Is It Still OK To Have A Link Building Strategy?
Link building is in the spotlight. Google algorithms inspect with prejudice the links they consider manipulative and created simply to affect rankings. A link that is the wrong kind can get you penalised via Googleâ€™s Penguin algorithm. The thing is â€“ links are still as important as they ever were to influence your SEO. So how should you devise a link-based strategy without being battered down the SERPS?
Links are still a very important part of SEO
Rather than an algorithm, think of Googleâ€™s Penguin as a detective whose job it is to uncover attempts to artificially create links that point to your webpage in order to get it boosted up the rankings (black hat SEO). This Penguin detective has a mission â€“ to weed out spammers that want to force their way into searchersâ€™ attention at any cost. However â€“ on the other hand â€“ Google likes and rewards a websiteâ€™s inbound links that have a strong Domain Authority, say from a site that has Domain Trust and is popular, like a well-established newspaper for instance, a government website or an educational site. Links are still important for ranking but you have to think â€˜qualityâ€™ now â€“ not â€˜quantityâ€™.
Content And Contacts
Itâ€™s far from a secret but on-site content has to be in order â€“ it has to be good. If you have a link building strategy today itâ€™s in promoting and sharing your incredibly valuable knowledge so that trusted, established media and organisations reference you. By all means ask well-known experts if they can link to your site content if itâ€™s relevant. The DIY mass link harvesting approach is long dead â€“ today itâ€™s the earning of trust and the earning of valuable links that sets your website apart from the others. Find key influencers in your industry and get to know them â€“ see if they can â€˜shareâ€™ and link to your content â€“ whether that is a blog article, something posted on social media or something included on your website pages, where relevant.
Content marketing is the best way to promote your brand, your website and attract attention from those who may link to your work, if for example it is an authoritative blog or a feature you have had published in external press. Today, link strategy has more to do with your ability to be a credible content publisher, a voice that has something to say, to be the â€˜go-toâ€™ expert in your given sector.
So in answer to the question posed in the headline, â€˜yesâ€™, it is OK to have a link strategy but not in the old way. You can follow these guidelines:
1. Hire A Creative Professional
Hire a good writer, infogram designer or film maker to produce your content and make it slick, someone qualified to do a good job. If possible â€“ procure content from a guest celebrity who doesnâ€™t object to being affiliated with your brand, someone known in your particular industry, who is not a competitor, obviously! This content format can be a blog on-site, your social media link, your webpages or something you have written for external press coverage.
2. Buddy With Key Influencers
Find and research the key influencers in your field â€“ they could be bloggers, business gurus or trade paper editors. Contact them, offer them content or introduce them to your content â€“ ask them for a link or coverage.
3. Research Best Media To Link With
Look for established, trusted sources of news and information and see if your content is a fit for these sites. Approach them with stories â€“ make sure your link is included.
4. Make Links Easy For Inclusion
For press releases â€“ put your full link into the copy where your business site or a blog feature is referencedâ€“ so include the https:// at the start. Sometimes this is pasted online by the journalist with the story as is â€“ and creates the link automatically.
5. Be Brilliant!
If you are genuinely THAT good â€“ people will want to link to your website and your blog features and the things you have to say â€“ theyâ€™ll know you are the real deal and want to share the value of your knowledge. Donâ€™t be shy and hide your brilliance from view. Shout it out and tell the world.
Which Social Media Works Best For Your Business?
This is the surprising one which many businesses overlook. One billion people use YouTube making it number two in the social media ranks. This video upload media is widely used and engaged with. Over 4 billion views of videos a day, 6 billion hours of video watched a month, over 1 billion average YouTube mobile videos viewed a day. In the US 9% of businesses use YouTube. There is also a huge teenage following â€“ for example around 81% of US teens aged 14-17 engage with it â€“ and music and the video game Minecraft are the two main video searches. However, 85% of adults regard themselves as regular YouTube visitors. With the ease of filming now on smartphones and the following from the younger generation this may well be the most influential channel of the future.
Itâ€™s well known that Pinterest is used predominantly by women â€“ around 68% are female users. This is a great media to display images to show people what your business produces or if the exciting part of the product or service is visually impressive. For instance, restaurants, hotels, fashion are businesses that can do well with Pinterest. Pinterest stays up longer in the public eye than Facebook posts, for instance.
This is all about sharing a good picture. This is not the most popular social media but it does have more loyal followers as a percentage than Twitter (57% of users are on Instagram daily). This is used by a relatively young demographic of 18-29 year olds. Instagram influencers also earning a lot money with 1000+ followers.
Getting on Google+ improves your SEO so itâ€™s worth it from that point of view alone. It has 540 million active users â€“ and they are mostly male (67%) and in their late 20â€™s.
There are plenty more social media options and it is ever evolving but the above are the staple channels that businesses rely on.