What we’ve seen over the last few years is Google is increasingly favouring larger brands. Even in Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines they state, “Would you recognize this site for an authoritative source when mentioned by name?”
Google determines the dimensions of a product as compared to the remaining market within a given niche (or perhaps for a given keyword group) by looking at what are called Brand Signals; indicators to Google that you are currently an authority with your field – that individuals within your market know your identiity and they also trust you.
The analogy I usually want to use to describe quality link building is the one about textbooks…
You will have a combination of textbooks inside a field that most have citations and references for some other resources, so you are aware that if a number of textbooks in a given field point to exactly the same resource, it’s a resource that is relevant and high quality.
The identical applies online.
You want references, citations, links, even brand mentions along with other signals… so you need many of these in a manner that, a) Google sees, b) Google likes, and c) Google allows.
I like to reference this combination and strategic direction as…
Search Relations (PR for search engine listings)
Google wishes to provide the best experience due to its users, which explains why it would like to rank the large brands for several searches as you can.
To discover the actual power of SEO, you have to become one of those particular brands. To achieve that, you must develop your brand awareness so that you reach your audience across multiple resources.
If they’re reading articles inside a newspaper associated with your service and a clients are interviewed, you have to be that company. If the article within a blog references an industry resource, you should be that resource. If there is a summary of providers of your service somewhere over a related website, you need to be on that list.
By putting yourself looking at your target audience and establishing your brand presence in your marketplace, Google will recognise you as a strong brand among your competition.
That’s where real SEO success can take place.
The unfortunate reality of big brand SEO
The days of personal blogs or small mortgage brokerages ranking to the keyword ‘home loans’ ahead of the largest banks within a country are over. You can’t pretend to be a big brand in SEO anymore as well as in the rare cases that ‘pretending’ does work, it doesn’t work with long.
Realistically, this is simply not such bad for users – if they’re looking for a products or services, they must view the businesses that possess the highest capacity and industry trust for delivering that goods and services, like a bank or lender with regards to ‘home loans’.
So if you’re not among the strongest brands, you have only 3 options:
Pick a different keyword group
Target longer tail, more specific keywords and traffic
Become some of those brands
If none of these can be accomplished, decide on a different service or put money into non-white-hat SEO at the own risk.
How to become a robust brand that Google favours
If you wish to turn into a strong brand that Google favours, you will find three key areas to target (according to what exactly is available and applicable for the situation):
Leveraging existing relationships, marketing & resources
Engaging in the marketplace & community
Directly promoting your content, brand & products/services
Here are 10 instances of each…
1. Leveraging existing relationships, marketing & resources
References from your suppliers – Many product suppliers have lists with their stockists or distributors on the websites, and service providers often list clients or client logos as examples of previous work completed. In any event, ask your suppliers or providers to feature you on their website inside their lists, with a branded link to your site.
References through your clients (B2B) – Similarly, many distributors, stockists and clients list their suppliers on their website, sometimes having a profile of your suppliers’ brands. Ask your customers to add you on their website within these lists or as being a preferred supplier.
Testimonial contributions – If you find no list on the supplier’s website, they can still include testimonials on their site. If you’re happy with them, provide a testimonial for them to include on their website having a link to your business.
Leverage radio/TV advertising – Some media outlets have a listing of their advertisers on their website. If you are advertising with any radio or TV stations, check in case they have this feature and make certain you are within the list.
Leverage other sponsorships – Many businesses that accept sponsorships display the sponsors on their website, generally having a brand name and sometimes using a link. In case your company has or will have any sponsorships – whether charities, organisations, clubs, events etc – be sure you request or confirm the addition of your brand or logo on their site having a link returning to your website.
Non-linked brand citations – As the brand awareness grows so you earn a media presence, your brand will begin to be mentioned in articles or content and news articles. Should your company has been mentioned from a writer or journalist, they know who you really are and also have already promoted your brand with their readership, why not ask them to alter the existing brand mention to some hyperlink? You may even take advantage of this to build a relationship for future collaborations.
Leverage press announcements – While the old bulk press-release-syndication SEO strategy (where your press release is published to your tonne of PR directories haphazardly) needs to be avoided, there are many high-quality press release websites that happen to be still valuable in case your release is newsworthy. Additionally, for those who have company news which is worth a press release, it is possible to reach out to local or industry journalists who might find it interesting, and possibly even offer an exclusive interview.
Leverage existing content resources – Find what content in your website has been successful in past times. When the content has generated interest and traction, there exists a reason so find any way easy to market it further.
Reverse image/Content lookup – If you have successful content, often key statistics, phrases, charts, tables or images may be re-used or quoted by other writers. Sometimes they might forget to cite you being a source or maybe they are doing site you, they can not backlink to you (just like non-linked brand citations). Get in touch with the authors, thank them to the compliment of using your information and ask them nicely should they would mind including a citation to the original part of content.
Lost link outreach – Most third party link analysis tools offer a summary of pages that previously linked to your web page but for in which the page or link has become removed. Websites like these have already related to you previously so the relationship is established. Get in touch with them, figure out why they removed the hyperlink, what might be involved in re-establishing the website link or the best way to work together in the foreseeable future.
2. Getting involved in the market and community
Scholarships – Education institutions often list any scholarships highly relevant to their students, that can help them financially. Discover which courses, diplomas and degrees are relevant for careers in or connected with your industry and create a nominal scholarship program for students in those fields. Ensure you do have a description and application page on your own website, then get in touch with the institutions offering those courses to feature the scholarship with their listings.
Internships – Similarly, many educational facilities enjoy to have partnerships with companies where they are able to place their students for Work Experience or Internships. Most will list these firms on their website being a sales hype to give more students in. In addition to that branding, you are able to improve your work capacity with the intern and you will definitely often find some very nice future personnel through internship programs (as we ourselves have found repeatedly over the years).
Guest speakerships – Most of you will remember at some time or any other that the guest speaker stumbled on your school, college, university or TAFE to give a talk highly relevant to the course that you were studying. If you’re an authority inside your field and are comfortable looking at groups of students, offer your services like a guest speaker to deliver insights to the industry or educate them on a specific sub-topic. Many institutions will incorporate guest speakers as well as their companies within the course outlines, which are often on the net.
Event sponsorships/suppliers – If there are actually any upcoming events within your industry, specifically to your target audience, contact the celebration organisers to offer you either a sponsorship or, if your goods and services are suitable, to turn into a supplier from the event. Most events offer an online presence and can list their event sponsors and suppliers somewhere online.
Host a niche event – One challenge, especially with smaller events, is finding funding to cover venues. If you cannot offer financial support or supplies, or if perhaps the big event is smaller in nature, it is possible to offer your facilities to host the big event. You will find that venues will always be listed on event details pages, plus they may backlink to your Give Us A Call page whether it has details on the way to arrive there.
Charity sponsorships – There are several charities which are in urgent need of funding. Leaving aside that each company must be giving to the community, some charities will likely list sponsors on their website. Locate a charity which is in line with your enterprise ethos and have involved.
Join industry associations – Most industries provide an association of some type that requires membership from companies, and most of these associations have a directory with their members. Websites like these might be super relevant and, while they offer an application process, only have legitimate businesses listed. You ought to be some of those businesses. They can even have events coming that you might become involved in.
Competition prize contributions – On sites like HARO and SourceBottle, people working in media sometimes list requests for competition prizes to become donated in return for referencing the emblem from the competition ads and channels. In case the competition is relevant and will have an online presence, you could offer services or products as a prize to take full advantage of that branding.
Industry forum engagement – Forums get yourself a bad rap, but a majority of industries have great forums where the community and experts are actually engaged. Create a real profile for the real person and start engaging in the conversations; offer your industry expertise, advice for resolving issues, feedback on comments or questions. Should you publish content, you can even share a summary by using a backlink to the very first in the new thread and inquire people for his or her feedback. Though I feel it obvious, it’s worth mentioning you should never spam a forum with links and prevent using your website with your forum signature – even though this could have worked before, you will definitely get banned through the high-quality forums and overdoing it will likely present you with complications with Google penalties.
Offer interviews – Bloggers and journalists are frequently seeking experts to interview on difficult or controversial topics. Keep a lookout on HARO and SourceBottle for requests, or even get in touch with journalists or bloggers you are aware of to be interested in your city of know-how and provide yourself like a source. Some media outlets actually have a standing ask for interviews.
3. Promoting your brand, products, services and content to industry resources and influencers
Keep in mind that this region of brand promotion is what most closely resembles SEO of the past, but it should be evolved to the present and future.
Linkable content creation & promotion – Quite simply, create content that folks inside your field would like to hyperlink to. Just like technical onsite SEO, there are numerous resources available online that discuss creating content that will attract links and the ways to promote that content to acquire links. Brian Dean offers a detailed explanation of the items he calls the Skyscraper Way of creating linkable assets and Noah Kagan goes through a comparable strategy but elaborates much more on content promotion.
Egobait aggregator lists content – People like recognition. When you curate a long list of the “Top/Best XX Anything”, and may include links to every blog, website, or company within the list, potentially using a snippet or description, then you can get in touch with them and make sure they know. Smaller to medium-sized websites especially would like to brag regarding it, especially when it’s an award, and may even include local internet marketing company on their website returning to a list.
Egobait citations/references content – Similarly, you can quote or cite a targeted author with your high-quality content with a web link straight back to their site, then reach out to them and inform them. They may or may not hyperlink to it in time, but more often they will share it with their followers and one might end up linking with it.
Host webinars – An underrated and underused medium in most industries is video content. If it’s within your capacity, host webinars to teach within the industry on difficult topics, or offer beginner sessions. Record and publish these as videos, and even create independent informational videos, and promote the recording as you may would some other linkable asset.
Offer sample products for review – Bloggers love free samples and several will review products inside their field anyway. Provide a sample in return for an independent (unbiased) review of your products or services published on their site. Obviously here, you should have a good product to have maximum gain benefit from the review.
Blogger relationship building – Identify the best blogs and data resources in your industry. Start engaging because of their content; add valuable comments on his or her site; share their content and link to it where possible; promote them in your social websites profiles. Establish a positive relationship prior to deciding to request anything and then, upon having a dialogue, it is possible to share your content and request for their feedback, or you can brainstorm other ways to collaborate.
Social influencer relationship building – Identify the top social profiles and influencers inside your industry. Start engaging together across their social platforms; favourite and retweet their tweets; share and similar to their Facebook posts. Establish a positive relationship prior to deciding to require anything after which, when you have a dialogue, you are able to share your content and request their feedback, or brainstorm alternative methods to collaborate.
Industry resource lists – In several industries, you will find lists of providers, suppliers, tools, etc – as an example on ‘Useful Resources’ pages. If you locate a list of your competition all using one page, you have to be on that list. Contact the website owners and request them should they includes you amongst the set of providers. When they simply have a shortlist of the most popular brands, they might not include you, but some wish to have a comprehensive selection of all 94dexmpky providers and will be delighted to maintain the list fresh.
Off-site aggregator lists – Comparable to industry resource lists, there are websites or website pages in many industries that are committed to aggregating specific forms of companies or websites. If you have a listing highly relevant to your product or service, services or company type, contact the aggregator and get them what would engage in getting listed. Comparison sites (loans, insurance, accommodation) are a good instance of aggregator lists, but often it’s as easy as a blog article listing everyone within your field.
Viral competitions/offers – Create a competition or even a special offer which is so outrageous people would like to share it because of their social followers. Or, taking it to the next level, create a competition or a discount specially for target bloggers – when the incentive is sufficient, it is going to entice these people to share it with their social profiles and hyperlink to it from the website.
Get creative and determine what is wonderful for you. Audit your resources and ensure you are taking advantage of all your marketing channels. Find unique methods for getting involved with your distinct niche or industry.