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March 27, 2020 (Updated: February 9, 2023)
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When implemented properly, link building is a valuable strategy that businesses use to increase their SEO, digital visibility, and stay ahead of the competition. If you’re a marketer, you may find yourself in charge of digital campaigns that include link building, or content syndication, services. For this reason, it’s important to understand how they work and how to select an agency that provides the best link building service. That’s what this definitive guide will teach you.
In SEO link building, businesses gain backlinks from other websites in order to help give their own SEO a value-added boost. The way search engines work is by using web-crawler algorithms to determine how many websites have links that point back to your website. When they find a number of high-quality links pointing back to your site, it’s a sign of authority that raises your rankings in search results and provides more visibility for your brand.
This can lead to a number of benefits for businesses who implement content syndication, in addition to greater visibility in search results, including:
When businesses earn backlinks, they often have a link in a blog or article that users can click to learn more or validate the information in the article. This results in increased exposure for your brand and the ability to market to more customers. A link building strategy focuses on getting links on quality websites that make sense for your brand and increase your influence over your target market.
When you receive traffic from high-quality sources that make sense for your product or business, readers view you as a thought-leader in your industry. This is because you’ll be associated with informative blogs and articles that offer insight into important topics.
When you achieve several backlinks at the same time it speeds up the time it takes to index them. Indexing is the process search engines undertake that allows companies to benefit from their backlinks. That means the more links you get at once, the faster you’ll receive the perks of building backlinks. That’s why it’s important to have a content syndication strategy that takes into account how to get a lot of links at once.
If you’re a marketer, it may seem like a cost-saving measure to handle content syndication in-house. However, before you decide to take this course of action, you should ask some key questions of yourself, your abilities, and your department. Here are some link building services considerations:
If you want the best content syndication services it is in your interest to work with an agency. Marketing agencies are companies comprised of specialists who can help you build your brand with digital marketing strategies. Here are some reasons to partner with an agency:
One of the main reasons companies choose to partner with a digital marketing agency for their content syndication services is because marketers can offer you higher quality for less cost through the efficient use of existing procedures and resources. Agencies provide the best services at the lowest cost through their relationships with vendors, also.
When you turn to an agency, expect to work with expert marketers. These are people who are highly trained in their digital marketing specialty. When it comes to link building, agencies work with a network of writers who write for syndicated publications so this means you get the highest-quality backlinks on publications and blogs that expand your footprint in a digital marketplace.
Marketers offer measured results. They work with clients to create metrics, specialize in communication, and offer robust reports and explanations of how campaigns are doing against goals. This makes it easy for stakeholders to understand the value of working with the agency at a glance.
By putting your trust in an agency for link building services you can get back to running the business or the marketing department without having to perform the functions required to curate link building services on your own. Agencies handle everything from structuring campaigns to creating metrics, to implementing them and reporting on results making it easier for marketers to handle their daily responsibilities.
When you partner with an agency, you are working with professionals who understand the importance of high-quality link building, and that means implementing only white hat techniques. White hat techniques are digital marketing techniques that increase your SEO without being viewed negatively by search engines. Black hat techniques are the opposite, they are those designed to boost your SEO quickly but may have a negative impact on your standing in the long run. It’s important for businesses to use white hat SEO link building techniques if they are going to remain competitive.
Marketing agencies use proven link building strategies to increase your SEO and, subsequently, brand awareness and website traffic. If you are a business owner wondering what marketing professionals can offer you in terms of link building, here are some examples of things an outsourced marketer can help your business accomplish:
As the name suggests, infographics are images that make information easy to process at a glance. Infographics are an important tool for marketers for many reasons. For one, infographics are popular and easy to distribute to the public. Companies can make them downloadable in exchange for an email address to grow exposure to their brand.
However, when used for link building services, marketers give valuable infographics to blogs and publications and share them on social media to get link traffic back to their website. This is an important strategy easily accessible to agencies who usually have established resources for creating SEO friendly infographic content.
You can create your own backlinking buzz by participating actively in social media. By using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, TikTok, Snapchat, and any other social media websites where you might find your target market. However, in order to have a strong backlink strategy on social media, companies must be able to dedicate adequate time and resources.
That’s where marketing agencies shine, as an agency can handle social media in-house or by outsourcing to vetted professionals who are dedicated to getting the job done well.
When you link to and reference other websites in your content, it’s important that those sites are reputable. Not only does it help boost your SEO by just linking to high-authority sites but it also impacts your link building.
That’s because the links you recommend to your readers equate to things you endorse as a brand. When you link to high-quality sources, webmasters and marketers looking for content to backlink will see that as a reflection on the information available on your site. If marketers trust your content, they are more likely to give you backlink traffic.
One thing that is a relatively, easy fool-proof strategy is to seek out broken links in the content your customers are likely to read, then contact the blog or publication and ask them to update their broken link with your link instead. This is a strong method for getting backlink traffic, but it requires a hefty time investment. Marketing agencies use software to assist with this process and can dedicate time and resources to flipping broken links to backlinks for your site.
Guest blogging is one of the surest ways to get backlinks to your website. As an added bonus to your marketing strategy, guest blogging can increase your personal brand’s representation in the market and serve to position your company as a thought leader with potential customers. This is called building mind share and it’s an important aspect of branding.
When a company produces guest blog content, they typically link back to their site in their author byline. This is a link building strategy that gets businesses the best kind of backlink traffic. However, in order to be successful, the content should be relevant, timeless, and well-executed. Marketing agencies specialize in producing quality content for clients that drives backlink traffic to their site.
If you see competitors rank higher than your company on a search for a particular keyword or phrase, you should check their backlinks. Using marketing tools, you can capture a competitor URL that points to a specific page of content and find out who is sending it backlink traffic.
In doing so, you learn what publications may want to work with companies like yours, which can fill in gaps in your backlink strategy. You can also gain insights like how many websites point to a specific piece of content and what types of websites they are. Marketers use this type of competitive analysis to formulate their own strategies about content that drive traffic back to their brand.
Creating roundups and awards is a popular strategy for getting backlink traffic because it’s easy to accomplish. Roundups are articles that, quite literally, “roundup” the best content on the internet for a specific topic.
You can use roundups on pretty much any topic, which makes them a versatile tool for getting in front of the traffic you want to entice. Once the roundup content is complete, publish it to your website and share with the brands you mentioned in the content. They may share it, too, earning you backlink traffic in the process.
Awards can be used similarly. If you want to get local backlink traffic, for instance, you can create an award post for the best coffee shops in your area, or the best automotive repair services, or another topic relevant to your business. Once you create the content, send it to the companies you’ve mentioned to get an SEO boost.
Another easy way to ensure you are getting the most traffic from your backlink strategy is to make sure all the links that point to your site are working. When marketers come across a broken 404 link back to their own site, they can reach out to the company linking to them and ask for it to be updated with a working link. Using tools that marketers have at their disposal, agencies can streamline this process.
An important piece of an overall backlink strategy is tracking links. Many of the strategies marketers use, like ensuring that all links pointing back to the site are working, require tracking to be successful. Backlink traffic can also help marketers gain insights about your client and if improvements can be made to the overall strategy for greater success.
If the idea is simply to get links, some people may assume that it’s as easy as buying them. It is, after all, a digital age where many things can be commodities. In fact, there are marketers, bloggers and writers who actively sell backlinks, and media publications that sell content placement. However, in these cases, content should be labeled as advertorial and all links should have “nofollow” tags.
Purchasing backlinks and advertorial content might be a part of your marketing strategy, but it shouldn’t be something that your SEO strategy hinges on. That’s because Google’s algorithm is designed to elevate organic, natural link-building. According to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, paid backlinks should be labeled “nofollow” which keeps them from being indexed, and basically makes it so they don’t exist in terms of Google rankings.
“Nofollow” links have no SEO value to businesses. Marketers and webmasters caught selling links as though they are organic, without including a “nofollow” tag, can be punished by Google on an individual basis. For this reason, it’s best for marketers to get backlinks by providing excellent guest post content that intrigues and delights the target audience.
Providing websites with relevant, insightful, thoughtful, long-form content is a great way to build your SEO profile with search engines. Advertorial content can help with other marketing agenda items like branding and exposure, but the basis of a strong SEO campaign happens organically.
To implement this, it may make sense to hire an agency because agencies have vetted writers, who write on a wide range of subjects and understand SEO, that can create meaningful content for the guest post’s target audience.
You can find the right agency by following these important steps:
If link building is the only marketing service that your company would benefit from outsourcing, you are probably in the minority. Most companies can benefit from using marketing services provided by an agency, to include things like content marketing, digital advertising, public relations, social media marketing, and more. Consider what services your company will benefit from the most, and create a list of companies who can best fulfill those services.
Bigger agencies that offer more services, invest in technology, and have plenty of resources may charge more money than smaller companies working off of a smaller budget. For that reason, you should define your budget before starting your search for an agency to ensure your short-list includes companies who could serve you best.
Once you have a long-list and budget, define your size needs.
It’s a strong practice to look at your company size and include on your short-list mostly companies that match you in size and revenue. If you’re a small business, a large agency may not make the most sense for you from a financial perspective or you may have different expectations for things like communication, services, and client preference, whereas a small agency may not be the best choice to serve a large organization due to lack of resources.
For some business owners, it may be important to have face-to-face meetings with your agency contact. Digital agencies are often highly technical and can easily support things like video meetings in a virtual age of business, but for companies that require a more personal approach, a local agency may be more appropriate.
Once you have defined a short-list by taking your long-list and paring it down based on your business size, needs and specialties offered, you can determine if the companies on your short-list are ready to compete for your business. You can do this by forwarding a request for proposal, or RFP, to the companies you are thinking about interviewing.
When you send an RFP, include your company information, contact information, the scope of work for services you are requesting, any additional proposal stipulations and dates, including when the bid is due and when a decision will be made. Sometimes companies will include a request for information, or RFI, that allows the agency to talk about other important determining factors like company culture, size, values, and principles.
After reviewing the responses to your RFP process, you should call the companies you are most interested in interviewing. During these initial phone calls, introduce your company and set up a meeting time. When you meet with an agency for link building services, make sure to ask these questions:
Here are some tips you can use when selecting an agency for link building services:
Link building is an essential part of your marketing strategy because it increases your SEO rankings, creates opportunities for exposure, generates revenue, increases website traffic, influences brand recall, and impacts many other important aspects that define your business marketing program. When a company hires an agency to perform link building services, they are getting the most qualified and talented marketers with all the tools and resources needed to promote multiple campaigns with link building strategies. For this reason, many people choose to outsource link building to a company like CopyPress to provide the best content syndication strategies to propel their business forward.
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