If your franchise is ascribing to the notion “If you build it, they will come” when it comes to your website, you’re probably setting yourself up for failure.
While it’s true that a lovely, responsive website is key for any online marketing efforts, you can’t just develop a website and then hope for the best. It takes a concerted effort to drive traffic to your website or franchise blog.
In the old days of SEO, keyword stuffing and link purchasing reigned supreme, making it easier to jump higher on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Now these techniques are considered black hat and Google has caught on, penalizing these practices and any websites that employ them.
This doesn’t mean that link building is dead, though. Getting high-quality websites to point traffic your way is essential. Here’s why link building should be part of your online marketing strategy — and how your franchise can go about it.
Link Building for Your Franchise Website
Why is Link Building Important?
There’s a phenomenon we call the Heroine’s Grand Entrance that illustrates the value of link building. Think of the Internet as one big royal ball. And then think of that moment when the heroine makes her first appearance at the ball, descending the staircase, dazzling all the partygoers with her beauty and grace.
Everyone stops and stares. Some may even point at her in awe.
This scenario is much like when an authoritative website links to your franchise website. The more “upper-class” onlookers (or websites) pointing to the Heroine (your website!), the more visible she becomes. Google sees when quality sites link to yours — and the more of them doing so, the better for your online presence.
How to Gain Quality Links
So, you want everyone at the party staring at you. But how do you get that to happen?
Effective link building doesn’t just happen overnight, and we could write about the hows for hours. It’s a science that you’ll need to finely tune based on your franchise’s industry, your network, your content, and more. Still, there are some basic guidelines for franchise link building that you should stick to.
Link Building Basics
- Identify influencers. The whole point of link building is finding individuals with clout in your industry. In order for a link to be good in Google’s eyes, it needs to come from a reliable source. Tools such as BuzzSumo and Klout can help you identify key influencers, find content similar to the content you’ve written, and identify organic spots where your links would fit right in. Be smart about who you elect to reach out to, and start building relationships to benefit your franchise!
- Be personal. Most influencers and webmasters can spot a link building pitch when they receive it, so make sure yours is personalized. When asking for a link to be placed in someone’s content, be sure that you read the content thoughtfully and thoroughly, and make this clear in your pitch. Say what you loved about the piece and why you think a link to your website would make sense. Referencing other content you enjoyed is also great. Even better, if you identify an influencer you think could be valuable, you can start courting them on social media before you reach out. Share their blogs on Facebook and tag them, or retweet their content. Introduce yourself before you ask for a favor — that always goes over better!
- Reciprocate. If you’re approached to link to someone else’s content, evaluate whether they could be a good reciprocal link building partner. Is their site a good opportunity to gain links? Or do they have a network you could also tap into? Scratch their back, and they might scratch yours!
Let’s Get Your Franchise Seen
It’s about time your franchise made a grand entrance. Franchise Marketing Group can help with that. Consider us your link building strategists. We can identify influencers and link opportunities, then develop an outreach program that gets your links placed on high-quality sites.
To get started, contact us today at (816) 875-9311.