We are less than a week away from kicking off 2019. Our phones were especially busy when October rolled around, as organizations were beginning the hunt to find the best SEO agencies capable of helping them hit their growth goals, and many specifically asked for link building.
The interesting thing was that most people who called were either unclear as to what their goals were, they had no real understanding of how SEO works, and they weren’t even the decision maker responsible for investing in marketing.
This article is intended to help members of the C-suite and executive management heads learn how to begin vetting new SEO partners capable of helping them build a strong backlink portfolio, but more so assist in identifying their real goals and even assess as to whether or not a link building campaign will prove to be a solid investment. This article will also offer tips and best practices in the world of link building so steam members will know what kind of questions to ask their SEO agencies.
The Person Vetting SEO Agencies Needs to Be Educated in the World of Digital Marketing
Would you let an intern present your bottom line reporting to your team of investors? Of course not. So why have an executive assistant, writer, or entry-level SEO take on the massive responsibility of understanding what the agency is talking about, and relay the information word-for word, while educating you and your team on the value of the potential investment?
As a CEO, you don’t care “how things work”; you want to know how the investment will help you reach your goal, the general process, reasonable expectations, and see some data-backing the strategy. Be sure to put the right people in the right seats who can have intelligent, in-depth conversations with an SEO agency; team members who know what kind of questions to ask, and what data to present.
Finally, it is ideal to set up a call with your company’s decision-maker, and the marketing agency’s CEO or department director. This way the full value can be conveyed, as can offered proposals be presented tat may be more aligned with helping you hit your growth goals than using a link building SEO strategy as a stand-alone service.
Why do so Many Companies Focus on Link Building?
First, Google itself has come out and said that links and content contribute to the two biggest ranking factors. While ranking high up in Google for search terms will certainly help you achieve your goals, it should not be your core focus. Are you in business to rank to the moon with 15,000 clicks every month that result in 50 monthly sales, or would you rather rank for search phrases that get roughly 900 monthly clicks but convert an average of 700 sales a month?
You are in business to grow your revenue by hitting sales targets, not to sit atop the peak of Mount Google where you may get lots of eyes, but few conversions.
That said, link building, when run alongside an advanced SEO blueprint in synch with other strategies such as a paid media campaign with the chops to run automated bidding strategies in Google ads, can foster top-of-funnel leads through audience-targeting tactics that will likely result in high-quality visitors destined to make a purchase.
Aligning Your Goals, Links, and SEO to Support Your Profitable Journey
If you are investing in SEO, then your goal is likely to generate high-quality traffic likely to convert into paying customers. This means your on-site content, guest posts on referring domains, and the links that bridge them must strategically align to rank the right content for buyer groups likely to convert.
If one of your goals is to sell the remainder of last year’s product inventory before the new line arrives next quarter, your content must address specific topics related to each product, that speaks to target buyers, while showcasing how these products provide the best solutions to their needs.
Links are powerful in this strategy because they relay valuable “SEO juice” from referring domains to your content. Not only will this improve ranking, but it will focus on improving engagement with target buyer groups on content written just for them thus resulting in higher conversion. Make sure the anchor text uses a keyword or phrase that’s buyer focused and relevant to your product or service, and be sure it offers the right context while reflecting its topic.
Building Relationships with Referring Domains for SEO
Let’s be direct and to the point: links need to come from referring domains that meet the following guidelines:
- Have a high authority score
- Be relevant to your website’s topics, products and services
- Have a healthy backlink portfolio themselves
- Allow “follow” attribute
- Have an anchor text that reads naturally
Most domains will welcome high quality blog articles in exchange for a backlink. But the emphasis is on “high quality”. So what does this mean? Most people think it means a well-written article about the domain’s products or services. And while these things matter, a true high-quality article offers a website’s readers value. This means you should pitch articles that resolve a problem one’s buyers face, or provide in-depth answers to frequently asked questions that provide a unique spin or angle. Just make sure your link comes from content that meets the above points, and that ongoing nurturing strategies roll out with the referring domain for future guest posts.
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