Here Are Some Strategies For Link Building, Sponsored Content
If you’re interested in expanding your brand to a wider audience, link building is definitely one of the best digital marketing approaches to consider. After all, link building can help spread your brand to relevant websites and communities. If you’re handling what others consider a “risky” niche such as betting, weight loss, and loans, link building may also seem like something that can help your brand development in the SEO scene. Thing is, can it be done?
Turns out, it’s very possible! Here are some link building strategies you can use even if you’re handling a sensitive niche:
Focus on providing context, user-focused content with your posts
Part of what makes our niches “risky” is because they have a negative reputation of being “spammy,” as in a lot of members in our industry don’t provide “help” to our customer concerns and goals. However, this shouldn’t always be the case. That’s why a link building company may recommend you finding the best ways to naturally include links in different forms of content and share them to relevant communities. This method of link building, called organic link building, tailors your branding to maximize viewers naturally seeing your brand and your content.
- In general, organic link building with blogs and content creation can definitely contribute to raising your brand relevance in the industry at large. Considering how over 75-percent of internet readers look at blogs (and with 4.57-billion people being active netizens), that’s a huge market you can tap. When making content in your niche, make sure it’s something that’s not just encouraging for people already invested in your industry, but also for newcomers. This makes it much easier for search engines to put your content higher in their listings, and therefore easier to access by readers.
- In the above example, a gambling website provides value to users by explaining how betting online offers a lot of advantages. The article in itself has backlinks to authority websites, as well as other useful internal links on different subjects. These kinds of articles are particularly helpful for newbies interested in trying out online gambling, while at the same time establishing itself as a good resource of information for gambling sites.
- The above example applies what we call context-based content creation, where we rely on writing content based on the overall topic or concept we want to explore instead of keywords. This makes our piece look more natural and fit for the niche in question. For risk niches, this can be a great way to write content that tackles our blog but also provides value.
Leverage on your social media presence
Another negative perception of “risky” niches is that they tend to appear “scammy” in social media. When we offer great deals with our products and services, we may phrase them in cases that seem “too good to be true.” This may not pass standards of platforms such as Facebook Advertisements. However, we can apply effective link building to make our social media content actually useful for readers. As a platform designed for engagement, our social media presence must be geared towards engaging and interacting with audiences.
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- Considering there’s 3.797-billion social media users by 2020 all over the world, you have a lot of potential audience for your content. When you consider upping the ante on your social media presence, consider making content that will elicit responses from potential customers. This means making informative posts in the right platforms that can encourage inquiries and interaction with your users. Take advantage of multimedia, visually-appealing graphics, and even call-to-action in your captions.
- In the above example, the CBD oil brand definitely exists in a sensitive niche as cannabidiol is still a highly-contested product. However, the brand leverages on its social media presence by providing relatable content to its consumers. In the example, this brand is inviting people to join a Q&A on CBD oil, which is something newcomers to the product may want to join.
- We can leverage on our social media presence by making sure we create content depending on the platform in question. For instance, we can create punchier and more entertaining quips on the industry via Twitter, but focus on providing appealing imagery on Instagram. For Facebook, we can tap into niche groups with posts that lead to our websites. Knowing what output we can produce per niche can be helpful in our link building efforts.
Build your brand and website from the backend
When we say “link building,” we often think of spreading our links to as many people as possible. And while this is the “ideal” (albeit very general) way to go, it’s important to remember that you can pursue meaningful link building from behind the scenes as well. You have to make sure your links actually go back to the right parts of your website, and that your website itself can accommodate your users.
- From a link building perspective, make sure you take advantage of broken links. These are links inside of websites that lead to 404s because of wrong spellings or even words in articles that may be great for anchor texts. When you see these broken links in sites connected to your niche, consider contacting webmasters to have them replace these broken links with your links. This can help drive more traffic to your website. Aside from that, make sure you also check if other sites have broken links to your website and reclaim them.
- From a website design perspective, you should make sure your site can accommodate your readers. This means making your website available for both desktop and mobile devices, and that your assets load as quickly as possible. If your website provides services or products, this matters a lot as 84-percent of people get discouraged from purchasing from a website that doesn’t look secure. And considering how 51-percent of mobile users discover new products and brands while searching, your website should be able to present your products and services properly.
Wait, What About Sponsored Content?
Let’s turn the tables for one second. What should our stand be on sponsored content? If you open your site for guest posts, you’ll likely see an influx of brands who’d love their products and services to be featured in your website. And we understand where they’re coming from – we want our website to be in as many backlinks as possible, too. Thing is, it’s much different if we’re building our website’s search engine score with outside content. Here are some factors to consider:
Reward: Sponsored content is great in adding value to brands.
Perhaps the best value branded content can offer to your website is its innate appeal to viewers. For instance, branded content can offer 22-times the engagement to readers compared to display ads. If you’re a brand, your branded content is likelier to bring in leads to your company versus advertisements. And if you’re a publisher, sponsored content can help add value to the niche without saturating it with brand-focused content.
- Viewers who get exposed to branded content are 14-percent likelier to check out additional content from the company. This works much better when you add banner ads to the mix, as they remind readers of what the brand’s offering as they read through the content in your site. When you have people guest post on your site, perhaps mentioning your own brand offerings along with theirs can help you take advantage of this element.
- Customers also prefer seeing ads that can blend in with pages. In fact, 79-percent of viewers say they’re more accepting of ad content when they’re blended into an article instead of being obtrusive. If you plan on maximizing your outside branded content, consider adding advertisements to your own offerings and content in a seamless manner – like in block quotes, or even suggested pieces. This is why publishers want to sponsor content to be related to their own offerings and audiences, so it’s much easier to integrate with the rest of your blogs.
- In the above example is a great example of sponsored content, as a clothing brand not only promoted its selection of clothes, but also stated how their brand helps the environment. This fits the website niche, which is geared to environmentalism, and at the same time tackles fashion. The brand provides value for both its customers, and the readers of the website.
Risk: Viewers, search engines are also highly aware of “scammy” content.
This is what makes most publishers hesitate releasing branded content unless they’re paid for. One of the biggest risks being taken by publishers when posting branded content is getting bad reception not just from their readers, but also search engines. This is why publishers are so meticulous when vetting content they should post.
- Ad blockers are being used by 27.5-percent of netizens, with nearly two-thirds of millenials consciously blocking ads. If you use too much branded content in your website, you might be perceived as spam by your readers, and may even lose your traffic. Likewise, ad blockers may reduce results of your published guest posts. If you want your published guest posts to work in the best way possible, they may mention the outside brand and emphasize on how it can contribute to your niche.
- Thanks to the new Google BERT algorithm, search engines are now applying language processing into their crawls. This means your content will be analyzed based on context and not just on keywords alone. If you want to accept sponsored content into your brand, your contributors have to emphasize how their brands can answer user queries or concerns, or else risk having their content – and possibly your site – rank lower in search engines.
Link Building: No One-Size-Fits-All Strategy
With the above taken into consideration, link building may have various effective strategies but their applications differ depending on what niche you’re actively tackling. If your niche is “high-risk” due to its sensitive nature, applying the right link building strategy can definitely help your website rank in the long run. We’ve also tackled a bit how sponsored content may in fact help brands get more recognition with their blogs, but only if they prioritize providing value instead of just outright promoting their products and services.
If there’s anything we can take away from this piece, it’s that there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for efficient link building. Remember, it’s research into your own brand strengths and competitors in your niche that may give you an edge to receive the results and returns you’re looking for. Do you have other strategies you want to share? Feel free to share them in the comments!
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