Digital Insights

How to Build Your Brand with Backlinks


Published: August 4, 2014

Although backlinks remain one of the most effective means of improving search engine rankings, the majority of digital marketers are clueless as to how to acquire them without invoking the wrath of Google. One after the other, the most popular and formerly acceptable techniques for building links have fallen victim to algorithm updates and the threat of manual penalties.

In Google’s own words, the only acceptable means of getting links is to focus on creating truly helpful and relevant content that will attract links on its own merits. In short, the only thing dead about links are the rules about how to acquire them.

Welcome to the New Era of Branded Links
Striking just the right balance between creating results for today while building sustainability for tomorrow is a common problem faced by businesses of every size and stripe. Yet at the end of the day, sustainability is the only true measure of a businesses’ financial health, and the key to attaining it is through branding.

Google is a big believer in the power of branding, and is continuing to emphasize branding in the search results. It may sound trite, but when Google speaks you should be listening and perhaps jotting down a few notes. It’s time to forget about link building as it used to be, and focus instead on building your brand through effective and acceptable link earning techniques.

Emphasize Brand Recognition
Remember that placing your brand in a position to be remembered and talked about will do more good for your company than just about link you could ever hope to get.

  • Change your mindset. Instead of focusing on what kind of links you might be able to acquire, think about what kind of content would help your audience the most.
  • When promoting your content, target only relevant web properties that have real traffic who would be interested in what you have to say. Don’t associate your brand will irrelevant low-quality spammy sites.
  • Make sure that your brand is featured prominently in your content but don’t overdo it.
  • Avoid keyword-stuffed anchor text; replace with varied branded terms.
  • Identify the important channels for your industry or niche, and be sure to target them for your content promotion efforts.
  • Maintain a consistent look across all of your marketing channels.

Use Press Releases to Promote Newsworthy Events

While press releases may not have much to offer in the way of direct linking juice, they are a great way to gain exposure for your brand as long as they are used judiciously.

  • Keep in mind that the purpose of a press release is to distribute newsworthy information about your brand, not to present a glorified sales pitch.
  • Stick with quality press distribution networks who take the time to read and approve press release before they are sent out.
  • Include branded terms in the headline and body copy of your release.

Don’t Rule Out Blog and Forum Commenting

Don’t go overboard with third-party commenting. Your criteria should be the relevancy to your niche of the blog or forum in question, and whether or not you can add something valuable to the conversation. Be sure to include your brand terms wherever possible.