Links come from many different sources and in many different sizes. Whether industry resources, your company or client’s news release, or shortened URLs shared throughout your online communities – link building is a vital part of your marketing and PR efforts.
You don’t have to be a tech-whiz to make the most of SEO (search engine optimization) and increase the exposure and credibility of your company, brand or client via inbound and outbound links.
Here are 5 tips to enhance your link building strategy and brand awareness.
1. Provide valuable content. Rehashed content fails your website. “By making your site a valuable resource to industry enthusiasts, visiting prospects, and existing customers, you’ll give them a reason to link to your content pages,” notes Katherine Griwert, Brafton.com, in Six Tips for Better Link Building: SEO Insight from SES San Francisco.
2. Encourage sharing of your content. Search engines rank content that has been shared or “liked” by a user’s connections (and that is relevant to a specific search) higher than non-shared content when the user is logged into a network (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Simon Heseltine, director in charge of SEO at AOL Inc., explains how getting social traffic on the SERPs without SEO can be beneficial to increasing exposure of your content. While Kristi Hines, Internet marketing specialist with Vertical Measures, shows how to optimize three types of content on YouTube, Flickr, and Slideshare.
3. Become a guest blogger. This helps create content that is valuable to your industry and also frees up some of your resources (i.e., you are not creating a full editorial calendar). Cross-post to further spread your messages and create connections with shared links. (e.g., Google +1 button.) Both inbound and outbound, “the more common links you find the more important it is for you to link to this specific website. Basically this is the concept of good co-citations,” writes Cemper.com in this article on 7 Golden Link Building Strategies.
4. Think hyperlocal. Local business directories and links from local bloggers are still dominating search rankings, confirms Ryan Clark in this article on Local Link Building Strategies. So, look for backlinks from other niches within your industry or vertical market, directories for your specific geographical region, local area chamber of commerce, local event sites, and larger directories like Yelp and Google Places.
5. Manage your reputation. Monitor and respond to mentions of your company, brand or client in all forms of media. This includes comments and mentions, particularly negative ones, online and in social media. By “proactively providing positive information” you are increasing the chances of favorable search results and diminishing negative web chatter. Susan Kelly, an SEO expert at SmartSearch Marketing, outlines five action steps to take in B2B reputation management, in an article on Search Engine Land.
BottomLine: Understanding and using relevant keywords (such as in the title tags and intro paragraph) is a good place to start your SEO efforts. But link building is just as much about “the science” of optimizing search as it is about “the art” of outreach and community engagement. Download this tip sheet from the BurrellesLuce Resource Library for more SEO and link building best practices.
BurrellesLuce is the U.S. media content monitoring leader, providing curated, copyright-compliant content from local and national print (traditional and online), broadcast, video, proprietary online content, blogs and social media sources. Our comprehensive suite of affordable services is fully integrated in one convenient and easy-to-use portal, BurrellesLuce WorkFlow™. BurrellesLuce WorkFlow™ gives you everything you need to organize and manage your media relations and public relations efforts.