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Link-Building Shouldn`t Be A Dirty Word

May. 06, 2014

Building links is not what it was. 

Gone are the good old days when you thought you could just add a few in-bound links from no-traffic sites and get fast results in terms of better SERPs. 

For a while, guest posting was also used to fill the void and generate some kind of incoming traffic that helped some sites to rank in SERPs. But ultimately these artificial types of links bear little weight and do almost nothing to promote a site.

It was always pretty obvious that this type of self-promoting methodology couldn’t last in the long term.  Yes - self-promoting links can be cheap, and even free of charge. But it’s like putting up your billboard on an unpaved road that no one uses – how much effect would you expect an ad like this have? 

In any case, Google and other search engines are aggressively out to block websites that seek to falsely elevate their ratings. They want to return SERPs that actually provide users with the type of high quality websites containing the content they are looking for, not just the spammy, keyword stuffed pages of companies out for a quick sell.

Building good inbound links

Effective link building means first connecting with the people who you really want to meet and getting them familiar with what you have to offer. If they like your product or services, they will want to pass on your URL link with their own contact group, and in this way your site will be promoted by the ripple-on effect. 

It is these types of organically growing websites that demonstrate user confidence and authoritative quality that Google wants to promote in its SERPs rankings.
But reaching your target audience in the first place is not always easy or obvious, particularly for smaller brands that have limited marketing budgets and so cannot easily compete against the SERPs-dominating giants. 

Think strategically-targeted posts on social media and watch things build from there

Twitter and Facebook may be useful in this respect for you to be able to post content directly to specific age groups, genders, locations, and focused business and interest groups and so reach an instantly targeted audience in real time. 

These are by far the two most popular social media sites and conversations are dynamic, engaged, fluid, global in reach and offer numerous opportunities for you to step in and market your product or service in a relevant and topical way with people who are genuinely interested in finding out more. Google Plus Communities and Linkedin Groups are other useful contact groupings that are well worth getting involved in.
But generally speaking, what smaller brands also need to do is be smart and re-think their strategies – even if it means initially being prepared to pay to advertise just to generate the first sparks of targeted online notice.

The obvious places to start are Google AdWords, and you can advertise on Twitter and Facebook, as well as Bing  and other search engines too.
In the early days you should perhaps think of this paid advertising expense as more an essential tool in creating brand recognition and generating links rather than as actually being aimed at sales or leading conversions. You can also think about e-mail marketing, display ads and other traditional forms of getting your product out there and known.  

No matter which type of advertising you choose, take a dynamic approach and be ready to re-engage your audience to keep your product or service at the forefront of their minds. In this way, your link will be quick and easy to find and forward to their contact group whenever they next decide to post on Twitter, FaceBook or online.

Remember to use the Google Display Network and Facebook to re-target your online users by monitoring their web activity and maintaining and expanding the dialogue to reinforce your message and remind them of your existence whenever they go online. 

Content is King

The other all-important strategy is to ensure that you have excellent content on your site so that when you do start to generate traffic, you truly engage user interest and provide them with the answers they are looking for. 

Some original content is needed, of course, to explain who you are and what product or service you have to offer. But you can also include a well thought-out listing of other websites, videos, blogs, social media postings, relevant RSS feeds and other online content that further supplements and complements the product or service that you are providing. 

This type of curated content is an excellent way to provide focused, informative material about your topic and to get you established as a professional, authoritative, quality site within your field. This in turn can help to establish your online presence because your users will feel confident and be willing to share your content (and link) with their own contacts through Twitter and Facebook postings, blog posts, emails and more.

In addition, curated content will get you noticed more quickly by search engines, especially if you include references to the most authoritative and quality websites within your field. And this in itself can boost your own SERP ranking.

The secret is to add to and update your curated content on a regular basis so that your site is constantly being re-indexed by the search engines and so keeps its topical status.

So, in a nutshell, there are no more quick ways to establish a positive presence online. Small businesses need to:
  • Think strategically 
  • Think smart
  • Create a website and social media links that are authoritative and professional with top quality content that stands way ahead of the dross. 
  • Think about curating content to supplement and complement what is already on your site.
  • Invest in paid advertising to get your excellent online content visible and known by the right people and groups who will link back to you. 
Then sit back and watch the ripple effect push you to the front of the crowd!

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