5 Ways to Go beyond Links and Shares and Actually Generate Profits for Your Clients and Yourself

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could charge your SEO clients 100% or 200% more than you’re charging now while at the same time making them 100% or 200% happier?

Well…

It is very possible!

And today you are going to discover how.

Plus … when you apply the techniques we’ll discuss today, not only will you be able to charge more for your services … but you’ll be more attractive to new clients.

How you ask?

Well… getting paid more is simply a matter of providing more value for your clients.

The problem is, that right now… when you engage a blogger or a website owner, your aim is to get one specific thing: a link for your client.

And once you’ve scored that link… you move on.

But by doing so you are leaving 90% of the value that ‘linking partner’ can provide on the table.

For example…

Let’s say your client is a Boston-based crossfit gym.

And you’ve managed to get it featured on a “Top 10 Crossfit Gyms in America” article in the prestigious “Men’s Fitness” magazine (the following screenshot is for illustration purposes only)…

This is an awesome accomplishment by itself.

And the link is worth gold!

But what if you could arrange for the Gym owner to be interviewed by Men’s Fitness?

And get a 10 page article that only promotes your client?

Would that be valuable?

You see…

Stopping after getting the link is like digging a 100’ mine only to stop when you’ve found the first ounce of gold…

Instead, you should dig an additional two feet and hit the mother lode.

What to do after you’ve secured the link

Once you’ve achieved your main goal, use the trust and the relationship you’ve just created to set up a promotion for your client.

Depending on who the ‘link partner’ is, you can set up different deals.

There are more than 12 types of deals you can arrange for you client. And today we’ll discuss 5 of them…

#1 – Have your client interviewed by the linking partner

We’ve already touched on this…

Quite a few bloggers, podcasters and website owners regularly conduct interviews with experts in their niche.

If you spot such an opportunity… you can try to arrange that your client be interviewed by the linking partner.

This can result in

  • Additional links
  • Traffic
  • Leads and sales
  • A stronger endorsement from the linking partner

And can pave the way to bigger deals.

#2- Build your client’s mailing list by having your “linking partner” promote a training you’ve prepared

Have you ever heard the expression – “The money is in the list”?

Well, you can provide a very valuable service to your clients by helping them build their mailing list.

You do this by creating a thorough report or a high-level training video for your client and have the “linking partner” promote this valuable information to his mailing list.

Set it up so the traffic from the linking partner’s list is sent to an opt-in page on your client’s site where the visitor needs to enter his details (email, name, etc’) in order to get the training you’ve prepared.

And voila… you’ve just helped your client build one of the most important assets in his business… his list.

For example…

One of our partners has a popular newsletter for life-coaches.

We’ve created a specific training for his audience titled ‘Guest Blogging for Coaches’ and he promoted this video training to his mailing list, by sending them to this page…

And this has been an exceptionally successful promotion that generated a ton of traffic, leads and sales

Note: The key here is to create a training so valuable, the linking partner will improve his relationship with his audience when he sends them to this training. In which case you’ll be providing value both to your client and to the linking partner.

Plus… Once you’ve prepared the training, you can reuse it with many partners.

#3 – Set up a “Lead generation webinar” for your client

After you’ve created a relationship with a group of thought-leaders in your client’s field, you can set up a one-hour webinar where each expert (including your client) gets an equal amount of time to reveal their best tips and strategies on a specific subject.

This creates a friendly competition where every expert tries to outdo the others and results in an entertaining and useful event.

At the end of the webinar each participant can promote his own product or opt-in page and the only condition to participating is that every participant promotes the webinar to his audience as best he can (mail it to his list, post on social media accounts, blog about it, etc’).

Done right, this can result in thousands of visitors to each participant’s website.

This traffic will also convert well to leads and sales since the visitors were pre-sold on the product or service in the webinar

#4 – Set up a product or service promotion for your partner

This type of promotion usually requires a greater level of trust between your client and the ‘link partner’. That’s why we’ve only listed it as the fourth possible promotion.

You can usually arrange this type of a promotion after you’ve gone through one of the previous promotions we’ve mentioned… because, while technically this type of promotion is perhaps the easiest to implement, it does require that the promoting partner be willing to endorse your client’s product or service.

#5 – EVERGREEN PROMOTIONS

These are the highest level of promotions you can arrange for your client and they are usually worth their weight in gold.

For example…

If a linking partner has a mailing list, you can “convert” a one-time promotion you performed with the linking partner to a permanent follow-up message on his auto-responder sequence.

This means that every new subscriber that joins his mailing list will be exposed to this promotion, guaranteeing and endless stream of pre-sold traffic to your client’s site.

Additional types of promotions

The promotions we’ve discussed so far are usually referred to as ‘joint ventures’ and while this post is not the place, I’ve created a free training that not only expands on what we’ve discussed here but will also introduce you to additional types of joint ventures you can create for your clients. And make a profit for them and for yourself.

At the end of the post I’ll show you how you can get this training.

Turning these promotions to an income source for yourself

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you know that getting a new client is 10 times harder than selling additional services to an existing one.

You can (and should) charge handsomely for every promotion you set up for your client as well as any content you prepare for them in the process of setting up those deals.

And finally… as you grow more confident in setting up and executing those promotions, you can start charging your clients on a performance basis (on top of the flat promotion fees.)

For example you can charge your client

  • For every new email subscriber you add to their list
  • A small percentage of the sales your promotions have generated

Why this makes you more attractive to clients

Because you’ll be creating deals and profits for your clients, eventually, you’ll reach a point where your service pays for itself and even generates a profit.

And then … hiring you becomes a VERY easy decision to make.

What to do next

If you’re interested in learning more about joint ventures, how to set them up and how to profit from them.

You should consider signing up for the free joint venture training we’ve created.

Google Updates (Panda and Penguin) Explained by @Boggles & @JtKoene at #ClickZ

We are at ClickZ this week reporting some of the most interesting panels. And we start from one of the most popular topic: Google’s updates and penalties

Chris Boggs is first on the stage talking about the history of Google updates as Chris Boggs Penguinwell as the differences between Panda and Penguin updates

Fist Google algorithm was Boston followed by Panda in 2011. Penguin came out a couple of years later.

3 “Ps” of Google updates:

  • Panda hitting weak and (nearly) duplicate content
  • Penguin hitting unnatural links
  • Pigeon hitting local businesses

You can refer to both Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools to identify what kind of the penalty hit your site. Google Analytics is good for identifying algorithmic penalties (refer to the actual dates they were introduced and see if you got hit on that specific day). Google Webmaster Tools notify you of any manual penalties.

Penalty versus Update

When analyzing your traffic drop, don’t forget to pay attention to the seasonality, site updates and downtimes, etc which can result in natural traffic spikes and drops without Google’s actions having anything to do with it.

Identify Google penalties

Be proactive (track your backlinks, identify your on-page content issues, monitor your traffic) with identifying possible site issues (which can result in penalties) but don’t go crazy.

@jtkoeneJordan Koene formerly of eBay and now of Search Metrics is on stage next talking about his experience with Google’s updates.

Pigeon is a unique animal because it allows Google to adapt to our behaviors.

Trip Advisor is the biggest Pigeon winner!

Penguin vs Panda:

Penguin = drop of traffic and it’s an isolated event.

Panda = may be a slow decline (not as harsh) + tons of fluctuations (this behavior is also similar to a partial penalty).

What is Google Looking for?

Relevance and Quality

They need human reviewers to tell if they are doing a good job at providing both.

eBay has gone through many updates and filters.

Bottom line: You can be a big or a small site but you should be always looking at your content and making it better

So HOW do You Avoid the Zoo?

  • Understand the data (review it constantly)
  • Find the right support
  • Build in a review process
  • Test and learn

Google removing author pictures from search: Your input?

Last week Google announced removing author pictures from search results while keeping the author name. Seeing author pictures within search results was a huge competitive advantage, so no wonder this step was criticized by many authors who were participating in Google Authorship feature.

From the good news: Participating is Authorship has been easier…

  • If previously you could never be sure if your author markup will make it to the SERPs, now all you need is to have your authorship correctly set-up (which may be a bad thing too as, let’s face it, it’s easier to have for anyone now)
  • If previously you could only have ONE authorship snippet per SERPs, now you’ll all of them (if several of your articles have been ranked, all of them will have your name)

I have been discussing this issue around the web and have collected some opinions. My Google Plus thread has lots of great insights, please check it out:


 

 I especially liked this one from Shelly Cihan:

I support the removal. Knowing what a person looks like should not impact whether or not you click on a result in the SERP. It accentuated an already too vain society.

[Hard to disagree: Having an advantage in SERPs because your headshot looks nice doesn't seem fair at all!]

I have also collected some opinions from MyBlogU below:

Our interviewees were answering the following questions:

Let’s see what they think:

Q. Do you believe Google has done that to optimize for mobile devices? Why not? :)

David FaltzA. David Faltz (Founder White Rabbit Marketing. Search Engine & Branding Optimization (SEBO) Marketer)

I do believe that mobile probably did play some part in their decision to remove author images, but that is not the whole story for sure. They have been toying with author images for while now, and they have not gotten people to conform as they wanted. With low adoption rates by what Google would consider “real authors,”  and more people using it as a marketing tactic to stand out from he crowd, Google decided “enough was enough!” 

Swayam DasA. Swayam Das (Social Media Marketer)

Umm.. I really don’t think so ! Google always has a reasonable logic working behind their each and every move. So I’ll just wait and see how things work out on the mobile space! Mobile searches results tend to be location oriented so I don’t see much of a movement without any Authorship pics.

Marc NashaatA. Marc Nashaat (Enterprise Marketing Consultant)

No, that’s not very likely. Google uses device detection to decide whether to serve up their mobile layout vs. desktop and they could just as easily style mobile to exclude authorship snippets. I don’t think it’s a matter of consistency as Google has been preaching the importance of different user experiences for mobile vs desktop for years now. 

Paul ShapiroA. Paul Shapiro (SEO Director at Catalyst)

I was a bit baffled at the decision to remove the author images from the SERP. I was a found believer that when Vic Gundotra left Google, it was not the end of Google+.

This change however, had me second guessing the future of the platform. Surely, the author images were a HUGE incentive for Google+ usage. Why in the world would they choose to remove one of it’s most significant features?

I have a number of theories beyond the typical answer of it helping pretify the SERP or creating a better mobile search experience:

  1. Maybe it was negatively affecting AdWords CTR.
  2. Google wants more eyes on knowledge graph.
  3. Now that x number of people are using authorship, they care less about incentivizing it’s use or perhaps it started to lead to spammy usage.
  4. It detracted from the CTR of the ranking algorithm. Shouldn’t position 1 get more clicks than position 2? What if it weren’t the case due to an author image?
  5. Google wants to push personalized searches even more and the inclusion of images in those searches actually detracted from this. People would click on personalized search results much too often compared to regular results. They want them to be “blind” to it, by making it visually more integrated.
  6. Google is making big changes to Google+ and how it is integrated with other Google products. There are more big changes coming! 

Dave RekucA. Dave Rekuc (Marketing Director)

Probably not, if it were a mobile only difference, Google would only roll the change out to mobile devices, they’re smart enough not to treat their entire search audience as one unit.  I think what’s happened is a feature with good intentions wound up driving results that didn’t actually favor a better search experience, plain and simple.  Mediocre articles with author mark-up caught the eye in search results and good sites that were ignoring the mark-up got passed up.

I’m sure there are 1,001 conspiracy theories that believe that Google rolled out such strong authorship mark-up in their SERPS to lure contributors to Google +.  Totally possible, completely unprovable.  Whether it did or didn’t I think it’s fair to assume that Google + is here to stay and that ignoring authorship mark-up, even after losing the author’s image, is a fool’s errand.  We know the web is getting more social and we know Google is paying attention now, it’s easy to implement, I can’t see why an author should ignore it.

Q. Do you believe @JohnMu that will not affect click-through? Why not? :)

David FaltzA. David Faltz (Founder White Rabbit Marketing. Search Engine & Branding Optimization (SEBO) Marketer)

Absolutely not! Google is always trying to convince us they are not the big bad corporation, whose interests are aligned with ours. Though I respect John Mueller, I do believe this is just PR. There has been all kinds of testing done by 3rd parties already, that already confirmed author images increase CTR. How could it not have?! It was a fantastic equalizer in terms putting less emphasis on where you ranked on any particular SERP. 

Swayam DasA. Swayam Das (Social Media Marketer)

I do not believe in the fact that CTRs won’t be affected. Primarily because if I place myself in the Searcher’s position I would definitely click on results that had images beside them. To my eyes they serve as a signal of being genuine,  someone that holds authority.  For example, if I search for “diet pills” and amongst the 10 results I see a doctor’s pic beside a site then I’ll definitely click on that ignoring others. The reason is for a normal user he/she won’t be knowing which is an authority site.

Marc NashaatA. Marc Nashaat (Enterprise Marketing Consultant)

Not particularly, putting aside the case studies, common sense tells us that a result with an image is going to stand out more than a plain text result. When things stand out, they get more attention. Pretty simple. I’m also curious what these observations were based on; whether they were SERPs where all (or most) listings had authorship images. If so, it’s possible that you wouldn’t see significantly higher CTR’s than on a SERP with all plain text listings. 

It’s hard to come up with alterior motives for Google on this front, maybe they’ve found that authorship detracts from ad clicks, but that’s just entirely speculation. 

Paul ShapiroA. Paul Shapiro (SEO Director at Catalyst)

The first thing I thought when I heard John Mueller say that the removal of author images in the SERP wouldn’t affect click-through rate was “Okay, that’s easy enough to test”. I doubted that Google would want to make a false claim about something that is so easily tested. Someone will release a study on this subject and we’ll know the truth soon enough.

Dave RekucA. Dave Rekuc (Marketing Director)

I don’t believe that even a little bit.  On a relatively clean search results page, you’re going to tell me that an author’s image doesn’t catch the eye?  In eye tracking studies, human faces come up all the time as one of the first places the eye goes.  We’re definitely going to see a drop in CTR on our articles.  Everyone is losing the article picture at the same time and that may soften the blow, but not every search result contained the mark-up and that’s where we lose our competitive advantage.

Q. Please share what you feel about that? Will you still care to verify your content after this change?

David FaltzA. David Faltz (Founder White Rabbit Marketing. Search Engine & Branding Optimization (SEBO) Marketer)

Setting up authorship is not really not complicated, and less so if you are working with Worpdress. There are plenty of plugins that make it even easier to implement. I would imagine it will affect adoption and participation rates moving forward. I think for the most part author verification has been a failed experiment that has mostly been used by internet marketers. Google knows that and wants to take away yet another edge from us ;) G+ make be next! lol

Anna FoxA. Anna Fox (Blogger)

Google seems to be still showing up pictures in personalized results: Which means you need to seriously work on your G+ following!

The big news for personalized (logged in to your Google account) search is that _author photos may still show for Google+ posts by people you have in your circles. (h/t to +Joshua Berg). Every other authorship result now looks just like those in the logged out search example.

Swayam DasA. Swayam Das (Social Media Marketer)

This move by Google kind of coincides with the recent Google+ update! Personally I was wondering if this move is directly signalling a cancellation of Google Authorship in the near future. If that is so then I won’t be verifying my content. Has Google just removed author pics from search results or the entire authorship program? Depends!

Marc NashaatA. Marc Nashaat (Enterprise Marketing Consultant)

I don’t agree with the change, but I’ve learned to adapt to the whims of Google. I will definitely still be using authorship markup. If you believe in the future of the knowledge graph, there’s no reason not to. At the very least you’re creating structured data for your content, and that’s never a bad thing. 

Paul ShapiroA. Paul Shapiro (SEO Director at Catalyst)

I’m going to continue to apply authorship to all of my writing. It still gives me a sense of ownership (especially within search) beyond a simple byline. I also think there are advantages beyond the author image. People can click to see other things I’ve written write within the SERP. It affects personalized search results (probably more important than author images honestly), and it open a world of future benefits in semantic search and the possibility of agent rank, should it ever be used beyond indepth articles (which is also a benefit).

My gut is telling me this isn’t the end of Google+, but rather one change of many to come in how Google will interacts with Google+ and how the Google+ team functions as an organization. Interesting times are ahead of us.

Dave RekucA. Dave Rekuc (Marketing Director)

I honestly think it’s crazy to consider not verifying your content just because the short-term benefit of the author’s image has disappeared.  Google has proven a commitment to making Google + work and to making it’s search results more personalized.  They’ve created a way to structure your contributions across the web and personally build an authority that transcends domains.  I think any content creator would still be foolish to ignore authorship at this point.

Now, what’s your input?