Google sees links to your website from relevant third-party sites as a vote of confidence. So why might editors, bloggers and consumers link?

Here are five common reasons, plus what you can do to turn them into visibility wins:

You might create onsite content for many reasons. But whether you’re in an ecommerce, brand, eCRM, social or PR role, increasing search visibility and traffic should be up there among your objectives.

Google sees links to your website from relevant third-party sites as a vote of confidence in the content, your relationship to the topic, the pages it links to and ultimately your site as a whole. 

So why might editors, bloggers and consumers link to your site? 

1. Product pages

Backlink audits for retail clients often show the majority of links going to either the homepage or product pages.  

For example fashion writers will often link directly to a product that illustrates a trend or theme they’re covering, or because it’s part of a new or newsworthy range.

Yet while this is useful for readers at the time, these links – particularly in the fast-paced world of fashion – will quickly break as products sell out or become outmoded.

What should I do about it?

Talk to your web development team about setting up 301 redirects on broken links to send people to relevant products or category pages. And when working with influencers, encourage links to evergreen category pages such as ‘women’s dresses’ as well as product pages. 

2. Partnerships and outreach

PR, digital outreach and editorial teams spend much of their time encouraging influencers to write about brands through reviews, events and brand or content partnerships. 

What should I do about it?

When writing press releases and partnership briefs, or simply over email, include pointers on where you’d like influencers to link from their channels.

And again, consider evergreen category and content pages as well as specific product links. 

3. Brand stories

It’s difficult to ‘PR’ content and advertising campaigns in consumer press – where editorial teams create their own content and sales teams rely on paid advertising budget.

To create the type of news that appeals to editors, journalists and bloggers, PR specialists often invest in original research, launches and high-profile partnerships with celebrities or experts to create a story that can be covered from lots of different angles. 

What should I do about it?

Include onsite content and landing pages in your PR and marketing plans so there’s somewhere natural for writers to link back to when covering your story.

As consumer publishing wants to be hot off the press with previews, have a holding page ready and waiting for the attention. 

And don’t forget about your own access before going out to press. Exclusive interviews with high profile celebrities not only prove a draw when promoted on your brand channels – driving the traffic that contributes to the user signals that Google also considers in its algorithm – but could also attract source links from media and fan sites. 

4. Niche content and guides 

No doubt you’ve come across the ‘broad-vs-niche-appeal’ debate when planning content.

While broad appeal suits big news press such as high-profile collaborations, there’s a lot to be said for drilling down into your audience segments to speak to specific needs. 

While it may only appeal to a particular pocket of influencers, investing in niche content can show that you really care about them and know your stuff.

It can also create useful source material for stories and guides that will live on: For retail sites, for example, fuller-figure clothing and buying guides for high-ticket items often rank among popular pages.  

What should I do about it?

Think beyond here-today-gone-tomorrow trend and news content – that media publishers are better set-up to cover anyway – and focus on what you know about your products and brand that could truly benefit your customers.    

5.Competitions

There’s a reason competitions are a mainstay in above the line, traditional and digital marketing plans, they work to grab people’s attention.

Hosting competitions on your site can help attract links from competition sites and forums, social channels and relevant influencer sites.

What should I do about it?

Create a catch-all competitions page on your site that you can direct people to when sharing the news of your latest promotion. This will act as a holding page between competitions to maximise the long-term impact of activity and reduce the number of broken links.

If you run similar competitions year on year – at Christmas for example – refreshing the same page, rather than building a new one each year, will help you accumulate SEO equity from links over time.      

Jo-ann Fortune

Published 7 July, 2015 by Jo-ann Fortune

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Comments (1)

Gracious Store

Gracious Store, Owner at Gracious Store

Often times brands link to similar websites or competitors sites if only they have higher website ranking than theirs

about 3 years ago

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