Trust is everything in a relationship and without it a connection is meaningless and a bond throwaway.
So, how do you build this trust? Openness…… respect…… offering a quality experience. The funny thing is that it’s not just your girlfriend that will appreciate it when she can trust you, Google will too.
Trust is a significant and often overlooked factor in SEO
Remember the crazy girlfriend that cut up your suits one Tuesday evening before you came home from work because you smiled at the pretty barista. Those suits could be your site and that girlfriend could be Google. If Google doesn’t trust your site, you’re fighting an uphill battle.
Measuring trust can be done manually through examining a potential linking site’s backlink profile, or automatically via either Majestic Trust Flow (TF) and Citation Flow (CF) metrics, or Moz’s MozTrust and Moz Flow metrics. Both metrics use a list of seeded trust sources vs the number of citations a site has and base their rankings on the distance between the site being examined and these sources of trust.
Though not exactly the same, both are similar in that they have to be compared and a disparity in the metrics suggests a problem. The larger the disparity, the higher the likelihood there’s a lack of trust.
As an example a site with a TF 30 and CF 30 has a 1:1 ratio, which is a good thing. However a site with a TF 5 and a CF45 has a ratio of 1:9 which would suggest it’s very spammy.
Have you ever seen a site with only a few links outranking a one with times the amount and far higher metrics? Well, the reason this happens is that Google trusts that site and it has a higher ‘TrustRank’.
Sites with high trust in Google’s eyes survive negative SEO attacks without even flinching, they rank well for information they provide and they survive Google update after Google update, often going from strength to strength.
So, how do you increase the level of trust that Google has in your site. Well, there are a number of ways and we’re going to take a look at the link based ones that matter.
If you ever created an academic article you’ll remember using the references and citations and honouring sources.
Doing this backs up facts, helps people delve deeper into a subject and shows that any statement you make can be trusted. Any article or piece you create for your blog or site should do the same. It needs to cite sources and the more the merrier.
Linking out to authority, trusted sites not only creates a better on-site experience but also helps the level of trust Google has in your site. It’s easy to understand why. If you can back up your facts and statements with relevant information from authority sites then your content is likely to be a lot more accurate and of higher quality than one where there are no links and information could be just pulled out of the sky.
The information doesn’t even have to be editorial; you can add sources and references at the bottom of the content or page to back up your statements.
Of course, it’s not just outbound links that create trust – not at all! Links from high quality, high authority sites to yours matter.
These high quality sites are a handful of high quality trusted sites. At the very top of this pyramid are .edu sites, .gov sites, big news sites such as BBC and large industry authority sites. In an ideal world you backlink profile would be made up from these sorts of links.
BBC >My Site> Great Ranking
However, this isn’t easily achieved. However, getting links from sites with links from these amazing sites is a more realistic prospect. Placing this simply in perspective
BBC> Site we Post on > My Site> Very Good Ranking
We’re one degree away from a high quality source and because of this still getting a lot of benefit from the authority site. Needless to say that the more degrees of separation there are between the authority link and your site, the less trust there is.
Backlink profile matters more than metrics (to a degree)
Which would you rather a link from?
- Site 1 – PR2, DA30 with 1x BBC.com link and 1x .Gov Link
- Site 2 – PR4, DA45 with nothing of note and lots of blog comments
Well, if you’re looking for trust, you’re going to choose the first link even if the Site 2 has a lot more going for it on first impressions. By doing this you create a more trusted, resilient site with a better backlink profile.
Google has its own very visible criteria for trust in Google News. It’s pretty sensible when you think about it.
If Google is willing to include a site in its trusted news sources, then it’s going to trust that site as one that delivers quality news. If all other things are equal a site that’s in Google News is going to be more trusted than a site that’s not in Google News.
Like all the good things in life, getting a link from a site that’s in Google News isn’t easy. However, as Eric Ward always a mention, if a link is hard to get then it’s probably worth getting.
Trust is and has always been a big ranking factor and one that will help your site in a number of ways now and into the SEO future well past 2015. Utilising the above tactics around link can help improve the level of TrustRank Google has around your site and it’s certainly worth considering.
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?
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.
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?
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
- 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.
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.
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.
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 well 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.
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.
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.
Jordan 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