What we’ve seen over the recent years is the fact Google is increasingly favouring larger brands. Even just in Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines they state, “Would you recognize this website for an authoritative source when mentioned by name?”
Google determines the dimensions of a brand as compared to the rest of the market in the given niche (or even for a given keyword group) by checking out what exactly are called Brand Signals; indicators to Google that you are currently an authority with your field – that men and women inside your market know who you really are and so they trust you.
The analogy I always like to use to describe outsource link building is textbooks…
You will have a series of textbooks within a field that all have citations and references to many other resources, so you realize that if several textbooks inside a given field point out the same resource, it’s a resource that may be relevant and high quality.
Exactly the same applies online.
You want references, citations, links, even brand mentions as well as other signals… and also you need many of these in a manner that, a) Google sees, b) Google likes, and c) Google allows.
I love to make reference to this combination and strategic direction as…
Search Relations (PR for search engines like yahoo)
Google desires to deliver the best experience for the users, which is why it would like to rank the major brands for as much searches as you can.
To see the actual power of SEO, you should become one of those brands. To do that, you must build up your brand awareness so that you reach your audience across multiple resources.
If they’re reading an article in a newspaper relevant to your service along with a clients are interviewed, you have to be that company. If the article in the blog references a marketplace resource, you need to be that resource. When there is a list of providers of your service somewhere with a related website, you ought to be on that list.
By putting yourself facing your target audience and establishing your brand presence inside your marketplace, Google will recognise you like a strong brand among the competition.
That’s where real SEO success can happen.
The unfortunate reality of big brand SEO
The days of personal blogs or small mortgage brokerages ranking for your keyword ‘home loans’ ahead of the largest banks in the country have ended. You can’t pretend to become a big brand in SEO anymore and in the rare cases that ‘pretending’ does work, it doesn’t benefit long.
Realistically, this is not such a bad thing for users – if they’re trying to find a goods and services, they need to see the businesses that hold the highest capacity and industry trust for delivering that products or services, just like a bank or lender with regards to ‘home loans’.
Thus if you’re not one of several strongest brands, you may have only 3 options:
Pick a different keyword group
Target longer tail, more specific keywords and traffic
Become some of those brands
If none of the can be achieved, pick a different service or invest in non-white-hat SEO on your own risk.
How to be a powerful brand that Google favours
If you would like become a strong brand that Google favours, you can find three key areas to target (dependant upon exactly what is available and applicable for your situation):
Leveraging existing relationships, marketing & resources
Participating in the industry & community
Directly promoting your site content, brand & products/services
Listed here are 10 samples of each…
1. Leveraging existing relationships, marketing & resources
References through your suppliers – Many product suppliers have lists with their stockists or distributors on their websites, and service providers often list clients or client logos as types of previous work completed. In either case, ask your suppliers or providers to include you on their website in their lists, using a branded link to your site.
References from the clients (B2B) – Similarly, many distributors, stockists and clients list their suppliers on their website, sometimes having a profile in the suppliers’ brands. Ask your clients to include you on their website within these lists or as being a preferred supplier.
Testimonial contributions – If there is no list on the supplier’s website, they may still include testimonials on their website. If you’re happy with them, offer a testimonial for them to include on their site with a connect to your company.
Leverage radio/TV advertising – Some media outlets have a long list of their advertisers on their website. Should you be advertising with any radio or TV stations, check in case they have this feature and be sure you are contained in the list.
Leverage other sponsorships – Some companies that accept sponsorships display the sponsors on their website, generally by using a brand name and sometimes by using a link. In case your company has or can have any sponsorships – whether charities, organisations, clubs, events etc – make sure to request or confirm incorporating your brand or logo on their website having a link back to your blog.
Non-linked brand citations – When your brand awareness grows and you also earn a media presence, your brand name will quickly be mentioned in blog articles and news articles. If your company is mentioned with a writer or journalist, they understand what you are about and possess already promoted your brand on their readership, so why not ask them to affect the existing brand mention to some hyperlink? You can also make use of this to build a romantic relationship for future collaborations.
Leverage press releases – As the old bulk press-release-syndication SEO strategy (where your press release is published into a tonne of PR directories haphazardly) should be avoided, there are a few high-quality press release websites which can be still valuable in case your release is newsworthy. Additionally, if you have company news that is certainly deserving of a press release, you may get in touch with local or industry journalists who could find it interesting, and perhaps even provide an exclusive interview.
Leverage existing content resources – Find what content on your own website is successful in the past. If the content has generated interest and traction, there exists a reason so find any manner easy to advertise it further.
Reverse image/Content lookup – If you absolutely have successful content, often key statistics, phrases, charts, tables or images can be re-used or quoted by other writers. Sometimes they might forget to cite you being a source or if perhaps they generally do site you, they could not backlink to you (similar to non-linked brand citations). Get in touch with the authors, thank them for that compliment of using your information and request them nicely should they would mind such as a citation in your original part of content.
Lost link outreach – Most third party link analysis tools offer a listing of pages that previously linked to your website but for that your page or link has been removed. These websites have associated with you before and so the relationship is established. Get in touch with them, discover why they removed the web link, what might engage in re-establishing the website link or how you can come together later on.
2. Getting involved in the marketplace and community
Scholarships – Education institutions often list any scholarships related to their students, which can help them financially. Figure out which courses, diplomas and degrees are relevant for careers in or connected with your industry and establish a nominal scholarship program for college kids in those fields. Ensure you have a description and application page on your own website, then get in touch with the institutions offering those courses to incorporate the scholarship inside their listings.
Internships – Similarly, many educational facilities want to have partnerships with companies where they could place their students for Experience or Internships. A few will list these companies on their website being a sales hype to give more students in. Likewise branding, you can boost your work capacity with the intern and you will probably often find some good future staff members through internship programs (while we ourselves have found repeatedly over the years).
Guest speakerships – Most of you may remember at some point or another that a guest speaker came to your school, college, university or TAFE to provide a talk highly relevant to the course that you were studying. If you’re an authority in your field and therefore are comfortable before teams of students, offer your services as a guest speaker to supply insights into the industry or educate them over a specific sub-topic. Many institutions includes guest speakers and their companies inside the course outlines, which are generally available on the internet.
Event sponsorships/suppliers – If there are any upcoming events inside your industry, particularly for the market, contact the event organisers to provide either a sponsorship or, should your goods and services are suitable, to become supplier of your event. Most events offer an online presence and may list their event sponsors and suppliers somewhere online.
Host a business event – One challenge, especially with smaller events, is finding funding to cover venues. If you fail to offer financial support or supplies, or maybe the celebration is smaller in nature, you may offer your facilities to host the case. You will see that venues are always listed on event details pages, and they also may backlink to your Contact Us page if it has details concerning how to arrive.
Charity sponsorships – There are lots of charities that are in urgent need of funding. Leaving aside which every company should be giving returning to the community, some charities will even list sponsors on their website. Find a charity which is in step with your enterprise ethos and have involved.
Join industry associations – Most industries come with an association of some kind that requires membership from companies, and several of these associations have got a directory in their members. Websites like these might be super relevant and, since they provide an application process, simply have legitimate businesses listed. You ought to be among those businesses. They can have even events coming up that one could get involved with.
Competition prize contributions – On sites like HARO and SourceBottle, people working in media sometimes list requests for competition prizes being donated to acquire referencing the brand in the competition marketing materials and channels. In case the competition is relevant and can have an online presence, you could offer services or products as a prize to take advantage of that branding.
Industry forum engagement – Forums get yourself a bad rap, however, many industries have great forums where the community and experts are actually engaged. Create a real profile for the real person and begin engaging in the conversations; offer your industry expertise, advice for resolving issues, feedback on comments or questions. Should you publish content, you may even share an overview with a hyperlink to the first within a new thread and get people for his or her feedback. Though I do believe it obvious, it’s worth mentioning that you need to never spam a forum with links and avoid making use of your website inside your forum signature – although this could possibly have worked previously, you will definately get banned from any top quality forums and overdoing it is going to likely give you difficulties with Google penalties.
Offer interviews – Bloggers and journalists are often searching for experts to interview on difficult or controversial topics. Have a lookout on HARO and SourceBottle for requests, or perhaps get in touch with journalists or bloggers you know to be curious about your neighborhood of expert knowledge and give yourself being a source. Some media outlets actually have a standing request for interviews.
3. Promoting your brand, products, services and content to industry resources and influencers
Note that this place of brand promotion is the thing that most closely resembles SEO of the past, but it ought to be evolved for the present and future.
Linkable content creation & promotion – Basically, create content that individuals with your field would like to link to. Just like technical onsite SEO, there are many resources available online that discuss creating content that may attract links and the ways to promote that content to get links. Brian Dean delivers a detailed explanation of what he calls the Skyscraper Way of creating linkable assets and Noah Kagan undergoes a comparable strategy but elaborates more about content promotion.
Egobait aggregator lists content – People like recognition. If you curate a listing of the “Top/Best XX Anything”, and will include links to each and every blog, website, or company within the list, potentially with a snippet or description, then you can reach out to them and let them know. Small to medium sized websites especially may wish to brag regarding it, especially if it’s an award, and may include marketing companies on their site back to their list.
Egobait citations/references content – Similarly, you could potentially quote or cite a targeted author within your high-quality content with a link returning to their site, then reach out to them and inform them. They may or may not link to it over time, but on a regular basis they will likely share it making use of their followers and one of these might end up linking to it.
Host webinars – An underrated and underused medium generally in most industries is video content. If it’s inside your capacity, host webinars to train up the industry on difficult topics, or offer beginner sessions. Record and publish these as videos, and even create independent informational videos, and promote the video as you would every other linkable asset.
Offer sample products for review – Bloggers love free samples and lots of will review products within their field anyway. Give you a sample in return for a completely independent (unbiased) report on your product or service published on their site. Obviously here, you have to have a great product to get maximum benefit from the review.
Blogger relationship building – Identify the most notable blogs and information resources within your industry. Start engaging with their content; add valuable comments on their own site; share their content and link to it where possible; promote them on the social media profiles. Begin a positive relationship prior to request anything and then, when you have a dialogue, you are able to share your site content and request their feedback, or brainstorm different ways to collaborate.
Social influencer relationship building – Identify the most notable social profiles and influencers in your industry. Start engaging using them across their social platforms; favourite and retweet their tweets; share and like their Facebook posts. Begin a positive relationship before you require anything after which, once you have a dialogue, it is possible to share your site content and ask for their feedback, or brainstorm different ways to collaborate.
Industry resource lists – In many industries, you will find lists of providers, suppliers, tools, etc – for instance on ‘Useful Resources’ pages. If you locate a list of the competitors all in one page, you should be on that list. Contact the internet site owners and ask them once they would come with you amongst the list of providers. Once they only have a shortlist of the largest brands, they could not include you, but many wish to have an intensive set of all 94dexmpky providers and are delighted to maintain the list fresh.
Off-site aggregator lists – Comparable to industry resource lists, you will find websites or web pages in a few industries that are committed to aggregating specific forms of companies or websites. If there is an inventory related to your products or services, services or company type, contact the aggregator and inquire them what can be involved in getting listed. Comparison sites (loans, insurance, accommodation) are a good illustration of aggregator lists, but often it’s as elementary as your blog article listing everyone with your field.
Viral competitions/offers – Create a competition or possibly a special offer that may be so outrageous people may wish to share it making use of their social followers. Or, taking it to the next level, create a competition or perhaps a discount specially for target bloggers – in the event the incentive is high enough, it is going to entice these to share it making use of their social profiles and connect to it from their website.
Get creative and evaluate which is perfect for you. Audit your resources and ensure you are taking advantage of your marketing channels. Find unique methods for getting involved in your specific niche or industry.