Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Better than Link Building


Is there really something better than link building? It should, after all, only be a piece of your inbound marketing strategy. The fact is you still need to generate backlinks and you need to maintain a consistent link velocity (the rate at which you acquire links). StepForth has recently moved from offering professional link building services to something we like to call Better than Link Building. It’s a change that we’re all pretty excited about..

Better than Link Building is a way to actively engage with your company’s target audience, build brand recognition, monitor and respond to your niche, all while building natural backlinks.

Here are the problems with traditional link building methods:

  • It’s spammy. And we all know that Google frowns upon spammers. Past tactics that used to be an effective way to build links (like submitting to hundreds of directories) have been penalized. That means that link builders need to innovate and come up with new tactics. Who knows how long those new methods will work before Google decides to devalue all of those links, too.
  • It’s tedious. It can take hours upon hours of hard, mind-numbing work to get good quality links.
  • It can be expensive. In order to generate more and more high-quality links, the link building process must be scaled. But if you’re doing it properly that means that the time, and subsequently your bill, will add up pretty quickly.
  • Links aren’t permanent. Websites change, pages are published and removed pretty regularly, and sometimes a site is sold or transferred. A link that you may have put an hour or two into acquiring can be gone at the drop of a hat.
  • They’re often low-quality. After so many years of these practices, authority sites are wise to the link builders. It’s getting much more difficult to acquire a link on a high PR site without first building a genuine relationship with the blogger or webmaster.
  • They don’t generate traffic. It’s one thing to build links to increase rankings, but it’s another thing all together to get traffic from those links.

Community Building

The community building solution

This is where our community building services come in. We combine a killer content marketing strategy with a vibrant social media presence to get your brand’s messaging out to the people you want to reach.


Why community building works

  • It builds natural links. Google appreciates the same qualities that your readers do – good quality, original content that solves a problem, entertains, or answers questions. The more interesting or entertaining it is, the more likely people are going to share it with their networks.
  • It scales itself. When you manage to share engaging content, it always has the potential to go viral. The better it is, the more people share it, and the more backlinks you gain – all from doing the same amount of work.
  • It’s economical. Content can be repurposed to be shared from your various social profiles, blog and website.
  • Sure, links don’t last forever but when your content keeps encouraging new links on an ongoing basis it’s not as big a deal to lose a few.
  • It’s organic. Links that come from real people and that are shared in a natural pattern are natural – exactly what Google really wants to see.
  • It drives traffic. What good is a bunch of links to your site that no one will ever see or follow? Social links have high visibility, and will drive more of the right people to your website. Word of mouth is powerful because people trust recommendations from their friends. We’re willing to bet that you’ll see a higher click through rate from your social presence than you ever saw from any article directory backlinks.

Basically, we’re putting the focus back on people rather than spending all of our time trying to impress the search engines.  We’ll work with you develop a cohesive social media and content marketing strategy based upon your goals and the state of your market’s current landscape.

One more thing to consider:

The other reason you need to consider community building services is Google’s shift toward personalized or social search. It directly impacts how and when your company appears in the search results. Google’s Search Plus Your World means that the results to your queries will reflect your location, previous searches you’ve performed and sites you’ve visited, and people in your circles. Just take a look at SEOMoz’s graph that demonstrates how social metrics are correlated with rankings.

If you’d like to learn more about our new Community Building services, please read more on our website or contact us to request a free consultation.

6 Responses to “Better than Link Building”

  1. Justin

    I strongly agree that social search may be the wave of the future. While it can be a step forward in reducing spam, spammers may also be one step ahead in using spammy social media profiles to generate results.

  2. Leah Baade

    Thanks for the comment, Justin. We wish this wasn’t the case but unfortunately, I’m afraid you’re probably right.
    For the community building services that StepForth is offering, we’ll work directly with businesses to manage existing or create new social profiles under their name. We’re not out to fool people, but to help build engaged relationships that offer value to both our clients and the broader social media communities.

  3. Howard Gottlieb

    Isn’t this the same type of sales pitch we heard 10 years ago from owners of directories and over the past 5 years from article portals?

    I would love to know more but it seems ultimately there are very very few ways to get “natural” links.

  4. Leah Baade

    I think that ultimately, whatever your inbound marketing tactics you’re using, your overall strategy needs to remain very agile. I have no doubt that 5 or 10 years down the road we’ll all be doing something entirely different again. We feel that this is a great option because it implements a sound content marketing strategy to boost a brand’s recognition and build relationships with actual customers.

  5. Tbs

    Social media networking is the new age brand promotion medium.Since Social media have a lot of online presence it becomes a potential platform to advertise your brands. Justin has a point in this. Google will definitely come out with tackling spammy social media profiles. Thanks Leah for sharing.

  6. Leah Baade

    I think you’re absolutely right – Google will tackle spammy social activities in the future just as they have with past link building practices that used to be effective. The only way to combat that is to build up a powerful social presence for your brand and use the platforms as they were meant to be used: to connect and engage. Real connections with real people are going to drive far more conversions/sales anyway, and that’s really what counts at the end of the day. Thanks for reading!

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