Brand link building vs conversion link building

In my last post I talked about different methods of link building. For Leapfrogg, it’s not just about being creative in our output; it’s also about being strategic in our thinking.

We design our natural search campaigns to consist of different tiers – each with a different objective. For example, the first tier could consist of brand link building to the homepage through broad search terms to drive volume of traffic, with further tiers focusing on longer tail terms to build links to deeper, more specific landing pages to aid conversion.

The two fold benefit of this approach means that the PR coverage enables us to communicate to a wide audience, with the SEO benefit of the links supporting the natural search objective.

I’ve illustrated in the diagram below how this may work in terms of a travel target audience:

The audience in the outermost circle can be captured with broad online PR, social media and brand link building activity before they are even considering a purchase. The best way to target this audience is by using creative tactics placed in general, everyday media.

Broad search terms help build a brand and capture the ‘inspiration’ searches. Furthermore, this tactic gets your brand in front of a potential customer before they’re even looking for a holiday.  For example, if I know I want to go on holiday but have not decided where to go, I will search for ‘beach holidays’ to inspire me.

By using creative tactics to acquire high quality links you get the added benefit of brand awareness. Tactics we are currently adopting include a combination of guest blogging, editorial features with bloggers / online press, case studies and blog sponsorships. Creating compelling content engages and informs your target audience to make your brand stand out.

The middle circle is the audience who have already decided on the purchase but not on the exact item. They are looking for inspiration and can also be reached by broad link building activity placed in travel specific publications.

Whilst ranking number one for a broad search term is great, it’s often the more specific, longer tail keywords that deliver conversions. Your target audience searching in more detail are influenced well before making any purchases. Now if I know I specifically want to go on holiday to Marmaris in Turkey, I will search for ‘beach holidays Marmaris’ for the best deal.  Understanding where your audience is and what they’re looking for is key and enables you to target them in the right way, at the right time with the right message. Traffic will be less so at the long tail, but conversion arguably higher and ranking an easier win.

Often the deeper landing pages are more difficult to build links to so quick wins delivered by a combination of link reclamation, directory and article sharing site submissions (not those recently damned by Google’s Panda update!)  and news wires are the best way to get them ranking. More time can then be spent around the tougher, more PR led tactics to generate higher quality links to aid the broader search.

A combination of both brand and longer tail links will help to build a varied external link profile to your site and enables you to trade clear business ROI from a marketing function previously difficult to measure.

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