Quality is an elusive concept, and the interplay of your site’s overall quality and SEO is no exception. Distinguishing between those sites included in your link outreach that are forwarding your ranking, that are just hanging around and not doing much, or that are actually getting you penalized is an important but challenging matter. The goal is creating quality while bolstering the impact of your link building and reducing your overall risk, so let’s get going.
Mining For Links
Quality links are key to building domain authority, and the elusive quality of which we speak boils down to mining those sites that contextually align with yours in terms of both content and general category. This breaks down to improving your ranking through well-considered content distribution and well-placed brand mentions that combine their superpowers to bolster domain authority and boost rankings.
Content distribution refers to the art of promoting your content, including the following three primary sources:
- Earned Content Distribution – Earned content distribution is like earning a merit badge – when third parties publish or share your original content via product reviews, social media posts, media coverage, and guest posts.
- Owned Content Distribution – Owned content distribution is all about publishing your own content to your own diverse online properties, including your social media accounts, blogs, email newsletters, and so on.
- Paid Content Distribution – Paid content distribution refers to the content distribution that you pay for, such as through pay-per-click advertising.
When these are balanced and well-orchestrated, they offer a branding symphony that cannot be duplicated through any other means.
Brand mentions are tricky when it comes to SEO. Google’s John Mueller makes it clear that the notion of brand mentions amounting to implied links has no bearing on how Google actually optimizes things, but this doesn’t diminish the importance of brand mentions. When a brand you admire – and that has clout in the industry – mentions your brand, no algorithm can dim that shine or diminish what it can do for your business. Brand mentions matter, which highlights how important it is to think of your online presence as a living, breathing organism that is greater than the sum of its SEO parts (without losing sight of SEO’s importance for even an instant).
You’ve got links, and you are out there mining links, but it’s not just a numbers game. In the end, you need to evaluate the value – or quality – of those links and refine your quality measures as you push forward. While the building blocks of site value tend to get our attention, focusing on your site’s overall quality is paramount, and it may require a tweak in your focus.
Niche Relevant Links
Popping a link into either existing or new content randomly isn’t likely to generate much of anything other than adding to the overall number of links you tally. When, on the other hand, your link is curated to be contextually relevant to your content’s exact focus, you strike a chord that is far more likely to resonate with your audience. Regardless of your niche, keeping your links fresh and relevant to that niche can help you move the needle on overall site quality.
Content with Character
Websites range from absolutely stellar to pure shlock, and how much effort, panache, and cash goes into them isn’t necessarily the deciding factor. There are very humble sites out there that give their readers what they want – in terms of information, guidance, great visuals, or anything else – and hit their SEO marks. On the other hand, there are slick sites that do nothing but blast their commercial intentions and fail to stick their landings in the process. This distinction is where quality comes into play, and when you experience it, you know it – and so do your customers (and potential customers). Content that’s created for your viewing audience is on the right track, while content whose sole obvious focus is sales can diminish your rank (without touching your overall sales).
The Essence of Quality
You recognize the difference between a company that pours its heart and soul – and a whole lot of focus and dedication – into its online offerings and one that is shamelessly focused on a profit grab, and so does everyone else who is out there looking. The distinction is quality, and the line often gets blurred somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. You’re heading for the heart-and-soul category, and there are several basic components that can help ensure you are moving in the right direction, including:
- Content – Yes, content again, but without compelling content that addresses a need, is well written, and has heart, you can ignore all that follows because, without quality content, you have nothing to build upon.
- SEO Administration – You know that your SEO matters and the only way to implement focused guidance is to have an administrative infrastructure in place that both creates and implements your SEO strategies (rather than taking a scattershot approach).
- Link Profiles – What do those links that lead to your site look like? Do they make you feel like a proud parent when you encounter them, or can they use some work? As your overall quality improves, so too will those link profiles.
- Authority – Authorship of your website’s content matters, but it’s no longer a matter of slapping a name on something and hoping it sticks. Google no longer uses authorship markup to recognize authors, but, instead, has other means at its disposal that include profile page links, page-provided info, centralized information, and more.
- Reputation – Your site’s quality and your brand’s reputation go hand in hand – as you focus on quality, you bolster your brand’s rep.
- Technology – When your site runs as smooth as silk for your guests, it’s a sure sign that your focus is a quality customer experience.
Quality Becomes Your Website Most, and a Digital Marketing Pro Can Help You with That
The seasoned digital marketing pros at The Web Guys are adept at harnessing that elusive online quality, and if you’re ready to take the plunge, we’re here to dive in with you. To talk quality, give us a call at (317) 805-4933 or connect today.