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Manual link building advice.

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by gotohper, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. gotohper

    gotohper Newbie

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    There are obviously some extremely knowledgeable people around here, and I was hoping to get a little advice.

    My story, to be brief, is that I run a photography business in a fairly competitive market. I do work that is decent--comparable to the upper tier in my city, but I just can't compete with their advertising budgets.

    The meritocracy gods are totally in my corner--I think. That is, I deserve to be at least on the first page--where I was for a year at least.

    The problem with my site is that I don't really have any decent DF backlinks. NFs galore and on very relevant sites. But very few significant DFs.

    How would you approach this backlink challenge given my industry ? Bear in mind that I'm a photographer and so have a fairly decent amount of downtime. If it takes 10 hours to secure a decent link--I'm game.
     
  2. SkyrocketSEO

    SkyrocketSEO Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Here is my advice. Tell me what you do (exactly) and how much do you take for your work (something you perform on a daily/weekly basis)? Once you tell me this I can answer you
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014
  3. gotohper

    gotohper Newbie

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    I mainly shoot weddings. When I was on page 1 I was booking 15-20/year for $2200/wedding. Now that I'm on page 2 (mid-way down) I'm looking at 5-7 this year if I'm lucky--and those I get by referral and longtail KW strategies. Slipping out of the 7-pack as well as off the first page in the regular SERPS has cut off 90% of my targeted traffic. I know I can turn this around.

    My on-page work is solid. My off-page not so much. Participating in forums (bare / branded signatures; no overdoing anchors), deep links from very relevant forums, social media, using about 15% hot anchors.

     
  4. gotohper

    gotohper Newbie

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    zoiba: I'm happy to do 1-hour / day of manual SEO work per day. I'd do 5. I just don't know what that means exactly. I'd absolutely have an assistant do the work for me. But what would their strategy be ?
     
  5. SkyrocketSEO

    SkyrocketSEO Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    OK, so here it goes. After every wedding spend 20% on a great link(s). In the meantime try to think about the way to create a buzz in your town. Offer free wedding photos for first 3 lucky couples and try to let local media about it, they love to tell their readers about freebies.
     
  6. gotohper

    gotohper Newbie

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    I'd rather not become known as the guy who gives away free weddings. It's not really a great form of social proof in my industry, I don't think. I also find that when you do free work for people their expectations are higher than if they're paying a lot. Also-if a couple is signing up for a free wedding, they probably don't have money. Hence their family, friends aren't very well targeted for referrals. And it would have to be all about referrals.

    Paying for links is a possibility. But why not do this work myself ? Is it just not possible ? If you personally had to move from page 2 to page 1 in the SERPS, and you didn't want to risk getting smacked by google for buying links, what would you do in terms of linkbuilding ?

    I appreciate your responses, guys.



     
  7. lord1027

    lord1027 Elite Member

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    You get on #1 with great links. Something you build on your own is way too fresh to have the same value of a link on a good website in your niche.
     
  8. gotohper

    gotohper Newbie

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    Thanks. I'm not sure what you mean by 'fresh'. Forum and blog post backlinks will never get it done in a competitive market, right ? I guess I'm not understanding where on earth these links are supposed to be dropped in a quasi legit way--local vendors, I guess. Local vendors that Google takes as authorities geographically and / or in terms of the niche.

    I somehow suspect that buying links won't exactly result in a link on a 'good' website..

     
  9. verilix

    verilix Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    True. Despite what most BSTers will assure you of. You need to continue to diversity your link profile with as many different backlink sources as possible. That's all there really is to it. You can pay for stronger links, on large websites like Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, etc., but in the end, if your goals are long-term, then you're fine building slowly - the right way - with the right links.

    Just keep doing what you're doing. Keep at the forum posts, the forum signatures, make some relevant Web 2.0, get on the popular Social networking sites, try marketing yourself, or your service on popular video streaming websites, dropping a link in the description/information panel (Youtube, Dailymotion, Vimeo for example), go to popular blogs that allow a link to be dropped in comments, and make a non-spammy comment to hopefully guarantee it sticks.

    There are so many things you could be doing; just make sure not to overdo it.
     
  10. EvidenceSEO

    EvidenceSEO Newbie

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    Write several unique, 700+ word articles related to photography and look for websites in your niche that would be happy to publish them in exchange for a link back to your website.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  11. Reeshua

    Reeshua Power Member

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    How about this: contact your previous clients and find out if they have blogs or website you can get a link from. You can ask them to place the link in a previous blog post or they can sort of review your business in the website. If you made their experience unforgettable, linking out to you is a no-brainer.
     
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  12. LucasSchnell

    LucasSchnell Newbie

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    I believe there have been several good suggestions in this thread already. I especially liked that you could write an article and give it to status site in an exchange for a link. I believe it could work quite well.
     
  13. Silverbak

    Silverbak Junior Member

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    Perhaps trade some photography in exchange for some links. I agree NOT to give away free weddings. As a one time advance hobbyist photographer (and who could have easily been a "second" shooter for big time wedding photographers), the amount of post processing and putting the books together, etc is MUCH more time consuming than most people realize.

    If anything, raise your rates and become "exclusive" (if your skills/equipment match). If you don't have the equipment, I'd invest in more portable lighting are really wow them with the creatives. Word of mouth is best.