Link building is (specialized) marketing
Columnist Andrew Dennis explains how link building is built on the same fundamental principles as effective marketing: thorough research, strategic promotion, carefully crafted messaging and sustained effort.
The principles that apply to good marketing are the same principles that apply to good link building. The process to secure links might be unique, but the guiding philosophy should be grounded in traditional marketing.
Some think that link building is a magic bullet for SEO, or some sort of “traffic faucet” they can turn on and off as needed. In reality, link building is the manual promotion of an asset to a targeted audience — also known as marketing.
The same fundamental philosophies that drive effective marketing drive effective link building:
- Audience development: Research which sites, communities and online platforms are popular with your audience in order to know where to secure links.
- Niche research: Analyze linking environment and current market position to strategically pursue links.
- Competitive analysis: Evaluate competitor backlinks and strategies to set expectations and achieve results.
- Targeted promotion: Find relevant and valuable opportunities to effectively secure links.
- Compelling messaging: Communicate the value of linking via outreach.
- Consistent effort: Create a sustained campaign that achieves lasting results.
Thorough research, strategic promotion, carefully crafted messaging and sustained effort are the foundations for success — in marketing and link building alike.
Link building isn’t some mystical SEO hack. It’s just fundamentally good marketing with a unique twist: instead of converting a customer, you’re trying to earn a link.
Today I want to demonstrate how the process of building links aligns with sound marketing principles. To ground this post in reality, I will use TickPick, a ticket vendor site (not a client), as a running example throughout. For the purpose of my example, we’ll say TickPick’s goal is to improve organic traffic to their NBA tickets page.