Building Links in a “Boring” Industry
Some industries are much better suited to fun and creative marketing than others, featuring content that’s easy to share. Building backlinks is important for driving online traffic but can be hard in an industry with a niche audience, like in B2B marketing.
First, let's make sure we understand current day link building. According to Joost de Valk, most people understand by now that links have a very real influence on rankings in search engines. How it works and in which ways a link can influence your ranking is often unclear though, resulting in many myths.
How does a link help your site?
A link to your site “helps” in four ways:
- It adds value to the “receiving page”, allowing it to improve its visibility in the search engines.
- It adds value to the entire receiving domain, allowing each page on that domain to improve its rank ever so slightly.
- The text of the link is an indication to the search engine of the topic of the website and more specifically the receiving page.
- People click on links, resulting in so called “direct traffic”.
The value of a link for the receiving page is determined in part by the topic of the page the link is on. A link from a page that has the same topic as the receiving page is of far more value than a link from a page about an entirely different topic.
You can utilize a smaller audience to build links and leverage connections by following these tips.
Ask clients to include links to your site in their content
If you have a client with strong content marketing, ask them to include links to your site in relevant content. If it’s a good client they’ll likely be happy to help refer business, and will also understand the importance of back-links. Be sure to return the favor and include testimonials from satisfied customers featuring links to their sites.
Comment on client and vendor content
If you helped a client create a new product, spread the word by sharing and commenting on any of their social media or posts about it. You can also ask clients to leave reviews for your business on third party sites, perhaps linking to examples of your work for them. Again, always return the favor and review their business (while referencing back to yours.)
Watch what your competitors are doing
Begin by searching keywords related to your field. Hopefully your business is the first result, but look at the rest of the list. Results are driven by SEO and links from authoritative websites. Search your competitors and note which sites are mentioning them, and in what context. Use this for inspiration on building your own links.
One way to see which sites are linking to you or your competitors is to type “link:” then the name of the website in the search bar, then see which sites link to that specific page. For example, enter “link:google.com” to see sites that link to Google.
Create shareable content
The best way to get people to link back to your site is by creating content people want to share. Info-graphics are a popular tool for making information visually appealing and easily shareable. Create an infographic on a topic in your field and include links to your site in the image and accompanying text.
You can also offer to guest blog for a publication related to your industry. Invite a respected, complimentary networker to guest blog for you. Not only will you spread awareness of your industry to a wider audience, but you can also link back to your own site in the byline.
What Google says about links and link building?
“In their article on link schemes Google gives some examples of links that can influence your ranking negatively. This deals with both links to and from your site (f.i.: don’t link to spam sites). They’re most clear about paid links though: they’re a violation of their guidelines and can lead to a ban of your website.” ~ Joost de Valk
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