Getting back links to a government blog is more difficult than you’d think. If you run a government blog, Facebook or Social Media account you need to use different tactics to get back links than B2C and non-commercial websites.
Link Building Tactics For Government Agencies
Here’s a suggested approach to get links to your site without upsetting or alienating others in the process.
Create sample link pages. Use these ‘template’ pages to show the people you’re connecting with how you link to others. This reduces their anxiety and shows that you have a professional, non-spammy approach to link exchanges. it may also help them get started.
Setup Link Categories. One approach is to create a set of pages, each of which includes a set of link to different websites. For example, if you were running the Dept of Transport, you might create different pages for trains, buses, cars, automobiles, standards, policies etc. Each of these would include a bullet list of the top ten resources you recommend. This shows other parties how you link out to others. Hopefully, they’ll copy or adapt your style.
Do your homework. When you contact the site you want to link to, make sure who the person is or at least their job title. If you don’t know, phone them. Yes, pick up the phone 🙂
Be Honest. When you send your request for a link to your site, get straight to the point. Don’t fudge the issue. Introduce yourself, explain why you have contacted them, and include the sample code for them to add.
Transparent. Send the email from an authorized government email account, not your webmaster’s gmail. Include your name, title, department, tel number and cell phone.
Your aim is to reduce as much anxiety as possible in the reader. Give them a compelling reason to link back to you and make yourself available for followup emails. Actually, expect followup emails. Conclusion
It usually takes three or four communications before others implement the code on their site. If they make a mistake, point it out immediately. For example, if there is a typo or they chopped off some of the code. Don’t simmer in anger. Let them know and they’ll take care of it.
Remember to send them a short hand-written ‘Thank You’ note. It only takes a few minutes but has a huge impact 🙂
If you work for a government agency, what problems have you had getting links to your site? What’s the main problem you’ve encountered? How did you get around it?
How do you co-ordinate multiple authors on a corporate blog? One of the dilemmas for Content Managers is to make sure different blog posts are delivered on time but also that the tone, topics, and social media activities are aligned. One way to get this under control is to establish an editorial calendar. Courtesy Andy Wibbells
Corporate Blog – How to Get Started
Your editorial calendar is one of the simplest ways to track different blog posts, including their status, contributors, guidelines and other factors you want to manage. The key is to keep it simple, useful, and easy to update.
Instead of investing in expensive software or adopting complex plug-ins look for simpler solutions. For example, create a spreadsheet in Google Docs and share it with the other writers. Once this is embraced, move to more complex tools.
Your aim at this point is to:
Train the team to use the editorial calendar. Once they get used to it, you can explore other solutions. Baby steps at first.
Create a set of guidelines that are easy to follow and encourage others to use the calendar.
Try it out with a small group of writers first.
Remove the bugs and glitches.
Share with a wider audience.
Corporate Blog – Providing Guidelines
Once you have completed the test phase, look for ways to make the editorial calendar part of day to day operations.
One suggested approach is to:
Examine how other firms use editorial calendars
Download white papers, case studies and blog posts that give direction
Hire a consultant to provide the direction you need to get started
Allocate someone (not you) as the owner of the editorial calendar. This person will be the go-to person for all related queries
Request a modest budget to investigate software that can be plugged into your blogging platform or ask your internal IT team for a quote for bespoke designs
In addition to this, share with your writing team:
Best practices on how to use an editorial calendar effectively
Walk through how the editorial calendar works
Discuss where they need to avoid common mistakes
Look for ways to update the guidelines if necessary
Corporate Blog – Setting Up the Editorial Calendar
As with most things, if you keep it simple chances are it will get accepted.
I recently developed an editorial calendar spreadsheet for a government agency. Here’s what we did:
Developed the template in MS Excel
Pasted it into Google Docs
Setup security settings for the writers
Went through some demos to test if it worked.
Recorded how it worked with Screenr (free video recording software)
Shared the tutorials with the team
Corporate Blog – Creating the Editorial Calendar
The editorial calendar spreadsheet was created along the following guidelines:
Document Number – unique identifier for each blog post
Blog Name – name of the post
Blog Title – 70 characters for the meta title field
Blog Extract – 150 characters for the content snippets added to the meta description field
Primary Keyword – main keyword to be used in the post
Secondary Keyword – associated keywords to be used in the post
Author – name of author
Business Unit – name of business unit that requested the post
Content Owner – ultimate owner for the content
Status – Draft, Completed, Revised, Deleted
Due Date – date when the post must be completed
Graphics – request for specific graphics or guidelines
Comments – additional blog post for each blog post
The result was that the team adopted the editorial calendar within a few weeks. For the content managers and those who owned the content assets this meant there was less confusion amongst the blog team, more transparency between business units, and a better corporate blog.
Have you created an editorial calendar for your corporate blog? What was the main barrier you faced? What lessons did you learn?