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SEO, Dan Ray and 5 simple linkbuilding tactics for “non-techies”

8 October, 2015

seo blog 3


At, we’ve started running regular workshops with the whole team. At each workshop, we focus on a different aspect of digital marketing. Recent workshops have included ‘Blogger outreach’ and ‘Instagram and engagement with visuals’.

The aim of the sessions is to bring together everyone (in-house team and freelancers) working on client projects in this area to ‘get creative’ and pool ideas. We also invite a consultant expert to join us to share their knowledge. After learning and sharing, we all scrutinise ongoing client projects to come up with new campaign ideas and find new ways to get the best results for our clients.

<b>jrc</b>.agency SEO linkbuilding workshop with Dan Ray 1″ src=”×225.jpg” width=”300″ height=”225″ /></a>This week’s workshop topic was on SEO, content marketing , linkbuilding strategy and linkbuilding tactics. We invited along SEO and linkbuilding consultant Dan Ray to share his insights. Appealingly, Dan describes his blog as “no bullshit, just advice that works”. That’s our kind of advice!</p>
<p>Unfortunately I won’t be giving away all Dan’s secrets, nor our client campaign plans. But, inspired by Dan’s talk, I would like to share some very simple advice and really practical tips that anyone – even non-coders like myself – can quickly implement to give their website an SEO boost.</p>
<h1>(1)  Starting point for any SEO linkbuilding campaign</h1>
<p>All website or business owners have access to an existing treasure trove of SEO and linkbuilding opportunities to explore without going anywhere near any code. Always start here:</p>
<li><b>Current clients and suppliers</b> – Make a list of everyone you have an existing relationship with and find a relevant way of getting a link back to your website from theirs (here’s <a href=how to track backlinks). This can include case studies, media coverage, approved supplier lists, and recommendations. If necessary, offer to write a mutually beneficial case study for them to host on their site.

  • Social media – Never underestimate the power of social media posts linking back to your site (both for SEO and to increase engagement and conversions). Whether it’s Facebook posts, tweets or images on Instagram or Pinterest, a link to your site from any social platform will help build trust and give Google a nod that your site is valued. Here are 40 social media campaign ideas to get you going.
  • Industry blog research – In order to build up good quality links, you need to spend some time researching what else is out there in your industry and get to know the good places to seed content. You can then build relationships with these site owners and hopefully gain some links. (NB Before you approach anyone about getting a link, read our 19 essential blogger outreach tips – including what you should NEVER do!).
  • (2)  Link building opportunities and ideas

    Think about websites whose visitors would benefit from the content on your website. How can you add value and provide them with useful information? Some ideas to get you started are:

    • Buyers guides to…
    • Trade Associations
    • Niche topics that relate to your products/services and that lots of people talk about online, eg a furniture supplier might look into sustainability (of materials and production), children’s furniture or disability (adaptation) – all have active and supportive online communities
    • Local media – can you donate to or support a local charity and get a local news story published around this?
    • Trade events
    • Sponsorship opportunities

    How to find specific content on Google (and filter out the rubbish)

    If you know about Google advanced search operators already, skip this section. If not, this might just be a real lightbulb moment for you.

    When you’re searching for specific content online, how do you filter out the old, irrelevant stuff you don’t want? Answer: use Google advanced search operators.

    For example:

    • To find only results from the BBC website, type this into Google search: [+ search term]

    • To find only pages on the BBC website with the word “rugby” in the URL, type this into Google search: inurl:rugby

    • If you were looking for information on the BBC website about refugees from places other than Syria, you could try: -syria

    • To find all pages on the BBC website about Jurgen Klopp, use: “jurgen klopp”

    There are tons of these. Full list of Google advanced search operators here

    NB these also work on Citations Labs’ Link Prospector (see below).

    seo toolbox

    (3)  3 essential linkbuilding tools: How to find niche blogs to host your content

    There are tons of linkbuilding tools out there, but Dan advocates a simple toolbox comprised of these three backlinks tools:

    • Link Prospector by Citation Labs (allows you to search for niche blogs in your industry and find prospects) – Here is the Link Prospector search operator guide
    • Moz (allows you to analyse competitor backlinks)
    • Buzzstream (allows you to send batches of prospector emails, and monitor responses, set reminders and easily track your follow up responses etc)

    (4)  Next step: Hustle

    Before planning and executing your linkbuilding approach strategy, read Dan Ray’s ‘Hustle’ blog post for a 12-step tried and tested method that works.

    (5)  Broken links and archived pages

    Another simple SEO and linkbuilding activity  you can do to give your website an SEO boost is finding broken links and replacing content:

    1. Use the Screaming frog tool to find broken links on other websites
    2. Write replacement content and host it on your site
    3. Contact your target website’s owner and offer them the new content to link to

    (6) Further reading

    And you thought there were only five. But at, we like to be generous – so here’s a bonus freebie…

    If this has whetted your appetite for DIY SEO and linkbuilding, we highly recommend you (a) read all five of Dan Ray’s blog posts, and (b) buy Eric Ward’s book, Ultimate Guide to linkbuilding

    But if all this looks a bit too time-consuming, just give us a call on 01133 20 21 21 or fill in this online form for a callback.

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