Some time ago, while I was still about the client side of things, I received a message from a blogger I was utilizing. Included in our fledgling backlink building program, my company was mailing out free products in exchange for an overview and link to our site. Oldest trick inside the book, right? However, the blogger’s email threw me off: she explained her policy was to nofollow links, and asked if this would be all right.
“Uh, sure,” I eloquently responded, having absolutely no idea what she was speaking about, “just provided that there’s a link!” I then scrambled to look up exactly what in the heck a nofollow link was, and roughly five minutes later started cursing at my monitor. We’d just invested thirty bucks in the completely useless link!
While that seemed to be my viewpoint in those days, my personal opinion on nofollow links is different. Obviously, for people who want to earn links for your clients, getting nofollow link can feel like a slap inside the face. But these links have hidden powers which make them just as essential as followed ones.
Here’s why nofollow links are more powerful than you may think.
A link has some different connotations currently. It could mean, “this is an article that supports my viewpoint, and you will benefit by reading it, too.” It could possibly mean, “I really do a great deal of shopping here, and I think you should look at their cute dresses.” Or it could simply mean, “I like cat videos!” But at its very core, the link is designed to create awareness of something on the different page.
When you’re around working to make people aware about your small business, links are hugely important. SEO companies now offer backlink building services because businesses realize how important they can be. To that busy CEO who sees their online traffic dipping, and believes that links will offer them ways to regain on top, an effective building links campaign will likely be really desirable.
That busy CEO is probably going to flip out if you say “well, we got 50 new links this month, and 40 of them were nofollow.” But it’s important that neither you nor the CEO (nor their marketing team) discredit the potency of a nofollow link. Links still build awareness, if they are seen. They don’t have to be followed. They probably don’t even need to be clicked! They just have to be visible.
How many times each day would you see someone you follow tweet a link to an article with an interesting headline? Let’s repeat the article is very well written, and it is on a site you don’t currently follow. Which means you add those to your feed reader. Every week later, you think “oh, you already know, that post I read is actually connected to this website post I’m taking care of now!” Therefore you connect to it in your post. This accomplishes two things: one, it probably negates that buy links from Twitter (much more on that shortly), and two, it has made you and your followers conscious of that site.
Links lead to profit
A nofollow link can also directly result in someone spending money on your company’s products. When you consistently create awareness and engage with individuals, those nofollow links may earn you way more than domain authority. Don’t believe me? Here’s the storyline of methods I became a paying Buffer customer.
Some time ago, I saw a tweet having a link to this example study about how precisely Buffer responded to being hacked. I had not a clue what Buffer was, nevertheless it provided an understanding for any post. After I wrote my post, I followed Buffer on Twitter. I engaged using them once or twice (as an example, mentioning them after my post increased), plus they engaged back.
Across the next couple weeks, I visited the Buffer blog once they tweeted links to new posts, learned about their company, and admired the heck out of their content marketing skills. I’d say it had been at regarding the two month mark which i made a decision to actually let them have a shot. A month later, I upgraded towards the Awesome plan and began using it daily to control not just my accounts, and also our agency’s accounts.
To recap, this is the way all this went down:
I became mindful of Buffer through someone else’s Twitter link
I followed Buffer on Twitter
I engaged with their content
I tried, subscribed, and wound up forking over $10 per month (definitely worth it!)
This was all due to a single nofollow link. Over the course of ninety days, my general awareness changed into lifetime value for Buffer. That one nofollow link directly generated profit.
You may make an equation using this:
a e = p
Awareness engagement = profit. By becoming aware about Buffer, and achieving the opportunity to engage regularly together, I converted into a paying customer. This all happened due to social websites, and all of those links you can see on social websites are nofollow. (Who said there’s no ROI in Twitter?!)
Links lead to more links
A few years ago, Joshua Unseth wrote a post for YouMoz explaining just how a single nofollow link earned him an additional link that had been followed, increased his traffic, and boosted his article to the peak of your SERPs for a specific phrase. His post, titled “The value of nofollow Links,” has a fantastic conclusion that stresses the value of also a single link:
To get it into context, of individuals that arrived at the article as a direct or indirect outcome of the nofollow, ~1% crafted a comment on this article itself, and ~2% blogged regarding it – actually, should you count this informative article, then the results were blogged about by 3% in the visitors.
While I don’t assume that these numbers would hold over a site with additional viewers, I feel that they represent the way in which content ultimately ends up going viral. In the long run, It Merely Requires ONE LINK, and its particular follow status doesn’t seem to make a difference.
I couldn’t say it any better! What Joshua wrote still holds true today – and in fact might be even truer, considering what percentage of us use Twitter to amplify messages and articles or content we enjoy, or depend on a feed reader to provide us with interesting content that we want to share on our websites.
Here’s a genuine-life illustration of the opportunity power of a single nofollow link. Way back in March, we published two maps showing the ISP landscape in america, and the way the potential Comcast buyout of your time-Warner would affect it. The post was gathered by the Amazing_Maps Twitter account, which has a lot more than 160,000 followers.
This was a nofollow link, obviously, as were the retweets that followed.
Two days later, we managed to make it on the front page of your Huffington Post.
After HuffPo gathered the storyline, the maps spread to many other websites, nearly all of which in fact had followed links returning to our article or homepage. But even when those links hadn’t been followed, we still would have created new understanding of WebpageFX, our blog, and also the work we do.
Like Joshua said: it takes only one. One link can lead to many.
How you can get the most from your nofollow links
“Okay, Nicole,” I can hear you skeptics saying, “I’m aboard. nofollow links are powerful. Magical, even. Nevertheless, you don’t see any of my tweets getting gathered by HuffPo.”
Well, food for thought: we’ve published countless blog posts, and only one of these resulted in a Twitter link (not ours) that led to HuffPo. Success online is about being at the perfect place with the right content at the right time, and with the blogs, websites, and companies vying for attention, your opportunity at getting noticed is less than low.
Here are a few ways that one could take full advantage of your nofollow links, whether they’re on social websites, someone’s blog, or elsewhere.
Motivate viewers to click your link. This could mean testing headlines, trying different tweets, or coming straight out and saying, “look, if you click this, this cool thing will happen.” For instance, Buffer found that one tweet earned a blog post 100% more clicks than another, simply because they changed the language around the link.
Increase your audience. Want a lot more people to find out, click, and act on your nofollow link? Get a bigger audience. This could be as easy as following industry figureheads who are likely to follow you back, directly asking for shares, or sharing your post many times. Try emailing people of authority and asking (nicely) to enable them to take a look at your posts. If it’s fantastic, it might get you a share.
Another trick: in the event you write blog posts or product content that references someone else, be sure they understand about it. It may look like you’re just attempting to stroke their ego, but it works. When someone wrote your blog post about me, heck yeah I’d tweet the web link over to everybody I knew! (Unless it was bad. Then I’d just cry.)
Be sure that your link is applicable. This, i think, is one of the most important aspects of a nofollow link. So many links on social networking go unclicked mainly because the content isn’t relevant to them. This one is tough to manipulate, because it’s pretty difficult to know once your audience will probably be inside the mood for your personal articles or content vs. photos of puppies, however you can continue to succeed by thinking meticulously in regards to what you share, when, and why.
Be sure your content is applicable, too. Okay, so your link got clicked. Great! But your bounce rates are at 99%. Not great. You may write the best headline on earth, however if the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is empty, nobody’s gonna stick around. Avoid misleading headlines, unfulfilling content, or maybe plain marketing for the wrong people.
This is honestly the biggest flaw in the ISP map I linked above. Many individuals examined the maps, as well as visited our blog to view all of those other study, but then they left. Probably 99% of our own website visitors to that post do not know who WebpageFX is and everything we do. That doesn’t mean this content was bad, nevertheless it just wasn’t relevant to the sort of audience we would like to attract (which is, potential clients).
Optimize your landing pages. What would you like somebody to do as soon as they go to your link? What’s the next thing for this particular visitor? Have them around a little bit longer. Utilize a related posts plugin to offer some additional reading, or use a service like snip.ly to suggest relevant content or links.
Don’t complain. If somebody provides you with a link and it’s nofollow, please don’t storm into their inbox with guns blazing. Maybe they just don’t know you sufficiently to go by your links yet. If you’re cool regarding it, the 2nd link they give you might be a followed one. As well as whether it isn’t, you’re still getting exposure out of it, right?
A nofollow link isn’t the final of the world
As SEO professionals, I know we’re all shooting for followed links that pass plenty of “juice” to the websites of the clients. If we all had our way, earning links would be easy, every link would be followed, and Google would not, ever penalize websites to have way too many links, or lots of links of the certain type. We may all have vast amounts of money, and would spend our days on the beach drinking fancy cocktails. Unfortunately… that’s just not just how things are.
Honestly, a nofollow link isn’t the end around the globe, either for you or even for a client. These links are valuable, and important for anyone trying to build their brand online. As I’ve shown, they hold significant power, and over you might expect.
Rather than centering on whether a web link is followed, we ought to do our best to have those links while watching right people at the best time, crafting content past the link 38dexppky motivates conversions. As it is for all things in SEO, obtaining links is focused on balance: the balance between followed instead of followed, “juicy” links and dry ones.
Inside my case, that nofollow link I mentioned at the outset of this post went live, the blogger was pleased with her product, as well as the review she wrote was fantastic. It led to a reasonably high volume of clicks through to our site… and what are you aware, a good few purchases. Seeing was believing for me personally, and from now on I’m an advocate of earning links generally speaking – not just the followed ones.