Scalable Link Building Plan for Corporate Websites

by Jason Acidre on July 14, 2011 · 62 comments · Search


Corporate Link BuildingIn the natural world and history of big corporations, monopolizing smaller businesses is one of the most conventional wisdoms that they all perceive as a key to progressively succeed in their own respective industries. That business outlook can surely work and bring in just about the same results when it comes to link building.

Large businesses have the biggest advantage when competing for search engine ranking positions, given that they have the funds to size up the reach and efficiency of their online marketing campaigns. However, some may and do fail, mainly because of the funds that they are able to expend and the intention of speeding up their objective’s development timeline, which often results to participation on link buying schemes (that will eventually be caught by Google).

Establishing a corporation takes time, and that’s somehow equal to establishing your brand’s online presence and reputation.

Link Building in this Generation

This process is vastly recognized as the most vital phase in terms of making keywords rank on search engine result pages (SERP). But today, link development seems to play a much bigger role than just to support, maintain or improve your keyword(s)’ search rankings, since it can be utilized as well in influencing other aspects of online marketing such as:

  • Building a strong brand identity through relevant interactions.
  • Setting your brand as an authority in your industry through editorial and contextual citations.
  • Sending trust signals to search engines through high-value link acquisition (visibility/placement and relevance).
  • Maintaining the prestige factor of the company’s site through the quality of external sites endorsing and linking to it.
  • Generating leads and highly targeted traffic through externally distributed content.
  • In managing the company’s online reputation.

The principle of a sustainable and scalable link building strategy should be able to fortify as well as to prolong the brand’s authentic popularity, which in turn can influence the site’s search rankings by means of natural linking, seeing as execution of this marketing perspective is a strong indication of trust to both users and search engines.

8 Ways to Build Links to Corporate Websites

1. Corporate Blogging

One of the most significant factors that enable corporate blogs to transcend and stand out in their industry is the ability of their organization to breed extremely talented bloggers that can showcase your brand’s expertise in the field. Building a team of experts that can shape their own individual personalities and presence on the web through providing solid content/interactions in and out of your domain can tremendously increase your site’s linkability (given that strong web personalities can naturally attract links).

You can also stretch the capacity of your content production within your organization by encouraging each department to contribute and share their expertise (from management, labor, accounting, legal, marketing, etc…). In this way, you are increasing your site’s chances of attracting more link opportunities from different sectors and given that most of your contributors (employees) will voluntarily promote their own contributions to their own networks, which is a good way to develop linkers within your group.

Tasks that your team of expert bloggers can employ:

  • Guest blogging, wherein they can build their own personal brand that’s still incorporated to your organization (link attributes to your site).
  • Community participation, where they can contribute to relevant discussions on other authority blogs, high-traffic forums, Q&A sites and social networks, and eventually bring the discussions back to your site.
  • Reach out to and engage link prospects (thought-leaders and authority figures in your industry) through social media interactions to improve the depth of your brand’s reach and contacts.
  • Strict content editorial analysis, to assure that the site as well as your distributed content is providing high quality information to possible linkers.

Basically, you’ll want to establish your bloggers’ reputation as an authority, individually, in order to generate relationship-based links to your site along the process.

2. Constant Addition and Promotion of Viral, Useful and Evergreen Content

Adding new content to your site simply equates to adding new high quality links, may it be internal or external. Continuous creation of content that can go viral and be useful to your target audience can result to links through social bookmarks, shares or resource links/mentions.

It’s also important to implement a strategic keyword distribution on all of your cornerstone (viral/evergreen) content, as people who will be linking to your content have high possibilities of using the content’s title as anchor text when linking back to it. This will allow your keyword-focused content to further improve its search rankings and generate highly targeted visitors through organic search.

Types of content that you can constantly add in your site:

  • Comprehensive resource articles (like tutorials, extreme lists or how to articles)
  • Interview other industry experts or crowdsourcing
  • High-utility rich media content like infographics, videos, podcasts and slide presentations
  • Research, case studies and survey results
  • Downloadable and redistributable whitepapers
  • Link bait type blog posts
  • Free to access web-based tools/apps

In promoting your viral/evergreen content:

  • Gather and build a contact list of webmasters that might be interested to link to your content, preferably sites that host thematic resource pages or curated posts, since offering a valuable content for them to link to have high response rate when doing email outreach compared to requesting for a link directing to your homepage.
  • Promote the content through social media, which normally involves Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Stumbleupon, Google+ and/or Reddit outreach, wherein you can use your personal, professional and industry-related relationships in starting the syndication.
  • Disseminate the content by highlighting it on your externally distributed content (like guest blog posts, whitepapers, press releases, interviews, etc…). You can also link back to your viral content as a resource every time you participate on discussions on related forums, Q&A sites and blogs.
  • Pitch the story to news websites, if the content is newsworthy. Provide all the necessary resources (links) that they might need and keep the pitch concise.

For a more extensive guide on how to promote your content, you can check out my older post about how to get editorial links.

Lastly, make these viral and highly linkable content internally link to your site’s important landing pages using their targeted keywords as anchor texts, given that these content will eventually gain stronger page authority over time as they naturally attract incoming links/link juice from external websites that will be all passed through to your site’s important pages, which can in turn boost your landing pages’ organic search rankings.

3. Blog Incubation

I stole borrowed the term from Rand Fishkin, but I think the concept is still somehow related to what he had originally described. The main objective of this strategy is to strengthen your brand’s online presence through consistent content contribution or collaboration on other reputable blogs in your industry. Below are some steps on how to implement this method:

  • Identify the top blogs in your industry that have strong following and determine the site/blog’s strength using metrics such as domain authority, traffic data as well as homepage PageRank.
  • Collect their contact details and try to request if you can submit a guest blog post. Once your guest blog has been published, help in promoting the submitted content and be as responsive as you can to the comments that your guest entry will receive.
  • Build a good relationship with the blog owners and try to submit more content to be published on their blogs (resourceful and non-promotional posts). Try to submit content twice or thrice each month and respond to their visitors’ queries and comments, as this will establish your brand on these highly anticipated industry sectors.
  • The more visible you are on these high quality blogs is the more you are able to build high-value links (links that have high click-through) and the more you can absorb highly-targeted visitors to your site through highly exemplified brand signals.
  • You can also choose to include emerging blogs that provide high-quality content in your campaign and have high potentials of growing as an authority in the field. Invest on them by helping them promote their blogs, contributing content or helping them out financially (optional).
  • Another alternative is to hire bloggers to write about topics related to your industry and provide them with tools that they’ll possibly need to maintain the external support blog(s) such as domain registration, hosting services, SEO-related tools, autoresponders, etc…

4. Organize or Sponsor Events and Incentivize Linking

Use offline and online events as a channel in marketing your brand, as there are lots of link opportunities on these occasions (mostly driven by brand impressions), particularly if you’ll be able to physically/virtually interact with your target audience. Here are some of the types of events that you can choose to organize or sponsor:

  • Meetups
  • Seminars
  • Conferences
  • Webinars
  • Awards

It’s imperative to specifically target individuals and organizations that have online presence, since you’ll be encouraging them to share the experience of attending the event. This call to action is very doable if you have hosted/sponsored the event or have presented as a speaker. In finding local events (meetups) to sponsor, you can use Meetup.com.

You can also incentivize the linking processes for the events that you’ll organize, like offering Widgets to serve as certificates for attending or being part of the event (ex: widgets for nominees, winners, speakers, participants/members, etc…), to intensify the chances of obtaining links from the event’s participants. Naturally, these widgets will link back to your site once installed, so it’s also important to make the process of acquiring the widget easier for your participants.

Grow your organization eventually by making your event(s) commemorated annually or yearly, as this will allow your group to continuously expand its own network, especially in collaborating with other experts in your industry.

5. Cultivate Link Builders within your Organization – Your Employees

Most people in this generation have their own social networking sites accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc…), and some may have their own personal blogs. Educating your employees how important links are for your business will be extremely valuable for your online marketing campaign, particularly in promoting and syndicating your site’s business content to various social networks, given that social signals serve as a significant factor in search engine rankings these days.

Orient your members on how you can all execute this phase in your online marketing such as automating the social sharing process (ex. Twitterfeed or Triberr) or by sending mass email to your employees every time you have a new content published on your site. Just imagine how many retweets, Facebook likes/shares and Google +1 you can get if you have 100+ employees who are socially active on the web, it can extremely impact your content’s performance in terms of visibility.

6. Build a Community

Creating a strong community with a large amount of active followers that consistently participate on conversations is very advantageous when it comes to establishing your brand as an authority in the field as well as in generating brand advocates that will voluntarily link to your domain.

You can choose to acquire and re-brand an existing forum in your industry that already has stable flow of traffic or build a new one that will be hosted within your site’s domain. The main key to a successful community is to be as supportive, useful and responsive as you can to your members and to display leadership through conversations related to what your business excels on.

Exceptionally useful threads and conversations do attract links, especially when users link back to it as a source of industry-related information. It’s also a great way to demonstrate your brand’s expertise and establish trust that can help your business acquire more leads and referrals through voluntarily given links.

7. Social Media Integration

Social media has been a very influential sector of online marketing and search engine optimization in these past few years. The main objective of aligning your online marketing campaign with social media is to amplify your brand visibility on social networks where you can easily interact with your target market (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc…).

In this segment of marketing your brand, it’s important to increase the quantity as well as quality of your followers in order to improve your business’ reach, seeing that the process of expanding the reach and visibility of your content allows it to encompass more natural citations/links through your networks’ networks.

Some of the ways that you can implement to improve the number of your followers on popular social networks:

  • Launch a contest that includes following you on social networking sites in the mechanics.
  • Maximize your call to action on each of your site’s content by implementing force multipliers, in which you can encourage/manipulate your visitors to act on simple tasks such as sharing the content on various social networks (tweet, like, FB share, Google+1, stumble, Linkedin share, etc…) and to follow you on social networks you actively update.
  • Use your social network profile links as CTAs on your email signatures, offline advertisements, free whitepapers and guest blog posts – learn more about static marketing.

8. Brand Monitoring

Tracking your brand’s reputation on different web channels is vital these days, especially for large companies, seeing as consumers are now more capable of dismantling strong brands over the web with just a negative sentiment about their experience with the brand, and this can certainly affect your business in many ways – both in marketing and conversions.

However, in link building, monitoring your brand’s performance in terms of search, social and content can help you develop a much stronger brand identity and uncover more link opportunities. Below are some steps to execute in using this area of online marketing to build links:

  • Find positive mentions about your brand, products, high profile employees (in-house blogger, CEO, consultants, etc…) and branded services on Twitter, blog posts, forum threads or news articles.
  • You can use tools such as Google Alerts, Twitter Search, Social Mention or Trackur to track these mentions.
  • Try to contact users that have positively mentioned your brand (through Twitter or blog posts) and thank them. Once you have established a connection, you can then offer to send free samples of your new products/services to them and ask if they’ll be interested to review your new product(s). This should have a higher acceptance rate as they have already experienced and possibly liked your previous product/service.

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Image Credit: Tophattedtragedy

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre is Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, marketing consultant for Affilorama and Traffic Travis, and also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre and on Google+.

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