What we’ve seen over the recent years is the fact that Google is increasingly favouring larger brands. In Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines they state, “Would you recognize this page being an authoritative source when mentioned by name?”
Google determines the actual size of a brand in comparison to the remaining portion of the market in a given niche (or for a given keyword group) by checking out what exactly are called Brand Signals; indicators to Google you are an authority inside your field – that individuals inside your market know your identiity plus they trust you.
The analogy I always love to use to clarify link building packages is textbooks…
You will have a series of textbooks within a field that have citations and references for some other resources, so you are aware that if several textbooks within a given field denote the same resource, it’s a resource which is relevant and high quality.
A similar applies online.
You require references, citations, links, even brand mentions as well as other signals… so you need many of these in a manner that, a) Google sees, b) Google likes, and c) Google allows.
I like to make reference to this combination and strategic direction as…
Search Relations (PR for search engines like yahoo)
Google wishes to give you the best experience because of its users, which explains why it wishes to rank the major brands for as numerous searches as you possibly can.
To find out the real power of SEO, you must become among those brands. To achieve that, you should develop your brand awareness so that you reach your audience across multiple resources.
If they’re reading an article in the newspaper related to your service and a company is interviewed, you have to be that company. If an article within a blog references a niche resource, you need to be that resource. If you have a list of providers of your service somewhere over a related website, you ought to be on that list.
By putting yourself in front of your audience and establishing your brand presence in your marketplace, Google will recognise you as being a strong brand among the competition.
That’s where real SEO success can take place.
The unfortunate reality of big brand SEO
The days of personal blogs or small mortgage brokerages ranking for your keyword ‘home loans’ ahead of the largest banks inside a country are over. You can’t pretend to become a big brand in SEO anymore and in the rare cases that ‘pretending’ does work, it doesn’t help long.
Realistically, this may not be such a bad thing for users – if they’re trying to find a product or service, they need to see the firms that hold the highest capacity and industry trust for delivering that service or product, such as a bank or lender when it comes to ‘home loans’.
So if you’re not one of the strongest brands, you might have only 3 options:
Choose a different keyword group
Target longer tail, more specific keywords and traffic
Become one of those particular brands
If none of these can be carried out, choose a different service or put money into non-white-hat SEO at your own risk.
How to be a strong brand that Google favours
If you want to turn into a strong brand that Google favours, there are three key areas to concentrate on (according to precisely what is available and applicable to your situation):
Leveraging existing relationships, marketing & resources
Participating in the market & community
Directly promoting your posts, brand & products/services
Listed here are 10 instances of each…
1. Leveraging existing relationships, marketing & resources
References from the suppliers – Many product suppliers have lists of the stockists or distributors on his or her websites, and service providers often list clients or client logos as samples of previous work completed. In any event, ask your suppliers or providers to incorporate you on their site in their lists, by using a branded link to your site.
References from the clients (B2B) – Similarly, many distributors, stockists and clients list their suppliers on their website, sometimes by using a profile in the suppliers’ brands. Ask your clients to feature you on their site within these lists or as being a preferred supplier.
Testimonial contributions – If there is no list with a supplier’s website, they could still include testimonials on their site. If you’re satisfied with them, provide a testimonial for them to include on their site using a link to your company.
Leverage radio/TV advertising – Some media outlets have a summary of their advertisers on their website. Should you be advertising with any radio or TV stations, check should they have this feature and make certain you might be included in the list.
Leverage other sponsorships – Most companies that accept sponsorships display the sponsors on their website, generally using a brand name and sometimes using a link. If your company has or will have any sponsorships – whether charities, organisations, clubs, events etc – make sure to request or confirm incorporating your brand or logo on their site with a link returning to your site.
Non-linked brand citations – As the brand awareness grows and you earn a media presence, your manufacturer will be mentioned in blog articles and news articles. If your company is mentioned by a writer or journalist, they are aware who you are and also have already promoted your brand with their readership, why then not make them change the existing brand mention to some hyperlink? You can even use this to build a partnership for future collaborations.
Leverage press releases – While the old bulk press-release-syndication SEO strategy (where your press release is published into a tonne of PR directories haphazardly) should be avoided, there are a few high-quality press release websites which can be still valuable should your release is newsworthy. Additionally, when you have company news that may be worth a press release, you can reach out to local or industry journalists who could find it interesting, and possibly even provide an exclusive interview.
Leverage existing content resources – Find what content in your website is successful before. In case the content has already generated interest and traction, there is a reason so find in whatever way possible to promote it further.
Reverse image/Content lookup – If you have successful content, often key statistics, phrases, charts, tables or images might be re-used or quoted by other writers. Sometimes they may forget to cite you like a source or if they generally do site you, they can not link to you (much like non-linked brand citations). Get in touch with the authors, thank them for that compliment of utilizing your details and inquire them nicely when they would mind together with a citation in your original bit of content.
Lost link outreach – Most third party link analysis tools offer a summary of pages that previously linked to your website but for in which the page or link is removed. Websites like these have previously related to you in past times hence the relationship is established. Reach out to them, figure out why they removed the hyperlink, what can be involved in re-establishing the web link or the best way to work together in the future.
2. Participating in the marketplace and community
Scholarships – Education institutions often list any scholarships relevant to their students, that will help them financially. Discover which courses, diplomas and degrees are relevant for careers in or linked to your industry and build a nominal scholarship program for pupils in those fields. Ensure there is a description and application page on the website, then reach out to the institutions offering those courses to add the scholarship in their listings.
Internships – Similarly, many educational institutions want to have partnerships with companies where they are able to place their students for Work Experience or Internships. Many will list these companies on their site being a sales pitch to give more students in. Furthermore branding, it is possible to improve your work capacity having an intern and you will probably often find some very nice future personnel through internship programs (as we ourselves have realized repeatedly through the years).
Guest speakerships – A lot of you can expect to remember at some time or another a guest speaker arrived at your school, college, university or TAFE to provide a talk related to the course that you were studying. If you’re an expert inside your field and so are comfortable facing groups of students, offer the services you provide as a guest speaker to offer insights in the industry or educate them over a specific sub-topic. Many institutions will incorporate guest speakers in addition to their companies from the course outlines, which are often available online.
Event sponsorships/suppliers – If you will find any upcoming events in your industry, especially for your personal target audience, contact the big event organisers to provide either a sponsorship or, should your products or services are suitable, to become a supplier in the event. Most events offer an online presence and definately will list their event sponsors and suppliers somewhere on the website.
Host a business event – One challenge, especially with smaller events, is finding funding to pay for venues. If you fail to offer financial support or supplies, or if the case is smaller in nature, you can offer your facilities to host the event. You will see that venues will almost always be listed on event details pages, and they also may link to your Give Us A Call page when it has details regarding how to arrive.
Charity sponsorships – There are several charities which can be in urgent demand for funding. Leaving aside that each and every company must be giving returning to the city, some charities will even list sponsors on their website. Get a charity which is consistent with your business ethos and obtain involved.
Join industry associations – Most industries offer an association of some type that will require membership from companies, and most of these associations have got a directory of the members. Websites like these might be super relevant and, because they come with an application process, simply have legitimate businesses listed. You have to be among those businesses. They could have events developing that one could get involved with.
Competition prize contributions – On sites like HARO and SourceBottle, people doing work in media sometimes list requests for competition prizes to become donated to acquire referencing the company inside the competition ads and channels. If the competition is relevant and definately will come with an online presence, you might offer services or products as a prize to benefit from that branding.
Industry forum engagement – Forums obtain a bad rap, but a majority of industries have great forums where the community and experts are really engaged. Develop a real profile to get a real person and initiate participating in the conversations; offer your industry expertise, advice for resolving issues, feedback on comments or questions. When you publish content, you can even share a summary by using a connect to the original inside a new thread and get people for feedback. Though I believe it obvious, it’s worth mentioning you should never spam a forum with links and avoid using your website in your forum signature – even though this could possibly have worked previously, you will definitely get banned from your top quality forums and overdoing it can likely present you with issues with Google penalties.
Offer interviews – Bloggers and journalists are usually trying to find experts to interview on difficult or controversial topics. Keep a lookout on HARO and SourceBottle for requests, and even reach out to journalists or bloggers you are aware of to be curious about your city of experience and present yourself being a source. Some media outlets also have a standing request for interviews.
3. Promoting your brand, products, services and content to industry resources and influencers
Be aware that this area of brand promotion is the thing that most closely resembles SEO of the past, but it should be evolved for your present and future.
Linkable content creation & promotion – Quite simply, create content that folks inside your field would like to connect to. Much like technical onsite SEO, there are numerous resources available on the web that discuss creating content which will attract links and ways to promote that content to acquire links. Brian Dean delivers a detailed explanation of the he calls the Skyscraper Way of creating linkable assets and Noah Kagan passes through the same strategy but elaborates more on content promotion.
Egobait aggregator lists content – People like recognition. When you curate a listing of the “Top/Best XX Anything”, and include links to every single blog, website, or company in the list, potentially using a snippet or description, after that you can reach out to them and let them know. The lesser to medium sized websites especially would want to brag about it, particularly if it’s an award, and could include marketing companies on their site back to this list.
Egobait citations/references content – Similarly, you can quote or cite a targeted author in your high-quality content with a hyperlink returning to their site, then get in touch with them and let them know. They may or may not connect to it in time, but on a regular basis they will likely share it with their followers and one of these could end up linking on it.
Host webinars – An underrated and underused medium in many industries is video content. If it’s in your capacity, host webinars to teach within the industry on difficult topics, or offer beginner sessions. Record and publish these as videos, as well as create independent informational videos, and promote the video as you may would some other linkable asset.
Offer sample products for review – Bloggers love free samples and many will review products within their field anyway. Offer a sample to acquire a completely independent (unbiased) overview of your product published on their website. Obviously here, you should have an effective product to acquire maximum gain benefit from the review.
Blogger relationship building – Identify the best blogs and information resources with your industry. Start engaging with their content; add valuable comments on their site; share their content and connect to it where possible; promote them in your social media profiles. Set up a positive relationship prior to deciding to require anything and after that, once you have a dialogue, you are able to share your content and request their feedback, or you can brainstorm other ways to collaborate.
Social influencer relationship building – Identify the top social profiles and influencers inside your industry. Start engaging along with them across their social platforms; favourite and retweet their tweets; share and like their Facebook posts. Create a positive relationship prior to require anything then, after you have a dialogue, you are able to share your articles and request their feedback, or brainstorm other ways to collaborate.
Industry resource lists – In lots of industries, there are actually lists of providers, suppliers, tools, etc – for instance on ‘Useful Resources’ pages. If you locate a listing of your competitors all using one page, you have to be on that list. Contact the internet site owners and inquire them should they includes you among the selection of providers. When they have only a shortlist of the biggest brands, they could not include you, but many want an intensive set of all 94dexmpky providers and are very happy to keep your list fresh.
Off-site aggregator lists – Just like industry resource lists, there are actually websites or websites in certain industries that happen to be dedicated to aggregating specific varieties of companies or websites. When there is a list related to your products, services or company type, contact the aggregator and inquire them what could be involved in getting listed. Comparison sites (loans, insurance, accommodation) are a good demonstration of aggregator lists, but often it’s as simple as a blog article listing everyone inside your field.
Viral competitions/offers – Create a competition or even a special offer that is so outrageous people will want to share it with their social followers. Or, taking it to the next level, build a competition or a discount particularly for target bloggers – when the incentive is sufficient, it would entice them to share it making use of their social profiles and backlink to it off their website.
Get creative and determine what is perfect for you. Audit your resources and make sure you are making the most of all of your marketing channels. Find unique techniques for getting involved in your unique niche or industry.