Has anybody used an effective backlinks program or thought of setting one up for Webflow users?
I'm about to.
It should work, but you have to take care.
Grand rules that are more common sense rules
- it can't be too aggressive (not too many links)
- it can't be too cheap (or that means it's all automated and maybe too agressive)
- the service must have a good reputation
Backlinks services are of two kinds
- buy links. One fr service I identified https://soumettre.fr/
- recommended: buy unique, specifically written articles with links to your site. those articles are published on sites that have the same purpose or theme than your site. One fr/de service I identified http://www.rocketlinks.fr/
These days, you have to go out and get links... do the "leg work" or hire someone to do it. If you get caught up in a link-farm scandal now, Google may never allow you to recover and then your brand is dead. You get to start all over. Maybe a good first step would be to get on Buzzsumo and find some of the key or 2nd tier "influencers" in your vertical and ask them if you can write a guest blog post or have them do one for you. Guest blogging isn't as popular or give as much "lift" as it used to, but it may be worth researching for your market(s).
Just my 2¢.
Be very keen to see your set up once it's done Vincent!
We're only resorting to these services when a client has a very specific goal. And I couldn't stress enough the ideas that @itbrian40 expressed. For no reason should you use a shady or too-good-to-be-true service. There is no magic and you need to earn the reputation. It takes efforts and time and you can only pay someone to do it for you. Thanks @itbrian40 for saying it clearly.
What we do on a very regular basis is producing unique, specific, on-topic content to improve the reputation of one site. It takes time, dialog with the client, identification of the good writer, crafting the structure...
I have an example. This site is supposed to be a one-pager for a group of dentists. www.cabinet111.fr
After the site was up, they wanted to catch the first place on Google for when someone search their speciality (parodontologie) and the city. So we built a structure of 5 pages using the silo technique. Basically the home page of unique content links to the home and to 2 groups of 2 pages. (silos) In each group, pages link to each other and to the home of unique content and to the home of the site but using an anchor, in order not to increase the duplicate links count.
And we have placed on unique link in the one pager, to the home of unique content.
All of the editorial pages of unique content have been written by talented, trains SEO writers. They are not meant to be read by the public but they are not hidden either... They're nicely styled so they can be browsed even if it's not the purpose of the site to lead people to them.
- Home of the site : www.cabinet111.fr
- Leads to Home of the unique content : http://cabinet111.fr/implantologie-parodontologie
- silo 1 article 1 http://cabinet111.fr/soins-gencives
- silo 1 article 2 http://cabinet111.fr/notions-implantologie
- silo 2 article 1 http://cabinet111.fr/notions-parodontologie
- silo 2 article 2 http://cabinet111.fr/remboursement-parodontologie
Here's the structure:
And the result after one week only, we're first for the keywords we chased:
Now we're working to have the Google Pro profile on the right to show up instead fo the one from a concurrent. This relies on reputation so backlinks, clients ratings etc... This takes a bit more time.
We're also second on keywords we didn't specifically chased but not yet in the map... that also takes a bit of time and increase of reputation
What Vincent is doing here for you is HUGE. Not that you don't get that, but I want make sure you understand that. THIS, right here, is the what and the why of how great the Webflow community is compared to some other platforms, whose members would not go to this trouble to show you this. Vincent is taking you through this process: from a top-down, 5,000 foot view, to "silos" concept model, to build, to proof and then to projected goal(s). In my experience, in years of digital marketing (DM), few people have understanding of this path and how you have to develop it. It's not the only path, but it is their path, they own it and built a strategy around it and best of all... it's working and working super fast too! Not everyone gets these results, especially within a week! Organic SEO takes time... sometimes months (depending on your market) to see even small movements in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), so this is exponential progress. Note in the screen grab of SERPs page above, Vincent's team has gone with a great long-tail & local keyword strategy. You should consider developing this too because getting real, organic backlinks can be difficult. Even if your markets allows growth hacking within Social Media and you're actually good at it.
Since getting on these forums, some people have complained directly to me about how I write my site reviews because I always bring the practicality and the importance of site structure, content, and the engagement of that content, to light. Initially, I tend to ignore all the "dancing baloney" (Back in the 90s this is what we called pointless animated gifs with sparkling unicorns and rainbows). I'm looking for what the site needs to achieve and if it's serving that purpose, bells and whistles aside, unless they are required due the job. Some people don't appreciate me for this, but what you're seeing here is an end result of that type of critical thinking.
As you may know, these days domain and page authority are very influenced by backlinks, thus I'm assuming that is why you're interested in getting more or at least it should be a motivator for you. Want to see how the web works vs. how we think it works? Go to Moz's Open Site Explorer and input www.cabinet111.fr into the search and brace for impact! Woah! Whaaaat? A score of 1 and 1 in Domain and Page Authority? Yet they are killing it in the SERPs! Once more, look at #3 in the SERPSs (Vincent's client holds the #2 position as well) and input dr-guillaume-dutreuil.chirurgiens-dentistes.eu into Open Site Explorer... 11 in Domain and 25 in Page! A prime example of the fact that we don't know what we don't know until we do the "leg work"... until we do our research we are clueless! Many things could be happening to create this situation. Vincent's team has no doubt done their homework... even if that homework revealed that the former #1 position holder sucked at keyword choices and it was an easy win... which I'm pretty sure it wasn't.
So, my advice, perhaps unsolicited, is to not take anyone's word for it on how something works on the web. Read what you want or feel that you need to read, but test the theories and "facts" in your own backyard! Chase it around the room and beat the crap out of it. That's what we do in CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) and martial arts to see what REALLY works! I feel like that's the best approach because the fact is that there are no 110% "facts" when dealing with the web!
Just my usual 2¢.
Vincent, you and your team are killing it! Nice work! and most of all: Thank You for sharing this!
Absolutely blown away with your response @vincent - thank you very much for showcasing this - one of the many reasons I love the Webflow community!
Additional thanks to @itbrian40 - very thankful for you both and your input in this discussion. 100% agree, there is so much out there in relation to SEO and how to do it best. I'll definitely take on board your advice!
Oh my @itbrian40 I don't know what to say... Thanks for writing that, it's going to make much more than my day
The team just read the message and we're all speechless. SEO is not a science and we progress one step after another. Validation, recognition is not always there. You took the time to analyze, in depth, and validate our concept, thanks a ton for that.
@itbrian40 @DylanUrquhart you have to understand that I've personaly come a long way to SEO. For the beginning of SEO, I hated it. That's from an era where people would fill up pages of keywords, followed by an era where everything was artificial and cheating. Until 2 years ago I rejected it, refused to say good things about it, didn't want to have anything to do with it. Thanks to people on my team I've seen the light. How natural, semantic it has become. How interesting it can be to work on. How proud of a work and unique content put in place you can be. How nice it is to see sites getting traction, for a good reason, and in a sustainable way.
Hence my enthusiasm to share. When I write a wall of text on your post, I actually talk to my past self, the one that use to hate SEO.
Well, it's certainly been a rough ride for SEO. Back in 1999-2001 we used a program called Web Position Gold. It helped with keywords and other stuff and did some things right, others rather shady, and more than less were BS tricks. Anything that worked. I've run into the same things you're talking about... "stuffing", "masking" and cheating until Google updated with Panda and Penguin algorithms, it was the wild west. In 2005 we got Urchin for some mildly useful analytics, which helped... via buyout, that later became Google Analytics ga.js (legacy) and then Google Universal Analytics (analytics.js) which is much better, but the base reports are still as useless after three minutes in the 10,000 foot view. Again... leg work, customization in dashboards, views, goals and regX are all keys to better data there, as you may well know, but just injecting that for @DylanUrquhart and who else reads my crap for possible reference.
In 2011, I left a good full-time job to become a Digital Marketer (DM) and sandwiched in was SEO. Got some certs in this and that and went to work. My wake up call: These days many people (business owners) are gun shy and in the same camp you used to be in @vincent .. they hate SEO and don't want to hear about it! Fact is, by now, if you've owned or run a business in the last 5 - 10 years, you may been ripped off by an SEO consultant or firm. Often this has been an expensive lesson and that still stings years later. So much, that I had one client who refused to call it SEO, she had to call it "Social Media" because she was so scared by the negative experience! Others came and followed in her wake. The jam was, much like someone's new girlfriend or boyfriend who had been hurt badly by an ex, they wanted me to make it "right". Take one for the team and work on the cheap. Not that you don't see this want for industry accountability in other professions, but people seemed really angry because the scams were simple and they still didn't see it coming. One of the things about organic (vs. paid) SEO is that it (usually) takes time to "proof"... up to three months. And, sometimes, like faith/religion, if can be hard to prove true or false. People get frustrated with SEO because they think that the efforts are expensive and aren't working fast enough as they think they should be.
So, now I try set expectations first. Give a timetable to let things marinate and simmer. Spend time with key players in the Co. and get 500 keywords working and boil them down. They can mess with their email campaigns all day, and maybe tweak some broad match keys, but otherwise just analyze what is or is not happening. Getting "traffic" doesn't me shit if they aren't converting. Keyword discovery is the only time I really want to see c-level or business owners in the room or over my shoulder. Most think they do, but don't know much about web design, DM, content or audience... go sit down, this is why you pay us! We got this, brah!
I also don't push people into paid search. In fact I usually go into to AdWords and kill their malformed campaigns, sometimes, permanently. But that's another post for another time... I already overshot the runway on this one by several paragraphs!
Kudos to you and your team @vincent! Well done Sir!
Glad you mentioned that you used to hate SEO, as did I.
For a while there it seemed like a scammy job to work in SEO. But as you mentioned, over time it has become more about the user experience and just making better websites and content so users will actually use and share it. Glad there is such an element of skill and knowledge to it now, making sure the jobs in the field aren't lost to your everyday users, like Facebook has done.
@itbrian40 - agree with what you say about rip-off merchants. Think the predators out there made a meal of business owner's misunderstandings of SEO and have created a bad name for it. I think content marketing is the new word for SEO today, but that's a different story altogether!
I think that content marketing is a bigger part of SEO and CRO now due to the higher need to increase the engagement of websites and especially dedicated CRO landing pages now. I don't think it's all there is to SEO. SEO is a sandwich of things and your market dictates what goes into that sandwich and how much of it you use. So much is vying for our attention on the web now, that it's more important than ever before to sort that out. Unless it's your business, it takes time because you have to learn your client's business along the way. It's always been good to know how to write copy (content) well for print and the web, but now it's more than ever before.