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Directories are one of them, yes. Perhaps link outreach, where you find a site related to yours and actually ask them if they'd like to link to you, or what it would take to do so (occasionally, shock horror, this might even involve payment, although I can't remember last time I had to do that) or article marketing which I know you've seen.

You can send automated reports but without someone to go through them and explain what all the numbers mean these are useless to a lot of clients.

There are right ways and not so right ways that a client can set up a link. They might fail to use keyword optimised anchor text. They might set up a reciprocal link where the otherside decides to set up a sneaky 302 redirect instead of a direct link. They might agree for their link to go on some crappy buried page while returning it on their homepage. You'd be surprised how challenging something like setting up a link can be for anyone who's just been told how to get them but doesn't know the details and potential pitfalls.
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 12:11, archived)
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Why not just provide them with a list of directories as part of the consultancy so that a minimum-wager could enter their details?

As for related sites, most companies have many contacts, so why don't they just ask them for links when the concept of link building is explained (including what 'optimised' anchor text to use)?

As for the 302s thing, just tell them not to post on the arse end of the internet where these exist - deal with real companies and clients. Explain to them that any "link building" spam emails are just scams. Or just explain that if there's already 100 links on a site, then it's probably not worth it.
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 12:43, archived)
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"You can send automated reports but without someone to go through them and explain what all the numbers mean these are useless to a lot of clients."

- does this going through them really not follow a set pattern?

When you have explained the results once, what sort of thing do you explain the second time?

Surely a nicely laid out stats page could have enough explinatory text for the layman to understand.

Reports I have seen just involve telling someone where they are in Google and for what keywords. I imagine that if someone is doing well for an irrelevent keyword and badly for a targeted one then it would not be explained to them as to why it is irrelevent, which is the sort of information they need to know.
(, Thu 24 Jun 2010, 12:49, archived)