In today’s post link-farm, content saturated SEO world, the search engines (and by search engines, I do mean Google) have got wise to the ways of the numerous “build-em quick and cheap” online inbound marketing websites that promise short term rewards for little spend.
Google’s Matt Cutts, in his Google Webmaster Help videos, has been steering the conversation for a while now on what Google is trying to achieve, i.e. better search results, by determining how links are rewarded for their relevance, quality and related search successes.
It’s clear that a new SEO strategy is required to impress Google and feed traffic to your web property. The reality is that these days, you are going to have to work hard and sweat blood and tears to create value content that drives traffic to your sites and that gets media attention. You need to earn that backlink, not buy it!
Let us face it, content creation, and content marketing are nothing new, new being a relative term in our fast paced SEO world. It’s the focus that has shifted, and successful SEO’s are gaining traction by creating sustainable content that gets consumers sharing, and has a high level of referral traffic based on its authority in the brand’s relative audience marketplace.
Let’s take a look at why you have been seeking to implement an SEO backlink strategy. The number one reason is to get more visitors to your site without having to rely on PPC; you want a free ride, don’t you? Or at least you don’t want to pay those increasingly high PPC charges that eat into your profit margin by making you compete for attention in a saturated marketplace.
Looking under the hood of past strategies, a small SME might spend a few hundred £’s to get their site moving up the rankings, only to be disappointed with the results and then give up on digital marketing and SEO altogether. It’s common to hear a client say they have spent a fortune for little or no ROI. The problem here is that a responsible solution that in the pre-panda (a Google algorithm update) days had a significant effect is now generally becoming redundant.
So what now for link building? Well, the short answer is, don’t bother! Yep, I said it, don’t bother with link building. You want links to your site and you want a strategy, but these days you need to focus on quality, relevant content creation and distribution. In other words, you need to spend time being creative, creating content full of value, and then market the hell out of it. In turn, traffic will flow and profit will be around the corner.
So how do you go about creating and then distributing great content?
First, let’s get creative – It’s list time!
Research your customers, understand what they like, eat, drink, do, watch, where they go and where they spend most of their time online. Next, make sure that for each product or service you are marketing there is a matching audience that you can identify in the digital space. Now create content that this audience will ENJOY consuming, and important bit here; SHARE, PROMOTE, and LINK TO.
Every piece of content should inform, educate, solve a problem, and address an issue that’s relevant to the audience you are targeting. You can use words, photos, videos, infographics, apps, and just about anything you can think of that is a placeholder for content. You just need to get your brand, solution, product or service into every message as part of the narrative that makes the content attractive and stimulating.
Package your content with keywords, hashtags and links to your landing pages – in other words, ensure the relevant search terms are embedded in the content your create. Don’t go overboard, though; Google knows when you’re keyword stuffing! Wrap your content with solid titles, meta-descriptions, snippets, and social media descriptions – lead-ins that get people clicking on that social media story and get them sharing with friends.
Every time you get your content SHARED, you get your brand, product or service in front of a potential customer. You also start to rank better with Google. Why? Because Google understands the social conversation. The more people you have in the social chatter, the more you are likely to get your content in front of the 1% of individuals who matter, the bloggers, and the editors. Those people that can place your content on their blog, newspaper, TV show, website, whose audience you were after in the first place.
So there you have it; create great content, get it out there, get it shared, build buzz and the referral traffic, authoritative backlinks, and social conversations will flow! Just one problem! You need to get it out there! You need a strategy, plan, method, content distribution network, PR agency to promote this rich content that is the magic carpet of your journey to full flowing inbound marketing, back linking traffic rushing and purchase powering profitability driving sales!
So here’s the next list – Build a mini distribution and publication platform!
- Create space on your website to publish your content – Hint here – Blog!
- Post links to your content on Social Networks – Have pages on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn
- Pin your content to Pinterest
- Tweet your content on Twitter
- Submit it to Digg and Reddit, StumbleUpon
- Create mini content and post it to microblogging sites with links to your main content, use Tumblr and Squidoo
- Get your content syndicated via RSS, Paper.li, Scoop.it
- Get a PR company to push out your content as press releases and news stories
- Send your content out offline, get it into magazines, or trade publications
- Create eBooks and PDF’s to distribute your content; people will link to it!
So there you have it; these days’ don’t build links! Create and distribute for links; they will be of far greater quality, more authoritative and will last longer, and will in time get you that SEO traffic you are after.