Links have had an increasing influence on improving your search engine ranking. However, the importance of a solid yet diverse backlink profile has grown, and the ability to quickly build one has dramatically declined. That’s where influencer marketing has stepped in to save the day. If you’re not already harnessing the power of influencer marketing in your strategy, let’s look at three ways it can boost your SEO, along with a quick primer on how to get started.
Boosts Engagement and Brand Visibility
There’s an incredible amount of noise on the web today, and if you want your business to be seen and heard over it, you can’t just scream louder you’ve got to stand out. Engagement and traffic are necessary for your business to survive, but they’re required for good ranking.
The more you engage your target audience, the more traffic you drive to your site. Influencers are already involved with their audiences – and if you’re working with them, you have the same audience. They can push for that traffic and engagement to help you get a head start and stand out a bit easier than you would if you were trying to do everything independently. Nielsen reviews 92% of people trust recommendations from others more than they do brand advertisements – so reaching out to the people your audience knows (the people they follow on social media) can also help increase brand trust. One study even showed users generally trust influencers as much as they trust their personal friends.
Strengthens Your Link Profile
Google looks at the quality of your link profile as a significant part of determining where you rank. Your link profile is made up of the backlinks to your website, as well as the links you link to on your site. A study from Moz reveals that the quality and authority of the sites that link to you are among the top factors. As such, you’ll need to earn links from high-authority domains in your industry/niche, but this, of course, isn’t an easy thing to do.
When you work with influencers, you increase your chances of building a better natural backlink profile for your website, which improves your ranking. If you work with bloggers and other influencers with their websites, they likely have a site they own or access to several high-authority websites. When the influencers create content and link back to you, it generates high-quality backlinks to your site.
That said, many brands work with influencers for sales campaign purposes to create “commercials” or advertisements for their brand. This means the links must be disclosed as sponsored, which may affect their SEO value. Rather than encouraging influencers to break the rules and not reveal, you could create content-driven campaigns surrounding issues in your industry. When they build this content, they can cite your website as a resource – providing quality content on your site. This bypasses the need for disclosure in most cases.
Keeps a Steady Stream of Fresh Content
Content marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand. We’ve known for a long time that Google pays attention to the freshness of your content when ranking your website. If you haven’t updated your blog in three years, you’ll lose rank in favor of your regularly updated competition. Influencers are pros at creating shareable content that catches attention, so when they are working with you, you’ll get a steady stream of fresh content. You may not be able to use all that content on your website/blog, but you’ll have lots of stuff to include in your social media to keep it running smoothly. And that, too, is important to Google. Regarding quality and quantity, social shares are among the top nine ranking factors.
Getting Started with Influencer Marketing
Depending on your budget for working with influencers, you may need to start small and work with micro-influencers. These are people with smaller audiences, but the audiences are highly engaged. Follower count alone shouldn’t be what you base your decisions on. If you work with an influencer with 1 million followers who aren’t highly engaged, you could see better results with a micro-influencer who only has 20,000 highly engaged followers. That can help you earn the inbound links, pushing your ranking higher and sending more traffic and conversions your way, thus giving you more money to invest in future influencer marketing campaigns.
Many platforms exist to help you find influencers, such as Traackr and Buzzsumo. If you do not approach the influencers directly, you can use agencies that work as intermediaries between you and the influencer. This approach can cost more and take more time. In either case, it’s best to establish relationships with influencers before asking them to work on a campaign with you.
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