How To Target Customers By Integrating Link Building With Google AdWords Data
There are numerous ways to find value link acquisition opportunities. A well-run SEO campaign will include a “link prospecting” process where that work is carried out, and websites are assessed by the value they might have in terms of:
- Will a link on this website send traffic?
- Will a link from this website send traffic that converts into sales and enquiries?
- What is the authority of the website?
- Is the website indexed and frequently crawled by Search Engines?
- Do individual pages have authority?
- Are we able to produce the necessary content or meet the requirements to acquire a link from this website?
Many link building campaigns focus on acquiring links from websites with “good authority”, using metrics including Domain or Page Authority, Citation or Trust Flow, Google PageRank. This is a sensible approach, because higher authority links will have a more positive influence on rankings and traffic than lower authority links.
However, lower authority links are valuable if they send traffic, send conversions and provide visibility for your website —visibility means putting a company or website name in front of prospective customers and people who might be interested in products and services you provide.
Businesses will take Sales over Enquiries, and Traffic over Rankings. Links on other websites that send quality visitors are the best type of links to acquire.
Using Google AdWords To Find Link Opportunities
The Google AdWords Conversion Funnel is something I’ve talked about in the past. AdWords is a valuable tool for finding new customers, but its benefits aren’t limited to directly targeting customers. By focussing on two features of AdWords, Search Advertising and Retargeting, it’s easy to find link opportunities to use in an SEO Campaign.
Find Prospects With Search Advertising
So first it’s important to find visitors who are initially interested in our products and services. Running an AdWords Search Advertising campaigns is a quick, easy and when managed correctly, cost-effective way to do that.
Pick some relevant keywords and run some ads. If AdWords is already running, or if the website is already receiving visitors from other sources then that’s great – we just need to add those visitors to a retargeting list.
Retarget & Discover Link Opportunities
Links that send traffic can be found when you discover where your customers (and prospective customers) spend time on the internet. By using Retargeting, you are able to do that.
Retargeting itself is a way of promoting a brand or service to visitors who have already expressed some kind of interest in using a company, but it’s not a permanent tactic – once your budget has depleted, you need to spend more money to get coverage across websites in Google’s Display Network.
By using the report in AdWords, it’s possible to obtain a list of websites that customers who’ve been added to a retargeting list have visited. In order to acquire links from these websites, it’s simply a case of assessing each website and using an appropriate link building tactic.
Some good questions to think about are:
- Is it possible to acquire a link from this website?
YouTube regularly appears in Retargeting reports – but we’re looking for other opportunities here
- Is it a relevant website – Recipe and Dating websites might not be relevant places to have links from depending on the products and services we’re promoting
- Can we produce the content required to obtain a link from this website?
- Do competitors have links from these websites?
- Consider standard link assessment criteria – has the site been penalised? do they sell links? etc
Good link opportunities from retargeting campaigns can include Forums, Blogs, News sites and websites specific to the industry we’re trying to promote products for.
Qualifying Link Prospects from AdWords
So we’re using AdWords for link prospecting. There are a number of ways to do this, but this one is driven by your prospective customers.
That’s the key – your customers are your audience.
In order to acquire a link from our list of target sites, we need to give each site an incentive to publish our link. This usually comes in the form of web content. We could produce some content for them to publish, or we could produce some content on our own website for them to reference (and link to).
Are they going to link to us? Yes, if we but only if we create the right kind of content.
Here’s a brief checklist for creating content:
- The content should be useful for the audience of the target website
- The content should be useful for the part of their audience who are also our prospective customers
- The content should be useful enough to be shared and linked to
- The content should be accessible enough to be shared and linked to
It’s a straightforward process, involving some creativity and testing, but it’s a good way of getting more out of AdWords and retargeting campaigns.
This post was first published on 8 Jul 2013 and updated on 24 Nov 2015.