Link Marketing is a term many of you probably aren’t familiar with, but it’s essentially artificial link building, but the sole goal of it isn’t just increasing organic traffic — it has several other long-term benefits associated with it as well.
Well, why is it called artificial link building? Mainly because it’s a bit different, although completely ethical, from what Google prefers webmasters to be more interested in — link earning. Link marketing involves manual labour while link earning (directly) doesn’t.
In this post, I’ll give you a basic idea of what link marketing is like. I’ll also discuss about some of the most lucrative benefits attached to link marketing.
I’ll just start with a practical example. I’m sure you’ve seen (if you haven’t, check it out now!) the massive 11K+ words guide that I put together last month on increasing domain authority. Remember it also included an infographic that basically listed all the points (over 50 of them) discussed in the post?
As part of my link marketing campaign for that guide, I leveraged specifically the infographic to get it re-published on places like Search Engine Journal, Business 2 Community and Infographic Journal.
They not only brought a good amount of referring visitors, but as they were hosted on high-authority sites, they definitely helped my original post from an SEO perspective. Additionally, I got to engage with the people that commented on the posts on the respective sites, and getting my and my site’s name on industry’s leading sites definitely helped with brand exposure.
Here are a few ways a link marketing campaign might help your site:
1. More Naturally Acquired Links
A huge benefit of link marketing is that it works as a catalyst to your natural link earning process. Getting your link on a site using man power might actually help your content to get links naturally from even more sites.
When I re-published that domain authority infographic on other sites, I noticed soon enough that it had received links from almost 10x the amount of referring domains than the ones I had targeted for the link marketing campaign.
There were sites that simply used to syndicate content from bigger sites, which linked to the post as those bigger sites linked to it. There were smaller, but definitely not as bad as content scrapers, sites that found the infographic on those bigger sites and re-published it on their own sites.
2. More Organic Traffic
A link marketing campaign is usually able to improve the organic search rankings of the original site or content. This results in more search traffic. This in turn increases the chances of someone finding the content or site through a web search, and then linking to it from their own site.
Infographics may be ideal for re-publications, but you simply can’t get successful if your plan involves re-publishing an existing article from your blog on another reputable blog.
Guest posting is a great way to leverage link marketing. Now, sure, a low quality post-once-and-never-look-back guest posting strategy is nothing more than shady link building.
Ask yourself a simple question before you pitch a blog with a guest post: “is this guest post going to provide me anything else than just pure link juice?” — if the answer to the question is a screaming “no!”, then you can be sure that you were just indulging yourself in low-quality link building that Matt Cutts always warns people against.
3. Relationships Built While Outreaching
Link marketing often involves a great deal of email outreach. One of the best long-term benefits of link marketing is the relationships built with real people in the process.
Now, these are definitely invaluable and something money can’t buy you.
Some more examples…
How to Increase the Domain Authority of Your Site: http://t.co/9j9OePGvcP
— Neil Patel (@neilpatel) November 5, 2013
As you can clearly see, this has a lot of potential, when done right.
4. Increased Brand Trust Resulting in Positive Impact on Conversion Rate
Getting your site or a content piece written by you featured on a top website in your industry can really add to the trust factor of your brand. So, in cases, that can be a differentiator between someone converting, or bouncing off.
5. More Referral Traffic
Naturally, getting your site featured on a site that actually has some traffic, can bring in a nice amount of referral traffic to your own site. This is one of the things that separate a valuable link from just another link.
So, even if you are posting a guest post on a high-authority site, make sure all outbound links from your article are relevant. Otherwise, it kind of defeats the purpose and no one wants to click an irrelevant link either. A good example of this would be if I linked to something with an anchor-text party bands in new york from this article. Seriously, who’d wanna click on that?
6. Increase in User Engagement, Resulting in More Social Media Followers and Shares
Link marketing mediums such as guest posts offer you a very nice way to engage and interact with a new but relevant audience.
It also helps increase your social followers count. Soon after I published my first post on Search Engine Journal, around 50 new people followed me on Twitter. In the long term, this would actually help me get my new posts out in front of a larger audience. Hence, these new content pieces will take less manual effort from my side to get them as popular as the earlier ones.
7. Affordability and Scalability
The most exciting thing about link marketing is how it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. It’s really affordable to execute. Sure, you can use link marketing (especially outreach) tools like BuzzStream, but if you’re executing it on a relatively small scale, you can just do it all manually.
As you scale higher, you can take help of tools that can save you time, and increase your success rates. The flexibility at which you can scale your link marketing campaign is really amazing. So, it doesn’t even have to be a repetitive task. You can scale up or down, tweak strategies for specific campaigns, try a new strategy, as long as you don’t forget the main goal.
As long as you do it the white hat way, link marketing can be a massively powerful, ethical way to build links to your site, get referral traffic or click-through visitors, generate leads, improve your site’s exposure, build relationships with fellow site owners and bloggers, and increasing the online presence of your brand in general.
Links aren’t just a discreet weapon of an SEO’s armoury for improving organic search rankings any more. They’re now providing unparalleled benefits to websites in other areas than just SEO.
So, what other ways can you think of leveraging link marketing to help your site?