Strategy 1: 40% of SEO Depends on Link Building
While every page on your website should be optimized by incorporating the right long-tail keyword phrases, this strategy accounts for just a small percentage of SERP performance. One of the biggest factors in SEO is having strong, reliable links. While your control over outside links is somewhat limited, there are six main link building principles that can boost a website’s page rank when applied correctly.
- Submit your website’s URL to appropriate online directories. Start with the common local directory listings such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Then focus on high-quality niche directories within your industry (ex., Thomasnet). You can use your brand name as the link text, but for higher quality directories, varied keyword-rich link text is a good move.
- Content creation has a huge impact on link-building, too. Every piece of content on a website has the potential to be linked to, whether it’s a blog, an online press release, or some other frequently updated page. Based on a single year of high-quality daily blogging alone, Weidert Group experienced an increase of 200% in linking domains. In that same time period, our site’s link credibility score jumped from 4.1 to 5.4.
- Another key business strategy in linkbuilding is utilizing B2B and personal networks. These relationships build credible links across many online sources, including networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. In particular, posting comments on other blogs, making helpful remarks that indicate thought leadership, and sharing content reciprocally are all important networking actions that can build SEO-enhancing links.
- TIP: By using Google Alerts or other social monitoring tools for specific terms related to your industry, you can monitor when others are posting questions or discussions related to these terms, then join in the conversation with helpful insights – even share a link to a blog post or article from your company in relation to the topic within your comment
- Active participation in blogs through commentary is a way to actively network while generating link opportunities. Often, regular interaction can earn active bloggers the opportunity to write as a guest blogger on other sites. In guest-writing opportunities, it’s important to incorporate a strong keyword strategy while subtly taking advantage of the opportunity to link to one’s own site. Guest bloggers are typically seen as authorities on a subject, so readers view their links as very credible.
- Repurposing your blogs and other content to create advanced content can lead to huge improvements in SEO. Whitepapers, videos, presentations, eBooks, and infographics are good advanced content options for your prospects. The potential for these types of content to gather links is high, especially if they are accessible, well designed, and unique.
- Posting questions and answers to sites such as Quora or Ask. By answering other people’s questions with educated answers, not only are you helping out another company, you’re also beginning to establish yourself and your company as thought leaders in that industry. Continue to utilize these platforms to help grow your network and soon people you’re answering will start linking back to the resources you provide them.
Keep in mind that not all links are created equal. There are good reasons directory links are only the first step — they are not nearly as valuable or as strong as social links built on good content. Links from media, trade associations, powerful brands, education sites or government sites are key to gaining great SERP rank quickly.
Strategy 2: Geographic SEO
For many small or local industrial manufacturers, global domination of SERPs is not the goal. Instead, geography plays a large part in determining which customers they serve. On-page geographic SEO is about adding your region to metadata, page content and blog posts, and many businesses already use them well. However, to ensure a business is reaching the right audience within a specific target region, it’s important to have a localized link-building strategy in place.
Focused on a defined geographic scope, directory usage can provide the edge that will push you above others in the SERPs. Here are some tips for targeting a geographic area with directories:
- Register with Google My Business. It’s the staple for securing the local search for any business. Creating an account on the site is free, and it usually only requires 15 minutes to complete the profile
- Niche directories, such as ThomasNet and Industrial Quick Search, can enhance localized SEO efforts. There are a variety of resources readily available, outlining how to select directories based on specific business characteristics
- In addition to directories, review sites offer a huge advantage to local businesses because search engines place a lot of weight on customer reviews (as do prospective customers). In fact, 82% of U.S. adults use online reviews when buying something for the first time. Like directories, many review sites allow businesses to make profiles, which encourage their customers to share their experience. Review sites have the potential to grow links because customers can actively share their experiences in social media and in commentary
Strategy 3: Social Media
We covered earlier in this ebook that backlinks are critical to SEO success, and leveraging social media links and reaching out to other high quality sources to receive backlinks will help your SEO immensely. This is why social media and public relations are critical in your SEO strategy.
Companies that ensure their websites, blogs, and landing pages are integrated with social media using social sharing buttons and other plugins are leveraging the impact of these signals to increase their relevancy and rank in search. Certain blogging platforms, such as the HubSpot blog platform, have built-in social sharing buttons and integration. Without that convenience, web managers have to do a little extra work. There are numerous social sharing plugins available, including some that have all the most popular social websites collected. The key is to offer sharing options on and off the content page, so that potential links and content awareness grow.
Strategy 4: Public Relations
Public relations is social content. In this age of content marketing, public relations content is the kind of strong, reliable information that search engines love. PR content — news releases and stories — helps boost SEO results whether on the geographic, global, or virtual level.
News, by definition, can be anything new, unique, interesting or useful. That means it can be content about:
- Hiring a new employee
- Signing a new contract for service
- Winning an award
- Launching a new service
- Creating and offering a valuable new tip sheet or whitepaper
Any of those can be featured in a short press release that you publish on your website. Properly optimized and promoted via social media, PR is another opportunity to create new links and attract prospects to your website. Once a press release is published on the website, good promotion using social media tools is what differentiates today’s press releases from those of the past.
In addition to creating press releases, it’s also essential to start reaching out to credible sources (trade publications, industry associations, etc.) and asking them to put a relevant link in their content to yours. Maintaining and fostering these relationships with the gatekeepers of these sites is crucial to getting them to put you in the running for a backlink. You aren’t the only person with an SEO strategy who would want a backlink, and because they’re getting inundated with requests, known and trusted thought leaders will be the ones chosen to receive backlinks – so work on those relationships!
If you implement a comprehensive inbound strategy, you’ll be generating the authority and knowledge to showcase your company as an industry thought leader. This will give you or your inbound marketing agency all the content it needs to reach out to gatekeepers to start building those relationships.