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Link building is one of the most effective ways to boost your site’s search engine optimization (SEO). But it can also be a powerful tool for shaping how your brand is perceived online.

The types of sites that link to you impact the associations people make with your brand. If you’re linked to by authoritative, reputable sources in your industry, it subconsciously tells visitors you’re credible and trustworthy too. On the other hand, links from sketchy, unrelated sites can negatively affect your brand image.

Here are some of the top ways to leverage link building for positive brand perception:

Get Links from Relevant, Reputable Sites in Your Industry

The relevance and reputation of the sites linking to you matter tremendously. Getting backlinks from recognized industry publications, trusted review sites, prominent blogs, and other high-quality websites in your field lends enormous credibility to a brand.

For example, if you run an interior design firm, links from sites like Architectural Digest, Houzz, and HGTV establish you as a legitimate player in the space. Searchers will unconsciously associate your brand with those prominent sites and the authority they carry.

Make a list of the most respected, popular sites related to your niche. Then identify opportunities to earn links from them through guest posts, resource contributions, or interviews with editors. Don’t spam link requests – focus on building relationships. The payoff of links from relevant, reputable sources make it worth the effort.

Leverage Anchor Text to Reinforce Brand Identity

Anchor text refers to the hyperlinked text used in a backlink. It’s a powerful but often overlooked tool for shaping brand perception.

Be intentional about the anchor text used by sites linking to you. Choose descriptive phrases and keywords that reinforce the identity you want to project for your brand.

For example, if you’re positioning as an industry thought leader, work that phrasing into anchor text where appropriate. “As this business strategy thought leader discusses…” strengthens that association for readers.

Avoid over-optimized, repetitive anchor text, as that looks unnatural. But do provide sites guidance on keywords and messaging relevant to your brand so they can incorporate it.

Vary the anchor text wording across links – branded, URL, descriptive phrases, and generic terms like “click here.” This diversity looks more natural.

Monitor your overall anchor text profile to ensure it’s not overly commercial or keyword-heavy. Use tools like SEMrush to analyze rankings for your important brand term anchor phrases.

Anchor text is a direct line into shaping brand perception. Be hands-on in providing recommends to publishers, but keep it diverse and relevant. With thoughtful effort, it becomes an asset for reinforcing your intended identity.

Proactively Build Relationships with Brand Advocates to Encourage Link Sharing

Loyal, passionate brand fans and advocates can become powerful assets for link building. Identify and get to know those who love your company and what you stand for.

Nurture relationships with top fans by giving them VIP access and exclusive offers. Seek their input on new products and make them feel valued. The more you engage advocates, the more likely they’ll be to rave about you online.

Equip advocates with assets and information to help them refer others your way. Provide sample posts, images, promo codes and make it easy for them to highlight your brand.

Incentivize advocates to share links through contests, giveaways and rewards programs. For example, give prizes to top referrers or offer discounts for posting about you on social media.

Monitor brand mentions to thank and engage with advocates. Reach out providing additional assets like quotes or statistics they can include with a link to your content.

The stronger your relationships with advocates, the more word-of-mouth promotion and high quality links you’ll earn. This level of genuine endorsement and referral is invaluable for brand building.

Monitor and Encourage Brand Mentions

As I already said above, monitor brand mentions by setting up alerts and listening tools to notify you whenever your brand is referenced online.

When you find your brand name organically included in articles, discussions or other content, reach out to the publishers thanking them.

Offer to provide additional assets they can include to enrich their content, like relevant data, statistics, quotes from your executives, or related images and graphics.

Supply links back to your site that they can add where appropriate. This allows you to build high-quality links through natural mentions.

Follow up persistently but politely if you don’t hear back on initial outreach. If they’ve already mentioned you, they’ll likely be open to incorporating more material from you.

Having your brand and site linked within mentions and references adds familiarity, authority and SEO value. Make sure you’re actively monitoring the web for any brand call outs you can leverage.

The more you encourage and optimize mentions, the more it strengthens brand visibility and perception as an authority.

The Power of Thoughtful Link Building

As you can see, link building extends far beyond just chasing backlinks. It’s about cultivating strategic partnerships, identifying brand advocates, monitoring mentions, and seeing anchor text as another branding tool.

By being purposeful with your link building outreach, you can significantly influence how your brand is perceived online. Approach it thoughtfully, stay ethical and relevant, and the returns of a strengthened brand reputation will be well worth the effort.