B2B search engine marketers understand the value of inbound links but may struggle with execution. With an ever increasing plate of responsibility, emerging search industry trends, and the balance between short-term and long-term goals, it is easy to let a link building program fall to the wayside.
Link building does not have to be perceived as a singular, daunting task. Through the identification of key personnel, communication, and coordination of tactics, the B2B search engine marketer can successfully integrate link building campaigns that scale across an organization. Here are some ways we have found success in these endeavors.
Involvement From Product Marketing
Start at the very beginning by reaching out and communicating to product marketing managers. Not only could the time invested in working with these individuals generate link opportunities, but it helps make SEO’s better overall marketers for their respective organizations.
How does this help with link initiatives?
We recently merged online operations of a new division into the website of a current client. By investing time working with the product marketing manager to understand how these solutions worked, and could be integrated into the website, we were also able to identify key stakeholders online.
From a link building perspective, we were able to realize the following link results:
- We secured three keyword-friendly links in industry related blogs where the product manager had direct connections.
- We were able to obtain keyword-specific links across additional company assets online (separate domains and microsites).
- We had direct input into keyword strategy and link information associated to the press release announcing the merger.
In the long-term, the work with product marketing makes it easier to understand why other sites would want to link to material. Product marketing managers need to get more visibility (and leads) for their business lines. It is a win-win for SEO’s to work hand-in-hand with product marketing teams.
Involvement From Marketing Communications
More often then not, link building requires outbound communication. Who better to interface with than the team traditionally responsible with this communication initiatives?
How can search engine marketers make this work?
The key is in making it easy for communication teams, reaching out to third party sites and publications, to identify link opportunities. Coordinate meetings to understand what websites represent primary outreach strategies. Research where the best opportunities to get links within these sites might be, and provide that information ahead of outreach initiatives.
We conduct regular calls with the marketing communications team for one of our clients. The purpose of the call is to review outreach strategies and coordinate tactics. Throughout 2010, approximately 30 additional links from industry-specific resources where acquired with through the joint efforts of our teams.
Don’t Forget Social Media Communication
It is not uncommon for SEO and social media to be handled separately, even though there are good reasons for collaboration. If social media is handled by this team, make sure to provide visibility keyword strategy and potential link initiatives here as well.
Involvement From Customer Support
Depending on the organization, customer or technical support can be a great resource for link development. Two examples of how support teams can help scale link initiatives:
- Provide communication of links to online resources for customers.
- Provide firsthand knowledge of common problems or subject matter that can be used for content development (and link development).
For one of our clients, the communication between the Internet marketing team and technical support provides a regular stream of blogging and content generation opportunities. In turn, these types of assets make the blog more link-friendly when reaching out to relevant bloggers and with industry contacts in general.
Continuously Advocating Link Acquisition
Keep the SEO program top of mind with members of the organization who can help make a difference; particularly when it comes to link building. From the top down, emphasize the opportunity that comes with better organic keyword visibility, and the potential impact to traffic and lead generation.
And finally, when reaching out to others in the organization for scaling link building efforts, keep things related to link acquisition as simple as possible. Just getting the involvement of others in the organization is challenging enough!
Good luck in your link building initiatives moving forward.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.