Receptional prides itself on being a ‘white hat’ SEO agency. No, I don’t mean we do magic, by ‘white hat’ I am referring to our strategies for link building and search engine optimisation.
Many clients on our books have been previously burnt by SEO agencies offering dozens of cheap links for little work or cost. Using spammy link building techniques like getting lots of links from irrelevant and dodgy sites may have worked in the past, but Google put a stop to this many years ago.
Instead of the quantity of links it’s all about the quality. We hear this in all walks of life and never has it been more applicable than in 2015 for SEO and link builders. The advent of Penguin 2012, codename for a Google algorithm which prevents spam links, has changed the way we build links. The update meant that Google can crawl sites for spam links, unrelated content, and unnatural links. When it detects your link to ‘luxury hot tubs’ on a China Expat site about traditional marriage and thinks, huh? Google lists it as spam.
These old tactics are referred to as ‘black hat SEO’ and can see your business lose its rankings and eventually get penalised by Google and eradicating you from search engine listings.
So, with more and more restrictions in place, and Google cottoning on to our magic tricks, how do us white hat SEOs still build great links and get you to the top of the rankings? Via creativity and hard work of course.
Here are some of the successful campaigns we have run which demonstrate our creativity and expert link building ability.
1. Fruit and Vegetable Gym for Discount Supplements
For our client, Discount Supplements, our brief was to increase organic search traffic, as well as promote the brand online.
As part of our ongoing link building we created fun, engaging content on external domains, with the intention of attracting natural links.
We created some ‘fitspirations’ using a mini gym made of vegetables and fruit. Taking stock of latest trends we found that healthy eating was all the rage and by adding cute animals to the mix you have yourself a hit! So what was better than to create our own miniature gym made from a selection of groceries and then letting our hamsters work out and put it to the test?
It sounds a little crazy but the Hamster gym was a great success, securing a link on the Huffington Post. This website not only had great over all trust flow but the ‘topical trust flow’ referring to the relevance of content was above 40 in the health and fitness section meaning its relevance to Discount Supplements was tremendous and link building equity sky-rocketed.
In total the content generated 429 new links, 28,000 page views, 4,000 social shares, brand exposure and referral traffic.
2. Cash for your clutter for Bedroom Storage Maker
Clients Bedroom Storage Maker offer the highest quality storage systems for your home. It takes a special creativity to gain good quality links for shelving units, but that’s where our team of link builders come in.
We created the ‘cash for your clutter’ scheme collecting clothing and accessories from bloggers and asking them to post about their de-cluttering experience and newly organised wardrobes online.
Donations are ongoing and all items received are sent to three nominated charities. The bloggers who take a part get a small fee for their participation and donation in return for a positive write up about ‘decluttering their wardrobe’ online. By asking the bloggers to participate we can create natural links, written in the bloggers’ style and incorporated into their blogs as they see fit.
We also reinforced a positive message along with our campaign – that donating your items helps others immensely. We did this by creating and supplying an infographic on exactly how many clothes we buy a year and where our donations end up. You can see more here:
Creative link building activities and projects like those showcased here are great fun but also have longevity and can be increased by the power of social media. However there are some staple link building tactics you can action which work well and create relevant and high quality links. For example:
3. Guest Posting
Sourcing sites that have a high relevance to your business or market and offering to submit some in-depth articles on areas of expertise always works well. The benefit is twofold in that you gain a link but also are recognised as a spokesperson or expert in your industry. A great example is for call tracking software company, Mediahawk. Their in-depth article on the prestigious site business2community.com positions them as experts and provides useful and informative content which is relevant to the readership.
Everyone loves a giveaway! But, again, it boils down to finding a quality site to host your competition with relevance to your sector and market. Some great examples hark back to the Lego Casino work where we offered a prize bundle to readers on selected movie and online gaming sites. These sites related not just to the content (the movie remake itself) but also to the client Paddy Power who are in the online gaming market. The important thing to remember is to weigh up the cost of the competition with how much SEO impact your link is likely to make.
Not all competitions need to be straightforward giveaways. For our client Room 4 Interiors, a home office furniture retailer, we held a ‘blogger desk makeover’ competition. Bloggers were asked to update their desk space with clever storage for their stationery, notice board and accessories for their work station. The bloggers had a £20 budget and had to upcycle products. As well as blogging about what they did we asked that photos were uploaded to Twitter. The winner was the post with the most likes who won a stationery bundle.
Much like guest posting interviews are a great means of reaching out to websites and offering your expert view point. Interviews tend to be easier to read in chunks rather than a whole article and sites like the personal touch and one to one questions rather than a pre-written article which is less unique to their site.
A great example of this is when Murray Newlands from Search Engine Journal interviewed our very own SEO guru Barrie Smith. Not only was this a chance to talk about Barrie’s expertise it also gained a mention for Receptional.
The moral of the story is make sure your links are high quality and relevant. If you find a website you want your product to be associated with then it takes some creativity to get that important link. With changing SEO practices and regulations we can only get more creative!
If you need some help for creative link building ideas, get in touch with the Receptional link building team.