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Scalable Link Building Plan for Corporate Websites

By on Jul 14, 2011 in Search | 53 comments

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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:

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:

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:

In promoting your viral/evergreen content:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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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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53 Comments

  1. Yes..building a site up in the search engines can be like pulling teeth….but if you implement the rights strategy then you will see good signs down the road.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  2. Colter A.

    July 14, 2011

    Post a Reply

    I recently started a company and have found that many link building sites are eager to take my money and build me links. I have spent my entire savings to start this business and it would be terrible to loose it all because of link builders, what is the safest way to get effective backlines at a cost effective rate and not get kicked out of Google? Please let me know as I’m currently doing backline myself

    • Kaiserthesage

      July 17, 2011

      Post a Reply

      I would suggest to invest on hiring and training an in-house specialist that will pursue links that will benefit your business. It’s more cost-effective and certainly scalable for your company, plus you can ensure that your link building campaign is always on the right track (ethical).

      • Toni Atkinson

        February 26, 2012

        Post a Reply

        Great suggestion- I’d add: just follow the steps in this post! Be patient, consistent and aim for long term visibility. I would also add make sure the site is fully optimized and is synchronized with the language and needs of searchers. Good luck and enjoy!

  3. I know a lot of major corporations that fall far short of taking advantage of corporate blogging.

    i.e….the company I work for which is a US-based fortune 300 company.

    It’s sad, really….not taking advantage of that.

    In addition to that, well optimized product pages as link bait.

    Mark

    • Kaiserthesage

      July 17, 2011

      Post a Reply

      I couldn’t agree more Mark! I guess because of the prestige factor of their brands, they can simply disregard this process of online marketing, though in an SEO standpoint, blogging is really vital, not only through links, but also in generating/pushing more leads for your business.

      Also, simple blog posts can simply boost product pages’ search rankings with just some smart internal linking :)

    • Kaiserthesage

      July 17, 2011

      Post a Reply

      Thanks for the compliment Melanie! Glad that you liked the post!

  4. Amenda Winter

    July 17, 2011

    Post a Reply

    I am sure that this can be very helpful to me and for all the readers there…Thanks a lot for the post…I like it…

  5. Betty

    July 18, 2011

    Post a Reply

    One of the most common I advices I had read for bloggers is joining a social network site. A blogger need to participate in a lot of interaction and introduce their blog. I have also seen bloggers helping other bloggers by placing a link of their blog to their own post. There are a lot of effective tips here Jason. I will learn them all as fast as I can. Thank you for the info.

  6. Jason Mitchev

    July 18, 2011

    Post a Reply

    I like the idea of “Blog Incubation”, no matter how it came about. :) Checking out others and seeing how they work and getting to know the webmasters/owners can be incredibly beneficial.

  7. Nice article, this is a good 101 on scalable corporate link-building. I’ve been working on some corporate link-building projects myself lately, and I think that after this basic education there are some basic challenges in corporate building in a corporate context. I have some proposals about how to ‘fix’ them, although I don’t have enough experience yet to see if they work :).

    1) Most corporate sites are so big that they suffer from poor information architecture. For example, I’ve seen a few companies with blogging platforms that are subfolders of the main site, and then they put their blogs as subfolders of that subfolder. A better way to do it would be to redirect that URL to a subfolder of the main page that covers the topic of the blog. That way, you tell the engines that the links built up from that content source refer to a page that covers the same topic as the blog, NOT the blogging platform.

    2) Corporate employees are generally risk-adverse, and lack the ‘boldness’ to create the kind of content that generally goes viral on the Internet. I think a solution would be to make sure blogs have an editor that is an experienced blogger that can provide feedback to people who are just starting to blog seriously. It’s not hard stuff to learn, and they’ll be on their way in no time.

    3) Companies that buy the products/services of corporations (generally other corporations) probably do not spend as much time browsing the web or social media as other folks. I’m sure they perform searches, but they probably won’t link to, share, or RT a piece of content. As a result, doing corporate link-building doesn’t always require creating content that targets the actual consumer. Instead, I believe it’s OK to create viral content just to gain search/social authority through the ‘linkerati’.

  8. I think that corporate businesses have the advantage of acquiring resources in terms of online visibility, allowing them to expedite their brands positioning over time. However, once they get there, (traffic goals, positioning, etc.) it is hard to further improved their position since they have their own brand reputation to maintain. They have to be very careful on decision making and controversies surrounding their corp image.,and unlike other smaller brands that can easily adjust and adapt to new strategies at present, corporations are always on the brink of make it or break it schemes since people are always on the look for buzz( both positive and negative).

    Internet is really the merger of small and big corporations, I believe. Create a good brand with useful content and you’re there, be a corporate brand with junk transaction and unhappy clients and your out.

  9. A very good post which I’m sure many will find useful.

    It is all very “ideal scenario” though, there will be many examples of corporations that won’t want to develop “linkable” content, won’t be the type of business to attract social attention and would be extremley difficult to develop many quality links.

    what would you suggest in that worst case scenario? :)

  10. Kristina L.

    July 20, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Hi,Jason,
    building links is not that a problem, it is more time consuming, but then again, anything is-if we want to make it through, we have to sacrifice something. Of course, not everyone can end up in the story being big, as with companies…the bigger ones will eat the small fish.

  11. Seo Services

    July 20, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Yes link building in this way will work good and rank high. For link building quantity does not matter quality of links matter. so try to make link on high pr sites they will be very effective. nice post.keep sharing your views.

  12. Chris Warren

    July 21, 2011

    Post a Reply

    It is just heart breaking whenever you have a company with so many resources available to them (like 100 employees tweeting) and to see them go untapped. I think it is one of those difficult issues where a company that is truly unaware of SEO does not typically want to bring someone in in-house and they most likely will not reap the rewards that their position provides by outsourcing it. Even if you outsource to a truly brilliant SEO it will be difficult for him to leverage all of the resources companies like this have over the period of a short contract particularly when you have to get initiatives passed by management.

  13. Michael J Archibeck@forex broker

    July 22, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Really useful information! And look how many other sites – a complete twaddle. But not here, and it pleases!

  14. Very complete and comprehensive post. Link building is such a pain in the arse that most of us are tempted to use automated software or outsource the link building process. Doing it the right way is hard work but it is worth it.

  15. Clark Minn

    July 24, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Well-explained post…This is also a very useful blog and thanks a lot for sharing this to all of us…

  16. This is a great post! In an effort to build quality backlinks, I am always looking for resources like this to find new ideas. Thank you! I should also note, SEO-hacker is a top dog in SEO and I highly suggest his articles and advise!

  17. Bingo Ventura

    July 25, 2011

    Post a Reply

    This correlates back to relevent linking.

    Speaking of Social Media Interaction, You should check out my post on how Wow-ed I am about Google+. Check it out, partner.

    Nice post, by the way.

  18. Another excellent post Jason. Glad you listed blogging at no. 1. A lot of companies have realized the value of corporate blogs but still aren’t getting the best value out of them. I think generating content for them alone is enough of a challenge for most, let alone SEO and link building strategies. But these are great tips you have listed here that ANYONE can use to boost their visibility.

    • Kaiserthesage

      July 26, 2011

      Post a Reply

      Thanks for the awesome comment Brendan, also for citing this post on Openviewpartner’s blog :) Personally, I’m also more into brand development than aiming for highly competitive search terms these days. I find it more sustainable and yet challenging.

  19. Anjana

    July 25, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Yes building links is a key to the success in the modern world. The 8 steps describe here are really useful and actually they are quite effective. So this is something that should be studied even by the professional as it is quite useful and important.

  20. Andrew Walker

    July 26, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Hi there mate. It’s a really great post from you, very detailed and interesting. The link building is always fun to do, as long as you enjoy it of course. :)

  21. Cultivating an online presence and brand requires, as evidenced by your post, a multi-faceted approach. I think more than ever it requires a huge amount of awareness in order to preserve and grow your reputation with the members of your niche’s community.

  22. Really cool post! I’m definitely going to reread and try out some of these techniques. I think a lot of these techniques are great, even for smaller businesses.

    I like the opening, as well, where you articulated how blog posting, especially right now, is not only about getting links, but also about building an online presence and brand. I think that this type of online marketing is going to be more and more important in SEO.

    Thanks for posting!

  23. When it comes to SEO, I believe taking shortcuts will have its downfall as your site may get banned from search engines. Developing SEO at a good and steady pace is the right way to go.

  24. Andrew Walker

    August 2, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Hi there.
    Thanks for sharing this. You know, I’ve got an offer to design a company’s site. I’ve been thinking whether to put a blog for them or not. And it looks like it will be very useful. So I decided to use it.

  25. Guill Jones

    August 4, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Hi there,

    I’ve been looking for a blog that will surely help me with regards of link building plan. I found some difficulties on how to corporate websites in my link building plan. And I’m grateful that you’re resourceful blog helped me a lot. Thanks for sharing us informative data. Thank you so much.

  26. You’re completely right in saying that brand monitoring is essential. We’ve gained many regular customers by providing benefits to those who speak positively about us. I only ask, what advice would you give if anyone were to speak negative about a company? Would you advise to contact them and ask them if there were anyway they could make up for the customers negative situation.

    • Gonzo SEO

      August 14, 2011

      Post a Reply

      When dealing with your online reputation you must own it. This strategy is all or nothing so respond to the good ones too, just a simple thank you. Be pleasant, give them an opportunity to call you or email you directly – take it offline (out of public view). Offer them the ball in their court and in my experience, most will not respond but the way you responded to them professionally bodes well with other viewers of your online reputation. Absolutely offer amends, but the important thing is to give them a way to contact you.

  27. Great Post,

    Even thought i fully agree with all the point you listed, i wonder if this approach is the best in all cases. In case of web agencies for example, i clearly seen the power of having a blog, where specific technical point can be discussed. But in the case of completely different domain, like for example pet keeping, is it really worth it ? I guess my point is to say that the most important is to adapt to the specificity of your firm rather than apply a list of recommandation. In my case, i don’t blog much yet because the audience and the potential in term of SEO is to weak right now, but i do work my link building in others ways ! (who said blog comments ? :p )

  28. Hey Jason,

    Thanks for this valuable post. Really you have explained it very well. I must say that your way of thinking is different and probably one of yours only. I am sure you have your ways and methods of working and ranking a site as well. Now I am definitely going to use this complete process for our corporate customers and projects. Please keep sharing!

  29. Anthony

    September 5, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Excellent break down of how to build gobs of links for something long term. I use many of these tactics for smaller sites, but they aren’t needed to such a large degree. I should probably start working on a site I can work on with this sort of thing for long term expansion.

  30. seo mauritius

    September 21, 2011

    Post a Reply

    Very Interesting post i think everyone that are seriously thinking about getting the best out of their web presence should read this article thanks for sharing

  31. Marcella

    November 28, 2011

    Post a Reply

    this is what i need to discuss with my business partner. this post is really a big help, glad i saw this, thanks so much!

  32. Hi Jason,

    It’s amazing that larger organisations don’t all capitalise on their size advantage. I guess they have their issues with internal bureaucracy and conflicting priorities but if some of them realised the true potential they might change tactics. Good news for us smaller guys who can outmanouevre and outrank a lot of the bigger agencies.

    I think harnessing the support of employees (your point 5.) might be one of the most under utilised tactics although also one of the most difficult.

    As a former CEO of a small/medium company, if I knew then what I know now, I would build in “promoting and marketing the company” into the employee objectives and appraisal process. Most employees won’t listen to the Marketing Director’s calls for support but once it’s linked to their pay .. now you’ve got their attention. For a large organisation that’s potentially dynamite and a great scalable link building tactic.

    The point that

  33. Woah, It seems that you have done many Coperate SEO Projects these tips are more like and Expert Opinion i as a Professional Writer know how content can be helpful for linkbuilding Strategies as it may help you to get links from other sources once it is Viral!!!

  34. I used to send people to SEOMOZ for their link building and SEO guide but honestly this guide is way more in depth and covers a lot more details — great work on putting this together it’s truly a well thought out and well written guide.

  35. Molly

    March 27, 2012

    Post a Reply

    You’ve hit the nail on the head with these SEO tactics. I think the best thing you mentioned was informing your employees that links mean something, and that they should utilize their social media connections to spread the word. This is a great way to backlink with no extra overhead, and you could even offer incentives or something for high quality links! Great post, thanks for sharing!

  36. Chante@Pet Shops

    September 28, 2012

    Post a Reply

    Hello just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few
    of the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I
    think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

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