an easy way to get in front of a specific audience. If you know business writers for your industry, read a specific group of sites for your industry -- target those sites.
  • Demographics Targeting: Do you know the group you're targeting is on average a female, between 35 to 55, living in an urban setting? Then use demographics targeting through your ad network. Remember, this isn't a general public relations campaign. This is designed to get in front of the people who control the links.
  • Smaller Ad Networks: Too often, smaller and lesser-known ad networks are overlooked. Check them out and give them a test run. If you notice a blog or site with a lot of unsold advertising space, chances are they're charging too much. A simple e-mail can get you a discounted rate.
Getting the right people to take notice of your company is a great way to build high-quality links. The trick is finding an idea to get their attention, and then exposing them to it. Remember, good link development is just good marketing.

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