Links are often overlooked within enterprise marketing. But the fact is that links benefit large brands in multiple ways.
Links are foundational to the web as they serve multiple functions including:
Links are a primary signal in Google’s algorithm, and because enterprise businesses operate in hyper-competitive environments, they need sustained link acquisition. In ultra-competitive marketplaces, if you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind – if an enterprise company isn’t continually acquiring links they will lose ranking and visibility to the competition.
However, there are a number of other equally important benefits links can offer enterprise companies, beyond SEO. These benefits include:
- Building authority and reputation
- Creating connections and partnerships
- Support and strengthen other marketing
- Tapping into new audiences
Because enterprise-level companies typically invest more in online marketing initiatives, they typically generate more link opportunities and subsequently have the most to gain from link building.
Authority and Reputation Building
Links represent an opportunity for major brands to build authority and improve reputation.
Links are online endorsements and signals of trust, which is why search engines give them so much weight in their algorithms. SEOs and marketers often make the mistake of believing links are valuable because of Google, when in reality Google is valuable because of their use of links (at least initially). When one website links to another, that website is telling its audience the other site is trustworthy.
Whether it’s fair or not, people are usually wary of large brands and corporations. However, enterprise companies can combat this inherent distrust through links. If a loyal reader sees a link to a major brand on their favorite site, that reader will tend to trust that brand more because a site they trust is endorsing the brand. This is called brand affinity – the more we encounter positive representations of a brand, the greater our regard for the brand grows.
By earning links on trusted sites within their audience’s community, big brands can begin to earn trust as well.
Building Connections and Partnerships
Links also help enterprise companies establish important connections.
Relationship building is a major aspect of link building. After all, links are endorsements, and links themselves represent a positive connection between two sites. You need to build trust and establish a relationship with the human behind the site before they will be willing to link. For big businesses, these connections can be invaluable, as they open the door to many more marketing opportunities.
Some examples of these opportunities include:
- Collaborative marketing partners
- Brand advocates
- New advertising avenues
- Social media partnerships
The partnerships an enterprise business builds through link acquisition can pay dividends on other marketing strategies down the road.
Support and Strengthen Other Marketing
Links support and even bolster the efficacy of other marketing campaigns.
While links have a direct correlation with increased search visibility, they can also improve visibility in other areas beyond search. This increased visibility can help other marketing initiatives achieve their goals.
Because major brands and businesses are already implementing multiple marketing strategies, links can be immensely helpful to ensure you’re getting the most out of the marketing you’re already doing.
Links work especially well in supporting content marketing campaigns. This is true because links will help get your content in front of more humans, effectively amplifying the reach of your content. And because people want to link to useful content, increased visibility from these links only breeds more link opportunities.
Of course links can magnify the reach of virtually any other marketing campaign, whether it be PR, social, email marketing, etc. People use links to navigate the web, and more links to a particular campaign means more exposure for that campaign.
Tapping into New Audiences
Links offer an opportunity for enterprise-level companies to tap into new audiences.
For major corporations that have to answer to stockholders, expansion is always a primary concern. Links offer an ideal way to tap into new audiences online, and with these new audiences comes new potential customers and revenue.
Enterprise businesses can leverage links to access the readerships of new sites and communities. Not only do these links provide the aforementioned branding benefits, but they also create new inroads to that business’ site and offer the potential for referral traffic.
Although not all links will lead to a surge in referral traffic, every link represents a pathway to a new audience.
Increasing brand exposure is a major objective for any big business marketing plan, and links can help enterprise companies achieve that goal.
Links are an important ranking factor within search, and any large-scale business will need a large number of links to compete in the search results.
But beyond that, links can offer much more to enterprise companies. Other benefits of links include:
- Authority/reputation building
- Building connections/partnerships
- Support/strengthen other marketing
- Tapping into new audiences