Let’s assume you are entering your second or third year of SEO. You have a well-optimized site, a company blog that posts two new posts a week, a decent social media presence and a solid link portfolio. You might think that you can ride the success of your previous SEO efforts for a few months, or even for most of 2012, but easing off on your SEO means the competition can catch up a lot faster than you realize. Before you know it, your hard earned success might start slipping away!
If you are thinking about reeling in your SEO campaign due to budget constraints, restructure the traditional link building budget into content marketing and social media marketing and take a more social approach to SEO to not only continue, but augment your success.
To make it easy, let’s say you’re paying your SEO provider $1,000 a month for their services. Right now, $700 of that is devoted to link building in various forms (online PR, joining industry associations, etc). After 2 years of link building, chances are the number of great industry associations and business directories your company can join is getting slim. Meanwhile, best practice says you shouldn’t publish a press release unless you have a real newsworthy topic to share, so that has probably eased up in recent months. Why not use a large chunk of that $700 and pay your SEO provider (or hire a freelance writer) to write two extra blog posts each week, a monthly whitepaper or focus on guest blog submissions.
You can also reorganize that monthly link building budget and focus on really building your social community. Having a Facebook page or Twitter handle is the first step, but what are you really doing with it? Can you take some of that link building budget and use it to buy ads on LinkedIn or Facebook? Hold a competition or giveaway on your social profiles to drive engagement? Make your profiles more appealing by adding videos, photos and other forms of multimedia content?
You can also take some of your traditional link building budget and use it for offline, local marketing events (remember, everything can be leveraged for SEO!) Are their local events that you could sponsor? Could you host your own local event and drive foot traffic to your business and work on building your local brand? Are there any upcoming industry conferences that you can become a media sponsor of?
Obviously you can’t stop traditional, white hat link building entirely, but that doesn’t mean your methods have to stay the same year to year. If you are willing to redistribute the link building budget across content marketing and social media marketing opportunities, you’ll build a far more diverse link portfolio and continue to build your online brand without having to change the budget.