As the internet has become increasingly pervasive, establishing a brand presence and making your content easy to find online has become more important than ever. Consumers have become savvy to – and frequently annoyed by – tactics like mass emails and paid advertising. This means you have to work harder to get your product or service in front of the right consumers, and this is where link building comes into play.
BuzzStream and Fractl have collaborated to review the trends in outbound versus inbound marketing techniques and tell you why link building is essential to your digital strategy. By analyzing reported results, costs, and trends in online marketing, we show you how to judge for yourself whether the ROI is worth the investment for your brand.
What link building achieves
The most important thing to understand about link building is the results this strategy can achieve, especially in comparison to old PR methods.
Consider this: According to research from Nielsen and GroupM UK, only 6% of search engine users click on paid ads, but 94% click on organic search results. When it comes to earning click-through in organic results, however, ranking has an impact that can’t be understated. 90% of users will click on one of the first three results when searching for branded terms, and 61% will stay within the first three results for non-branded term searches. The average for clicks below the first three results is just 32%, meaning that your content needs to rank highly in order to earn the most traffic from organic search.
Planning your content strategy for 2015? Here’s some good news: You don’t need a crystal ball to predict which formats (or content types) will help you meet your social media benchmarks. BuzzStream and Fractl have crunched the numbers to figure out which content types earn most shares, the formats that are evergreen for social sharing, and the monthly patterns that highlight content format risks – and rewards .
Using BuzzSumo, we tracked 220,000 pieces of content from 10 high- and 10 low-engagement domains over the course of six months. From June to November 2014, we followed the formats that earned the most social shares in 11 verticals. By analyzing how-to articles, lists, what posts, why posts, and videos, we discovered which yield strong, consistent returns and which are potential risks.
If your brand is the conservative type, opt for lists and why posts. These formats earned the most shares over a six-month period and varied the least in their performance month-to-month.
Guest blogging opportunities are everywhere. Some of them are easily searchable on Google, while others require you to be a bit more resourceful. You can fish out the latter using one of the world’s most popular social networking sites: Twitter.
Why Twitter? Well, for one thing, connecting with anyone on that site is as simple as clicking the “Follow” button. Also, you have the real-time updates, the trending hashtags, the mentions and other metrics that quantify a person’s/company’s/brand’s influence on Twitter. It’s an outreach machine, basically.
In order to make the most of Twitter, try some of the following outreach strategies on for size.
Conduct a (Strategic) Social Search
The first thing to try is just searching for people looking for guest bloggers. Don’t underestimate the power of a simple search for any of the following terms:
Today, we’re excited to announce three new BuzzStream features: email signatures, unsubscribe options, and advanced metrics filtering.
Target the Right Websites for Your Campaign
Being able to quickly segment a set of influencers or publishers based on their authority is one of the keys to successful outreach. For example, in a lot of outreach campaigns you’re going to be most successful if you reach out the mid-tier influencers.
Normally, finding these kinds of sites is a tedious, time-consuming process. Now, BuzzStream has made it a whole lot easier by adding two new filtering capabilities – range filtering and “any/all” filtering. Let’s take a look at how these capabilities work. (more…)
This is a guest post from Adrienne Erin. Find her on Twitter.
If you don’t change with the times, you get left behind.
That’s true in any industry, but it’s especially true in SEO, where a tiny tweak to Google’s algorithm can turn last week’s surefire search strategy into this week’s surefire way to get penalized. Things change quickly in SEO, and one thing that underscores the constant churning is the recent evolution of link building.
Once upon a time, you stuck links wherever you could squeeze them. You blasted the pages you wanted to promote with inbound links, and you could put those links on low-quality sites where it was easy to get mentions. You begged and pleaded people to accept links elsewhere, too, and back in those days not as many people saw the danger of giving in.
Today’s guest post comes from Brad Shorr, the B2B Marketing Director of Straight North, a SEO agency headquartered near Chicago. Brad writes frequently on content marketing, SEO and social media.
Publishers are inundated with spammy content pitches 24/7/365. Thanks to the plethora of pitiful pitch slingers, a good pitch from a serious SEO is no longer good enough; it takes a great pitch to get the attention of busy, successful publishers.
Being a writer, a publisher and part of our agency’s SEO group, I see content pitches from all sides. Based on that experience, here are several suggestions to transform your good pitches into great ones.
Moz recently released a new section of Open Site Explorer to help people find link building opportunities. There are three sections:
- Reclaim Links – finds pages on your site that have 3XX, 4XX, and 5XX errors
- Unlinked Mentions – leverages Fresh Web Explorer to find other sites that have mentioned (but not linked to) your site
- Link Intersect – lets you plug in two competitors to find sites that are linking to both of those competitors but not you
Moz’s redesigned Open Site Explorer.
Today’s post comes from Shawn Cohen of Standing Dog Interactive, a full service digital agency in Dallas, Texas.
The travel and hospitality industry is inspiring to work in: you know you’re helping travelers reach their destination and once they get there, you are there to ensure that they will have the best time of their lives.
Case Study: Building Links in the Travel Industry
However, it’s a crowded digital space with a lot of limitations. Depending on the brand, content, budget, and time can all be tight restrictions on SEO link building campaigns. That means we have to think creatively about where to find reputable sites that will link to individual properties that have tiny SEO budgets, run of the mill content, and just a few hours of linking time per year.
Yes, that’s right—a few hours of linking time per year.
With these limitations in mind, we’re pulling back the curtain on how we’ve built thousands of reputable links for hundreds of hotel properties since the founders of our hospitality-oriented agency opened up shop nine years ago.
Case Study: Vacations by Marriott
First, though, we’d like to bring your attention to a case study of a more sophisticated travel and hospitality link building campaign we did for Vacations by Marriott, the official travel package program of Marriott International. (more…)
Today’s post comes from Trung Ngo, SEO Strategist at Red Door Interactive. Find him on Twitter @trungvngo or his personal blog, upstreamist.co, where he writes about outreach marketing, SEO, and productivity.
The TL;DR Version
Outreach marketing aligns the client’s brand with people who have the ability to influence consumer preference in the respective industry. Links are just the cherry on top.
Here’s what we need to include in outreach marketing campaign performance reports to better communicate our value:
- Impressions and engagement on brand-related influencer tweets using TweetReach
- Social shares and total count of comments on brand-related articles from influencers using URL Profiler
- Comparison of outreach response rates and campaign goal completion rates for influencers with whom we have a pre-existing relationship to those where we do not have an existing relationship using data from BuzzStream
This data makes for a more compelling report and paves the way for a more strategic conversation about outreach marketing. Below is a sample report:
Sample link building report
In 2013, the most popular pieces of content on both BuzzFeed and the New York Times had something in common.
Was it that they were well-research pieces by respected journalists? No. In fact, the NYT piece was created by an intern. Did they break news? Nope, no new news was made. Were they beautiful, Snowfall-like visual constructions? Nope. They were designed from templates.
They were quizzes. The writing is on the wall: interactive content is the future of content marketing.