Using PPC Advertising to Grow Backlinks

Looking for better SEO performance but unable to get reach to get your content viewed, test for response, and build backlinks? You’ve hit the same wall everyone has.

Let’s explore some worthy alternative approaches to generating backlinks while simultaneously capturing direct leads and sales. Two birds with one stone can be a winning strategy.

You’ve likely already viewed some slick videos on how simple it is to create links to your site. Just follow the A-B-C instructions and magically the world will clamor to link to your website. In reality, fast talking Youtube stars’s advice never pans out. Backlink acquisition is serious business and if you want to win, you need to do a lot more.

When Google Zaps Backlinks on Mass

Unfortunately, the net effect of businesses desperation to get reach out and acquire backlinks is the contamination of the web. With people selling links on every site willing to place them, Google discovers them and they deprecate these sites and their links. The original backlinks on those sites may have supported search engine rankings for you, but now they’ve been zapped. And you’ve found your rankings falling.

Google completes a “core algo” update once in a while and these updates often focus on spam links. Spam links are a huge multimillion dollar industry.  In Google’s zeal to delete them, there are unfortunate and permanent casualties. Those links are gone and they’re never coming back.

The net effect of the anti-spam action is that web site owners must seek out new backlinks.

Finding New Sources of Outreach

To capture new links, you can use SEO software to discover the domains of all the sites which link to top ranking sites in your keyword area. Then you would create emails to send to them to ask them to include your content resource in their pages/blog posts.

If you create a good reason/strategy to contact site owners via email, you might get a few links. But most site owners are besieged with such email requests. Your email will be cited as spam unfortunately. Companies that do email outreach use a variety of new email addresses to carry out their work.

If you have very relevant, high quality content to share, an email approach can be helpful. But it’s likely not going to be enough. You need to do more.

It’s difficult to ignore the best direct way to reach website owners, bloggers, journalists and customers. That is Google ads and Bing ads. The added advantage in using these platforms this way, is that you can also get direct customer sales leads.

While you’re hoping to do outreach specifically, if your campaign is well done, you’ll likely get real leads. The other advantage of doing paid advertising, is it helps you test the value of your unique value proposition. Ads can help you see the truth fast about demand for your product/service. If disappointing, then that’s good feedback. You need to improve your UVP and create greater significance to the audience.

Ads also have the advantage of exact geo targeting and other demographics, so it helps you increase the likelihood people will respond.

CPC cost per lead/view increases the more you spend, because targeting and relevance begin to fall. You’ll discover where your sweet spot and you can focus your campaigns to avoid big losses.

Turning to Social Media

In response, website owners are turning to social media to gain more reach to potential website owners and those who would share their content via Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook. In response to this trend, the social media platforms have tightened their algorithms so users have less reach to their connections.

When social posts are written in a certain way, they are not shown strongly. Yet even if written by a strategist, the reach is disappointing.

Yes, some are hiring digital PR firms to use their publishing channels and outreach services. These PR firms sometimes are just link buyers pretending to be a PR agency. There are legit digital PR firms however, and more are being created, however they are typically very expensive.

The last alternative to build your outreach effort, you can use advertising platforms such as Google Ads, Twitter Ads, and Facebook ads. You probably realize why these companies are posting record profit.

Setting up advertising is a no brainer, but knowing how to bid and create ads that lower your bid price is a sophisticated talent. You may want to hire an SEM firm or SEO specialist who specializes in this very task. They have experience in this strategy and may know how to do it more effectively.

Or, you could do this yourself. Why is a paid ppc campaign not used more often? Because there is a learning curve and the initial cost is a problem for many business people. And, a campaign strategy must ready all the assets needed to succeed. That means smart preparation for a paid campaign.

If your content and messaging are good, you’re going to get clicks and visits. When calculating performance and ROI, remember you’re receiving good leads and the end value of good leads is immense. When your rankings climb on Google, you’ll be getting in front of even more people, such as journalists doing their research.

You may want to design your campaigns to reach journalists because bloggers might feel you’re providing something really value for them too (they think they’re journalists). Understand what they’re looking for including their own ego needs. Their emotions determine whether they’ll talk about your site/product/service. Consider how it will make them look good to their own audience. Help them and they’ll help you.

Outreach and Link Building Preparation

Before you use paid advertising to get reach, your strategy must be up to snuff. Here are the 5 steps to take:

  1. your digital marketing strategy – what is your value proposition and why will readers respect your voice and content, and what is the nature of the content and message of significance you’ll make in your ads, landing pages and other content they’re seeing? You must be clear on the value and significance of what you’re offering to them, and what content is going to work.
  2. in-depth keyword research – discover less expensive but still relevant keywords that your audience might use. These will be keywords consumers use during the awareness and discovery phase of their searching (e.g., “are electric vehicles cost effective?”, or, “where are the best beaches in San Diego county?”). Long tail keyword phrases sometimes have lower per click prices. If you have relevant content and a relevant offer then your clickthrough rate will be higher and these visitors are likely to stay on your site longer, and this will lower the per click price (Ad quality algorithm) you have to pay. If visitors jump right back to Google or Bing, then they will raise your per click price.
  3. research consumer intent and review of competitors ads – know what consumers/searchers want and what competitors are saying in their ads, because if they’re paying big money, those ads must be working.
  4. build great content and linkable asset – create videos, blogs, downloadables, images, charts, illustrations, case studies, and essential information that customers need and like. You must offer something of value to readers and website owners. The more you have available, the more likely they are to find something that inspires them.
  5. a good analytics system – If all you have is Google analytics, it’s better than nothing, since you’ll see if your campaign is effective. Use shortened links to track each ad variation, and its keyword theme. You want to know which ads and which landing pages are most effective and why. Create, learn, refine, repeat, until you’ve found the best formula. Using ahrefs or other SEO software, you can watch for newly discovered links to your site and possibly be able to track them to the keywords you used.

That’s a short strategy which helps you get good quality outreach via Google and Bing (and Facebook and Twitter too).
You can infuse an actual lead generation effort into this too. This way, the bigger effort to get new links isn’t really costing you much. After all, if you build real leads, sales and revenue, it’s really worth it!

The main point is that SEO is evolving as Google makes it tougher. Either you evolve your strategy or your rankings, traffic and business success could falter. Be confident and get the resources and people you need to make success a reality.

Learn even more usable tips on the digital marketing blog.

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