Link Building: It's Not Just in the SEO Realm, It's All Over the Company
Posted by drew on Nov. 16, 2014, 5 p.m.
When considering the sides of SEO, most digital marketers would include keywords and content, coding and site performance (we’ll throw usability in here too), link building, local listings, and maybe some nuanced areas if you wanted to get particularly nitpicky. But it would be wrong to think that each of these aspects of SEO is housed solely in the SEO realm.
Coding and site performance, for example, requires web development. Content creation is sometimes handled by the executive team, sometimes a copywriting team, and other times by a design or production department. Link building is no different. Link building is too often thought of as purely an SEO activity that can be done independent of the rest of the business, but this is simply not true.
Link building is often the necessary evil for SEOs, because it is possible to spend hours looking for valuable, achievable link building opportunities, and only end up with a handful of viable leads for links. Links, however, are incredibly important to SEO (some say even the most important ranking factor for search engines).
When link building is kept purely in the SEO department, it can only produce minimal results. This is why good link building uses resources from the entire company. Here are some ways this might look:
1. Content marketing starts with research. This can be done in the SEO department. What kinds of content exist in the industry, and which kinds of content are popular? Perhaps more importantly, what kinds of content is missing from your industry? Keyword research can help you find out what users are searching for that they might not be finding on your competitors’ sites (but that’s a topic for another blog post).
Once you’ve researched the content marketing environment, you can decide what type of content you should create, as well as the topic. This is when you involve the rest of the company. Look for experts in different parts of your organization. Perhaps your web designer can give you some great visuals. Then market the content on social media and email avenues. This is a natural, white hat way to earn links.
2. Sponsor and/or host events in the real world. This will involve a significant monetary and time investment, so more than likely, the C-suite of your company will be involved in some way. This brings real world exposure as well as links. This is an opportunity to earn contextual links when people write about the event being put on by your company.
If you can combine this effort with your content marketing efforts (perhaps by giving presentations, which lead to videos and slideshares), it is even better. This is where SEO and PR start to collide.
3. Guest blogging. I know, some say those words are taboo ever since Google’s Matt Cutts declared guest blogging for SEO to be dead. But what he was referring to was poorly written posts that got spammed out to automatic syndication sites. Writing a good quality post that gets published by a reputable publication will still provide your site a traffic and SEO boost.
The best guest posts can usually be achieved by the heads of companies, however. An article written by a president or CEO is more likely to get looked at than one from a copywriter or low level SEO.
These are just some basic ideas of how you can get the rest of your company involved in link building. A successful link building campaign can improve your search engine visibility, web traffic, and overall company success.
Here, I’m speaking of white hat link building. Yes, there are kinds of link building that can produce large volumes of links to your site without creating content or involving other parts of your company. The tactics involved in this kind of link building are often “black hat,” and if they provide you with any SEO improvement, it will undoubtedly be short lived.