I mentioned in another post that link building is an essential component to building your online PR plan. Well, in fact, it goes much deeper than that. Link building is not only critical for “getting your brand out there”, it’s also key to search engine optimization. The buzz term for today’s marketer.
SEO is what online marketers focus on in order to be # 1 when a user goes to Google and enters key search terms. Ranking at, or near, the top of that organic listing is golden and truly the prize we all seek to win. Although it’s often puzzling as to how we get there, you can apply many standard treatments to achieve excellent SEO results. And one of them is link building.
Here’s the deal. Get other websites to link to your site. That’s it. Simple, right? Conceptually yes, you understand what needs to happen, but how?…well that’s perhaps where the planning comes into play.
Remember, with link building, you ideally want to have as many links as you can routing users back to your website. But whoa, hang on a second: you want to make sure these links are coming from quality sites. What’s a quality site? Well, it’s one that has a lot of traffic, excellent content, and ranks high in organic searches. I love this mantra that I believe comes from Chaffey: “create great content, link to great content and great content will link to you.”
SEO is very much a popularity contest, so it only makes sense that you befriend the popular and cool kids on the Internet. Start by examining the different types of sites that you may be able to link with:
- Directories of links
- Traditional media sites
- Niche online-only media sites
- Trade associations
- Manufacturers, suppliers, and other business partners
- Press release distribution sites
- Bloggers and online influencers (including customers and parters, even employees!)
- Social networks
Then figure out which sites you can approach to establish a link-building relationship with. It’s like a first date, so don’t go in for the kill all at once. Evaluate these potential sites (look at my criteria above in bold) and do you best to determine where these quality sites are and how to get links back to your site, on theirs. See, trickier than you thought when you first started reading this post, isn’t it?
More on SEO to come, but for now, start thinking about who you might be able to “link up” with. ;)