The search for tricks and life hacks in SEO has long faded into the background. Systematic work on the site from different sides gives a result with a greater degree of probability than a few tricks applied to the site.

There are life hacks and you need to look for them, but today we will talk about complex thinking, building a strategy, and expectations from link building and study a case.

Internet marketing consists of dozens of tools, most of which can be evaluated and measured individually.

SEO is one of the hardest predictable areas. You can do the technical optimization of the site according to the recommendations of Google or Yandex, but this will not guarantee the result. It will rather increase the likelihood of your winning in this game, nothing more.

The part of SEO that is the hardest to evaluate is links.

A question that no SEO specialist can solve

How to evaluate the effectiveness of a link?

There is no answer to this question. SEO specialists build a website promotion strategy based on niche analysis, competitor promotion methods, inner instincts, and ideas.

Suppose there is a site with perfect technical optimization according to Google help, with a good behavioral profile, but the pages are far from the top and do not receive enough targeted traffic due to the weak link profile of the pages. How to determine enough links of the right quality to get the desired positions without paying too much?

There is no answer.

Questions to ask before creating a link strategy:

  1. what types of links to use;
  2. in what proportion;
    what should be the dynamics;
  3. in what quantity;
  4. what additional value they will give: recognition, clicks;
  5. how long we will adhere to this strategy;
  6. what to do if the strategy does not work.

How to build a link strategy in limbo?

At the same time, when the effectiveness of links is difficult to calculate, it is impossible to refuse them. Therefore, when link building, it is important to believe in the chosen strategy and give it time to show itself.

What you should pay attention to:

Constant positive dynamics


This is the most important factor. The constant appearance of new links indicates that your site is developing, they know about it, they talk about it, which means it has value.

Combining Different Types of Links

Paying attention to the ratio of link types of niche leaders, you can both find ideas for your own profile, and simply understand the possible ratio of links.

Анализ ссылочного профиля лидеров ниши

An important point. Older sites have a higher level of trust from search engines, so they can afford certain excesses. For example, such sites may have a high proportion of links with direct anchors, but if a young site repeats this strategy, it is highly likely to receive a filter from Google.

We recommend analyzing the top 10-20 to get average data and pay attention to young sites in the market, and what strategies they use.

When determining the types of links for your link profile, you can proceed from the main options for links:

  1. from articles;
  2. from forums, comments;
  3. with PBN;
  4. from social media;
  5. from profiles, directories.

Specifications: dofollow/nofollow, redirect, text.

Site settings. Depending on the type of link received, the requirements for the site may be different, for example:

Don’t forget that each link type has its own function. Dofollow links from trust sites will give more weight to the site than links from social media, but the latter can lead to referral traffic with good behavioral.

However, the same links can be used for different purposes. For example, SEO specialists use crowd marketing for completely different tasks.

Try to build the most natural profile possible, without biasing towards one type of links.

Anchors and near-link text

When designing an anchor list, the word “safety” is most often heard. Even if you use the highest quality sites, but at the same time get 100% of commercial anchors, your chances of getting sanctioned by search engines are very high.

At the initial stage of project development, we recommend avoiding any direct occurrences of keywords in the anchor. But the necessary phrases can be used in the near-link text, which will give a certain plus.

Image links with the right keywords in Alts are a good choice for a young site.

If you are doing a long-term project, then it is better to start with a safe strategy and not tempt fate. Most likely, your project will grow more slowly, but you will be able to set a high-quality base and, in the long run, will win.

Expectations Before Getting Started

Before building a link profile, you need to define your expectations. In short, two options can be distinguished:

Having the right expectations before starting work will help you evaluate the results over time.


When getting links, various goals can be laid:

It is important to define these expectations before starting work.

Links are one of the components of promotion, as well as text optimization, technical, usability. If one of these components is very lame, then it can not always be leveled at the expense of the other. However, if complex work is underway, then you can enhance the result with the right tool.

And so it happened with our colleagues from the agency.

What role did crowd marketing play in promoting the website of hygiene products

Case agency
Konstantin Zhuravsky, SEO Specialist

At the end of December, we received a website that specializes in the sale of hygiene products for incontinence patients. The first thing we did was conduct an audit. The site was checked by 22 groups of factors, which in total contain 700 parameters:























In the end 94 technical errors were identified that required correction. For example:

  1. Product cards were available at once at 2 addresses (this is a significant error):
    1. /catalog/sredstva-po-uhodu-za-bolnyimi/podguzniki-dlya-vzroslyih/el_podguzniki-Abri-Form-L2-obyem-100-150-sm-vpityivaemost-3100-ml-22-sht/
    2. /podguzniki-dlya-vzroslyih/el_podguzniki-Abri-Form-L2-obyem-100-150-sm-vpityivaemost-3100-ml-22-sht/
  2. Semantic markup was missing
  3. Every month, 600-700 inaccessible pages (404 errors) were found on the site.
  4. The problem was in the exchange between 1C and the site’s CMS. Removed the cause. There are no 404 errors at the moment.
  5. The index included category pages with ?sort parameters, which are duplicates of the main category pages. Closed from indexing pages with the ?sort parameter in robots.txt.
  6. The assortment was hidden from the site if it was not available. Since the deliveries were regular, it was decided to display the products permanently and add to them the inscription: “Out of stock” and the “Notify me when available” button.
  7. Site visitors began to leave their email addresses, and as soon as the goods arrived at the warehouse, they were immediately notified. It increased sales!
  8. Since we needed a result, and the audit took a month, we decided that with the start of correcting errors, we would simultaneously launch crowd marketing.

Important! Edits on the site were made by the client’s programmers. Everything was done very quickly and efficiently. It is worth noting that the client (the owner of the online store) was very involved in the work on the project. So all the changes were made very quickly on the customer’s side!

What we expected from crowd marketing

  1. Rapid link building. For what purpose? We needed the Yandex and Google robot to visit our site more often, so that the changes we made would quickly get into their system and, accordingly, the site would grow faster because of this.
  2. Target audience.
  3. Sales. To be honest, we didn’t expect much, but we wanted to receive orders from people who followed the links that were posted on the forums.
  4. Link cost. We host exceptionally good guest content on third-party sites. All this is done in order to form the right image, and this is also a good signal to the SE that we are working with high quality. We proceed from the concept: to be placed where our target audience is located. If we compare the cost of placing one crowd link and a guest post, the prices are very different and the volume can be different for the same budget.

Why crowd marketing rather than posting in blogs and media

The reasons are as follows:

  • Posting speed;
  • Cost per link.

The creation of materials for placement in blogs or media takes from one to four weeks, depending on the form of content. Accordingly, for each site that is selected according to ten criteria, we place one unit of unique content. In order for the robot to love our site and quickly re-index all the changes that we made to the site, we needed another way. We decided to use crowd marketing.

When we started choosing a contractor, the first service we came across was Brandcitations. In addition, we were subscribed to their mailing list, where good materials came from, so there was more trust here. Naturally, like any agency, we wanted the best option in terms of price and quality. We searched the Internet, wrote to the found companies.

A total of 4 companies were found: 2 responded, 2 did not respond. As a result, Brandcitations was preferred.

With the help of them, we get the cost of one link to our site approximately 250 RUB, while placing a guest post on the site where our target audience is located costs at least 5,000-8,000 RUB. Hence the benefit. Plus, the speed of placement: a large number of mentions can be placed per month using crowd marketing. In our case, taking into account the topic and region, it was possible to place 50-100 mentions in the target communities.

What happened as a result

Indeed, by checking the site logs on the server, we determined that the frequency of visits by Yandex and Google robots to our site has increased several times. By the end of the first month, we measured positions, they have grown a lot (and continue to grow):

and the site has grown 6 times in traffic:

We also saw that people really click, and this is clearly the target audience, since the visit time to the site is quite long, plus In addition, many pages were viewed.

In the first month, there were no orders from the forum, but using the Google Analytics Cohort Analysis we immediately measured, made a sample of a cohort of visitors who came from the forums and tracked them over the next 30 days. Here we found that several orders came from people who first came to our site through the forum.

Task statement for crowd marketing:

  1. We were not interested in links, but in visitors and the growth of our recognition online.
  2. Relevant responses. It was allowed to refer to any page of the site if it could solve a person’s question.
  3. Free form of anchors.
  4. Links of any type were accepted: do follow, no follow, redirects, mentions. For maximum coverage and naturalness.

Such brief allowed contractors not to focus on anchors or SEO indicators of sites, to use various types of links, including just text mentions of the site.

As a result, over the 6 months of work, the site’s positions in the search increased significantly (see the visibility graph above), we noted the good effectiveness of crowd marketing and plan to use this strategy for other projects as well.

UPD. October 5, 2016

3 constant things that we have done and continue to do with the site:

  1. Crowd marketing.
  2. A/B testing. In August-September, we tested and, based on the results, changed the cart, added several elements to the product card.
  3. Placement of high-quality materials on other sites.

Bottom line:

UPD. May 15, 2017

Between October 2016 and May 2017, we continued to work on posting articles on other sites in order to attract traffic. All links that were placed on these sites were placed with no follow and no index tags.

We continued to work on forums and reviews. also did this work.

We consistently made changes to the site design in order to increase conversion. What exactly we changed, on the basis of what and why we described above in the case.

Two, in our opinion, the most important changes that influenced the growth of traffic in the last period.

  1. Website transition to https protocol. 
  2. On our site, the product filter is set up so that search engines can generate pages themselves. Those. We currently have 215 products. But there are more than 8000 pages in the search. Moreover, all pages contain unique content!

At the moment, the semantics of the site (unique keywords) consists of 18,000 words.

Those. if a person enters the key “hartmann diapers size medium number 2”, we provide him with a page that the search engine automatically generated and added to its index, which contains “3 Hartmann products medium number 2”. These pages have a unique title, description and h1 generated by the formula:


Search traffic growth

Growth of visibility in search engines according to Serpstat:

История изменения видимости в органике

Изменение количества фраз в органике

Stable work on the project increases the likelihood of positive results.