Last month we took the train down to sunny Brighton for a day of learning about link building. As an SEO, link building is among the top tasks required to improve a site's search ranking and traffic success. Links are the streets between the pages in the vast metropolis of the web, and via links, search engines not only analyse the popularity websites and pages but also metrics like trust, spam and consequently, authority.
Link building and content creation is targeted towards what Google refer to as the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’ (ZMOT), the part of a consumer's journey, when they are seeking information and conducting important research that precedes the ‘stimulus’, such as an advert.
The aim is to make your business the focus of conversation during the ZMOT; to be the visible answer to a question/solution to a problem, particularly in an age where search engines are Millennials’ most trusted source of information, as well as their first go-to for general queries.
Below, we outline some of the most useful takeaways and general tips to bear in mind when link building.
Now more than ever, particular focus should be given to on-site content with a creative, quality-driven approach. To ensure your content is going to be trusted, the answer to the following questions must be ‘yes’;
Is your language natural? To quote Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, “The objective is not to make links appear natural; the objective is that links are natural”.
- Is the meaning of content genuine?
- Does content have genuine editorial discretion?
- Is there a good enough reason for journalists to link through to your site?
- Does your site provide something additional to the article itself?
Gain the PR team’s confidence
On the subject of journalists, one barrier that many businesses face in link building is the relationship with their PR. It’s important to get them on side, and to gain their confidence.
Prove your success your PR might be concerned that you could damage a relationship they’ve developed over a long period of time. Show your PR previous case studies that will instill them with confidence in your approach.
- Prove you understand and care about the brand, not just getting links.
- Prove the value you can add. Great coverage benefits them too.
- Maximise shareability
Another key method for promoting your content is via social media. Social media can be highly shareable, so can be a cost effective way of syndicating content. It is important to know your audience; the product or service that your business offers will help determine the most appropriate channel(s) to rely on.
The top most shared content on…
- Facebook is from Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Mashable, Play Buzz
- Twitter is from BBC, NY Times, Mashable
- Linkedin is from Forbes, NY Times, Business Insider
The top features of the most shareable content are:
- The use of video and imagery
- The use of human voice and natural tone
- The proximity and relevance to trending topics
The nature of social media also means that individuals are increasing in influence relative to the press and corporate websites. It’s time to start searching for the opinion leaders and influencers who are most aligned with your brand.
It takes time, practice and experience to earn links that stand the test of time and consequently to see the results of your work equate to search engine traffic. You need to keep developing andy promoting your content.
If you'd like help or advice on high quality, content driven link building please get in touch.