It’s been said early and often that the best form of SEO is to market your “brand” first and foremost.
Marketing a particular product, service, website or brand in a lot of markets leads to links being given naturally. However, despite what anyone tells you natural link building doesn’t produce a horde of backlinks, editorial reviews, Diggs, or social media mentions unless you nudge it forward, ie. market your content.
Marketing Content via social media
If you’re a well-connected social media person, you will get plenty of Diggs, Sphinns, Stumbles, and ReTweets just by asking people you know to share your content. This leads to a wider exposure for your content and some extra social media mentions added in naturally later on.
This is a manual process but it is also how content marketing works best… (manual promotion). The backlinks aren’t super-powerful but the exposure can lead to new RSS readers, which begets more social media mentions for future content.
Getting backlinks via affiliate programs
If you have a product for sale and also have affiliate programs for it, the affiliate links posted by others will send direct traffic, but affiliate links don’t provide much link juice and are devalued despite the editorial reference and natural links.
Most affiliate links are easily identifiable by the search engines, most are cloaked and/or made NoFollow by the affiliates if they published content linking to your site therefore there’s limited value here links-wise but great benefits direct-traffic-wise.
Marketing content via guest blogging opportunities
This is probably the best way to market content right now because you have the option to place content in front of highly interested parties (readers of the blog you write/wrote content for) and if you reference content on your site from your posts, you’ll get direct traffic surges and some quality backlinks.
So, how does link building via marketing really work?
Well, first off you have to focus on what your optimal link targets are when doing guest blogging. When assessing blogs that accept guest author posts, ascertain the most common theme throughout the content on the blog itself and write for the blog’s audience. Then provide some material that’s already proven to be of interest to those readers with more reading of related content referenced in links to your content on your site.
It bears repeating that we need to realize that marketing is a social “thing” which means contacting others to get your content syndicated, either by asking people you know or just hoping others will do it using the buttons on your site. When you social bookmark your own content and other’s too… you’re marketing yourself as a “player in the know” for this niche and of course, you’re marketing your content as well.
My point here:
Don’t get confused by the concept of marketing as a replacement for self-generating backlinks to your desired content. You will almost always need to manually self-generate your own backlinks until as such time that your site reaches it’s “explosion” level, which means your sites becomes a “talked-about” site that has so many readers spreading the word about your content that you only have to do a minimal amount of content promotion to keep it at this high level of exposure.
The fact is… there are more sites trying to get to this “authority” level than there are sites already at this level, so you need to self-generate content and sites for backlinks whilst also keeping a focus on marketing yourself and your sites.
- Article marketing still works, but it is a laborious task whose main benefit is direct traffic and a smattering of natural backlinks.
- Social bookmarking and social media strategies still work for direct traffic that sometimes leads to a real backlinks somewhere down the line.
- Affiliate programs work on minimal basis because of direct traffic from affiliate’s links, which then leads to people direct linking to your product page using naked links when asking, “has anyone ever heard of/tried/used XYZproduct.com?
If/when your site reaches it’s “no going back now” stage, then social media is really all you need to do to maintain this level of exposure. Authority status doesn’t come easy and it’s just not attainable via one method of promotion alone.
Link building through marketing really does work well if you understand what marketing content really means.
Guest blogging alone has resulted in 25% increase in traffic for one of my sites in just one month from just a few content pieces put out there.