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.
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.