By: Bayshore Solutions Digital Marketing Team
Google has shifted their focus for what factors affect search engine results a lot over the last several years – quality content is king and unnatural links are bad – but none of this is breaking news. The twist is in finding the sweet spot for your business, market, and industry that utilizes and spreads your content while also providing a simple path back to your website.
While Google’s goal is noble, to make the Internet a wonderland of useful content that leaves searchers happy after each and every click, they have left many digital marketers and webmasters shifting about in a scurry to produce the right content in efforts to continue ranking. And, for fear of being penalized by one of Google’s algorithmic updates, many marketers also find themselves hesitant to follow what may have been considered some of their standard best practices a just a year ago.
So how can we build our brand’s story through content marketing, while simultaneously building our link profile in a safe, effective, and social way?
We thought you’d never ask.
1. Publisher & Blogger Outreach
Creating dynamic and engaging content is only the first part; publisher outreach is the hammer to that nail. By managing great relationships with publishers that are relevant to your industry, you better your chances of getting them to pick up your content as an exclusive article. Once a larger publisher has picked up your content, smaller publishers and bloggers will likely be eager to follow suit.
As you begin preparing for a content campaign, be sure to keep your outreach communication organized. Categorize publishers, collect contact info, and be sure to log your communication. When you are reaching out to a large list of publishers in the same industry at once, it is important to keep track of who you have reached out to, and what the outcome was.
Note: When syndicating content, be sure to include an inbound link to the original version of the content on your site to avoid duplicate content issues, also be sure to hyperlink words like “click here” or “learn more” as opposed to using exact match anchor text, as this could result in an unnatural link penalty.
2. Social Syndication
With the rise of social media, Google’s Hummingbird update has changed the way social links are factored into PageRank. When users share content onto their profile, they are giving that content, and the site it links back to, a “vote” of approval that was previously only achievable via a link directly from a web page. This allows us to spread quality content in a more creative and social way than ever before.
Be sure to share your content through your social profiles using engaging copy in the post that is relevant and appropriately formatted for that medium. Don’t be afraid to use multiple social channels as long as they are relevant to what you are marketing. Social is not just a game of Facebook and Twitter anymore; Google +, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram are all big players and can all be very effective at targeting specific markets.
3. Video Content
Videos displaying your product development process, unique features of your services or your company’s workplace culture are great examples of some company video content types that will help develop your brand narrative, while also providing a clear invitation and path to your site for your viewers. While some videos may work great across both YouTube and Vimeo, online video is not a one size fits all. YouTube is great for a video blog, while Vimeo is more effective for fully produced creative work. When considering options it is important to remember that both sites have a different culture, audience, and content style. Format your content accordingly.
To add an inbound link to your site from the actual YouTube video, use the Associated Website Annotations option. When adding a link in Vimeo content you can add an inbound site link to your video’s description.
SlideShare is a great tool for B2B content marketing. It makes it easy to upload and post from software you are already using like PowerPoint and Keynote. This makes it simple to upload your presentations, PDFs, videos, and infographics in an easy way for users to view and share. Slideshare is efficient, easy to update, and trackable.
You can also create clickable links in SlideShare, which will make your CTAs (or call to actions) more effective while adding another inbound link to your profile. For PC users, hyperlink the text box in PowerPoint to add a link (not the actual text itself as this will not work when uploading to SlideShare). When uploading from a Mac, you will need to export your presentation as a PDF, open it in Adobe Acrobat Pro, choose the slide you want to add the link to, and under ‘More Content’ you will see the option to add a link.
When you break it down, inbound links from pages with a healthy PageRank will still help your site rank higher, social links have more value than ever before, and creating and curating relevant and useful content is an effective way to enhance consumer behavior. While there are still those who believe that content marketing and link building are at the opposite end of the spectrum, Google’s algorithmic shift indicates the importance of quality content, and with the industry’s shift toward content marketing, this is an obvious correlation worth leveraging.
Bayshore Solutions can help build your brand’s story through content marketing – get started with us today!