There are three main reasons that your competitors could be outranking you in the SERPs: they have higher-quality and more relevant content, their onsite technical optimisation is better, or they have more (and better) inbound links to their sites.
In this article we’ll talk about backlinks, and how to build them. In light of recent reports on SEO fraudsters exploiting small business through shady link-building techniques, we have shortlisted 3 advanced techniques that are effective, and more importantly, Google-compliant.
Guest posting… is still a thing?
Yes, guest posting in 2019 is still one of the most effective methods of link building available. The process involves creating a quality piece of content, having it featured on an external website that is related to your industry, and ensuring it has a relevant link pointing back to your website.
You want to guest post on sites that:
- Have an authoritative link profile and good domain authority
- Are in your niche (or a related niche)
- Only post high-quality content
- Can bring you targeted traffic
- Have a significant amount of social media followers
Think of guest posting as door-to-door marketing. Instead of marketing through billboards and advertisements, you are writing content on websites that are of value to your audience.
The added benefit of guest posting (on top of that ever-so-valuable link equity) is the potential for referral traffic from readers. Guest posting also allows a brand to position itself as an expert in its niche while improving awareness for it, sort of like “trust and recognition by association”.
As far as paid guest posting in Australia is concerned, it’s here to stay. Google doesn’t appear to have any way of distinguishing paid and free guest posts – although it does say that “sponsored” content should be labelled as such.
In one form or another, from brand-sponsored content to paid reviews, these types of placements are going to exist for a long time. Why? Because just like advertisements in the real world, paid guest posts are just another form of advertising.
Guest posting can be time consuming, from discovering authoritative partner sites to coming up with the right topic, and of course creating the content itself. But in the end, focusing on building connections and networking with sites and publications that complement your business is the way to make the most out of your guest posting efforts.
Building trust and driving revenue with Influencer Marketing
Influencer Marketing is similar to blogger outreach in the sense that it is very good at generating quality backlinks and coverage from external websites, further improving your rankings for cornerstone pages.
On top of getting that precious link equity, influencers also provide intriguing and unique content which builds empathy, authority and trust. Nielsen conducted a survey that shows that 92% of consumers around the world say they trust earned media (e.g. word of mouth and recommendations from friends and family) above all other forms of advertising.
Creating content with integrity and trust has become key for brands, particularly after the widely publicised backlash against the Fyre festival. Here at iProspect, we have been working with influencers for quite some time and have cracked the formula for authentic success in order to create meaningful campaigns that drive results.
Audiences value the content of an Influencer, and in turn, trust the personal brand they represent across their digital channels. As a brand, collaborating with an influencer can help you gain some of this same trust with their audience – as long as it’s the right fit.
This is where influencer marketing can become lucrative, as influencers can help convert untapped audiences into potential customers, and ultimately into sales. Brand awareness is great, but being able to turns those impressions into dollars is the ultimate goal of influencer marketing.
While influencer marketing may seem harder to evaluate than traditional marketing mixes, it’s critical to align campaign goals with the business objectives and set key metrics early on to measure its true value.
The Australian influencer marketing industry is booming; agencies and platforms are now delivering more detailed statistics and analytics to show how well brand messages resonate with audiences. These numbers, combined with data from properly set-up UTM tagging, can help you understand how successful your influencer campaign has been and relay that success to the rest of the business.
If you are interested in working with influencers in Australia but are unsure about how to disclose your relationship, the AANA (Australian Association of National Advertisers) has released guidelines around advertising disclosure and payment to ensure you remain compliant.
Digital PR: the golden child of link building
When it comes to building links, quality over quantity is the best way to build a strong backlink profile. Aiming for those high domain authority and highly authoritative websites such as news sites is the ultimate way to obtain the maximum reach and ranking potential for your brand.
Digital PR is exactly what it sounds like: creating an amazing story or conversation-starter, and seeding it to relevant journalists and high-authority publishers to gain coverage and links.
Where digital PR differs from the other two techniques we’ve mentioned is that it isn’t about link building. It’s about link earning. Your content is so good and relevant to the publications you shared it with that they want to share it with their audience.
In order to create content so good it attracts links, it all starts with the idea. When brainstorming ideas for a Digital PR campaign, we run it through our own model to ensure it has the potential to be as big a success as possible.
Before we begin, we consult ex-journos and Digital PR specialists (in our case, our sister PR agency, Haystac) who help us craft a message that is purpose-designed to resonate with the media and then promote it to national publications via their existing relationships. We also create the briefs based on keyword/topic targets, which ensure we’re ticking the SEO box from the very beginning.
Unlike traditional PR, which has limited metrics to work with, Digital PR is much more data-driven. With the help of Google Analytics and other SEO tools, we are able to track a variety of metrics to show the media and SEO impact our campaign has had. For any business trying to earn the types of links you can’t actually pay for, a Digital PR campaign is the only way to do it.
Backlinks are here to stay. Your tactics should be too.
Backlinks are still a major building block that every SEO strategy must have. But unlike in the past, websites now more than ever need the most relevant links from the highest-quality and most authoritative sources if they want to see any uplift in their organic visibility. If you are not building (or earning) backlinks with the three techniques listed here, your competition is probably outranking you, or will be soon.