Anyone who has dedicated any time to link building knows just how tough it can be to successfully build a worthwhile, legitimate and “legal” link network. It’s difficult, and that probably isn’t going to change any time soon, particularly if you are focusing on content-driven links. But it’s not impossible; there are ways to overcome the obstacles that you will commonly come across on your link building journey.
The Most Common Obstacles
These are just a select few of the most common “blockers” you may come across during your link building campaign.
The Digital Team. By this we mean the team you are most likely working with on a daily basis when building your links. These are the personnel that are most accountable for the work you put in place and signing off on it. It’s important here to determine what their common concerns are over the natural course of the project.
- These are some of the most common concerns the digital team may have:
- Will the content idea work? Will it attract links?
- Will the inbound links be from high-quality websites or lower-tier sites?
- Will the execution look good?
- Can other teams within the company, such as social or public relations, use this content?
The Compliance or Legal Team. This is generally more common in large organisations that have their own compliance teams or legal advisors, who ensure that any content made public doesn’t put the company at any kind of legal risk. Ultimately they’re unlikely to care if your content even generates links, but rather that is gives of the right image and is within certain compliance guidelines. Their main concerns are whether the company can be sued based on the content published, and some of the other common concerns they may have are:
- Do we have the rights to publish the content?
- Is there any third-party copy, images or data where we need to provide attribution or payment?
- Are we using any copyrighted material, such as logos or trademarked terms? If yes, do we have permission?
- Are we making any statements or claims that could be challenged by third parties?
The Branding Team. Similar to the above, the branding team are more concerned about image and tone rather than the actual SEO effectiveness of your content. They may be concerned with:
- If the content is written, does it adhere to our existing tone of voice?
- Is the language written in the same way as the rest of the website?
- If the content is visual, does it fit with existing color palettes and fonts?
- Do images follow the same style as existing ones?
- Is our logo used in the appropriate way?
The Design and UX Team. This team are likely to have many of the same views as the branding team, however they will be looking at the finer details of customer experience, design and usability. They may even cover what a dedicated branding team would and vice versa. So assuming that there is a specific design / UX team, they’re likely to be concerned about:
- Responsiveness of a piece: Does it work well across devices and browsers?
- Does the user experience match the rest of the site?
- If someone moves from the content to the home page, will it feel like a different website?
- Is the piece accessible to all users, such as partially sighted users?
Web Development Team. This really depends on the system in place and whether there is a dedicated web development team that needs to be involved in adding content to the system itself. If there is, you’ll likely face the following concerns:
- What are the limitations of the CMS that you’re working with?
- Outside of the CMS, are there any guidelines on how interactive content should be created? Examples here could include whether custom names are required for CSS elements or whether the server is Apache or IIS, which may change how you may build a piece of content.
- Do the team work on a sprint cycle? If so, how long is it, and what’s the process for adding work to it?
- Is there a backlog of any kind that could delay content going live?
- Is it possible to get limited file transfer protocol (FTP) access to a client website? Being given access to a specific subfolder could speed things up.
It’s important to identify what potential obstacles you could face as early as possible. What potential blocks could you face at each step of the process? Do you have to factor in sign-offs from multiple people along the way? If so how much time do they need and how does that affect the stages of your project? Ultimately, take the time to understand the obstacles you may face so you can work around them, or at least budget for their inconvenience for a positive outcome.