Advanced Backlink Building Project
Google has spent hundreds of millions trying to perfect how they rank websites. A much publicized focus on quality content is contradicted by their dependence on backlinks as a ranking signal.
Website owners have been lulled into a sense of false security about “high quality content” which has been etched into their core algorithm. The fact is, acquiring links to your site is still number one, and always has been.
Increasingly, adjustments to your site (advanced SEO) and content quality/engagement matter less to Google as tries to squeeze out certain sites from the index. Now, the game is acquiring plenty of the right backlinks from other websites to boost your rankings, breadth of traffic and leads.
Isn’t great content sufficient? It can be sufficient if it’s rich, unique, and interesting, but only if you have good reach to a large interested audience. Without reach of course, no will ever see that incredible content.
That brings us to another perhaps undervalued talent — building links to your website. Yes, link building does require great creativity, skill, relationship building and communication skills. It also takes resources in content assets, money, and business relations. After all, you’re trying to tap into established loyalties and closed networks. Once you delve into link building it will become apparent how much you’ll need to be successful at it. Very few are, which is why they resort to guest blogging and buying links.
Backlink Projects Will Determine the Winners
Only about 5% of companies use advanced link building strategy and campaigns. A larger number are outright buying links. My conversations with major link building companies reveals that organic link building is expensive and a major project. In many cases, broadly across the link building industry, their link acquisition approach is to place links in low quality, guest posts.
This isn’t a viable strategy, it’s a tactic guaranteed to backfire when Google does another penguin like sweep of links. That’s where you see some companies get hurt badly.
Taking a Closer Look
In this look at the strategy of creating backlinks, you might quickly jump to the conclusion that all that’s needed is promotion. For some, that might be true. They simply lack exposure. But often, another matter is lurking. The company’s value proposition is weak, the brand isn’t buzzworthy, there’s no excitement, no willingness to give and generate spirit. In backlink terms, the company sucks.
Big companies spend millions on PR, advertising and promotion, but often their content is low quality and is really not buzzworthy. That’s why a backlink campaign can be so amazing. It will give you insight.
Most linkbuilders you see advertising on Google basically buy links on sites that aren’t of high quality and keyword relevance. It’s low quality and short value duration in effect, to get fast results, and can result in rank deflating penalties. That’s not a good value proposition.
Better marketers take the high road and legitimately build quality links. If you don’t have high quality content assets, industry relationships, public relations, promotion power, social media tools, then the company will ask you to fund all of that. Some may create it all for you, but it will be pricey. Big corporations already have the branded assets, which can make link building for big companies a smooth, easy process with easy successes (which link link building companies will brag that they created).
Thorough Link Development That Works
This takes us forward to link building approaches that could work. A promotional budget is necessary as you’ll see in this post, perhaps more than you’re comfortable with. But it’s good investment. A thorough, committed and purposeful system, along with excellent and creative content assets, and patience, ensures promotional dollars aren’t wasted — that you capture sustainable organic value.
Link building campaigns are a project. Management, publishing and analytics tools are needed. You’ll need to create a plan that outlines the details below. You’ll be involved in endless activities and many of them cross over each other.
Dedicate the Budget, Specialists, and Time Needed
Underfunding is the number one reason for failure. The number two reason is low quality assets, lack of promotion, and lack of value for other website owners and social media users. When you read the link building tactics list, you’ll recognize there is a cost. Just like when you developed a website or an application, it was a big, expensive project. this is too. It’s built into your SEO service package at a commensurate level depending on your fee level.
Big efforts for link building work because it takes a certain financial/time commitment to make it work. Light or spam efforts simply can’t register impact so you should not go that route. What’s described below is a strategy that’s very comprehensive and is what a market leader would choose.
We should also not the lead generation that happens when you have a mention or link on important industry websites. The value here multiplies.
This Business of Links
What is the value of a backlink building effort? In terms of price, specialized agencies in the US and UK that I have spoken with recently charge up to $20,000 a month for the service. If you were to pay for a single valuable link on a site with high domain authority, it often goes anywhere from $1000 to $5000 per link.
However, the value-received side of the equation is immense. If links help your real estate website create 10 sales per year (real estate agent) for 5 years, it translates to hundreds of thousands of dollars of commissions, and repeat sales in the years ahead. For a brokerage, the value is much higher.
Your other option rather than hiring an expensive agency, is to hire a dream team, or just the exact specialists you need to win.
Why Would Anyone Link to Your Website?
What causes website owners, bloggers, journalists and industry people to link to your website? The number one reason, is that they know you exist. Secondly, is that you give so many reasons to take you seriously and link to your site.
And they will link their pages to yours is if they like you, your offer, and believe in what you’re saying. “What’s in it for them?” Yes, and they’re thinking about doing good things for you too.
But you have to reach them to get this chain of events in motion. There are particular topics, events, products that are effective in creating backlinks. It’s important to know them and use them well. Other topics are great for generating actually leads and that are part of this traffic building strategy.
The good leads are caught in your big net, and your content funnel will lead them to reach you.
You’ll be creating great assets that others find invaluable, are fascinating, and people just want to engage in that topic and get all wrapped up in it. Great content gets its own links, as long as web users find it. The more familiar they are with you, the more likely they will cite and share your content. Even mediocre content does well, as long as the audience sees it. Some corporations pump out thin content, something Google doesn’t like, yet they rank at the top!
Yes, backlinks are the reason.
Common link building tactics such as email outreach for guest posts, inserting links may not work well at all, since millions are sending out annoying emails and messages. That’s considered spam now and at best it might scratch out a couple of poor quality links on unrelated websites.
We’ve all done it, and it’s awful.
What Advanced Backlink Building Tactics should be part of Your Strategy?
If you just read the top tactics, you’ll see quickly what kind of effort is needed. See this huge selection of important tactics, tasks, and assets which comprise a top notch, professional level link building effort:
- reviewing how competitors achieved/earned their backlinks
- create content that people want to participate in, celebrate, or use to acknowledge their values/priorities
- create an epic blog post containing an amazing variety of engaging elements (video, photos, lists, quotes, events, stats, charts, stories) and feature it so everyone can read it and share it (promote it, share it, talk about it, and pin it on your social media pages, so new connections will see it and share it)
- create content pieces that are helpful and encourage an action — a video on how to sell your house for more, or a blog post entitled “here’s why you should sell your home — prices are going to drop” appeals to real estate pros such as mortgage agents, contractors, landscapers, and others who want homeowners to sell and as well any homebuyers who want to encourage anyone to sell their house or condo
- most linkers are business people who have a business interest in what your content is saying or will lead to (helps them sell something) and you must think beyond your own limited purpose to help them
- the message should be to use your content to help them do their marketing — get packaged inside someone else’s promotional efforts
- great, original, credible, in depth research — insights and info people don’t know — rewrite/represent the data in an unusual and more meaningful way because people need this information to create their own content
- target key people to connect with on social media, review their interests, start conversations and get your assets to them
- research and connect with significant, credible influencers to discuss how they would support promoting your products
- contact authors of articles of “top 10” or “the best product” type listicle articles and ask to be included
- write your own best of industry articles and ensure you’re included in the list, then promote that article so bloggers, searchers and reviewers find it
- create much better visuals, including infographics, videos, quotes, and good photos they can share
- encourage visitors to share the report, quotes and images with their connections, that they must know this content
- make your content more sharable: the right topic, hidden messages and directives, encouragement to share, and the message should be that this content or message is vital to know
- the content is attractive, has an important messages, validates them, is socially validating, has good intentions, points people to greater value and insight, solves a ignorance problem, and eases people’s frustration or helplessness
- find the top sites your competitors link to and write a flattering post on that company, share it on social media so they become aware of you and like you
- write about the sites your audience visits and like and add a positive comment that suggests users are bright, progressive and upstanding people
- find blogs on keyword topics you are targeting and complement the author, share the post on Twitter/Facebook and then ask them if they could write another article on a specific topic (that you cover on your site) and that their readers would like it
- create content on topics where there are companies who desperately want notice, credibility and support (validates their business, e.g., fast cash for homes from real estate firms that buy homes)
- run a relevant contest related to your keyword/business segment and include it and the form in your key content page, then promote it on social media (link directly to the section in the page where the contest form is) and if the form is in your top page, more people will see it and share it
- contact the author of an article and ask to be included in it and ask them if there’s anything you can do for them (consider what that might be – create some content, put them in your newsletter, and mention them in a social post and then do a paid boost, which could make them very happy (make a deal if you have to)
- create content on a hot, trending topic (use software tools to discover those topics)
- create press releases on big events/product improvements and push hard on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin
- create news – talk to people who are in the news right now and interview them to expand on the news and bring out something more important — thus surpass the original news item then promote that hard
- write a post that ties people and Linkedin into your story and @mention Linkedin’s news team so they see you’ve said something very constructive about their services
- find the most successful ranking and most shared blog post/content piece and create your own but much improved version
- be active socially and retweet high connected industry peoples and influencers posts and @mention them in your posts — gets attention
- contact authors about writing an article about an interesting/significant topic and show them how you’re trying to solve that issue or have something interesting in the battle
- connect with industry people and in directly related industries and build relationships with them, and later on an opportunity to give them some content may happen, and they may mention your site (more friends is better)
- establish yourself assertively and purposefully on a specific topic as an authority or expert
- offer guest posts on relevant industry magazines (after studying their contributor guidelines)
- write a book which shows a unique, more powerful approach to solving a problem (show my book)
- create a post on an important news topic in your industry and in it, mention as many companies as you reasonably can (citations for them) and then post on social media using @ or # to alert them to it
- build a software tool or widget which others can include on their webpages (has links to your site)
- find competitors backlinks and offer to pay the page owners to replace their link with one to your site (I’ve been the victim of this and it can be effective)
- use backlink tools to find pages that redirect to another page (original web page owner doesn’t realize they’re linking to a redirect now, after it was changed) then build a resource it can link to instead, then contact the owner and make them aware of that redirect, and encourage them to re-link to your page
- use backlink tools to find broken links and notify site owners and ask them to link to your page instead
- check your backlinks and see if any of the owner/publisher will write more about you (let them know when you have something cool and significant)
- sponsor an organization, school, association, or industry magazine
- think of an issue or story that’s important to your community/city and place yourself in that issue as a solution participant, then approach journalists/reporters to cover the issue. Have helpful, informative content ready on your site which the reporter can refer to and link to from their media site
- create helpful, high quality that makes your customers, suppliers and business partners look good — these are direct industry relevant websites that provide a big ranking boost
- contact those with important online resource listings and ask that your site/post be added to it
- create a tasteful, conservative infographic that touches on an important matter, explains it quickly and makes your target company look good (have your graphic designer create a photoshop type infographic template where you can easily publish different version for different targets
- write sophisticated, high quality, original, in-depth articles for industry publications in your sector
- create videos on sharable topics such as market reports
- advertise a free service that others will find handy and promote it on social media
- write a post on the best tools and resources available and boost it on Facebook
- make a great video on some relevant and enticing topic (beautiful house remodel that sold for $400,000 more) and place it on your website, then share it on social media — it may even go viral
- advertise a downloadable resource (pdf) on Google or Facebook and tell visitors to send it freely to their connections
- coach the sales team to encourage customers/suppliers to link to the site (when appropriate, no pressure)
- find company name/brand mentions on the web, visit those pages and ask them to actually link to your website, after you alter a page to mention them (sweeten it up!) and tell them their readers would enjoy the visit to your page
- talk to website owners as if they important people who need to get their message out (coach them to be news creators and communicators)
Link building projects are serious business and must not be a neglected afterthought of your promotional effort. They promise to deliver the most powerful sales results over many years and accumulate number and power over time.
These projects are difficult and demanding, and require resources, SEO tools, staff, and time. Most attempts are weak because marketers are distracted and not being focused on the strategy and getting it working effectively. It should be part of your digital marketers job description and you need to give them the resources to do it well. It’s not magic, it’s strategy and good old hard work.
The Link Building Process
- research and prioritize your keyword choices
- build out your content plan
- use SEO software to learn which types of content/activity created backlinks for your competitors
- use SEO software to identify potential sites to acquire links from
- consider which types of content will work best as your linkable assets (blogs, email, pdf case studies, videos, infographics, photos, charts, social posting)
- build content solely for placement on other websites (content that adds value)
- identify relevant connections on social media to connect with
- write press releases and create news story ideas and identify news sites you need to reach
- create your email scripts and storylines to persuade website owners to give a link
Backlink Software Tools
Great results take much more than SEO software, however link builders will often demand to have these tools to use on their advanced link building campaign:
ahrefs may the SEO software tool choice for pro link builders. It’s primary value is in its rich database of backlinks and tracking of your link building success. The first order of business is to audit the backlink profiles of your firm and your competitors. And there are related sites that come into play as well.
The link intersect tool helps you discover websites that link to top ranking sites, such as your competitors, so that you strategize acquiring links on those sites as well. It lets you see the anchor text used, detect new links and links lost, find broken backlinks, and much more. It can help you find spam links too, since competitors may be doing negative SEO to your site to ruin your rankings. It’s important to note that Google doesn’t know who acquired harmful spam links, and they believe that you did it. Finding them and disavowing them may be wise.
SemRush, Majestic, and Mangools seo software offer the same analysis.
Keep in mind that finding links doesn’t mean you can acquire links on those sites (e.g., Realtor.com, Nytimes.com, investopedia.com, wsj.com, etc.). They will help you understand what assets you need to build, and the relationships and credibility you’ll need to move up to the elite level in your sector.
Diving into advanced link building will enlighten you and inspire you to improve your content, your online relationships and your search engine optimization. ahrefs SEO software is lacking certain needed analytics. Diib is another solution that offers monitoring of email campaigns, social media responses, and might be a good analytics solution, although it’s presented as another type of SEO solution. There is AI powered social media listening tools available too.
This post on links really highlights the need for advanced level SEO services, well researched and promoted content, as well as smart leadership.
You’re the marketing manager or CEO and your decision with respect to all of these digital marketing strategy really determines your businesses future. Take a look at what’s involved in advanced SEO services and call me to discuss going forward with your exciting SEO project.