As Google continues to implement new changes to their algorithm buying a few thousand links per month will longer do the trick to increase your website’s organic ranking. Link building used to be a seamless and straightforward process, however this approach has landed thousands of websites in Google jail. So what is the best offpage SEO approach to avoid getting slapped by the 800-pound gorilla? Here are a few methods that I have used and have not been touched by any algorithm update, integrate SEO with social media campaigns, content marketing, improved user experience on the websites, and more importantly public relations.
Google seems to have turned search engine optimization into survival of the fittest, either you adapt or seize to exist. Therefore, to ensure you avoid the next Penguin algorithm update you should consider integrating your organic search campaign with real public relations. By the way public relations does not consist of sending out a press release on a distribution channel filled with links. A real public relations campaign will help you build relationships that will lead to links, improve your online reputation and turn you into a subject matter expert.
Relationships Will Lead to Links
Establishing real relationships with editors, columnists and reporters is not as easy as one might think but it is not impossible either. My background is in public relations therefore I was doing link building before I was formally introduced to it in 2008. Prior to link building my job was to pitch media and follow up with the ones that were not picking up our pitches. Therefore, when I was learning about link building best practices it was not a very hard learning curve to get around. Back in the day it was done via phone calls but today I have been using email and social media to establish relationships with people I want to get a mention or link from.
I would strongly recommend that you avoid using the same email template for everyone you are attempting to reach. If you want to see great results customize every outreach email so they know you are a real person not just a copy and paste robot. Recommendation, get to the point as quick as possible and keep your email between 8 to 10 sentences. People are busy and they do not want to read a novel before getting to the what you are asking them to do.
Always have the following items in your outreach email
- What question or problem are you going to answer or solve if they allow you to publish an article or list your resource.
- How is your content going benefit their readers?
- Why should they care about your content or email for that matter?
By addressing these items in the body of your email you will improve your chances of getting positive feedback from the person you are contacting. Once you break through the solid brick wall and get your first article published it only gets easier from here, as long as their readers engaged with your content. Also by publishing on third party authoritative websites at some point if your content is great, people will begin linking back to it as a reference piece. Then the links you are seeking will begin to accumulate naturally and passively.
Improve Online Reputation
Unless you have been living under a rock or do not own a computer you have not heard of the term, online reputation management. The growth of the Internet has given everyone a voice and in some cases they are not always raving about how great your company is. That is the reason you must take a proactive approach to online reputation. The goal and intent of a proactive online reputation, is to create as much positive content to dominate at least the first page of the search engine results.
Why? Because it is impossible to make everyone happy all the time. In fact anyone with a PC or mobile device and an Internet connection can cost you thousands of dollars per year in revenue and/or paying online reputation management companies; if their gripe makes it on the first page of the SERPs and if you failed to take the proactive approach.
So if you have not begun researching different destinations to submit or contribute guest content, to you should have started yesterday. It is only human nature to click on a result that reads your company name scammed me or rip off.
Subject Matter Expert
This term means that you are an expert in your industry and it has been established based on your creditability. One way you can help this along is by writing industry related content on third party websites and your own blog. Once you have contributed more than a few articles reporters who are writing about your industry will be contacting you to get your opinion or quote on an article they are writing.
Here are a few tools you can use to increase your chances of becoming a subject matter expert, Help A Reporter Out, and content calendars found on almost all media websites except for TV and if not you can request one. HARO is a list of reporter and bloggers looking for industry professionals to contribute a quote, information and sometime an article. Content calendars will outline every topic the website or online publication will be covering for the next six months. Lastly, MyBlogU is also a great way to get interviewed or provide content for other people in the industry who are writing about a particular topic.
Using this approach will not only get you a link back to your website but in some cases you might even get a link to an internal page; deep link. Once you are an established SME you will begin to get more opportunities to contribute thus you will increase the number of quality links without paying a link building company.
Although my tenure as public relations specialist did not last long it got me thinking of different ways to combine link building with PR. At that time I was not aware of the overlap between PR, SEO and link building but now that Google has hammered thousahnds of websites with their algorithm penalties, I am glad for my public relations background. So as Google continues to evolve I am certain that as long as I continue to use my approach for link building with a few minor tweaks there is nothing for me to worry about.
Was I able to convince you to integrate public relations with your organic SEO campaign? Or are you still not sure how this helps your search campaign? Quality links improve organic ranking along with great content, social media and a good user experience.