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CONNECTED CULTURE Blog by Jerry Allocca

Now, more than ever, we’re all connected. What does it mean to be part of the Connected Culture? Share your thoughts and ideas here!
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The Best of the Best Blog Posts of 2015

We’ve posted a wide variety of posts in 2015 to help you increase your digital marketing success. While each post offers valuable takeaways, the following have proven to be the most beneficial according to our readers because of their useful tips, ideas and best practices.

Are you ready to experience significant results in your digital marketing efforts in 2016? We encourage you to read the list below of our top blog posts for 2015. And, why keep this valuable content to yourself? In the spirit of the holidays, go ahead and share this list with a few colleagues, too!

Traditional SEO: Going Old School Pays Off
With all the talk in 2015 about content, many began to wonder if there was still a place for SEO in a successful digital marketing campaign. Yet, the reality is that SEO is still alive and well and being utilized effectively by savvy marketers who want to increase their site’s rankings.
Read more about the benefits of traditional SEO

SEO Cheat Sheet
Did we convince you that SEO is still beneficial? Good! To serve as a basic guide to help you with your SEO efforts, we created a handy cheat sheet for you to hang on to and use as needed. This is a good post to bookmark or print and tuck into your desk drawer for easy access.
Get the Cheat Sheet.

Build Your Online Fingerprint: How to Create a Unique Social Media Presence
With countless businesses building their presence on social media, it can be a challenge to differentiate yourself from the others. This blog post offers some very helpful ideas on how to create a unique online fingerprint that will make you stand out in an increasingly crowded digital environment.
Start Building Your Online Fingerprint.

Content Marketing Hack: How to Repurpose Your Content Effectively
Most likely you upped your content marketing game in 2015. You may even have an amazing stockpile of blog posts, case studies, newsletters, articles and other content that is no longer being used. One of the benefits of producing quality content, is that it can be repurposed to extend its reach and effectiveness.
Learn a few creative hacks to repurpose your content.

5 Facebook Post Ideas to Keep Your Page Fresh
Yes, it can be difficult coming up with new ideas for Facebook posts. We’ve all seen the pages of those companies that bore their online audiences by simply promoting the same products and services over and over. The good news is that there are some simple ways to create posts that will encourage your existing community to engage with your brand and will generate interest from others.
Read these 5 post ideas and attract more people to your Facebook page in 2016.

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Link Building – It’s More Than Just Earning Links, Part III

Building backlinks? You need to have the right strategy.

Building backlinks? You need to have the right strategy.

Ah, the biggest challenge of them all: earning high quality links. How can you do it? What makes a difference? How do you know that your organization is earning the links that it NEEDS – not just what’s easy to get.

The first step in trying to obtain quality links is to produce great content that people will want to actually link to. Now, content marketing strategy is a whole other topic of conversation, so it’s important to have a good strategy in place, whether it’s done in-house or contracted out. The goal with any content that you create is to offer value. Whether it’s an expert opinion, a how-to, or a topic of interest that can get your key stakeholders buzzing, the content you create is the key to unlocking strong links.

Okay, so you have great content – now what? Next, think about ways to get your content in front of more eyeballs. That means cross promotion through social media, email marketing, or other communications channels you have with you customers, clients, employees, etc. The more channels you have to distribute the information, the more touch points are created for your brand, which means more exposure and a greater chance for interaction, plus the opportunity to build more backlinks.

Also known as “link bait”, quality content has the potential to be shared through infinite channels. The first step is to put it out through your own. From there, it’s a matter of trusting and encouraging your audience to further distribute the information, whether it’s through forwarding one of your blog posts in an email to a friend or tweeting about your most recent infographic. The initial contact needs to be there – if you build it, you need to send it out before they come.

These are the best types of links you can earn, as it gives your organization authority, both in user perception and in the search engines. However, it’s tough. Sometimes you create something great, but it doesn’t stick. Other times, something that you’re only sort of happy with goes viral. It can be hit or miss. The goal is to spend time evaluating what works and what doesn’t and formulating your strategy from there. Again, content strategy is a whole topic on its own, but it needs to be recognized: you need to know what type of content you’re creating, who it’s for, why it’s being created, how it’s being promoted, and how you’re going to measure its success. From there, its’ easier to develop content that your audience wants, needs, and appreciates.

Outside of creating great content, there are some other methods of gaining high quality links, for example, you can volunteer to write guest blog posts and articles on other blogs or industry-related sites. You can also earn links through multiple types of media, such as giving a quote in a newspaper or magazine article (usually online editions of print publications feature links back to the source), creating freebies that are meant to be taken and shared (e.g. badges, freebies, templates), or participating in something offline that’s newsworthy. These links occur organically, much like creating great content, but it’s just another method for you to assert your authority, relevance, and value as an organization.

 

It’s always best to try ethical options, like these, instead of risking your site’s reputation with link schemes.

Does It All Really Matter?

Link building is extremely important for your site’s reputation.  As you know, gaining quality links boosts your search engine rankings, bring visitors to your site, attract more quality links (yes, good links often correlates with the potential to build even more good ones!), and ultimately connects you with people. It’s important to remember that when you receive a link from another person, you’re encouraging a relationship of mutual benefit. You create content that’s valuable, they put their trust in your knowledge. Strengthening your organizations network, both online and offline, through link building is an excellent way to help your business prosper and grow. It truly is just another example of how we are a connected culture.

Question

What type of link building have you tried for your organization? What worked and what didn’t? What types are you curious to try or want more information about? Share your experiences and questions with us in the comments!

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