When it comes to creating successful link-building campaigns, quality reigns supreme over quantity
Link-building is a vital part of any content marketing/SEO campaign, but is perhaps one of the most difficult tasks to pull off successfully. It’s one of those things where everyone has a different opinion and approach; some favour volume over value, while others believe quality reigns supreme over quantity.
This causes no end of headaches for businesses looking to engage experts to deliver link-building campaigns that will thrust them up the search engine ranking pages. Should they work with a link-builder promising 30+ links per month, or should they partner with one that takes a more considered approach?
These questions often deter businesses from pulling the trigger on link-building campaigns, which, in turn, means they don’t rank as highly as they could and should. Here at ghostfoundry, we believe in taking a quality approach; back-link campaigns need to be strategic, based on high-value content, and be properly managed.
The most successful link-building campaigns leverage unique, authentic content that is distributed to targeted media publications. These hand-picked outlets are then encouraged to link back to your website or blog, and specifically the quality content you have created and published.
Taking this approach means that you will likely receive a lower volume of links over a given period of time, but the links you do receive will be from high domain authority (DA) sites. But these are the back-links you want – the higher the DA, the bigger the impact it will have on your overall ranking.
** Example: The BBC News website has a DA of 100 (according to MOZ), while the Telegraph and Argus (Bradford) has a DA score of 62. A link from the former therefore has more value than a link from the latter. Although any website with a DA of 40 or above should be considered valuable when it comes to link building.
But how do you set about creating a link-building campaign that will pique the interest of high domain authority sites? It’s a very good question, and one we have been trying to answer for a number of years now. Link building has, and always will be, something of a dark art, but we believe it all centres around quality content.
Here are some of the things we consider when creating link-building campaigns for our clients:
Mission: It’s worth jotting down a sentence or two to summarise what you would like to achieve from your campaign. It may be gaining a back-link in a specific publication, or it may be to produce a unique piece of content for your blog that you would like a certain number of publications to link back to.
Audience: The content you produce must have a purpose, and must be relevant to your target audience – both the publications you want to share your content with, and the people that read those publications. If you are going to publish the content on your website or blog, it must also be relevant to your own audience.
Topics: Think about topics on which you are expert; where can you add value to the conversation? Can you produce unique data that will be of value to your target audience? What information can you share that they can’t already access? More than anything, your content needs to be unique, valuable, and interesting.
Platform: Once you have a topic in mind, consider how you will deliver your content. Will it be a written blog? If so, will it contain data and graphs? Could you add more value with an infographic? Perhaps a survey could strengthen your content and make it more unique and valuable. Think about making it shareable, too.
Distribution: Once you have created your content and uploaded it to your website or blog, it’s time to think about who you are going to outreach it to. Research target publications and find the correct reporter or editor to send your content to. Compile a list, and email each of them individually.
Expectation: It’s important to manage expectations. Your content may only be picked up by one or two publications, and some may even publish it but without a back-link. Remember, links are never guaranteed no matter how valuable and unique your content may be.
Here at ghostfoundry, we manage client expectations through our unique link-building payment model that means they only pay for the links we obtain, and based on the DA score of the site that links back to them.
This model is different to those used by other agencies, which tend to charge a day rate regardless of how many links they secure. While some charge upwards of £500 per day for link-building services, most will only land one or two links, and often on low DA sites. In reality, this does little to boost their client’s search engine ranking.
It goes back to the point I made at the start of the article; everyone has a different opinion and approach to link-building. But here at ghostfoundry we believe in providing our clients with value and genuine results. And the best way of doing this is to charge them based on the links obtained, and the actual value they provide.
Of course, at the heart of all this is the top-notch content we create on their behalf.