Several clients have asked this in the past and Vinny Goldsmith got me thinking about this subject as well, by writing about What to do when you’re already ranking #1 in SEOmoz’ UGC section; When can I end my link marketing activities?
Well, you can’t pull the plug from link marketing. Ever.
Link marketing is, like most other activities, an on going process in stead of a temporary campaign. Although it may seem like you should reach a finish line somewhere, your link race track is evolving continuously.
Not only do new websites -and thus new linking opportunities- show up, but you also have to keep an eye on your competitors and on the changing needs and habits of your visitors.
Unlike you might expect, content creation is key in the process of link marketing. How on earth are you going to attract links if you don’t have sufficient or satisfying content? Sure, you can buy dozens of links (although Google doesn’t like that), but you’ll need good content eventually. The fact that you bought some links, managed to stay under Google’s radar and got some rankings, doesn’t necessarily mean that your visitors like your website and find what they are looking for. You need good, quality content if you want to breach that Link Wall (source) someday.
Once you have created some content that is both relevant to your website and interesting to (potential) visitors, you can start your link marketing efforts.
This does not mean that you have to start submitting each and every single page to any free directory out there. Contacting bloggers, talking with your communication department about the PR (as in Press Release) planning, sponsoring a relevant conference or adding your company to a local business guide is link marketing as well. It’s a lot more (and a lot more fun!) than you’d expect.
Once you’ve come to one of those dead points (we all come to one of those points someday), it’s time to evaluate. It’s even better to plan evaluation moments in advance. During an evaluation, you (of course) evaluate your steps and plan on future ones. What have you done, what is the distance to the next check point (there is no finish) and what do you need to get there. Answering these questions can only result in two new options;
Broaden or sharpen your focus
One strategy is to broaden your focus. Why focusing on blue widgets only, when you can expand to gray widgets, pink widgets or even regular widgets? If you’ve reached your widget goal, you can try to reach other audiences as well by targeting on gadgets.
You can also sharpen your focus. Light blue widgets, dark blue widgets, marine widgets, you know what I mean. But also, try to get more out of your existing members, visitors or clients. Focus on their habits or needs and try to make a profit out of it.
In both cases, you’ll have to go back to the Content Creation Drawing Board again for new material. Content created specifically for your target audience is the best material if you want to attract those links and reach your new goals.