If You’re a Marketer You Can Be a Link Builder
Some marketers are apprehensive of the secret world of SEO link building. The truth is, there’s really no magical secret to link building and it’s not that complicated. If you are a marketer, you can be a link builder. Today’s link building is a manual process, much like any other form of marketing. Gone are the days of link buying automation. Even if you’re outsourcing your link building, there are real humans doing the work, not robots. Link building is essentially a specialized form of marketing that is focused on the online space. The primary components of SEO link building will be familiar to any marketer:
Ample link building time is dedicated to research. Generating any old link isn’t going to cut it today. In fact, it could get you into trouble. A link builder’s time is spent finding link opportunities on websites that are relevant to the target audience and/or the industry. Like any form of marketing, it’s necessary to determine who your target audience is and where they are spending their time. More specifically for link building, where they are spending their time online? What blogs do they read? What communities are they a part of?
It’s important to determine who the competition is online. It’s possible that online competition may differ from offline competition. You’ll likely have a list of your competitors, but spend some time conducting searches for your primary keywords in the search engines. Any website that appears prominently can be considered your competition. Analyze what they’re doing in the online space, and more specifically, where their inbound links are coming from. You can use a tool like Open Site Explorer to pull competitor links. This list can be used to see what competitors are doing, but also to see what they’re not doing and where there might be opportunities.
Robots aren’t running websites, people are, and they have the power to link to you or not. People are more likely to be open to linking to your web property when they know who you are and what you represent. Work towards establishing relationships with the owners of websites that are popular among target audience members and within your niche. Follow them in social media, share their content, comment on their blogs, etc. to get your name out there. After some time, use your marketing skills to craft a personalized message asking for a link.
As with marketing in general, link building takes time and effort. But it’s really not so scary, especially if you have a marketing background. You’ll notice that the concepts are quite similar.
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