Entries Tagged 'Social Marketing' ↓

How To Linkbait E-commerce Stores: 15 Tips For Success!

Linkbait HookI’ve seen all manner of overtly commercial sites trying their luck with linkbait, only for it to flop. You see, linkbaiting your e-commerce store is a difficult thing to do and unless you have built your brand from the ground up to infiltrate integrate on social media sites, successful linkbait and the bounty of oneway goodies it affords may continue to be nothing more than a dream.

I suppose in one way it is our own fault for perpetuating this fallacy of marketing. Reading through the plethora of posts about linkbait makes this particular technique seem like some crazy next-generational solution to marketing any site. The reality is, however, very different. You’ve got to work incredibly hard to make linkbait on a commercial store work and be prepared to sustain your efforts even though many of your baits get no traction and go precisely nowhere.

There’s little doubt in my mind that Digg et al have moderators and systems in place to identify commercially motivated linkbait, and even if they don’t, the community itself definitely doesn’t want to see our ’spam’. The good old days of pushing ‘10 Cooking Tips From Holywood’s Hottest Celebs’ to help promote some recipe book store are long gone.

Don’t get me wrong: linkbait is here to stay, but we must progress. The broader SEO community may have only recently caught on and crowned linkbait as the white-hatted linkbuilding prince, but we’re only getting started down the road of punchy titles, angles and hooks compared to our friends in the traditional mainstream media.

So if you are responsible for marketing an e-commerce store and want to try linkbait, be prepared to work harder than you have before to create unique, interesting, timely and resourceful content that real people actually care about and want to read.

Here at Setfire Media we specialise in building online stores. So as ‘Head of Search’ I’ve been in the trenches for long enough to hone the process of linkbaiting an e-commerce store and can say with surety that there are things you can do to help improve your success rate on social media sites – a checklist if you will.

Here are a few things I’ve learned that you can apply and hopefully find more success.

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9 Tips to Help Your Website Cope With Huge Traffic Spikes

There are times when your website might experience short periods of very high traffic. This could be the result of TV exposure, or your linkbait just hit the front page of Digg. The worst thing that can happen at this point is that your site can’t cope – this becomes a huge missed opportunity.

Here are some tips to help you plan to stay online and available.

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Social Media Epic Fail: How to Build Links to Linkbaits That Don’t Go Viral

Epic Fail

Linkbait is widely regarded by many SEOs as the premier weapon in their quiver of marketing and promotional tools, and justifiably so. When linkbait is successful it can be incredibly powerful, driving an initial spike in (arguably entirely useless) traffic and links, followed by a long and steady stream of backlinks.

That’s the best case scenario. But what happens when your linkbait just doesn’t cut it? Digg, which is the granddaddy of social media sites, is where most linkbait gets peddled. Digg is also subject to random system maintenance and drastic algorithmic changes. Other popular social media sites such as Reddit and StumbleUpon can also be hit and miss: what works one day might have no hope the next.

Of course, it isn’t all dependent on where you distribute your linkbait. It may well be the case that your ‘101 Reasons For Choosing Acme Exhaust Manifolds’ just doesn’t appeal to the crowd and is destined to fail, even if it does get 275 diggs and all manner of thumbs up.

So what if this is where you find yourself? What should you do if your linkbait, on which your client has spent good money and you’ve invested copious amounts of time, goes nowhere? Well, for what it’s worth, here’s what I would do.

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10 Of The Best Alternative Social Media Sites

What happens when your site is added to the Digg autobury list? Should you just give up on your social marketing campaign? No, absolutely not! Digg is undoubtedly an 800lb social media gorilla, but it is not the only place that can send traffic and generate links. Far from it!

Coming from an SEO background and wearing my stylish tinfoil hat, I am forever looking for ways to reduce reliance on any single distribution channel: being hooked on the Digg crack is just as bad as relying solely on free organic traffic from Google.

Are you wasting time?

Getting onto the prime patch of internet real estate that is the Digg front page is, of course, very desirable. But does it scale? Think carefully about the time you have to dedicate for the promotion of your submission, time that you could be using to create another linkbait.

Submitting your linkbait to Digg where highly volatile users bury content with the slightest sniff of being commercial can be a huge time-suck, and one that can do your linkbuilding campaign more harm than good. Preach that truth to yourself before wasting hours IMing, emailing, shouting and begging for Diggs only to get buried in the 23rd hour! I should know, I’ve been there.

What’s best for your linkbuilding campaign?

My point is this: what would you rather base your marketing strategy on? Can you really depend on steady exposure to Digg’s infamously immature user base while dodging curveballs from their moody algorithm? Or should you break the habit and find more reliable methods of distribution? My money’s on the latter.

It could be said that I’ve spent a bit of time looking for alternatives to Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious and Reddit. And yes, they do not send as much traffic but that doesn’t mean you still don’t get links and exposure. So here they are, in all their glory. Fire up your engines and spam submit your content!

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