In the first article in this series, “6 Dead Link Building Tactics You Should Avoid,” I talked about the types of links you should avoid and why some businesses still buy them. In this article, I’ll discuss the types of links you should try to get to improve search engine rankings and website traffic. I’ll also show you how to convince your boss why it’s important to budget properly for SEO.
In this post-Penguin era, you have probably heard over and over that the quality of your backlinks are more important than the quantity. Well, it’s true. Ever since Google’s Penguin algorithm started wreaking havoc on website rankings, the types of inbound links that are safe for your website have dwindled. Here are four that are still safe and beneficial.
1. Great Content Attracts Great Links
Awesome, engaging content attracts awesome inbound links, so a great content strategy should be one of the first priorities for your business. Here are some resources on how to build a content strategy:
- How to Build a Kickass Content Strategy
- How to Build Your First Content Marketing Strategy
- 7 Ways to Find What Your Target Audience Wants and Create Epic Content
Google recently made it clear with the addition of “in-depth articles” in its search results that article length is now a factor for authority and ranking. Google’s in-depth article section features articles that are typically over 2,000 words. These high-profile posts get a special section on the first page of Google’s search results.
Great content has additional advantages. When you ask editors and webmasters to allow you to contribute via guest blogging, you’ll be met with much warmer responses if your existing content is stellar.
2. Guest Blogging: My Personal Favorite
Guest blogging is a powerful way to improve your Author Rank while creating inbound links. These links can help build your personal and company brand awareness while driving targeted traffic to your website. When your articles are published on highly authoritative websites like Huffington Post, Forbes, or Entrepreneur.com, your name and your brand will gain credibility, authority, and trust from the site’s readers. A series of guest blogging articles can also result in lots of referral traffic as readers click-through to your other work on your website (but only if you’ve got a solid content strategy and high-quality work already on your website).
Infographics are a powerful way to visually represent large amounts of information. In cases where statistics and facts would make a reader’s head spin, infographics can tie all of this information into one easy-to-understand image.
Infographics are a great way to get links, too. Many websites will link to infographics or embed them within their own articles because they provide strong visual support for readers. For more information in how to use infographics effectively, see “The Definitive Guide to Writing and Promoting a Viral Infographic.”
4. High-Quality Local and Industry-Specific Directories
Most businesses will benefit from registering their company information on Google and Bing. Sites like getlisted.org and Yext.com will help register your company information on additional quality local directories. Trade associations can be a great way to get into industry-specific directories.
No Secret Sauce Necessary
For most reputable SEO firms, there is no “secret sauce” that they are unwilling to share with their customers. The right firm will work with a company to create a plan that’s suitable based upon your goals, existing link profile, and budget.
Convincing Your Boss About the Necessity of SEO
These tips can help convince your boss of the importance of getting the right types of backlinks. Consider becoming a mentor who assists your boss in understanding the true benefits of the right types of SEO.
Most business people are mainly interested in the bottom line and getting “bargain SEO services” can be appealing. This may be particularly true if they have a small budget.
In this case, it’s very important to discuss expectations and realistic timelines based upon their budget. After that, it’s important that the decision-makers understand the risk involved in purchasing low-quality links versus the rewards of engaging in real SEO and link building, such as via a strategic content marketing campaign.
When presenting this discussion to your boss, preparation is key. You can prepare visual aids showing how your site currently ranks for important keywords and then compare them to your competitors. You can also discuss your current traffic versus future goals. Keep in mind that your goal is to ask for a reasonable budget for SEO services. Initially, you can keep it simple and share the importance of proper website SEO optimization as well as getting the right types of inbound links for success.
If the website already has plenty of good inbound links, don’t forget to include money in the budget for an SEO audit so you’ll know the types of links and anchor diversification you already have. Remember, you don’t have to do everything at once. SEO services can scale up as your business grows and more money becomes available.
One more thing to keep in mind is that SEO is a gradual process. It’s important to let management know that they won’t see changes overnight and possibly even for a year or more. In the end, businesses who engage in quality SEO strategies as part of their marketing efforts see higher traffic and sales.
Link building is a time-intensive process, but it’s also part of a much broader strategy of content marketing. Publish amazing content (both on and off your website) and you’ll be rewarded with inbound links, traffic, leads, and sales. Whether you build your own links or hire a content marketing agency to assist with your efforts, have a plan and budget in place for SEO in order to grow your business.
Image credit: casscountynd.gov (public domain)