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