As a marketer, you know that link building services are all about driving traffic to your website. After all, that’s where you want people to go, stay and engage with your content. And to do that, you want your website at, or near, the top of the search engine list. The importance of link building must never be underestimated, as it’s going to be critical to your SEO and outreach strategy.
But it’s not all about keeping the search engines happy. Have you stopped to consider what’s going on behind those links? Who are the people you’re communicating with, and what motivates them? At the end of the day, web traffic ultimately involves a human being making a decision, not just a faceless set of algorithms.
And one way to understand the behaviour of your website visitors when looking at the importance of link building is to consider where they go for information. Where are their watering holes? Who do they speak to for advice? Which forums are they on, and which publications are they interacting with? Where are they in their buyer’s journey, and do their needs and sources of information change along that journey?
How to identify buying personas
There’s a wealth of data on the internet on how to create a detailed buyer persona, but essentially you will need to think about the following:
- Are they a consumer or a business?
- Where are they located?
- For consumers, what is their socio-economic group?
- For businesses, what is your persona’s job function?
- What is the size of their organisation or industry?
From there we want to understand:
- What are their main challenges?
- What concerns do they have?
- What does a typical day look like?
- What issues are they trying to resolve?
Once we’ve built up a picture of our typical buyer, then we’ll usually give them a name. This makes them appear more human than referring to ABC1s or ‘IT managers in organisations with over 5000 employees in the finance industry’. Ultimately this helps us to relate to them as individuals making (hopefully) rational decisions. There are many great resources online for finding or creating user persona examples such as this from Smart Insights or the Digital Marketing Institute.
Now we can see how the importance of link building meets the essentials of insight and empathy.
At this point, we can start to determine where these people typically go to get their information. Is it in person at industry events or seminars? Is it online via dedicated websites, forums, or social media? Are there specific publications they read or associations they belong to? Again, how does this change along the buyer journey?
Now it’s time to turn to our link building plan and strategy.
The role of link building services and content
Of course, once you know where your customers are getting their information, then you can make sure you line up the right content for them.
But how do you do that?
Well, think about joining their forums, reading their subject area newsletters and being active on their social media. This will help you to understand their challenges and concerns so you can create relevant content and messaging for them. And if you’re active and visible, this will provide a significant boost to your brand awareness, even before you attempt to make a connection with them.
Top tips for finding your personas for link building
Here are just some ideas for you to try and track down your target personas at their favourite watering holes.
For example, for dog accessories, you might look at specific breed ownership forums or, if you are in electronics, you might consider information technology audiences.
Now that you know where to find your target personas, whether that’s on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or other websites, the next step is to build an online presence using outreach and link building services and tactics. This is where you start to build your brand’s visibility and authority by offering good quality content, bringing them over to your website and optimising the referral traffic with a quality and, preferably, dynamic nurturing process. Done properly as part of a well-targeted outreach campaign, this strategy can help you build valuable relationships with influencers and partners in your market for ongoing lead generation.
So, to sum up, don’t just focus on the search engines when considering your link building plan and outreach campaign but make sure you include the human element too – after all, regardless of which business we’re in, without people, it wouldn’t exist. As Seth Godin said: