What we’ve seen over the last few years is the fact that Google is increasingly favouring larger brands. Even in Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines they state, “Would you recognize this site being an authoritative source when mentioned by name?”
Google determines the actual size of a product in comparison to the rest of the market inside a given niche (or for a particular keyword group) by considering what exactly are called Brand Signals; indicators to Google you are an authority with your field – that people with your market know what you are about and they trust you.
The analogy I usually love to use to describe quality link building is that of textbooks…
You have a number of textbooks inside a field that have citations and references to other resources, so you already know that if a number of textbooks within a given field denote exactly the same resource, it’s a resource that is certainly relevant and high quality.
Exactly the same applies online.
You will need references, citations, links, even brand mentions as well as other signals… and you also need every one of these in a fashion that, a) Google sees, b) Google likes, and c) Google allows.
I like to reference this combination and strategic direction as…
Search Relations (PR for search engines like yahoo)
Google wants to provide you with the best experience due to its users, which is why it wants to rank the important brands for as numerous searches as possible.
To find out the genuine power of SEO, you have to become one of those particular brands. To do that, you need to build up your brand awareness in order that you reach your audience across multiple resources.
If they’re reading an article inside a newspaper linked to your service along with a company is interviewed, you ought to be that company. If the article within a blog references a business resource, you have to be that resource. If you have a list of providers of your own service somewhere on a related website, you ought to be on that list.
By putting yourself facing your audience and establishing your brand presence with your marketplace, Google will recognise you like a strong brand among the competitors.
That’s where real SEO success could happen.
The unfortunate reality of big brand SEO
The times of personal blogs or small mortgage brokerages ranking for the keyword ‘home loans’ ahead of the largest banks in a country are over. You can’t pretend as a big brand in SEO anymore as well as in the rare cases that ‘pretending’ does work, it doesn’t work with long.
Realistically, this is simply not such a bad thing for users – if they’re looking for a products or services, they must start to see the firms that get the highest capacity and industry trust for delivering that products or services, such as a bank or lender in the case of ‘home loans’.
So if you’re not one of several strongest brands, you have only 3 options:
Select a different keyword group
Target longer tail, more specific keywords and traffic
Become some of those brands
If none of those can be accomplished, select a different service or purchase non-white-hat SEO at your own risk.
How to become a robust brand that Google favours
If you wish to be a strong brand that Google favours, there are actually three key areas to pay attention to (dependant upon precisely what is available and applicable for your situation):
Leveraging existing relationships, marketing & resources
Getting involved in the industry & community
Directly promoting your content, brand & products/services
Listed below are 10 instances of each…
1. Leveraging existing relationships, marketing & resources
References from your suppliers – Many product suppliers have lists with their stockists or distributors on his or her websites, and repair providers often list clients or client logos as types of previous work completed. In either case, ask your suppliers or providers to feature you on their website within their lists, with a branded link aimed at your website.
References from your clients (B2B) – Similarly, many distributors, stockists and clients list their suppliers on their website, sometimes with a profile of your suppliers’ brands. Ask your clients to include you on their website within these lists or like a preferred supplier.
Testimonial contributions – When there is no list with a supplier’s website, they could still include testimonials on their website. If you’re pleased with them, offer a testimonial for them to include on their site with a hyperlink to your organization.
Leverage radio/TV advertising – Some media outlets have a long list of their advertisers on their website. If you are advertising with any radio or TV stations, check should they have this feature and ensure you happen to be included in the list.
Leverage other sponsorships – Most companies that accept sponsorships display the sponsors on their website, generally with a logo and sometimes by using a link. In case your company has or will have any sponsorships – whether charities, organisations, clubs, events etc – be sure to request or confirm the addition of your brand or logo on their website having a link returning to your blog.
Non-linked brand citations – For your brand awareness grows and you earn a media presence, your name brand will begin to be mentioned in articles or content and news articles. Should your company continues to be mentioned by way of a writer or journalist, they are fully aware what you are about and have already promoted your name brand to their readership, why not ask them to alter the existing brand mention to a hyperlink? You may also utilize this to establish a partnership for future collaborations.
Leverage press announcements – Even though the old bulk press-release-syndication SEO strategy (where your press release is published to a tonne of PR directories haphazardly) must be avoided, there are some high-quality press release websites that are still valuable when your release is newsworthy. Additionally, in case you have company news that is certainly worth a press release, you are able to get in touch with local or industry journalists who may find it interesting, and perhaps even provide an exclusive interview.
Leverage existing content resources – Find out what content in your website continues to be successful in past times. In the event the content has now generated interest and traction, you will find a reason so find any manner easy to promote it further.
Reverse image/Content lookup – If you do 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 as being a source or maybe if they do site you, they may not backlink to you (as with non-linked brand citations). Get in touch with the authors, thank them for the compliment of utilizing your details and inquire them nicely once they would mind such as a citation to your original part of content.
Lost link outreach – Most 3rd party link analysis tools offer a summary of pages that previously linked to your website but also for in which the page or link continues to be removed. These web sites have previously related to you in past times so the relationship is established. Get in touch with them, figure out why they removed the web link, what could be involved in re-establishing the website link or tips on how to interact in the future.
2. Engaging in the business and community
Scholarships – Education institutions often list any scholarships relevant to their students, which can help them financially. Figure out which courses, diplomas and degrees are relevant for careers in or associated with your industry and establish a nominal scholarship program for college kids in those fields. Ensure you will have a description and application page on the website, then get in touch with the institutions offering those courses to incorporate the scholarship within their listings.
Internships – Similarly, many educational facilities enjoy to have partnerships with companies where they can place their students for Work Experience or Internships. Some will list these firms on their website as a sales hype to bring more students in. In addition to that branding, you can increase your work capacity having an intern and you will often find some very nice future staff members through internship programs (as we ourselves have found repeatedly over time).
Guest speakerships – A lot of you may remember eventually or any other that the guest speaker got to your school, college, university or TAFE to give a talk connected to the course you had been studying. If you’re a specialist within your field and are comfortable before teams of students, offer your services being a guest speaker to deliver insights in to the industry or educate them on the specific sub-topic. Many institutions will incorporate guest speakers along with their companies inside the course outlines, which can be available on the internet.
Event sponsorships/suppliers – If there are any upcoming events with your industry, specifically for your target market, contact the big event organisers to supply either a sponsorship or, should your products or services are suitable, to become supplier of your event. Most events come with an online presence and can list their event sponsors and suppliers somewhere on the website.
Host a business event – One challenge, particularly with smaller events, is finding funding to fund venues. If you fail to offer financial support or supplies, or maybe the case is smaller in nature, you may offer your facilities to host the big event. You will find that venues are always listed on event details pages, and so they may backlink to your Give Us A Call page when it has details concerning how to get there.
Charity sponsorships – There are lots of charities which can be in urgent demand for funding. Leaving aside that each company must be giving back to the community, some charities may also list sponsors on their website. Locate a charity that is in accordance with your enterprise ethos and obtain involved.
Join industry associations – Most industries offer an association of some sort which requires membership from companies, and most of these associations have a directory in their members. Websites like these might be super relevant and, as they offer an application process, only have legitimate businesses listed. You have to be some of those businesses. They can even have events springing up that you could get involved with.
Competition prize contributions – On sites like HARO and SourceBottle, people working in media sometimes list requests for competition prizes to be donated to acquire referencing the emblem within the competition ads and channels. When the levels of competition are relevant and can provide an online presence, you could offer services or products being a prize to take full advantage of that branding.
Industry forum engagement – Forums have a bad rap, but a majority of industries have great forums the location where the community and experts are very engaged. Create a real profile to get a real person and begin getting involved in the conversations; offer your industry expertise, advice for resolving issues, feedback on comments or questions. Should you publish content, you can even share a summary having a backlink to the original within a new thread and get people for his or her feedback. Though I feel it obvious, it’s worth mentioning that you need to never spam a forum with links and steer clear of making use of your website inside your forum signature – even though this could have worked in past times, you will get banned from any high quality forums and overdoing it will likely provide you with problems with Google penalties.
Offer interviews – Bloggers and journalists are often searching for experts to interview on difficult or controversial topics. Keep 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 expertise and offer yourself as 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
Keep in mind that this area of brand promotion is exactly what most closely resembles SEO of the past, but it must be evolved for the present and future.
Linkable content creation & promotion – Basically, create content that folks inside your field will want to hyperlink to. Similar to technical onsite SEO, there are plenty of resources available on the web that discuss creating content that will attract links and ways to promote that content to obtain links. Brian Dean provides a detailed explanation of the items he calls the Skyscraper Technique for creating linkable assets and Noah Kagan undergoes a similar strategy but elaborates much more on content promotion.
Egobait aggregator lists content – People like recognition. If you curate a list of the “Top/Best XX Anything”, and include links to each blog, website, or company in the list, potentially by using a snippet or description, then you can reach out to them and inform them. Small to medium-sized websites especially would like to brag regarding this, particularly when it’s an award, and could include internet marketing services pricing on their site returning to this list.
Egobait citations/references content – Similarly, you could potentially quote or cite a targeted author with your high-quality content with a link back to their website, then get in touch with them and tell them. They may or may not link to it with time, but more often they may share it because of their followers and one of them could end up linking to it.
Host webinars – An underrated and underused medium in most industries is video content. If it’s in your own capacity, host webinars to coach in the industry on difficult topics, or offer beginner sessions. Record and publish these as videos, and even create independent informational videos, and promote the recording as you would some other linkable asset.
Offer sample products for review – Bloggers love free samples and lots of will review products with their field anyway. Give a sample in exchange for an independent (unbiased) review of your product published on their website. Obviously here, you should have a great product to get maximum benefit from the review.
Blogger relationship building – Identify the top blogs and knowledge resources in your industry. Start engaging using their content; add valuable comments on their own site; share their content and hyperlink to it where possible; promote them on your social networking profiles. Create a positive relationship before you request anything then, once you have a dialogue, you can share your content inquire about their feedback, or brainstorm other ways to collaborate.
Social influencer relationship building – Identify the very best social profiles and influencers within 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 demand anything then, after you have a dialogue, you can share your posts and request for their feedback, or you can brainstorm other ways to collaborate.
Industry resource lists – In many industries, you will discover lists of providers, suppliers, tools, etc – for instance on ‘Useful Resources’ pages. If you locate a long list of your competition all on one page, you need to be on that list. Contact the web site owners and get them once they would come with you amongst the selection of providers. If they have only a shortlist of the most popular brands, they could not include you, but some want an intensive list of all 94dexmpky providers and you will be pleased to retain the list fresh.
Off-site aggregator lists – Similar to industry resource lists, you can find websites or website pages in a few industries that happen to be focused on aggregating specific forms of companies or websites. If you have a listing highly relevant to your products, services or company type, contact the aggregator and get them what might be involved in getting listed. Comparison sites (loans, insurance, accommodation) are a fantastic example of aggregator lists, but often it’s as simple as a blog article listing everyone inside your field.
Viral competitions/offers – Build a competition or perhaps a special offer that is so outrageous people may wish to share it because of their social followers. Or, taking it one stage further, produce a competition or possibly a discount specifically for target bloggers – if the incentive is high enough, it would entice these to share it because of their social profiles and hyperlink to it from their website.
Get creative and evaluate which will work for you. Audit your resources and ensure you are taking advantage of all of your marketing channels. Find unique techniques for getting involved in your particular niche or industry.