Great Content, Targeted Outreach, and a Sound Strategy: The Recipe for Quality SEO Link BuildingLinks are a critical part of search engine ranking algorithms and link building is essential for a well-rounded search engine optimization campaign. However, not all links are created equal. Developing high-impact natural links requires a long-term ranking strategy that prioritizes great content, strategic distribution, and targeted promotion. Together, these tactics don’t just build links — they earn them by engaging visitors and providing real value. By earning natural links with our proven tactics, your business can experience powerful results that improve your rankings and your bottom line:
Boost Search Results Over the Short and Long TermLink authority and brand signals are considered the most important ranking factors. Year after year SEO’s come together to rank which factors have the biggest impact on search results, and every year the result is the same: links remain at the top. Google’s #1 goal is to increase the relevancy and usefulness of their search results. Over the years, they have tested changing their link-based ranking algorithm countless times, including reducing the weight they give backlinks and putting aggressive strategies in place to reduce link spam. While the latter has proven successful for increasing the relevancy of results, the former actually had the opposite effect, leading Google to conclude that links remain the best indicator of a website’s value. Based on their goals, we expect search engine algorithms will continue to heavily value natural, quality links for a long time to come.
Increase Brand Reach and AwarenessCreating engaging content and distributing it through a variety of channels not only improves links and rankings, but also boosts brand awareness. The first step in the sales funnel is awareness. Without it, there is no interest or action. Creating content that answers questions and provides real value helps put your name and domain in front of the people who may not know your company even exists. Once they see that you provide value and are associated with other brands they trust, they are more inclined to learn about your business and convert into a paying customer.
Build Trust, Authority, and CredibilityLinks and brand mentions send signals to search engines and readers that your brand is authoritative, credible, and worthy of high rankings. Like social dynamics in a high school cafeteria, in order to be seen as “popular,” your brand needs to be associated with other popular brands and avoid sites that negatively impact your reputation. By understanding the types of sites that link to your content and your competitors’ content, we can create a plan for growing your relationships with other important influencers and earn links that contribute to your credibility and rankings.
Generate Qualified Search Traffic to Your SiteThe old saying, “If you build it, they will come” no longer applies. Modern businesses need a smart marketing strategy with thoughtful tactics that pull in potential customers, instead of waiting for them to make the first move. Plus, you don’t need any visitors — you need the right visitors. Creating great optimized content is the first step, but without promotion and strong external authority signals, your content will never rank as well as it should. Our SEO link building strategies insure your content is getting the authority it needs to rank well and get the clicks needed to impact your bottom line.
Our Unique ApproachDigital Current’s SEO approach is effective and time-tested. It’s an in-depth process we have refined through constant innovation and rigorous testing for hundreds of clients over the last decade. We study search marketing every day and only use proven, future-focused tactics that will help achieve your goals today, tomorrow, and years down the road.
The backbone of your campaign is built with Digital Current’s Five Pillar Strategy, which allows us to deliver real results that positively impact your bottom line and produce measurable ROI. These pillars serve as the anchor for your customized SEO plan. With this strategy as a guide, we lay the right foundation; plan campaigns with conversion in mind; produce, distribute, and promote relevant content; properly optimize that content; and build the links that earn trust with search engines and your customers.
Learn more about the process we use to build natural, long-term links, and contact our team to see how this strategy could help your company experience strong rankings for years to come.
Start Getting The Links Your Site Needs
Step 1: Audit and ResearchEvery Digital Current project begins with a strategic consultation and audit, where we do a deep dive to fully understand your business, audience, competitors, current state, future goals and more.
Then, we complement these insights with opportunity and market research to identify the best path forward. Throughout this research, our team intently focuses on generating ideas for content that will deliver value to your target audience. Jay Baer says, “Smart marketing is about help, not hype.” Similarly, smart link development is about creating high-quality content that helps your potential customers. The more you help others, the more they reward you with engagement, social votes, and links.
Developing this type of content requires knowing your target audience and the problems they need to solve. Using cutting-edge market research techniques, SEO tools, and custom audits, Digital Current first determines what types of content and trending topics your audience wants to learn about. We identify gaps in your narrative throughout the sales cycle and examine opportunities to motivate your readers to share, like, and link to your content.
In addition to our own audience and market research, we take a detailed look at your competitors to learn from their successes and take advantage of new opportunities. By analyzing how they attract links and areas where they could improve, our strategists make calculated decisions and fine-tune your campaign for maximum results.
Step 2: Strategic Content DevelopmentWith market and consumer insights in hand, Digital Current creates a content marketing roadmap for your campaign that drives content creation and distribution. This plan ensures all of your digital assets provide lasting value for your target audience, attract backlinks, and encourage shares over time. As we develop content, our team ensures each piece embodies the following qualities:
- Data-Rich: Data-rich content provides websites, influencers, and enthusiasts with quantitative, practical information they can cite or source to support their point. This type of content demonstrates thought leadership and increases your brand’s perceived authority within your industry. Examples of data-rich content include guides, how-to resources, curated lists, reference materials, educational articles, visual infographics, and polls and surveys.
- Emotionally Appealing: Content with an emotional appeal captures readers’ attention and makes them think, “I have to share this!” Examples of emotionally appealing content include entertainment-focused articles, industry expert polls and awards that play to the reader’s ego, humorous materials like e-cards and satirical memes, reciprocation, expert interviews and analysis, event marketing, scholarships, and charity/cause promotion.
- Problem Solving: Solutions-oriented content addresses a targeted need or solves a specific problem, which compels readers to link to the content or share it. This type of information is typically utilitarian in nature, has a long shelf life and focuses on an industry audience and customer segment. Examples include calculators, tools, and widgets.
Step 3: Content Promotion and DistributionIf a tree falls in a forest, does anyone hear it? Likewise, creating great content does nothing if there is no one around to read it. Businesses need to spread the word and make it easy for people to consume, share and link to their work.
Digital Current’s content amplification process targets the online watering holes and social gathering places where your industry influencers and target audience congregate. By finding relevant places to share your content, we help add real value for readers, build your reputation as a trusted brand, and earn natural links that attract qualified visitors to your site.
Step 4: Monitoring and Proactive Clean-UpLaunching content is just the beginning. One of the keys to Digital Current’s success is that we focus just as much on maintenance as we do on the initial link building. Through constant monitoring, proactive clean-up, and link reclamation, our team ensures the links you’ve already earned stay live, resulting in even higher rankings over time. We also monitor your backlink profile to watch for unwanted links or unnatural linking footprints. The internet is filled with content scrapers and unsavory competitors who are actively looking for ways to cheat the system, without proactive monitoring and clean up, it’s possible for your sites rankings to be adversely affected.
Top-Tier Tactics for Top-Tier ResultsHere are just a few of the tools in our arsenal that we use to build your online authority and earn natural, high-quality links.
Guest Posting and Content SyndicationAs pioneers in guest posting and content syndication, Digital Current has developed a proven process to create and place content on highly relevant sites that uphold the highest standards in the industry.
These services begin with researching your industry and target audience to create engaging, unique content. First, we locate and qualify appropriate high-authority blogs and publishing sites. Then, our outreach experts develop strategic partnerships with these sites, while our expert in-house researchers and writers craft relevant content with links back to your website.
Highlights of our guest posting and content syndication services:
- Expert journalist-quality content that provides real value
- Placements on the most authoritative and relevant publications
- Multiple solutions including hourly-based and per-placement-based pricing
Custom Media PlacementA step above our guest posting solution, Digital Current’s Media Placement solution focuses on building relationships with contributors and editors at prestigious, popular online publications. Similar to what a public relations firm does, we work with these publications to secure a place on their editorial calendars and incorporate your content into articles and videos posted on their highly visited websites.
In some cases we are able to contribute a quote on your behalf, and other cases we work with the journalist to develop a full featured article. In either case the result is a brand mention and link back to your website. It’s common for these articles to generate a large number of social shares and backlinks, resulting in a link on a very powerful page.
Highlights of our custom media placement service:
- SEO ranking power from top websites
- Coveted exposure in front of your target audience
- Reputation enhancement as a thought leader
Business Listings and Local CitationsWhether your company is based in one location or has a large regional or nationwide presence, getting your business listed in the top business directories should be a top priority. Creating listings and local citations is one of the easiest and most effective methods to increase the trust and authority required to gain better search rankings.
With hundreds of online local directories and listings, getting your business to stand out from the crowd can be a challenge. However, there are tremendous opportunities for both local and national businesses to help potential customers find them online. With the right listing on the best directories your business can build a better online presence, increase your rankings for local listings, and attract new customers in a simple, affordable way.
Business listings and local citations lead to:
- Improved search engine visibility and rankings for both national and local searches
- More brand awareness among potential customers who live in your geographic area
- Optimized rankings for mobile searches
- Proactive brand reputation
- Correct business information that insures your business is easily found
Linkable Asset MarketingA linkable asset is any content placed on your website or another owned channel that will organically attract links, shares, and traffic. Promoting this content accelerates the natural linking process, so Digital Current optimizes your existing assets and produces new linkable asset content that can be promoted through targeted social outreach, social seeding, reciprocity, digital PR and paid promotion, and syndication.
Linkable asset marketing leads to:
- Natural links from a wide variety of websites and social profiles
- Engagement with real people, not just websites
- Link earning that continues for the long term due to the evergreen nature of the asset
- Opportunities to build connections with influencers and audiences that amplify your content beyond your existing connections
- Direct search engine rankings for high volume keywords
Content Promotion and Influencer OutreachBefore readers can share your content or link back to it, they need to know it exists in the first place. Through our influencer outreach and social seeding processes, Digital Current secures placements for your content on highly visible platforms, such as blogs, social communities and aggregators, portals, and email / messaging services.
Content promotion and influencer outreach leads to:
- An increase in backlinks
- Exposure from top publishers and influencers who often become brand ambassadors
- A better return on your content investments
Custom Link AcquisitionCustom Link Acquisition is an enterprise-level backlink building service that concentrates on acquiring relevant, quality links from existing high-value content. We look for the top pages and information hubs in your industry and then develop a custom outreach program to communicate with webmasters and find ways to improve their existing content with mentions of our client. This includes looking for brand and competitor mentions, broken link resource pages, list and how-to articles, to name a few. Digital Current’s SEO experts analyze your site and your competitors’ linking strategies to identify the best sites to target for your audience. Then, our team reaches out to the owners of those sites, establishes relationships, introduces them to your brand, and secures authoritative links to your website.
Custom link acquisition leads to:
- Links from the top pages that are already linking to your competitors and other resources
- Brand exposure and mentions on pages already getting traffic
- Better rankings for target pages and increased domain authority
Brand Advocacy and Influencer DevelopmentOur Brand Advocacy Program builds relationships with industry influencers, expert authors, and professional journalists to have them write content on your site and on sites the influencer already has relationships with. This allows your business to quickly establish credibility, acquire links, and increase your brand’s reach by capitalizing on an influencer’s existing popularity, especially on social media. These influencers usually have massive social followings and access to publications that normally out of the reach of standard guest publishers.
Digital Current connects with respected authors and influencers who are actively publishing relevant articles, and recruits them on your behalf to write and share content about your brand on high-quality, authoritative industry websites.
Brand advocacy leads to:
- Fast access to a highly engaged social audience to share your content
- Development of articles and link assets that gain traction quickly
- Industry credibility due to your connection with respected influencers
- Brand mentions and links from publications that are normally out of reach
Media Relations and Digital PRJournalists are under pressure to find interesting stories, and newsrooms no longer have the resources to research all the stories they want to cover. This perfect storm creates an immense opportunity for strategic SEO link building.
Digital Current’s Media Relations team knows what our contacts need and want. We provide that content and the tools that help them do their job, which helps obtain impactful media placements with authoritative, credible links for our clients.
Digital PR leads to:
- Coverage in relevant, highly visible publications
- Improved brand awareness
- More links from authoritative sites
- Increased traffic and search rankings
EDU and Scholarship Link Building ServiceOffering scholarships is an effective way to earn credibility and links from sites with high domain authority, such as universities, community associations, and governments. Digital Current’s full-service scholarship link building service develops, administers, and promotes scholarship programs on your behalf.
We start by working closely with you to design a scholarship that is appropriate for your industry and audience. Then, our team creates a landing page and marketing materials for the scholarship, and shares them with organizations that often promote scholarships like yours.
Scholarship backlink building leads to:
- Highly valuable links from coveted .edu, .gov, and other highly authoritative domains
- Improved reputation and goodwill
- Dramatically improved search rankings
Link Reclamation, Cleanup, and MonitoringThe one thing that is constant in digital marketing is change. Websites change. Search engines change. Consumers change. Brands change.
Staying up to date can be exhausting, but failing to embrace and understand changes in your backlink profile jeopardizes your rankings and diminishes long-term success. With link reclamation, cleanup, and monitoring, Digital Current helps your company cover all the bases with both proactive and reactive SEO link building tactics.
Link reclamation involves identifying and correcting issues where there are links pointing to pages on your website that are no longer live. Fixing broken internal links is another form of link reclamation. It’s common for older websites to have a lot of orphan backlinks that are no longer helping their rankings. By correcting these issues we can quickly grow your authority without having to build a single new link.
Link clean-up involves removing links that no longer provide value or disavowing spammy links that pose a threat to your domain. This process requires a thoughtful game plan to ensure you avoid cutting out the good with the bad.
Link monitoring involves taking proactive steps to minimize clean-up and reclamation in the future. Our team performs ongoing in-depth audits of anchor text distribution, internal linking, and external links to ensure nothing is happening that can hamper your websites authority or trust with the search engines. When a problem is found, we quickly remedy by disavowing links or requesting webmasters remove them.
These three link building services lead to:
- Improved authority without the cost of building additional links
- Improved search rankings due to the cleanup of low-quality links that reduce your website’s trust
- Peace of mind knowing your website will avoid future penalties cause by factors out of your control
Penalty RepairWhen your website has been penalized for past linking practices, you can count on us to do the work needed to quickly get your site back in the search engines good graces. We have worked with dozens of companies that have lost a lot of rankings and revenue. In every case we have been able to get the penalty removed and get them back to positive growth.
Link Building Success StoriesDigital Current’s Five Pillar SEO Strategy and advanced link building tactics have helped hundreds of mid-size businesses and enterprise organizations achieve their organic search marketing goals. See how we have helped companies like yours strengthen their online authority and improve their search rankings with expert link building services.
#1 [Content Marketing Link Building Case Study] How We Earned 1,500+ Social Shares, 80+ Links, and Top Google Ranking from One ArticleDigital Current set out to demonstrate the value of creating and promoting high-quality, relevant content as a means to fuel link building and search rankings. To run the experiment, our team wrote an article about mobile SEO using a few of our favorite strategies, including:
- Writing about a relevant and timely news topic (also called “newsjacking”)
- Targeting a high search volume mid-tail keyword to optimize for
- Creating an in-depth, data-rich article containing more than 3000 words
- Building on existing successful content with a new angle (known as the “Skyscraper Technique”)
- Using a well-known and highly active influencer to write and promote the article
- Promoting the article on social with an organic and paid promotion strategy
- Utilizing the author’s existing relationships to promote and syndicate the article on other publications
- Refreshing the content over time
- Performing custom outreach and promotion to earn links
- 80+ backlinks from 34 relevant domains on major sites like The Next Web, Inspired Mag, and Ninja Outreach
- 1,500+ social shares on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter
- 180+ keywords ranked on the top of Google. Terms like “mobile SEO,” “mobile website optimization,” and “SEO for mobile websites”
- 3,500+ pageviews within months and an average 4:22 time on page
- Hundreds of consistent monthly organic site visits
#2 Higher Rankings for a Higher Education OrganizationOver four years ago, a major higher education marketing company reached out to Digital Current for help advancing their SEO efforts and promoting graduate programs of the schools in their network. The organization wanted to rank well for target terms like “online MBA degree.” However, each school has its own set of policies and digital strategies that made the process more complex and difficult to navigate.
With Digital Current’s help, the client ensured they had the right content on third-party sites to reach their target audiences and encourage links back to their site. As a result, the company experienced:
- Hundreds of highly valuable rankings across more than a dozen different schools
- Thousands of generated leads
- Increased budget from their clients due to the success of this program
#3 Helping a Fellow Agency Boost Rankings for Their ClientsA boutique online marketing agency needed an outside partner to handle link building for client projects. Digital Current began collaborating with the agency to create a strategy for earning quality backlinks. They especially appreciated our in-depth process, proactive approach, and stringent standards. By working together for over five years, we have helped the agency:
- Build natural links that continually drive higher rankings for their clients
- Have a reliable, long-term partner they can turn to for link building services
- Provide impressive results that drive revenue
- Allowed them to focus on the marketing channels they are skilled in
SEO Link Building Myths BustedLink building is rife with misconceptions and incorrect information. Whether you are an experienced digital marketer or new to the field, you are bound to encounter endless advice and “best practices.” How can you separate fact from fiction? Watch out for these common myths.
“I can just jump in and build a bunch of links myself.”
Backlink building is a fairly simple concept, but it takes significant time to stay up to date on the latest best practices, build relationships with online publications, and coordinate all the efforts needed to build natural links. Unless link building is your full-time job, you will likely find the process to be much more complex and time-consuming than you expected. You also risk using outdated or spammy techniques that get your site penalized.
“If I can just build the same quantity of links as my competitor I can outrank them.”
Quality is much more important than quantity. One organic, authoritative link carries significantly more weight than several low-quality links. Plus, search engines have improved their ability to spot spammy links and are not afraid to penalize sites who do not follow their rules. You need to be careful not to think of link building as a quantity game. There are very few times when a quantity strategy ends up well.
“I can hire a cheap link building company to do the work for me.”
Again you must be very careful when hiring a link building company that does cheap work. Cheap usually means quantity and that usually means trouble. The #1 reason we see companies get penalized is because they figured they could get away with cheap link building.
“Natural links are too expensive to earn.”
It may cost more to hire a trustworthy partner who focuses on earning high-quality, natural links. However, choosing the least expensive option often ends up costing even more, takes more time, and results in penalties that require additional resources to fix. In addition, one very well-done piece of content that is promoted to the right influencers can potentially earn you dozens of quality and natural links. High quality costs more upfront but usually ends up costing much less per link in the long run.
“I can just hire a good SEO guy in-house to do my link building.”
Not all SEOs are strong link builders, and not all link builders are strong SEOs. Link building not only requires search engine optimization expertise, but also knowledge about content strategy, content marketing, public relations, and more. While some SEOs have these capabilities, many do not, and they often end up doing more harm than good. (See our article “How Much Does SEO Cost?” to learn more about the SEO hiring process and price ranges you should expect to pay for quality help.)
“I don’t need to do link building proactively. I can just build quality content and the links will come 100 percent naturally.”
While it’s true that you need quality content to rank well, it’s also true that without promotion and active link building your content will never earn as many links and social shares as it would have. In addition many types of content do not naturally earn a lot of links. If you know how to build the types of content that influencers and link creators like to share and link to, you will see 10 times the effectiveness in your link building campaigns.
“I’m in a B2B or niche industry and it’s nearly impossible to get quality links.”
Having worked with thousands of clients over the years in just about every niche you can think of, trust us when we say its possible to build and earn links for every industry.
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