If you’re looking for link building services, you may already be falling behind.
In this episode of Content & Links, Ross shares how focusing strictly on link building is the wrong mindset vs. investing in a longer term content marketing strategy.
Today I wanna talk to you about the difference between a link building and content marketing mindset, and why the difference matters in your results.
When people reach out to us it is very interesting to see the mindsets and kind of websites and the way they’ll frame what they need. How they frame what they need is a clear indicator of how they’re performing as a business. What I mean by that is one group will reach out to us and say, “we need link building services.” The other group will reach out and say, “we need content marketing services.”
On average that link building service group under are underperforming or have websites that are under performing. That content marketing group is over-performing on average. I don’t think that’s a mistake at all.
The “Link Building” Buyer Persona
The first part is the kind of person who reaches out to us and says, “we’re looking for link building services.” That person is disconnecting content from links.
Our videos are called “Content & Links” for a reason — because we combine them. And we believe they should not be disconnected.
If you’re doing link building outside of your main site, let’s say you’re doing guest posts. Some people even do shadier or gray hat paid links. They do other methods of link building that are disconnected from the quality of the website.
Because of that, they’re not focused on actually improving their website as a method of generating links. Because of that disconnect the person who reaches out to a firm and says “we’re looking for link building services” might not be connecting the two as much as they should be. Because of that, their main site is actually not that high quality on average.
These two should work in tandem as an effort to generate more links via a quality site in turn will be something Google wants to rank.
The “Content Marketing” Buyer Persona
The person who’s coming to us that says, “we want content marketing services,” they more often understand that they are invested in the value of content as well, and connecting those two via their website rather than externally off their website.
That kind of company is focusing on improving the value of their website rather than “we just need links.” Instead, they ask “how do we improve our website?” Indirectly their links will come thereby.
Losing Sight of Top Funnel Searches
Another weakness of people that reach out wanting link building services, is that they might not value brand or top funnel search volume. That is a big component of what we do as an content marketing agency. We’re aligning that with them.
By nature, we are helping amplify and grow a brand via that search volume. So if that is the kind of company that’s just reaching out for link building specifically, there’s a good chance they’re not a brand cause they don’t care about that. Or they’re not doing things that will make them a brand.
Those things are correlated or causative. But they directly relate to why that kind of company that brings that forward is underperforming on average.
Value of Rankings + Links
Another piece that matters in this equation, is when you align top funnel search volume plus links, and then compare it to just links. The economics just blow away links on average. That’s also not a mistake.
If you care about brand and you can align that through top and middle funnel and also generate links via that activity.
Let’s say you generate 10 links to an asset through digital PR, but it also has an average value of $1K per month in terms of direct monetization. Or maybe your ability to retarget that audience that might be on average $12K per year. Compare that to just the 10 links by themselves. That math just blows away the 10 links by themselves.
You can see how if that company can orchestrate and drive value via top funnel, they’ll be able to spend much much more in content marketing activity and thereby link building activity to actually outpace the economic engine of that other company that is just trying to prop up their website via pure SEO activity.
That’s also a very clear reason why the content marketing approach via link building approach matters so clearly. And I would just say, it’s not a terrible thing to say that you want links. We have people that come to us all the time.
Is Focusing On Links Bad?
A lot of people will still come to us and they’ll want content marketing and very clearly a KPI is links. That’s okay! That even mindset I think is clear enough that you’re thinking the right way. You’re thinking about brand activity. You’re valuing the top funnel. You’re connecting the value of content to your website.
When you know a company like us can help you improve the quality of your website in order to generate more links and better rankings. What’s not okay mindset is when you’re coming with link building and only valuing that side of the equation. That in some ways you’re either probably already underperforming or basically setting yourself up to not be future-proofed from that standpoint.
We understand that we have to connect those two to drive the most return, and long-term value for you and your business.