For years a followed link on a popular site was seen as the ‘holy grail’ of digital marketing and SEO. This led to some people buying links by bribing publishers to link back to a website.
But times have changed and for the better. A recent Google update now states that citations (brand mentions) are equally as important as a link back to a site. The focus for Google is now on content and relevancy. A link on an authority site will send traffic to your website and, of course, help your SEO. But even without a link, securing a brand on a credible site will boost awareness, raise consideration and position a brand as an authority as well as being recognised by Google.
To secure a followed link is hard but not impossible. Still, sites like Forbes, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, will not give a followed link, but they will provide a brand mention, especially if it is a good story.
So, do you need a link builder or a PR professional to secure links and brand mentions?
What you need first is a great storyteller, who understands newsworthiness, the media, SEO, and brand building.
The focus now is, the strength of the story and the relevancy of the content to the audience it will reach. So, whether someone calls themselves a link builder or a PR, if they are strategically thinking about how to achieve the above – they are the ones for you.
Before starting to write or create content to achieve coverage or links, you should be asking yourself, “Why would a site publish this content?” Is it interesting, relevant or new! What assets do you need to create to accompany the story to make it leap off the page?
The best approach is to ensure you do your research and target relevant media and sites that are specific to your industry or subject matter. Think about your audience, raising brand awareness and telling an engaging relevant story. Consider these and you can develop a story that secures coverage, links and most of all, gets your brand remembered.