Recently a SEO working for a lead generation network sent me a letter in the mail alerting me that I could improve my website by linking to their site. They mention some of the large brands they send leads to and state that the link to their site from my site would improve my site’s credibility, user experience, and offer our site visitors security since their lead generation form was secure.
Where this letter went astray was
- recommending a really aggressive and spammy long anchor text (they should have just gave me an easy short option and perhaps a link to a page on their site with linking FAQs and banners)
- for the most part their site is just a lead generation form (so they give me little real reason to link at it)
- in the tip where they tell me the transaction is secure they tell me the third party provider (so if I was going to link I might link to the 3rd party provider rather than through their thin affiliate site)
- they included a business card for their SEO firm in their letter (if I didn’t know what SEO is, then that might make me research it)
- they sent it to me (if you know the field of SEO well, you probably have heard my name once or twice, and would not want me shadowing your new site’s link building efforts on my older and more authoritative directly competing website)
As a result of the letter they sent out a few weeks ago it looks like the strategy yielded 0 organic links, but I found a couple easy link sources that I have not thought of in the past. I will spend some time further researching that SEO to see what other easy link sources he can find for me.
Hidden Risks of Promoting Your Marketing as “SEO”
If you call something marketing or promotion then it is seen as clean and above board. But as soon as you attach the SEO label then eyebrows raise, someone talks about it, and it gets nuked. It gets nuked because if the search engine does not do so then people assume it is a fair strategy, and the search engines have Google has to make examples out of the sites or many people will start doing it.
And it doesn’t have to be that way, as big brands benefit from semantic differences which should be used in their everyday marketing. Smaller brands can also enjoy the same benefits by avoiding the SEO discussion.
Findlaw recently came under scrutiny for trying to sell links to local law firms. Make the pitch to a few thousand lawyers and only one of them has to say no and out you (as a public relations and link building strategy). That discussion works its way into the SEO field and trouble happens. They may only get an aesthetic toolbar PageRank reduction. But they could have simply avoided the risks by talking about boosting exposure rather than SEO.