What Dan Raine Taught me about SEO Agencies

I was watching a Dan Raine presentation in the wee small hours of the morning. And I realised what seo agencies are about.

Or rather what they are not about.

It’s something that has been niggling me for a while and I probably haven’t raised it because a lot of my clients are seo agencies.

SEO agencies don’t do cutting edge.

I think I’ve been to all the seo conferences in the UK and you hardly ever get a presentation that is cutting edge from an agency.

Which is fine.

They are about delivering what is mainstream, stuff like buing links from newspaper websites and the like.

They are also about managing the client, which obviously is an important part of the equation.

But the client will get in the way of implementing cutting edge techniques as most are new and highly experimental and there are little or no case studies around.

Also, most clients have not the time nor the industry knowledge to be taught about these cutting edge techniques, let alone being sold them and so the seo agency falls back on the tried and tested.

And there is nothing wrong with the tried and tested.

This is not a criticism of seo agencies, it’s merely a realisation of their place in the Internet Marketing food chain.

A lot of businesses need the tried and tested and have deep pockets to pay for it.

But people like Dan Raine are a couple of jumps ahead on the evolutionary scale of Internet Marketing.

If you are in the industry, when he speaks, you should listen.

But you probably wont.

You don’t have time.

What you do right now works for you.

You have to tweet about your new iPhone 4 (and how best to hold it)

But I will be listening and applying a few of his cutting edge techniques.

They certainly work for linkbaiting.

Before you create Linkbait content you have to Ingest your Niche

Linkbait by it’s nature has to be exceptional. It has to be remarkable to attract the links. This of course is relative, it’s relative to the other content which is being produced in the niche you are targeting.

As this is the World Wide Web we are talking about, most content is utter garbage. Sure, some niches are more rich and competitive but most of the time the majority of content is excreble. You just don’t see it, most of us see mediated content that comes through a recommendation or crowd sourcing.

Your content will have to be in the top one or two percentile of quality to have any chance and when I day quality I don’t mean it’s all shiny and polished. Usually you have only a short window of time to push your content and this is why it must be better than anything else in that niche at that time.

To be able to do this you must know your niche. If your blog or website is a passion then you are already on the way, but if you have identified the niche as an opportunity to be plundered then you have to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in.

You have probably already researched the niche well enough to get a toe hold, but now you have to identify those topics that trigger links from authority websites in the niche. What I do is create a Linkbaiting Road Map, this is a process where the niche is mapped out to identify linkers as targets, topics, and styles which work etc.

It’s quite a process developing a Linkbaiting Road Map and it’s something I am going to go into detail about in Linkbait Coaching

Hosting Problems

It’s always the same, on the eve of a product launch the server decides to get all emotional. The chaps at Dreamhost are working on it, although nothing is obviously wrong. It sounds like an errant script is deciding to loop and hogging the data.

Server management is always one of those things that I dread, probably because I don’t understand it and always think the techy support guys have a laugh when my emails come in. I’m hoping most people have that slight sense of paranoia and not just me.

It’s tricky finding a good host as the good ones tend to get busy and then keel over.

Fingers crossed for the Linkbait Coaching re-launch tomorrow.

iPhone 4 Problems can be made into Linkbaiting Opportunities

Right now there is a problem with the iPhone 4. Engadget has a nice piece on it.

Lets leave aside the iPhone must-buy-on-first-day addiction, which is actually an exceptional marketing mind job although try to find someone who bought an iPhone to say, “dude, I just couldn’t help myself”, what I hear from people are the words, “well I had an iPhone 3 and…..”

The point I am making here is not to poke fun at the first buyers but to underline the fact that Apple is a highly profitable brand to linkbait. It’s a passionate brand and whether you think they are just a corporation like Microsoft or BP and their duty is to the shareholder – you would be right, but you are missing the point.

When content about Apple is published, it has the potential to get noticed by vast amounts of people who have the power to link to your site. These are the people you must stimulate to link.

Happening right now is a problem with the iPhone 4, it’s a huge embarrasement to a company like Apple and is already being taken advantage of by Nokia.

Nokia get the linkbaiters award of the day. They saw the opportunity and understood the social space, they probably don’t need the links but they will steal some of Apple’s thunder. Not quite ambush marketing but very clever.

Now, you have your site, or you may have a clients site. There is probably no niche where you can’t fit in a story like this, you simply have to be creative.

If I didn’t have to go get ready for a product launch tomorrow we could expand more on this and I could give you examples of niches that are hard to get links for could take advantage of such stuff.

This is exactly the kind of thing we will talking about at Linkbait Coaching

Linkbait Coaching 2.0 – Link Building on Crack

For the quick info, pop over to Linkbait Coaching, leave an email for future notifications if you haven’t already.

I do a lot of business with a lot of Blue chip companies, still do infact. But that is not where my heart lies, a lot of the time the decision making process takes so long it sucks any creativity out of the idea before it gets going.

What I really love is getting down in the trenches with clients who share the passion for success and making cool things happen. Linkbaiting is essentially buzz marketing but with a specific end point. It tends to be driven by ideas, but of course implementation is everything.

Social media expertise helps increase the success rate, although it is in no way an easy option.

Because I like to work with people who “get it”, rather than churning out the content for clients I thought it would be exciting to open Linkbait Coaching again. The time is right for me, I’m cutting back on client work and launching a few other projects and also I have had people ask me when it will open again ever since it closed a year ago.

For those familiar with product launches you will be aware that there is a process to maximising the number of sign ups. I’m acutually more interested in minimising the number of sign ups. As the work is one on one in a group setting (subscription based forum) it takes up a lot of my time, plus there is only so much creativity you can share in 24 hours and no I don’t outsource the work.

So, there will be no big push or marketing blitz. I prefer to have members join who are savvy and willing to get their hands dirty rather than be seduced by a carefully crafted sales letter. The closest to a sales letter is what’s here

Last time I had a lot of SEO agencies and PR agencies sign up and a lot went on to do some very interesting work.

I will make the effort to get a bunch of testimonials together from previous members.

Membership is limited to only 30 people, this is not a marketing trick, I really have to regulate the numbers as the more people the more work I have to do.

The price is �200 a month, last time it was $400 a month. I decided to go Sterling to keep the accounting easier plus it makes it easier if the currency moves like it did last time. For those who are thinking, “200 quid! You’re aving a laff!” My day rate is �750 or �150 an hour, so you are getting a bargain. This is clearly not for noobs and is a hardcore grounding in cutting edge link building and social media techniques.

If you are looking to get your stuff submitted by social media power users I can offer you one submit a month, which is most cases pays for the membership.

Doors open on Thursday, Noon, UK time. I know a few people are definately signing up but can’t really tell how fast the spots will go. It really has to be first come first serve.

I don’t think Dan Raine, Ed Dale, John Reese etc. would be very impressed with this product re-launch, but they way I see it is this – If you don’t think this is for you don’t join.

Please do not join.

This is way down the line, no prisoners taken kinda stuff and it will be clear to those who realise what this is all about how it will benefit them.

May your links be many and aged.