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Why is it that Link Building Strategies Will or Will Not Succeed?

Websites must generate traffic in order to be useful to their owners and link-building strategies play a key role in gathering traffic. However, more often than not these link-building strategies are poorly carried out, go drastically over budget, and fail to achieve anything positive. Why is that so?

To begin with, a lot of link-building strategies do not take into account the three components of link building: the strategic methods, the content creation and the link bait, which are all necessary components of a successful campaign. Content creation must aim to produce useful, engaging, and worthwhile articles, which will be the basis of the whole campaign1 because the main thing that users look for are clever, informative articles. Content bait is text that is meant to go viral and get a huge number of users acquainted with the website. It is nearly impossible to produce one link bait, let alone consecutive ones. A successful strategy will incorporate all three elements without overemphasizing each one.

Many companies forget to carefully plan ahead in order to reach their ambition. Each strategy must carefully consider the necessary steps to reach the vision by breaking them into sizable chunks that can be accomplished and quantified. A way to not succeed is to simply rush into things without a coherent plan. After all the necessary actions have been accounted for, a budget must be drawn up. This budget must provide adequate funding for the website’s activities and avoid any lavish spending at the same time. Note that an under-funded strategy might not have the necessary impact and thus, might not accomplish its goals.

After the strategy has been decided upon, SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timed) goals2 are needed to effectively monitor its implementation. Unlike the vision, which is vague and uncertain, goals must be (s)pecific, concise and clear. They must be (m)easurable in units such as new dollars of revenue, time spent on the new website, etc; and (a)ctionable; these goals must be directly altered by the strategy activity; (r)ealistic, so that they can be achieved within the allotted timeframe and the level of resources available; and (t)imed so that deadlines are monitored and any delay is dealt with. If you set goals that fall outside of these criteria, you will have trouble monitoring the link building progress and undoubtedly fail.

Even if the link building strategy goals were set according to SMART guidelines, they mean nothing if they are not monitored and updated under exceptional circumstances. For example, in-house link building teams often try to track how many links they have helped build, but fail to notice the impact on ranking of the company website. Therefore, strict procedures must be implemented to monitor link building, such as analyzing aggregate data or using third-party tracking tools. The results of the analysis must be carefully considered as they are directly affected by the strategy. A successful team will be able to alter its link building strategy to best maximize the positive results.

Finally, link-building strategies fail because there is lack of integration with the other activities of the company. The quickest example is integration with the public relations team on how to promote the company’s content by making it more people friendly and engaging. Furthermore, the strategy team can benefit from the specialized knowledge of other departments and effectively achieve two goals with one project. However, it is important that this integration takes place at the start of the project so that every side can express its goals and needs early on. This further collaboration might need better coordination so that everyone attends the meetings and can fully participate.

References:

  1. http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2067082/The-Golden-Rule-of-SEO-Content-is-King
  2. http://learning.environment-agency.gov.uk/courses/FCRM/capacity/lfs/responsibility_514.html

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