At one time, getting as many links to your site as you could was the goal for many people doing SEO. These days however, this is not the way at all and you will find yourself in deep trouble if you do this. Linking is still important though and should not be dismissed or forgotten about but it must be done in a natural way and only with sites that are relevant to your own niche. This is where using your content to create valuable links can really boost the levels of target traffic.
Blogging can be a great way of achieving this and using your blog to promote your website is one way of doing this. Of course, it is easier said than done, most business people are busy and don’t have time to regularly ‘feed’ their blog with content that is unique and of a high standard. There is no point in churning out ‘stuff’, that simply won’t do, it won’t help you and in fact, could do a lot of damage. If you can spend a couple of hours once or twice a week to create a piece for your blog, you will be doing yourself a great favour.
If you can write posts of around 800 words, that are in depth and provide the reader with the useful information that they are looking for, you will gain a lot of followers and your posts will be shared on social media which will further boost your blog. Try to vary the subject of your content but still keep it relevant to your niche, going off the reservation isn’t a good idea when you are using your blog for SEO purposes. Remember those pesky Google algorithms don’t have a sense of humour and will look upon random subjects as irrelevant which will result in your blog tumbling down the rankings.
You can make use of links within your blog posts, linking to other posts that you have written that are on other sites, particularly if those sites are considered ‘authority’ by the search engines, can be very valuable. Making use of occasional links to other articles that are relevant to your piece and that you have enjoyed reading is also useful. Having a diverse range of links is important, it is a natural thing to do. The correct use of anchor text and keywords should be prioritised so that you get the most from these links.
There is no one SEO tactic that works by itself, you need to implement a wide ranging strategy, each piece plays its part and contributes to the overall success of the strategy. Your blog can only thrive if you have lots of visitors who enjoy what you write and will share the link on their social media platforms. However, your blog site should be one facet of your overall online marketing strategy, it should not be the only one. There are many different factors to be taken into consideration when putting together an SEO plan and this is where engaging an expert to help you will pay dividends.
The terms “content marketing” and “link building” describe discrete marketing activities with distinct scope, strategies, and purposes. They are not the same thing. But that does not mean you cannot employ both in the same way that you might use email and content marketing together or use display advertising and content marketing together.
A pair of definitions will help make it clear how link building and content marketing differ.
Content marketing is the act of creating, publishing, and distributing content, like articles or videos, with the purpose of attracting, engaging, and retaining customers. When done well, content marketing is a customer-centric approach to growth and profit. It seeks to serve, help, inform, and entertain. At its core is reciprocity.
In contrast, link building is a form of search engine optimization aimed at increasing the quality and quantity of inbound links to a specific web page in an effort to improve that page’s ranking position on a search engine results’ page.
In spite of their differences, tactically there are similar or related activities within each.
Both a content marketing campaign and a link-building campaign might have you write an article. Both might have you post content on social media, and both a content marketing campaign and a link building campaign might have you look at customer behavior.
The difference is in the purpose, the goal, and the relationship. If you will forgive the somewhat crass analogy, the difference between content marketing and link building is something like the difference between kissing your sister or brother and kissing your husband or wife. At a tactical level, both acts are kissing, but very few folks would say that kissing your sister is exactly the same thing as kissing your wife.
When to Use Link Building
A business’s goals, capabilities, and position in the marketplace will impact how it views the interaction or relationship between these two marketing activities. How a company uses these approaches depends on what that company wishes to accomplish.
Link building, to oversimplify, is primarily interested in introductions. As a marketing tool, link building’s purpose is to influence search engine algorithms. It seeks to convince search engines that a particular page is important in the context of a relevant search. SEO practitioners know that inbound links are used in some way as a measure of page popularity or value. So encouraging a large number of good quality links will impact how well a page ranks.
Link-building tactics include the following.
- Developing compelling and useful content.
- Discovering directories that offer follow links.
- Using press releases and pitches to encourage articles.
- Guest blogging or submitting articles for publication.
- Building relationships with bloggers and website owners.
- Adding posts to social networks that offer follow links.
- Contributing to forums and content communities.
- Newsjacking — injecting your own ideas into breaking issues — in social media.
- Developing microsites and landing pages.
- Research to learn which words and phrases are used on search engines.
The thought is that if a web page can rank well on a search engine results page, it is likely to get a greater number of clicks, thereby introducing a relatively greater number of potential customers to your business.
It is this focus on new customer introductions that makes link building specifically and SEO more generally popular with new businesses or businesses that by nature have almost no opportunity for repeat sales. These companies need fresh customers.
When to Use Content Marketing
Content marketing focuses on lasting relationships. Remember the triple purpose of attracting, engaging, and retaining customers. Content marketing often requires research to identify needs and wants of those prospects and customers. Then, a marketer can create content to:
- Solve problems and help people make better decisions;
- Introduce people or build communities;
- Make others money;
- Makes other people successful.
Focusing on things that are fundamentally useful, content marketing elevates a company’s reputation, making its website a place consumers return to. Businesses that sell relatively complicated products or that have the opportunity to sell to a customer repeatedly will often favor content marketing, since it tends to keep customers coming back.