Three Simple Steps to Improve Your Link Network
At the recent eTail conference held in Washington, D.C., Brad Wolansky, director of e-commerce for Manchester, Vt.-based outdoor lifestyle provider The Orvis Co., highlighted three key tips for building your company’s network of links to other Web sites. Using a philosophy of “lead, help, reciprocate,” Orvis created a network of 500 dealers.
1. Leverage current business relationships. Wolansky recommends analyzing current business relationships with affiliates, dealers and social industry partners for untapped linking opportunities. Orvis expanded its link network with existing dealers by “helping dealers help themselves,” Wolansky says. Orvis worked with its SEO vendors to offer its dealers a free Web site analysis and access to its SEO experts. By helping its dealers improve their own link networks, Orvis’ own network was improved through reciprocating links.
2. Find a diamond in the rough. Look for obvious “diamond in the rough dealers” you haven’t realized you can link with, Wolansky suggests. Orvis reached out to organizations it worked with in the past and offered reciprocating links. Orvis also looked for business relationships that were not immediately obvious by checking out competitor’s links and contacting those companies that were linking to competitors’ sites but not Orvis.
3. Link smart, not hard. Wolansky says marketers should build content within their sites that serves as a tool for link acquisition. For example, Orvis collaborated with Flies and Fins, an online fly fishing community, on a video about an Orvis-sponsored fishing trip and posted the video on its site as well as on YouTube. The links from YouTube increased clickthroughs to Orvis’ Web site.