Construction marketers know that content is king, but also that it does not work alone. Search Engine Optimisation and building quality inbound links is vital for the spread of good content. Building links from other quality and authoritative websites to your website helps to increase the authority and importance of your website and thus has a great impact on your search engine rankings. Quality always reigns over quantity so a website with 50,000 poor quality links will rank lower and degrade the quality of the site than a website with 100 good quality links. Search engine rankings are affected by the quality of the content on your website as well as how many links it has from authoritative sites. Having links from sites that Google trusts, tells it that your website contains some useful and important content. However building these quality links is not a quick and easy process. It can be time consuming and can take some effort researching for quality sites to link from but the results are worth it because according to search engines, the more quality links you have to your website, the more visible your website will be within search engines resulting in more traffic to your website for you to then convert into leads.
Firstly you have to create uniquely written content in the form of videos, PR, audio or downlaodable PDF’s that is educational, informational, and engaging to your target audience and content which others will WANT to link to. What are architects and specifiers looking for online to help them solve problems? What information do they want/need from product manufacturers when they are specifying products? By creating GREAT content which your target audience will share and link to is the best way to build links ethically.
So how do you build these links? Well there are several link building strategies that you could use. It can depend on the nature of your business and also the resources that you have in house.
Ethical link building methods
Link building is not something which you pay an agency for to submit your website link to mutiple spam directories that has no relevance to your industry, sector, business or specialism. It may have been a tactic 3-5 years ago but since then Google has got much more intelligent in the way it picks up linking signals from particular websites and actually now do more harm than good. Ethical link building is ensuring any incoming links to your website are from sites that are of authority and value and are not seen as spam websites.
Below are some ways that you can use to spread your content and gain quality links:
- Online Directory Advertising – is a good way of getting a link but it can get expensive. The more authoritative the directory site, the better the ranking you’ll get by being associated with that particular directory. If the directory has particular standards you need to meet and a review process before you can be accepted, it’s a good sign that the directory is a respectable one.
- Guest Blogging and Interviews – this is a free way of getting unique content and including opinions from other industry professionals. You just need to know how to ask politely and find popular and influential bloggers on social networking sites, such as Twitter. Guest posting has become one of the most popular link-building tactics in SEO. However, most people focus on finding the venues that will yield the most visibility. This is the best move for people who want to build strong, authoritative links relatively quickly.
- Join a Trade Body – Most, if not all, trade bodies or organisations contain member profiles. It is important to make sure that your profile is kept up to date and contains links back to your website and other pages within your website such as case studies or project galleries.
- Supply Partners Collaboration – collaboration with supply chains (subbies, contractors, merchants) on their marketing efforts can build you links too. They all have websites right? They all do PR right? Are you listed on their website as a supply chain partner or a supplier? Supply partners also conduct online PR so wherever a story is published regarding a finished project, try and get a link included back to your website.
- Sponsorship and Community events – arrange a community event and invite others to promote it on their websites/blogs/forums. Do what you can to get your business partners to link to the announcement. The more local businesses that get involved, the more coverage you’re likely to get and enhance your position in search results for local searches.
- Online PR – submitting press releases online (remember, trusted websites only!) with a link back to your website. Press releases is a great way to increase the visibility of your website. A well written, optimised for the web, case study or story can increase the reach of your messages considerably. This will result in not only increasing the profile of your website but also providing incoming links from every site that carries the story.
- Online Product Selectors & Calculators – Most product manufacturers have some sort of product selection tool on their website. Make them linkable and shareable over social networks such as LinkedIn and tCn and maybe even get a few Architectural bloggers to review your online product selector tool and tell other Architectural friends how great and easy it is to use. Get people talking online about the tools you provide online. Become a resource.
- Publish a Report – What do you have to say about the Green Deal? Sustainability? Renewable Energy? Survey your audience and get some interesting insights which you can share with your prospects or customers, even journalists. Write a report and publish it on your own website and build links from publications and bloggers back to your report.
- Blog Commenting – Commenting regularly on relevant blogs can be a great source of traffic and links for your websites. The key is to make sure the comments are professional and related to the original posts and add value to the post and adds to the conversation. Don’t comment on blog posts if you are not going to add any value with your own comments. If you provide thought-provoking commentary and helpful suggestions, however, you’re adding to the value of the blog and readers will want to follow your link to learn more.
What is Bad Link Building?
There are business and people offering ‘easy, quick fix’ solutions to link building but these can seriously harm the value of your website and its search rankings. Google penalises sites that appear to be using bad linking strategies so avoid the following:
- Automated spamming techniques such as submitting your sites to hundreds/thousands of other sites at the same time.
- Paying for links back to your site.
- Submitting your site to ‘link farms’ which are low quality sites specifically set up for linking.
- Off-topic link exchanges – between your site and more than one other that are not in your industry.
- Automated blog commenting.
Are there any other link building strategies and techniques that we have not included? Have you noticed an improvement in rankings after carrying out a link building strategy and producing more quality content?