Any marketer knows that a successful campaign can be judged by a huge variety of factors; it could be engagement, brand awareness, conversion, traffic, or rankings. But whatever the success measurement, they know that all of them can be aided with a basic strategy that takes into account link-building.
So what is link-building?
Before we talk about link-building, how about we go right back to basics and describe what a ‘link’ is, and why it’s so important for your website to gain them.
A link, or hyperlink, is a clickable area (call to action, word, image etc) that sends a user elsewhere; either on your site or the internet. Normally, they’re used within written copy to send a user to a related piece of content internally, or externally, to give the reader a wider understanding of a subject.
Links are important because Google sees them as a signpost within your content. Not only that, but a link should be obtained from a website that has large traffic levels to have the best effect. If you’re sending a user elsewhere on your site, it lets the search engine understand page relevance. But if you’re sending them to another website entirely, it’s a sign to Google that you’re endorsing said website – giving them the digital nod of approval.
The process of link-building is simply the art of gaining these nods of approval.
Why do I need to build links?
Link-building is important because it’s still one of the main ranking factors for search engines. Although there are a whole plethora of SEO tactics that go into helping pages rank, gaining links from high authority websites (like the BBC, for example) to a certain page on your website is going to inform Google that you’re a trusted source of information, therefore ranking you higher for terms relating to your content.
How do I build links?
Building links organically is easier said than done, especially in 2019 with Google’s ever-changing algorithm! However, it is doable and one of the best ways to do so is with a strong content marketing strategy.
When defining your content marketing strategy, it’s important to make sure you define your outreach plan early on. So you have a great idea… Why will people share it? Why would someone engage with it? And why would someone link to it? It’s important to take these questions into account because they’ll likely shape your original content. Remember, you can have the best content in the world, but if no one sees it, engages with it, or converts – it’s likely you won’t hit any of those measurements of success we were talking about.
So again, how do we build links? We’ve outlined a few very simple steps below to ensure your content is link-worthy:
- What’s the top line? If you think of a great idea and can immediately think of at least 3 top lines press would use in their news coverage of it, it’s likely you’re onto a winner. If not, go back to the drawing board.
- When someone covers your content, campaign or press release do they need to cite you as a source in order to tell it? If not, you need to think of a way to embed yourself in their story.
- Does your campaign have a regional angle? Thinking of an idea that relies only on one story is risky; embedding a regional angle into you campaign opens out a much wider net.
- Are you an authority on a subject? Consider your position in your digital environment, offering up the brand as a spokesperson can often result in easy wins.
- Does your campaign utilise data? If not, consider how you could add it as an element of your campaign. News outlets and journalists like being able to draw their own stories, and it means they have to use your campaign as a source.
Tracking your results
Following what will hopefully have been a successful campaign, it’s important that you keep track of your results. It can be tricky to keep tabs on attained coverage, so it’s worth looking at ways of monitoring your newly gained backlinks.
Of course these are only a handful of tactics to help gain high authority links, there are many others depending on your KPI and end goal.
Still need a hand? Get in touch!