How SEO content can evolve beyond the guest post

May. 15, 2013 | by Oliver Robertson

The SEO industry is most definitely undergoing a heightened level of change at the moment. iCrossing has been taking steps towards expanding its strategies beyond merely traditional SEO tactics for quite some time now. These tactics, if done properly, have the potential to be extremely valuable for increasing a client’s search visibility, but in order to stay ahead of the game, we need to be constantly evolving.

Our focus now is shifting from a link-building approach to a relationship-building one, away from simply sending out emails and instead inviting influential bloggers to networking events; having face-to-face conversations about what stories matter both to them and, most importantly, the client. But how do you go about doing this whilst keeping in line with the client’s overall business objectives?

In my opinion, the next generation of link-building, and SEO in general, should be about exceeding the client’s expectations. Rather than simply pushing links to a site, work on pulling them in, by forging creative partnerships with influential and relevant members of the online community who can advocate the brand’s objectives.

Start by utilising existing assets, such as existing press releases, PR efforts and mentions of the brand online. The overall goal should be to maximise the potential of current content-based assets from a search perspective, ensuring the content is enticing enough to naturally pull links towards the site. Forging relationships with external influencers is definitely a long-term approach and one that will ultimately reap benefits as you build a solid working rapport.

An innovative approach to this would be to create an event that brings together a group of influential bloggers and a key member of the client’s team. Set up a video camera and discuss how the latest industry news ties in with the client’s business objectives. For example, a finance roundtable could centre on topics such as ‘viable business finance in the credit crunch era’, whereas a fashion discussion could ask ‘is vintage style really a thing of the past?’

The resulting content, both in video and written formats, can then be placed on the client’s website, linked to and promoted by the external influencers involved, hence naturally creating links. By not restricting the theme of a blogger’s content, each piece of coverage will be unique, can be tailored to suit every blogger’s fan base and provide relevant, naturally linkable content, to share via Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. It is also worth mentioning that, as an agency, iCrossing seeks to work closely with influential journalists who are well placed to take the story to the next level.

There is also the potential to optimise the content from a search perspective and to increase the number of qualified site visits which makes it visible to the client’s potential customers, with content that will promote the client as thought leaders in their industry.

But what of ‘guest posts’ and their potential to be useful digital assets? The priority for any SEO team is to continually create fresh, insightful, newsworthy content that is more likely to be attractive to powerful news sites such as The Huffington Post, The Independent or The Guardian. Newsworthy content is more likely to be shared socially, which creates a more PR-led approach.

This content should be in line with a client’s objectives and be relevant to the websites they are promoted to.  This enables a client to establish a relationship with their intended audience and should be adhered to if the industry is serious about mitigating the increasing risks associated with link-building. We need to evolve beyond the tactic of creating guest posts and building links to forging relationships by remaining innovative and flexible in an evolving industry.

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    Comment (1)

    • Malik Bodiford

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    • James

      Great post, I agree link building should now be about building relationships with relevant sites rather than going out to create links directly.Aug 20, 2013 05:19 pm

     
    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

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