It takes hard work to develop a brand reputation that matches your vision for how you want others to see you. Did you know that link building can play a significant role in building a positive brand reputation?
Links build authority—authority builds your reputation
Building high-quality backlinks can boost your reputation when you expand your perception of what backlinks are for. Although links are an essential part of search engine optimization, the benefits extend far beyond generating traffic.
A high-quality backlink is more than just a link on a high authority website. The quality of a backlink is also determined by the content that surrounds it. In other words, how your link is presented matters. For example, say you’re a marketing agency and you get a link to your Ultimate Guide on Marketingpublished on two different websites. Both websites are high authority, but the content surrounding your link on each site is different.
The first website publishes your link as a marketing resource in their sidebar with no description or context. The second website publishes your link in an authoritative article on marketing, excerpting your content and referring to it as “stellar advice.” You might end up with more traffic originating from the sidebar link, but the benefits to your reputation will come from the website that cites your content as “stellar advice.”
The content published on the second website—the in-depth authoritative article—has the potential to become a popular resource for people searching for marketing advice. If the excerpt from your webpage is useful, visitors will click on your link to read your entire article.
Soon, your page will become another well-linked resource among other marketing blogs, and you’ll gain returning visitors.
A high-value asset will get linked often
When your content becomes a high-value asset, people will link to your content naturally. The momentum of generating natural links will strengthen your reputation as an authority in your niche.
The strategy for generating this momentum is simple. “You’ll create a high-value asset—one that people need for information or entertainment value, preferably both—and distribute that asset to the masses,” says Seattle-based marketing firm AudienceBloom. “People will naturally pick it up, sharing it and linking to it either as a citation or to show their friends and followers. Create an impactful enough piece, and you could earn hundreds to thousands of natural links pointing back to your domain.”
Your content is more valuable when presented as an authoritative resource within the context of a specific message rather than just a link for people to click. For this reason, it’s important to generate backlinks that are presented in a useful context.
Addressing obscure aspects of your niche will boost your reputation
If you can write content that addresses forgotten or obscure aspects of your niche, and you can drive relevant traffic to that content, it will boost your reputation and authority. For example, say you run a copywriting blog, and you write guest posts for other marketing blogs. Write about subjects and micro niches other people don’t usually address. You’ll gain reputation points just for covering those topics.
Your appearance in the search engines is often a visitor’s first interaction with your brand
People searching for your brand in a search engine will get their first impression of you from the results that come up. This isn’t always something you can control. How your webpages and brand mentions appear in search results can influence your reputation. For example, if the top results include content from your website that doesn’t provide much value, users won’t have a reason to click. This could be a sign that you’ve been promoting the wrong links in your backlink campaign.
If you don’t like the pages that come up in the search results, stop using those links in your backlink strategy. Develop new content that you want to rank, or focus on linking other pieces of content in your strategy. Another option, among many outlined by Moz.com, is to change the content of your pages that rank.
Link building and reputation management are intertwined
It’s difficult to separate link building from reputation management. A user’s perception of your brand will be influenced by each interaction they have with your brand, including interactions that don’t take place on your website. Protect and build your brand’s reputation by being intentional with your backlink strategies.