Building Links with Big Brand Websites, Part 2

As promised in Part 1, today I’ll relay some things I see larger brands do (or not do in some cases) that have a direct effect on their relationships and linking with their core audience:

· Engage your PR department/agency and Search agency – This seems like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised! It's a matter of the right hand knowing what the left hand is doing really. Press release distribution schedules need to be in sync with optimization efforts as they are very much related. The buzz analysis and general research an SEO performs can greatly improve the impact of a press release. It should also be mentioned that optimizing the press release itself should always be part of the plan :-)

· Take an inventory of digital assets with your search agency – Video, social media profiles, domain names, mobile technology and more should all be leveraged, as they all affect your visibility. With the advent of universal search, this is even more important. Make sure your search agency is aware of what you have available, as the ability to optimize these assets can produce huge dividends.

· Integrate online and offline efforts – We've seen huge (and measurable) successes with clients that use their website in conjunction with offline efforts. More specifically, we've measured how these offline efforts can directly impact the types of links coming into a site, which helps search engines perceive what subjects/themes your site is relevant to. The residual effects of these integrated campaigns go far beyond increased brand engagement; they can help mobilize your loyal customers. Along these lines, also be sure you are integrating your online efforts. Even today we see very popular brands that aren't integrating their social network profiles with their website and vice versa.

· Build content around customer segments and disseminate accordingly – It's becoming more and more obvious that different user demographics access content in different ways. At Resolution, we see how some clients have users accessing web content via mobile browsers, whereas others may see a lot of activity in social networks and so forth. It's important to understand this information and build your web presence based around your users.

· Define goals and ensure your analytics are functioning properly – As analytics packages are swapped in and out, and tags are increasingly complex, we see a lot of instances where data is not accurate. When we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of visitors, multiple conversion goals and a host of other metrics, larger sites have all sorts of chances for things to go awry. Test, test, and test again.

Make sure all pertinent analytics are working properly. This is not only important for gauging referrals, entry pages, and the success of a linking/outreach campaign, but crucial for gauging success on a website in general. It may create some headaches up front, but it’s a lot better than finding out 6 months into a project a tag wasn’t implemented properly and you now have six months of inaccurate data to decipher. Jeff went into some greater detail on how the use of analytics is so crucial to optimization.

By no means is this an exhaustive list, and I certainly don't mean to imply that link-building should be a cornerstone of your marketing strategy. However, with larger brands, the degree to which they are engaged with their core audience is absolutely shaped by how well their content resonates with that audience.

Posted by: Dave McAnally, Product Specialist, Natural Search


Bryson said...

Great post, Dave. It's about time we started talking about building links for big brands, as you know I agree the emphasis is too often on small business link building in the popular SEO press.

You mentioned the list was not exhaustive, but I think one thing that should be mentioned for large brands is to ensure that link popularity within a site is properly distributed. There are many large brands with thousands of links that are squandered due to temporary redirects that don't pass link popularity. Before attempting to get additional links, it would help most large brands to take inventory of the links they're already getting, and to make sure that each of them is not prevented from passing link popularity through some sort of crawlability issue.

Again, great post! Keep spreading the good enterprise SEO word.

Anonymous said...

Great post Dave...really I will appreciate you. Natural SEO really emerging in these days and the tactic you have mentioned are really useful...

Anonymous said...

If there is an aspect of the is the site that is meant to reach into the local community, then site promotion would focus there via things like the local Chamber of Commerce, community directories, etc. I would also work at local search in G, Y, etc.

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