When the topic of content marketing comes up, it’s easy to be drawn into a very basic view that marketing is all about producing blog articles. However, that idea gives little in the way of credit to the larger element of storytelling that can be done across a variety of formats. Companies have been using storytelling as a form of content marketing for decades. Some examples include:

We think of content marketing as a novel strategy from the age of blogs and social media, even though it’s anything but that. If you’re curious about how content marketing might help you to build a brand and to connect with an audience, here’s what you need to know.

Committing to a Long-Term Strategy

Foremost, you need to embrace the idea that content marketing is about steadily producing posts, articles, videos, and other materials that people actually find engaging. If you look at the previous example of Hasbro’s use of the strategy in the 1980s, that has become such a source of engagement for the audience that seven feature-length, wide-release movies have come from it. While your content doesn’t have to be so good that people demand the opportunity to pay you to see it in theaters, the example does give an idea of just how strong the public’s appetite for investing in storytelling built around certain products can be.

To get to that point, though, Hasbro had to invest in producing books, television episodes, and movies over decades. A major part of that personal investment from each audience member, in fact, comes from the promise that there will be more material to come. When you visit your favorite bloggers or YouTube channels, for example, many maintain fairly strictly daily or weekly production schedules. It’s not enough to tell a story. There has to be a promise built in that you’ll continue storytelling well into the future.

Finding Strategies to Use

The rise of numerous channels of entertainment and communication in the modern world means that you need to find a strategy that will allow you to connect with your audience. Back when the folks at John Deere were creating “The Furrow,” there weren’t many options. A company could basically choose to put up signs or to insert ads into newspapers and magazines.

The folks at John Deere took the second option and expanded those ads into a content source that’s still available today. How do they continue accomplish this?

A core strategy that many in the content marketing world employ is called 3D marketing. Despite the name, this marketing does not presume to use modern 3D technologies to create a vibrant visual experience. Instead, it refers to addressing three key dimensions of a problem in a way that brings value to an audience. These are:

  • Identifying a pain point for the audience
  • Putting the right content in front of people
  • Mapping the content to a purchasing cycle that solves the problem

A good example of identifying a pain point can be found in this March 2019 article from “The Furrow.” It’s focused on the issue of succession in the modern agricultural world. The folks at John Deere don’t just want people to purchase farm equipment. They want them to become multigenerational purchasers. The article ultimately encourages the audience to set up legally well-structured trusts to ensure the ongoing succession of farms within families. This solution handles a pain-point problem for the audience while also encouraging a long-term buying cycle that hopefully turns a family into a John Deere family.

Before you roll forward in picking strategies to pursue, you need to figure out who your audience is and what its pain points are. For example, a criminal law firm’s audience is fairly obvious, but what are those readers’ pain points? These may end up being:

  • Not knowing the exact law about a certain topic
  • Identifying ways to avoid legal trouble
  • Learning what to say and not say while being interviewed or interrogated
  • Determining when it’s time to get professional counsel
  • Understanding personal rights in different situations

A practice that takes on DUI cases may decide to publish blog articles about common defenses against DUI charges. They might also make social media posts reminding people about the big holidays when the police are out in force looking for DUIs. Videos outlining unusual cases can also be entertaining and can establish a particular attorney as knowledgeable regarding DUI cases. Many of these materials can be repurposed into print materials that can be handed to clients, too.

Depending upon your company’s goals and its audience, there are numerous other ways to put content in front of an audience full of potential customers. Anyone who has been on Facebook has seen people sharing and posting results from surveys, polls and quizzes. If appropriate, memes are a good way to foster sharing, too.

It’s also worth looking outside the print and online boxes. You may want to explore things like:

  • Setting up a small concert for audience members
  • Holding a convention
  • Doing meet-ups
  • Sitting down for Q&As at conferences (also a good source of videos!)
  • Conducting giveaways
  • Producing merchandise, such as shirts, caps, and mugs

Wherever you think your audience will be is a good place to conduct content marketing and storytelling.

Content Marketing Execution

Having an idea with channels you want to explore is one thing. Creating compelling storytelling is quite the other.

With a strategy in mind, however, you can start breaking the task down into executable blocks. For example, a company that wants to build a YouTube channel needs to connect with people who have the technical capabilities and talents required to produce videos. Within that subset of potential partners, though, you also need to find folks who are familiar with what clicks with viewers on YouTube to get you more viewers. This means the people you connect with need to have graphic design capabilities that will allow them to generate visual content that pops, such as title cards that also function as clickbait.

A business that wants to focus on a written strategy might focus more on things like articles with search engine optimization, social media marketing, editing of content, and the creation of evergreen content. Event-focused efforts will need to bring together people capable of planning and executing gatherings.

The Customer Journey

Some types of storytelling are capable of producing love at first, but most won’t. For example, a photographer with an Instagram feed filled with compelling photos might be able to have a visitor so stunned by what he or she feels that he or she just has to book a shoot right now. The more likely scenario, however, is that the photographer is going to need a marketing funnel to bring the audience closer and closer to a buying decision.

This process is what’s called a sales funnel. It starts very wide. The photographer in the example may attract a lot of interest, but even the most talented person isn’t going to convert every visitor into a paying customer. Instead, the audience will follow a journey that leads to a buying decision.

The customer journey should go something like this:

  1. Awareness: A person finds the photographer’s Instagram feed. Perhaps he or she clicks through to the photography website. This visitor may even go to the photographer’s YouTube channel to watch videos.
  2. Consideration: Wanting to see more or learn more, the visitor adds the photographer on Instagram and subscribes to the YouTube channel. He or she visits the about page on the website and bookmarks it. If the photographer has planned the website well, there’s also encouragement for visitors to join a mailing list. The visitor then goes to the photographer’s Amazon story to see what books have been published.
  3. Decision: The visitor goes to the contact form on the website and sends a message. He or she signs up for the mailing list. He or she sends a DM via Instagram to connect with the photographer. On the website, the visitor finds the page where he or she can buy prints. Then the visitor decides to book a session and buys a book on Amazon.

Content marketing and storytelling serve to bring the audience into the widest point of the sale funnel. Many people are going to check out the photographer’s Instagram feed, enjoy the photos, and never come back again. Others will visit regularly but never buy prints or book sessions. Some will come back for a long time as fans and will eventually move forward with booking a session because they finally have a moment that calls for it.

Don’t Be Boring

Content creators are often surprised by what they learn about their audiences and customers. For example, the marketers at Wendy’s discovered that posting tweets that picked fights with other burger chains was a highly effective strategy. The company even managed to create an EP album titled “We Beefin’?” that charted on Spotify.

Notably, what clicks with audiences is often the least “sales-y” content. Rather than trying to get people to buy the next big thing in bacon double cheeseburgers, Wendy’s produced content that was too strange for people to look away. The company defied corporate stereotypes and created massive social cachet by telling a story of feuding with other brands that’s obviously absurd on its face.

Provide Value

It’s not always necessary to launch into an epic rap battle with one of your competitors. The folks at Excedrin, for example, have focused the brand’s content marketing efforts on producing value. In particular, Excedrin offers tips for dealing migraines on its blog. Rather than focusing on making a sale, the company encourages potential customers to identify the signs of migraines and to learn how to curtail them. Naturally, a call to action is included in the form of a coupon offering a dollar savings on Excedrin purchases.

GoPro has built an entire brand by essentially using a marketing channel, YouTube, that many of its customers will also use. The value in each GoPro video is obvious because the company’s videos show the cool content that you could be producing. There’s even a GoPro channel dedicated to telling you how you can use a GoPro to create your own YouTube channel.

Assessing Content Marketing Efforts

Tracking the customer journey is just as important as encouraging it. You need to have data regarding visitors that includes the number of registered users, view counts, the amount of time spent with content, and overall viewer engagement. If possible, you want to have a system in place that lets you see how a visitor goes from finding your content to making a buying decision. Fortunately, virtually all platforms include analytics systems that allow you to see how it all comes together. Utilizing tools like unique identifiers, customer profiles, and cookies trackers, you can follow the customer journey with a high degree of precision in most cases.

The beauty of modern content marketing is that we have the tools today to assess our efforts. Even the smallest businesses on Earth can check Google Analytics to see how their blogs are doing. In time, you can build a model of storytelling that your audience will love and will want to share with others.

Reputation Management

Reputation management can be difficult to define in our hyperconnected society. Do you only consider your reputation when it’s in jeopardy? How does reputation management differ from regular branding development and improvement? The extent of management differs between corporations, businesses, celebrities and individuals, but there are several core principles that should always be addressed.

Managing a reputation isn’t just about responding to negative feedback or scandal; it’s about preventing poor experiences with consumers or readers, increasing engagement based off feedback and adding value to a brand by improving its reputation with the public.

Any business, whether it’s Apple or a single Instagram influencer, can benefit from developing an online reputation management strategy. This guide will walk you through the basics, starting with an easy-to-follow breakdown of online reputation management before moving on to tips on how to identify your needs and develop an appropriate strategy.

What Is Online Reputation Management?

In a nutshell, we can define online reputation management as continuous monitoring and response to feedback on social media platforms and other relevant networks. In previous years, marketing was far more reliant on a company’s actions than its consumers’ responses. Marketers focused on what they could do to promote and advertise their company, and feedback from customers was difficult to measure aside from sales figures.

The internet and rise of social media marketing created a new landscape and forever changed the ways companies interact with their customers and target audience. The scales became more evenly balanced, but many businesses struggled to adapt to the new dynamic. There was less of an “us vs. them” mentality when it came to customers. People had a voice, and they made it clear that they no longer wanted to be persuaded or sold to.

Customers became faces and usernames. The humans behind the numbers emerged, and they wanted real conversations, valuable content and authentic experiences online. People don’t just give a business a thumbs-up or thumbs-down anymore. They share their thoughts and express their feelings through tweets and Instagram posts. Someone can attract new business for a company just as easily as they can deter it. A single photo and caption or YouTube review can cost a business hundreds of potential customers.

Reputation management is no longer an afterthought. In order to maintain a favorable view and build lasting relationships with customers, businesses have to be aware of what’s being said online and develop responses that are as professional as they are sincere. To cultivate an effective response protocol, a company must look at its existing brand and voice.

Branding vs. Reputation

Your brand is the image you cultivate and project through your products, profiles and customer interactions. Your reputation is the public perception of all these entities. You have far more control over your brand than your reputation, but only paying attention to the former can lead to some major downfalls later if you aren’t careful.

A brand is what sets you on the map. By cultivating a strong business brand, you introduce yourself to the world and connect with potential customers through a distinct voice. That voice, as well as all the content it encompasses, will ultimately lead to the development of a reputation.

The fundamental difference between branding and reputation is that brand management is proactive while reputation management is largely responsive. While you’ll undoubtedly incorporate social media responses as part of your branding, the communicative style and purpose will differ when it comes to reputation management. Interweaving your online reputation management with your branding is a great way to enhance the value, credibility and perception of your business.

You can pay for someone to build your brand, but you can’t pay for a reputation. Developing a positive reputation takes time, experience and commitment. Your reputation will ultimately become the culmination of all your online interactions and experiences with customers. In order to ensure that your reputation is a good one, you have to take steps that increase awareness, demonstrate responsibility and show compassion.

Increasing Awareness

Awareness in reputation management is different from brand awareness. You are not advertising your company or promoting any products or services. Instead, you’re letting your followers and consumer base know that you are active online, present in their conversations and care about what they have to say.

You have to consider reputation management as the most interpersonal aspect of your online strategy. Rather than posting content and letting people comment on it however they please, you need to demonstrate continued awareness by acknowledging people’s praise and criticism.

Demonstrate Responsibility

There are two critical factors when it comes to responding to negative feedback online: timing and resolution. Let’s say someone goes to their local Whole Foods and realizes they’re out of their favorite oat milk. They tweet about their experience on Twitter and express their frustration. Whole Foods has to respond quickly. If they wait for days or weeks, the customer will have to take care of the problem themselves, most likely by taking their business elsewhere.

In order to take on accountability, Whole Foods must respond to the tweet in a timely manner and reach out to the customer to offer a solution. They could send them a voucher for free oat milk the next time they’re in the store, for example, and check in with that particular location to ensure new shipments are being delivered and stocked on time.

Show Compassion

The irony of the 21st century is that authenticity has become a product. Brands plan how they can make themselves appear more genuine and go to great lengths to choose the right words, photos and tags that will make them come across as “real.” Unfortunately, the harder you try to be authentic, the more transparent you’ll become.

Transparency is a major buzzword in online marketing. It’s true that transparency helps increase sales and stimulate conversation but only when it’s real. Being “professional” isn’t always the best model anymore. People don’t want the stereotypical customer service treatment that’s stuffed with robotic consolations and stock affirmations.

People want to know that they’re being heard, and they want the response from a company to show genuine compassion. If you sound like you’re only solving a problem for someone to avoid creating a bigger one for yourself, it won’t bode well for your reputation.

Your reputation is the collective impression of your branding as a person. How would a person respond to feedback? Even if you’re speaking as a group, you can still sound sincere.

Step back and ask yourself who your business is when it’s not a company. Beyond the industry, the products and content, who are the people behind it? Be them. Personality is not separate from professionalism, but there are times when you may need to break past the barrier of business politics and be real with your audience.

How to Monitor Your Online Reputation

Before you can improve your reputation, you have to understand it. Monitoring your online reputation isn’t the same as tracking click-throughs, impressions and follows/unfollows. All of those figures provide great insight when measuring the success of a particular campaign or a brand’s current standing, but your reputation is far more long-lasting, and it won’t reflect as much in day-to-day figures.

Instead, to check how your business is doing in the eyes of the public, you have to use social media monitoring. This is a process that uses tools to gather various content about your business from around the web to see whether it positively or negatively impacts your reputation. You can go the DIY route and hand-pick your favorite methods of social media monitoring, or you can automate the process with some tools like Social Mention, Trackur or SentiOne.

Google Alerts is one of the most popular ways to get started with reputation monitoring. Whenever new content is published online that mentions your brand or specific keywords, you are notified. Ideal keywords would be your name, your business’s name and even common misspellings of your business.

If someone posts a haughty comment or negative review, you’ll be able to respond thoughtfully and swiftly. You may not catch every single mention, and some may not even warrant a reply, but Google Alerts is one of the fastest and easiest ways to stay in the loop in real time.

Make Sure Your Staff Is Social Media-Savvy

If you don’t have a designated social media strategist, coordinator or the like, consider hiring one. Social media management is a full-time job, and your company is likely to miss out on important mentions and opportunities to improve reputation if an employee is only updating your profiles on the side.

Everyone who interacts with the brand’s platforms should be well-versed in the ins and outs of each network. More than that, every employee who represents or acts in place of the business online should understand the voice your company uses and be able to emulate that flawlessly.

Hold a meeting and have employees who run social media brush up on their SEO, brand awareness and content marketing skills. They may not be in charge of everything, but it’s important for them to understand how and why they need these skills to maintain the brand’s image. Building a good reputation starts with a foundation of solid social-marketing skills.

Some Tips on Improving Reputation

So, you’ve either come under fire from dissatisfied customers or you don’t know how to start building a reputation in the first place. While it’s easier to build a reputation from the ground up than repair a damaged one, both can be achieved with some strategy, diligence and, perhaps most importantly, patience.

If you’re a small business owner who wants to spread awareness, make sure that it’s easy for people to get in touch with you online. Use the same handle on all your social media accounts, and make your profiles easy to navigate to from your website. If you don’t have one already, consider setting up a business blog. Not only will this increase your credibility, but you can also open the door to a greater conversation through reader engagement.

When it comes to repairing a damaged business reputation, the first step is to plan improvements rather than plunging forward. Look at your most recent or significant experiences and derive lessons from them. Maybe you need to change your voice and address customers more empathetically. Maybe your products need refinement or your company needs to do a better job of delivering its proposed value.

Ultimately, you can never guarantee that someone won’t have a bad experience or you will never receive negative feedback. There are some cases where you may not wish to respond to a hateful comment at all.

Use your discretion and trust your gut. Just remember that everything online is visible, and your words matter. People may not ever speak to your business directly, but they will take notice of how you handle interactions with your customers, especially the unhappy ones. With a customer-first mentality, you can ensure that your reputation is one that reflects your business’s hard work, value and ethics.

Many business owners do everything they can to optimize search results for their company’s website. Over the years, different trends in search engine optimization, or SEO, practices have come and gone, adjusting as major players in the search field like Google change the algorithms they use to rank websites. One question continues to plague many webmasters: Can inbound links from other websites harm search standings?

By and large, the answer to this is no; inbound links from other websites cannot directly force your site lower in Google results. However, this does not mean that the quality of sites linking to you does not have an impact on your overall search rating. Google has advised webmasters that there is “almost nothing” not within their own control that could affect their ranking. If inbound links from spammy or dubious websites could force a site’s search ranking down by themselves, many black-hat or otherwise malicious SEO practices could incorporate similar attacks on competitor websites.

By allowing inbound links from sites with a poor reputation to be automatically and directly reflected in search ranking, Google would essentially be opening the floodgates for people to drive down their competitors’ rankings with spammy links. Obviously, this is an unacceptable conclusion. However, it should be noted that spam, scam or deceptive sites removed from Google will certainly not count positively toward a website’s ranking. Therefore, sites whose rankings were artificially inflated with links from these types of sites may see a decline if these domains are pulled from Google’s indexing system.

The quality and type of your inbound links can make a difference as to whether your site rises in page rankings, is considered an authoritative domain or is viewed as a respected site. Therefore, obtaining quality inbound links and minimizing low-quality links should be a priority for webmasters.

Relevant Inbound Links Matter

When search engines examine the inbound links that lead to your website, they don’t only measure the number of links on any site or check the anchor text that leads to the link. Instead, the type and profile of sites that link to you matter a great deal.

A link from a major site like CNN, the New York Times or other widely reputable journalistic sites is highly valuable, far more than many times that number of links from smaller sites, let alone those from link farms or dubious blogs. While it’s unlikely that your site would be directly penalized because a doubtful site linked to it, a lack of relevant, high-quality links may mean that your site never moves up in the rankings despite an increase in link volume.

Every company and every site in your space wants these types of coveted links from high-value sources. Of course, they are also difficult to obtain. However, there are other factors that contribute to the relevancy of inbound links.

Search engines can consume and process vast quantities of text and note contextual similarities. Therefore, legitimate links from other blogs or sites in your particular category of work can be valuable and highly relevant. If the topic of the site that links to yours is similar to the topic of your page, it is a relevant link and, therefore, worth more.

In one survey of experts, 45 percent of respondents noted that they expected the relevance of links by topic to have a marked effect on the performance of a site in search engine rankings. If you are working to obtain links to your site, reach out to writers, news sites and blogs of interest for your community. Obviously, competitors are unlikely to link to you, but reporters who cover the field or adjacent fields may be happy to include links to your quality content.

Link From Trusted Sites: Evaluating Key Metrics

There are a number of metrics that search engines like Google use to measure the value of each link to your site. These rely on concepts that measure the level of trust or authority that should be placed in the linking domain. Here is somewhere that inbound links could negatively affect your search performance: If you only have links from sites considered untrustworthy, this could indicate that your site is also untrustworthy.

This is especially true if these links arise in a strange or dubious manner reflective of purchased links and other outdated SEO practices. Unfortunately, these practices are often used by scam websites that should not be trusted by consumers; as a result, they are penalized by search engines as well.

Google has indicated that some very trusted sites are considered “seed sites.” These include major .gov websites, the websites of educational institutions hosted at .edu domains and major news, media and science networks. Direct links from these sites are the most trusted, and trust could be considered to branch out and grow fainter the further each site is from an initial, highly trusted seed site.

Domain Authority

Domain Authority or DA, is one of the most important metrics in evaluating the quality of an inbound link. DA measures the strength and SEO value of an entire domain. One firm, Moz, developed a numerical scale to assess the value of a domain ranging from 1 to 100. Higher levels of domain authority translate to more valuable search results and link placements.

There are a number of factors that go into calculating a site’s domain authority, including its links, number of total links and relevance to a specific topic. Sites with high-quality external links tend to lead the scale, and all new sites begin with a DA of 1. In general, sites should aim to improve their DA scores, but they should compare scores with their direct competitors rather than attempting to outrank Facebook, Google or university sites.

DA scores may fluctuate, especially as sites change. One domain may be sold or change hands over time, and its DA can change dramatically. For example, one domain with a very high DA score was removed from the Google index for spammy practices, and the sites that it linked to lost the value of those inbound links.

Page Authority

Page Authority is essentially a subset of Domain Authority. Rather than measuring the strength of a domain as a whole, it measures the strength of a particular page. Widely circulated articles and useful resources can gather a significant amount of page authority, potentially more quickly than an entire domain shows a ranking advantage.

Link Location

Over the years, it was often thought that the placement of a link within an article may affect its value. For example, a link in the first paragraph of content might be more worthwhile than one in the last. Modern search engine algorithms do not prioritize location in an article in this way, but the location of a link can still matter.

Site-wide links that do not change from page to page carry relatively little value. These types of links are often credit links or brief advertisements and are found in a site’s footer, header and sidebars. On the other hand, links contained within a page or an article’s content are ranked much more highly. These are likely to be relevant to the surrounding text on a page, a factor that search engine crawlers evaluate when indexing a page and the link that it contains.

It’s not enough just to link from an article; search engine bots will scan the text of the link as well as the initial article to check that they reflect common topics. This has rendered previous practices of placing irrelevant links into other text relatively useless.

In addition, links that flow with the text of content are more highly ranked than links that come from including URLs within the text. Anchor texts should be natural and not just the URL of the receiving site.

Inbound links are also a factor inside your site; you may look to drive customers to certain pieces by linking to them from other pages. In general, it is good to use diverse keywords and anchor texts to link to these pages, rather than repetitively using the same anchor text. The latter could be viewed as a spammy practice to dominate certain common phrases in a search engine.

Content Length Can Help Ranking

Statistics show that Google tends to prefer long-form content when it comes to ranking for a topic and when it comes to weighing link quality. If your site is linked to within a lengthy text or resource, this link may well carry more value with the search engine than one from a short paragraph or snippet. In addition, long-form article links can drive traffic indirectly.

Because articles appearing on the first page of search engine results for a given topic often have over 2,000 words, more people are likely to visit those pages. All of the links on those pages are thus more likely to lead to visitors clicking and venturing on to your site.

This isn’t an arbitrary practice on Google’s part; surveys indicate that people like to see longer resources when they search for information on a topic of interest.

Understanding Different Types of Links

There are two major kinds of links that may point to your website: follow and nofollow links. Most links that you see or make on websites are follow links; this means that they are not marked with a “nofollow” code telling search engines not to include the link as part of their ranking process.

Some sites have a policy of using nofollow links in order to discourage spam on their sites, especially high-quality sites that allow for user-generated content, like Wikipedia. At the same time, a Wikipedia link will never hurt your site; in fact, it is likely to be extremely valuable because Wikipedia is a frequently accessed, high-quality source that drives legitimate traffic to your site. Of course, Wikipedia editing is often closely monitored, and the site’s policies require the use of only relevant links.

Having a lot of nofollow links will not harm your search ranking, even if an excessive number of follow links from untrustworthy sites may hinder your ability to rise in the ranks. While follow links are generally the most valuable for improving search engine results, nofollow links could provide valuable click-through results depending on the originating page.

Practices to Avoid

Being associated with spammy content or untrustworthy domains will not benefit your site’s search engine ranking. There are a number of techniques that SEO advisers have used over the years; some of them have become outdated while others were never truly legitimate. Any form of SEO that aims to push up useless or irrelevant content makes a search engine’s results less valuable; therefore, Google and other engines have an interest in eliminating this type of content.

Link wheels, spam blog content or paid links on random or irrelevant sites are unlikely to improve your ranking. If some of the domains that participate do not host real, relevant content, they may be at risk of losing their Google indexing altogether. Thus, you may find yourself paying a significant sum of money for SEO advice that does little for your business.

In addition, forum links are generally considered to have a lower link quality than those from the main content of a site. Unless that forum page is particularly well-known or widely visited, those links are likely to transfer less authority than those credited to the site itself.

Avoid Penalties, Improve Your Inbound Links

One of the best mechanisms to improve your inbound links and your search engine rating is to produce high-quality, interesting content. When you share your knowledge or expertise with your customers, they will want to share that interesting content with others. You may find clients linking to your site or sharing your links on social media.

All of this can give rise to high link quality, helping your site come up in the rankings. By creating great content, you will give other sites great reason to give your site high-quality, well-ranking inbound links.

Inbound marketing is the most effective marketing method for Addiction Treatment Providers.

Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, phone calls, and praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your center and services.

By aligning the content you publish with your clients’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.

Intro to Backlinking

Obtaining a backlink is when somebody posts an incoming link to your site from their own. Search engines are geared towards sorting search results according to real life recommendations and interpret a backlink as such. Quality backlinks can go further than quantity, but having a thick link profile of quality backlinks would set you up for higher rankings which equals success.

Quality Backlinks

I briefly broke down the different types of quality links you should be aiming to acquire below:

  • .COM’S – Any local online news publications, local businesses (preferably in this industry), relevant blogs and resource pages.
  • .ORG’S – Trusted organizations and non-profits. People tend to assume that a .org is similar to .gov but anybody can register one and they are not always quality links you want in your profile.
  • .GOV’S – Obviously any site with a .gov gTLD is trusted and authoritative. This means it is a quality link and in my opinion the best type of backlink you can get. I would guesstimate that a .gov backlink could improve your DA (domain authority) just as much as 20+ casual .com/.org resource backlinks.
  • .EDU’S – Local college sites and universities. These can have high link equity but can be harder to obtain as you need to get in touch with the school webmaster or IT administrator.
  • K12 RESOURCE LINKS – Local public schools without .edu gTLD’s that usually have resource pages. They don’t need to be local but may be easier to obtain by contacting schools in your area.

So why is it important?

Link building is one of the most important aspects of internet marketing. I along with every other SEO expert know that link building is what mainly drives rankings. To put it simple, if a bunch of people with trusted sites link to yours then it builds trust, popularity and most importantly your Domain Authority (a 100 point scale developed by Moz).

From my experience of working on SEO in the addiction space I know first hand how hard it can be to get quality links to your site. We have built many strategies with proven track records and high response rates. Unfortunately, I am not here to share that with you. However, I can suggest that one way to get started is to begin creating content that is actually worth linking to.

If you are trying to rank locally then get your company involved in the community, especially if you are a startup. One of my current clients that I have only been working with for just over a month recently opened a treatment center up north. He has joined the chamber of commerce, reached out to people all over the area through offline marketing and even hosted an awesome grand opening/open house inviting everyone to stop by. This has gotten him mentioned in local news publications, blogs, social media posts and most importantly he has gained local links (which in my opinion can sometimes be really hard to acquire). This has set his link profile off to a great start already.

If you want to rank in this industry then start building your domain authority through link building. The addiction rehab space is one of the most competitive industries to rank for online. Stop trying to trick robots or look for shortcuts because it just doesn’t work. Not anymore at least…

Content Development

Providing blog articles with content that actually helps readers find what their searching for as well as pages with truly helpful resources can help influence other website owners to link to you.

On-Site SEO

Don’t forget to take care of your on-site SEO. Although link building is extremely important, your on-site SEO accounts for around 40% of search engine algorithms. You need to stay on top of this if you really want to beat out your competition. Also note that this can get pretty technical and you will need your IT/Web guy to take care of it. Request an audit from us and we can provide you with the information needed to get your on-site SEO up to par.

Conclusion

Having a solid link building strategy can really be the key to success for your site especially in the rehab industry. Most rehabs are just trying to generate leads, admit clients and sell their services. This makes it harder to obtain backlinks because many people prefer not to help promote rehab centers for free. Link building is the bread and butter and at Unique Visitors we have perfected our strategies across the board in this niche. It is all perfect, from link building and content development to our design and code structure.

If you have any questions or anything you think I should add then let me know in the comments. You can also send me an e-mail at any time.