There was a cry that was heard amongst many in the search engine optimization world on April 24th, 2012, as if thousands of SEOs suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. It was the day that Google Penguin broke link-building…
…or at least that’s what many thought. Some of us, the ones who were focused on quality rather than quantity, the ones who would work a couple of hours to get one strong, contextual, organic link rather than building tens of thousands of bulk links in the same period of time – we came out better off than we were before the algorithm change.
Google reiterated the importance of inbound links at this year’s SXSW convention and those who survived the SEOpocalypse have found that the right types of links are more powerful than they ever were in the past. Link-building has, in many ways, been replaced by link-earning. You don’t generate links anymore. You generate and expose the content that is worthy of being linked to by other websites (not to mention being shared by individuals, but that’s an entirely other body part to discuss later).
If we’re going to treat search, social, and content marketing strategy as a living organism, then inbound links would be the food that fuels the body. From a purely SEO perspective, it’s what generates the authority that Google and Bing holds so high on their ranking algorithms. As long as it’s done organically and there are no nefarious tactics used in the process, there’s very little risk involved. The upside is huge.
From a social perspective, links can drive the traffic that is necessary to get people in front of your content. Assuming the content is good enough to get links, it’s probably deserving of social media shares as well. Those shares continue to help with search engine rankings but they also help with the purely social marketing area as well.
Last but not least, it does give your website credibility in the eyes of consumers. When your website is featured in a respected website, your potential customers who see the link will be impressed. It’s subtle, but it’s also very powerful.
In the near future, I’ll be going over each of the other parts of the marketing body. In the meantime, take a look at your content and inbound link “earning” strategy and ask yourself a question:
“If I were a website visitor and came across this content, is it valuable enough for me to want to link to it from my site?”
Technology has become a walking, talking part of our daily lives. In fact, technology is so built into the decision-making of most people that it is nearly impossible to grow a company without utilizing social media tools. A company has to be visible in order to be relevant, and these strange new systems like SEO writing and link building services, which can be difficult to understand, are also essential tools for the modern-day entrepreneur.
Of the many tools that are out there, here are the five that every businessperson should be using.
The fact is that everybody is there, and the Millennials especially are plugged into Facebook like you wouldn’t believe. More and more, that’s where people go to find things, and so to be viable you at least need a company facebook page. Once you have that, encourage your customers to like it; that’s probably the best way to drive referral business today.
Video is a great way to increase the visibility of your business. The videos don’t have to be brilliant, they don’t have to be shot well, and they don’t really even need to be about anything. Again, it’s mainly about creating presence. But if while creating that presence you happen to come up with something that people respond to, you just might go viral.
3. Link Building Services
Link building services embed quality links to your Website from other content around the Web. To search engines, that appears as incidents in which other well-traveled sites are referring to your site. That makes your site seem more important, and search engines pick it up.
4. LinkedIn Endorsements
In important ways LinkedIn is still trying to define itself in the social media niche. However, as Facebook’s extreme popularity begins to catch up with it, professionals are looking more and more to LinkedIn for professional networking. That includes making endorsements and writing recommendations. If you jump in and endorse people you know, you’ll get endorsements back. A professional network can be crucial to growing a business.
5. Targeted advertising
Online advertising is still struggling to define itself as a truly new genre – a feat the major markets for advertising need to accomplish to make online advertising truly effective. But it does have the benefit of being inexpensive and, through social media sites, incredibly well targeted.
There are many other places to spend time and money online, and the fact is that a list written today, however true it is now, might be outdated in three or four months. The social media space is constantly changing, but investing in that space, especially in link building services and other search engine optimization methods, is the best way to help your business grow.