- The sharing economy is a peer-to-peer model of renting goods and services. Backlinks and the key to building a thriving online community.
- Backlinking helps build trust, increase organic traffic and website ranking. Tactics also include targeting quality sites and creating shareable content.
- Learn why using backlinks in SEO outreach projects is a complementary strategy for marketing sharing economy platforms.
To succeed in the sharing economy, your business must build trust in the digital world.
SEO Outreach is no different.
This guide explains how - and why - backlinks are the key to turning your bright idea into a thriving online community.
What is the sharing economy?
The sharing economy is a peer-to-peer model of renting goods and services. This stands in contrast to purchasing the same resources from established businesses. Typically, these exchanges are facilitated by online communities. With Airbnb, Uber and the likes, users take a risk on a relatively unknown quantity to save money and reduce waste.
What is SEO outreach?
SEO outreach is a form of digital PR. It chiefly involves link building – the process of creating backlinks to your company website – in order to enhance its visibility on search engine results pages (without paying for the top-ranked ad spot!). To do this, you need to persuade marketers and webmasters to bet that a link to your site will add value to theirs.
With such closely-aligned principles, it’s easy to see that an SEO outreach project involving backlinks for SEO is a complementary strategy for marketing sharing economy platforms.
How to use SEO outreach to build your sharing economy business
Ready to boost the profile of your own sharing economy enterprise? Read on for a breakdown of the elements – and learn which tactics will work for you.
1. Backlinks impact rankings more than any factor
Using a backlink checker such as Backlinko will show that you that links had the greatest impact on rankings of any factor when analysing 1 million Google search results. Google themselves have admitted it: backlinks form the foundation of their algorithm, as one of their top 3 ranking signals.
Almost 20 years after the birth of the PageRank Algorithm, Google still focuses on the number of people who link to a page to determine its quality and importance. If you want to supercharge your sharing platform, you need backlinks to guarantee visibility amongst all the other price-slashing, planet-saving solutions targeting your future customers.
2. High-quality backlinks = ranking rocket fuel
These days, Google pays attention to link quality as well as quantity.
Low-quality backlinks will crush your site’s popularity faster than Deliveroo can dispatch your dinner. Links from authoritative pages with high PageRank scores will pass more authority on to your site in return. Winning a backlink from a national news source will have a far greater impact than one from an obscure or niche personal blog.
What’s more is that relevance is highly-prized: authority sites with a theme related to yours carry most rank juice.
The good news is that the sharing economy (and all that it stands for) is trending right now.
There’s no shortage of tech media outlets, personal finance journals and environmental non-profits – as well as an abundance of promising young start-ups – whose audiences may be interested in the knowledge you have to share.
3. Hot content unlocks top backlinks
The best backlinks are earned by producing content that deserves to be shared.
Webmasters won’t season their sites with random links at whim. While producing regular content is a good start to building a credible reputation and getting your sharing platform noticed, that alone is not enough to shoot to the top of search engine rankings.
There are 4 types of content that tend to land the most lucrative backlinks for SEO:
Images, diagrams, charts and infographics pack a ton of useful information into one impactful visual. When people share your image, they can link to your site at the same time. Images add welcome variety to other people’s sites in a way that text links can’t match.
- Original research
The surest way to become an authority on something is to tackle a topic that nobody has attempted before. It’s also a cunning trick to stand out amongst other early-stage competitors: what unique sharing economy problem did you spot first (and how are you solving it)?
Posts in list form are fabulously easy to digest. They’re also magnets for backlinks, generating more per post on average than any other content format. Including these on your own site (as well as contributing to others) is a clear signal to other SEOs that you’re willing to participate in a backlink exchange.
- Comprehensive guides
By creating a unique, in-depth guide, your website becomes the go-to resource for a particular topic. Why not provide a global directory of sharing sites for travellers, or a guide to making money from every item in their home?
4. Target likely linkers by email
Now for the ‘Outreach’ part.
Journalists and bloggers are always in search of valuable and inspiring content. Editing a content channel is a heavy weight to bear, and it’s a tempting proposition to outsource some of the writing to guest contributors.
But before you reach out, you need to know who – and what – to write.
Reverse engineering is one handy trick for pinpointing likely backlinking opportunities. Searching for your target keyword should bring up other authority sites and blogs covering content in your niche. Analysis tools like Hunter.io can help you identify email addresses associated with small sites and blogs.
Figure out a template to help you personalise your initial emails. Something like:
I came across your article on garage rentals while I was searching for content about earning money from empty storage space.
It was great, especially your breakdown of the advantages of each parking app!
As you also write about the sharing economy, I thought you might like my guide to 5 Household Assets That Could Earn Money Today.
You’re welcome to add this to your site if you think your readers would enjoy it!
Keep in touch,
5. Dodge Google’s penalties
Black hat link building is an underhand approach to SEO which involves cheating the Google Webmaster Quality Guidelines. A link which goes against these principles is probably black hat – and carries a risk which rarely justifies the potential reward.
Google applies both algorithmic and manual penalties to sites containing suspect links.
Sites that use sneaky link-building tactics (like dubious guest-posting or comment-spamming) face penalties from the Google Penguin algorithm. Manual penalties target sites with unnatural or artificial-seeming links, which are sent to a real person for review, so the only way to avoid them is to keep your web presence irreproachable.
With a brilliant new platform to publicise, you might be tempted to run before you can walk – especially as the sharing economy bears relevance to so many trending topics (not limited to software, finance, social issues and the environment).
Our advice? Don’t resort to questionable backlinking tactics!
6. Be an invaluable resource
Resource pages link out to helpful content across the web. They’re the results that appear when you search for ‘links to inspiring founder blogs’, ‘best websites to earn extra money from home’, or ‘most successful sharing economy start-ups’.
Because these pages are purpose-built for linking out, they’re perfect targets for publicising your platform.
Identify your keyword and input searches for ‘helpful resources’, ‘useful resources’ and ‘useful links’ related to the topic. Check your results to make sure you’ve unearthed respectable, quality domains. Ensure that your content is tailored to be of genuine use to their readers as well as yours, then reach out to the webmaster with your request.
7. The community is crucial
When people are questioned about the reasons they first became involved with the sharing economy, the majority cites the cash benefits.
It’s a watertight proposition: sharing economy platforms help owners earn money from idle assets, and borrowers save on the cost of purchasing items brand new at full price.
But, when asked why they chose to remain or become further involved in the sharing economy, participants had a different answer.
The community benefits matter more. Over time, people value meeting other like-minded individuals and the feeling of participating in a movement that’s bigger than themselves.
A focus on content and backlinks help foster this sense of community because it encourages idea-sharing. Many sharing economy participants adopt an ethos of sharing as a lifestyle rather than a means to an end. So, platform webmasters basically have a duty to provide helpful information from their peer companies…
8. Make social sharing easy for backlinks
You already know your users like to share. If they’re letting out their spare rooms, driveways and unused parking spaces, they’re sure to be open to sharing your content.
Include social sharing buttons so that users can create extra backlinks for you. If you have an irresistible product listing or a red-hot blog post, it’s simple to reap extra ranking karma by allowing members of your online community to share pages with their friends.
Get this right by bearing in mind that utility to the user should be the core motivation behind all of your content.
Now you’re ready to get out there and share some link love. Let us know how it goes – and share the backlink lessons you learn on your way!
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