Google’s Penguin updates have focused on punishing sites with bad links. Unfortunately, several B2B marketers still feel that links are the only way for improved rankings and continue to engage in dubious tactics only to end up with punitive results.
While links must form an important part of your campaign, it must not be the only tactic since Google has clearly indicated that incorporating high-quality content, developing very strong PR as well as a strong social campaign, and connecting to a relevant audience through your content is what will positively boost rankings. By following the above strategy, you will actually be able to build links in a natural manner, which in turn will be noticed and rewarded by Google.
Once you implement a strategy of creating and enhancing B2B brand awareness rather than focusing only on links, you will achieve higher organic ranking and witness higher conversion rates in an organic manner too. In addition, you will not be penalized by Google, will naturally achieve inbound links that attract higher relevant traffic, and finally turn your website, your business, and your products into an established and dominant brand.
You can achieve all of the above with two strategies based on short and long term. Your short-term strategy should include several actions such as locating sites that already mention your brand and requesting them for a link. You will soon receive referral traffic from an interested audience.
Another tactic is to check the backlinks of your competitors since they may have utilized a rewarding SEO strategy developed over time. You merely need to check links that have been acquired through legitimate sources and find relevant opportunities. You should also try to ask for link requests from affiliate sites or partner sites as well as your parent company, if any. However, you must remember to restrict the number of links that you try to implement at a time to ensure that this tactic does not have an adverse effect on rankings.
Becoming a member of an industry association will also help and in addition to providing links will also enable you to talk online about your industry as well as discuss problems and future opportunities. This will not only create brand awareness, but will also project you and your business as a leader in that industry.
Writing blogs and articles connected to your business and industry is again a tactic that can reward you with natural links while enhancing brand awareness. You can use Google+ authorship as well as try to write for publications with high authority to get the best possible links. You should also restrict your directory listings to only a few such as Yahoo business directory, Best of the Web, and business.com. In addition, you can try for listings on other select sites that are relevant to your own business and which actually deliver results.
If you are using press releases as a way to build links then you need to ensure that this tactic is not overdone. Google has indicated that press releases do not provide any substantial ranking value so you must stick to press releases in your relevant industry and not dedicate too many resources for this tactic.
You should also embark on a long-term strategy to enhance B2B brand awareness that may just reward you with quality links. One rich long-term strategy is to put out videos, brochures, white papers, podcasts, and other related material that can be distributed through social media and blogs to reach out to interested audiences.
In addition, you can offer various online tools connected to your industry as a way out to help others as well as build valuable links in the process. Furthermore, you can begin your very own blog that will certainly propel your brand as one with authority in your industry. However, you need to put out content that is interesting enough to garner an increasing audience so as to ensure long-term success of this tactic.
Once you implement the above strategies, you will witness a rise in inbound links as well as targeted traffic while creating and enhancing B2B brand awareness over time. Try out the above short and long term strategies, and modify them to suit your business model for continued success in building links in a natural manner.