Text links on the web get used and abused. Many sites treat them as nothing more than a method for building organic ranking and think nothing more of them when publishers and businesses place them around their site.
But what if we could use links as more than just an SEO strategy? What if we used links as a way to actually drive traffic to a site by using dynamic placement in the most up-to-date articles online?
That was the premise of Pete Sheinbaum’s latest tech venture, LinkSmart, a fresh Boulder startup. Instead of trying to work your way up through the organic ranks on Google, LinkSmart helps its clients build web traffic right from a referring article. Rather than placing ads on the sides of a publisher’s site, companies can use LinkSmart’s system to have links placed directly in the body of an article or a site, thus, making the referring link more trustworthy in the eye of the beholder.
The idea for LinkSmart came about after Sheinbaum spent some time throwing ideas around with some of the guys at the Foundry Group, using his background in publishing as the jump-off point.
Sheinbaum began his path in publishing many years ago, but when DailyCandy hired him to grow the site’s presence online as well as a daily email, that’s when the foundation for LinkSmart was initially laid. When Comcast bought DailyCandy in 2008, Pete helped the company transition and then took his leave in 2009 to begin working on his own venture.
The pain point that he had always faced with DailyCandy was how to grow web traffic using links to the site? Of course, referral links were always a good bet, but getting the links and then on the publishing side, finding the appropriate links was an arduous, time consuming task that was ultimately static once the links were placed.
Pete wanted a way for businesses and publishers to be able to find and place links in an article quickly and with very little effort from either side. LinkSmart does most of the work for its clients by searching keywords on the sites of thousands of publishers. It then automatically places links to a specific business, product or article using those keyword specifications.
LinkSmart also crawls article archives as well as the most current items to dynamically place links where appropriate there.
Having the links placed automatically frees up content marketer and businesses to focus on other areas of marketing and web traffic, since LinkSmart saves them hours upon hours they would have spent finding appropriate links and link placement.
When I asked Pete why Boulder was the perfect place to start LinkSmart, he referenced the burgeoning Boulder startup scene and his ability to “pay it forward” to other startups in the area.
LinkSmart has raised two rounds of funding and has found success in the Valley, so Sheinbaum offers his advice in his areas of expertise to other new startups as a TechStars mentor.
Having moved here sight unseen, Pete has definitely found a place to call home and build a great new business model in the world of online publishing. After all, he says, “Why not live in a place you love being every day?”