10 min read

Enterprise Link Building: Strategies for Large Companies

Dmytro Sokhach, CEO of Admix Global
Enterprise Link Building

Enterprise-level companies have distinct link-building needs compared to smaller businesses, requiring tailored link-building strategies.

In our guide, you’ll find out about:

  • what enterprise link-building is
  • its challenges
  • best link-building strategies for enterprises
  • best practices for building links at scale

TL;DR

  • Enterprises use link building to promote their products and achieve business results by reinforcing their position and industry leaders and helping them rank for highly competitive keywords.
  • The main challenges of enterprise link-building, including its scale - you must build lots of links, and quickly, while maintaining quality. Prioritizing the right projects, integrating link-building into the wider marketing strategy, and navigating the corporate landscape are also challenging.
  • Effective enterprise link-building tactics include unlinked brand mentions, ABC link exchanges, creating and distributing linkbait resources, digital PR and HARO, appearing in interviews and podcasts (or hosting them), and sponsorships. 
  • Promoting category pages instead of individual product pages is a better use of link-building resources for enterprises with extensive product lines.
  • To build relevant links, team up with organizations in different industries that share the same target audience. Don’t be afraid to reach out to sites with lower DR.
  • Leverage your current brand position link-building. This could be by using your digital assets and brand authority to mutually promote other brands you own.
  • If you’d like some help building high DR backlinks for your enterprise business, get in touch with the Editorial.Link team.

What is Enterprise Link Building?

Enterprise link-building is an SEO strategy used by large organizations to drive business results by strategically building backlinks to specific pages.

How is it different from link building for smaller companies?

I asked Kristyna Stadlerova, SEO Manager, currently working for Cisco:

Enterprises, with larger budgets and expansive resources, engage in widespread, high-volume efforts, creating diverse, authoritative content and fostering relationships across industries. They often leverage existing partnerships and employ sophisticated advanced analytics to measure the impact on overarching business goals.

In contrast, small companies, constrained by limited resources, opt for a more localized, niche-specific approach. They prioritize quality over quantity, building relationships within their community, and focusing on targeted link acquisition from local directories and industry-specific sources.

Kristýna Štadlerová, SEO Manager at Cisco
Kristýna Štadlerová

SEO Manager at Cisco

There are also differences in their goals.

Large companies have already established their brand reputation and have online visibility. That’s why the aim of their SEO efforts isn’t to drive more traffic to their websites. Instead, it’s to promote specific products, like Airpods for Apple.

Example of apple.com, airpods page

Why Should Enterprises Invest in Link Building?

There are several reasons why enterprise-level companies should spend their resources on link building.

To start with, large enterprises often compete in highly saturated markets. Effective link-building can help them rank for competitive keywords, which are crucial for maintaining and strengthening their market position.

But for established enterprises, link building isn’t just about SEO. It’s also about reinforcing their position as industry leaders. Links from high-profile, authoritative sites serve as endorsements of the enterprise’s authority.

In competitive industries, a robust link profile sets enterprises apart and contributes to a competitive edge. Moreover, it complements a diversified marketing approach, broadens brand exposure, and provides long-term value, while also enhancing user experience and supporting content marketing efforts.

Kristýna Štadlerová, SEO Manager at Cisco
Kristýna Štadlerová

SEO Manager at Cisco

Challenges of Enterprise Link Building

Building links for enterprise-level companies comes with a set of unique challenges.

For starters, such companies face huge competition.

To rank for such competitive keywords, you need to build links at scale. It's no longer just about constructing a handful of links for your primary website. Instead, it involves establishing hundreds of links spread across various pages/websites.

For enterprise link-building, volume is key, we need link builders who can deliver quality links at scale. The main challenge is ensuring that we can sustain the link velocity whilst not decreasing quality.

Thomas Riley, Senior SEO Manager at Zego Insurance
Thomas Riley

Senior SEO Manager at Paving Shopper

Scale makes the link-building process way more complex.

Enterprise link-building presents challenges in … coordinating efforts across teams, ensuring brand consistency, and overcoming competition are hurdles. Measuring direct impact on business metrics, balancing automation with personalization, and navigating complex attribution models add to the complexity.

Kristýna Štadlerová, SEO Manager at Cisco
Kristýna Štadlerová

SEO Manager, Cisco

While you have more resources at your disposal, figuring out the most effective way to use them can be a bit challenging.

One of the main challenges is investing your resources in the right places. Enterprises with a lot of resources and big budgets are more likely to scatter.

Evelina Milenova, SEO Manager at Opinion Stage
Evelina Milenova

SEO Manager at Opinion Stage

Building links for big businesses can be tricky because their corporate structures are complex. Unlike smaller companies, the decision-making process takes longer and involves more bureaucracy. This makes it harder to respond quickly to new developments.

Not all link building agencies will have the necessary expertise, staff, and processes to handle the challenges.

8 Best Enterprise Link-Building Strategies

Securing high-quality links at scale requires innovative and unique link-building strategies.

Best Enterprise Link Building Strategies

Here’s a selection of the 8 most successful tactics, backed with 15 years of experience building links for larger corporate clients like Capital.com.

Claim unlinked brand mentions

Let’s start with unlinked brand mentions, as this is a low-hanging fruit. If somebody is already writing about your company, it’s easier to persuade them to include a link as well.

How do you look for mentions?

You can use a dedicated monitoring tool like Brand24 or Mention. Alternatively, Ahrefs Content Explorer or similar tools will do the job as well.

unlinked brand mention

All that is left is to reach out to the site owners and ask for a backlink.

A-B-C link building

A-B-C link exchanges are an alternative to traditional backlink exchanges. Instead of linking directly back to your partner (B), you link back to a third website (C), which in return links back to B.

A-B-C exchanges are more difficult to pick up by search engine algorithms than A-B swaps, which are considered a violation of their policies. Having said that, they’re still a grey-hat technique.

How can you find partners for ABC link exchanges?

Kristyna Stadlerova recommends leaning into your wide network of contacts:

Leverage existing industry relationships and establish partnerships through joint ventures and co-created content.

Kristýna Štadlerová, SEO Manager at Cisco
Kristýna Štadlerová

SEO Manager, Cisco

For instance, brands under the same umbrella company can strategically exchange links.

Create linkable assets

Linkable assets are resources that are attractive to other creators who either use them on their pages or link back to them to increase the value of their content.

These could be:

  • Checklists;
  • Industry research with original data and statistics;
  • Free tools;
  • Infographics.

Creating such resources takes time and effort to develop, but this shouldn’t be an issue for large corporations.

And they’re worth the investment.

For example, this article by Brian Dean has been linked to over 15k times!

example of linkable assets content

It gets even better.

These assets not only generate links and traffic to their respective pages but also contribute to the traffic on your commercial pages.

Here’s an example:

Our experimental site, coffee-rank(.com), ranks for the keyword “how many people drink coffee in the world” and constantly attracts organic backlinks.

Thanks to internal linking, the site also ranks high for keywords such as "best coffee in California" and "coffee shops in California". And that’s without a single backlink built to these pages.

example of experiment with statistic link building

Content promotion

Crafting content is only the initial step. To get backlinks, you should ensure that it reaches your target audience.

Common content promotion channels include:

  • Social media platforms;
  • Email marketing;
  • Content syndication platforms (Taboola, LinkedIn Publishing, Flipboard, Medium);
  • SEO optimization;
  • Paid advertising;
  • Sponsored content in industry blogs or news outlets.
example of content promition website

HARO

HARO, or Help A Reporter Out, is an effective way of securing backlinks from high-authority sites.

Here’s how it works:

Journalists looking for unique insights from experts with first-hand experience post their questions on the site. If you respond to the request and provide valuable info, it gets featured in the article. This comes with a juicy backlink.

That’s how we’ve secured this Forbes link.

example of HARO

The main downside of HARO is that it’s difficult to scale: it’s fairly time-consuming, requires constant monitoring of the pitches, and there’s massive competition among contributors.

However, over a year, it’s still possible to secure a bunch of valuable links in this way.

Digital PR

Digital PR is another way to secure backlinks from media outlets, and it’s much easier to scale than HARO.

For example, Uber’s 2022 Lost & Found campaign has won the company over 220 backlinks from such reputable sources as Newsweek (DR91), NBC New York (DR83), and NPR (DR92).

UBER digital PR

Common digital PR tactics include:

  • Product PR - a tactic focusing on publicizing a company's products or services.
  • Establishing thought leadership - a strategy that involves positioning company leaders or experts as authoritative voices in their field.
  • Creative Campaigns - creative campaigns are all about developing innovative, engaging content that captures public interest. 
  • Newsjacking and reactive PR - this strategy involves capitalizing on current news stories to gain media attention.
  • Data-driven research studies - serves as a link magnet due to their compelling and authoritative content derived from original research and unique data.

Whichever approach you choose, the process normally involves creating the relevant content and pitching it to journalists writing about the topic.

Sponsorship link building

Enterprises can effectively use sponsorships as a strategy for building links.

For example, by sponsoring events, conferences (e.g. SurferSEO sponsoring the Chiang Mai SEO Conference), or webinars, you can get your brand featured on event websites, promotional materials, and press releases. This not only provides valuable backlinks but also enhances brand visibility.

example of sponsorship link building

What else can you sponsor?

  • Educational institutions or non-profit organizations through scholarships or grants (.edu or .org domains are generally seen as authoritative by search engines);
  • Awards or competitions related to their industry;
  • Local events, sports teams, or community programs (particularly useful for local SEO).

Sponsorship comes at a cost, but enterprises, with their financial resources, are well-positioned to leverage this strategy.

Interviews or podcasts

There are two ways for enterprises to build links through interviews and podcasts.

Producing a quality podcast or publishing interviews with influencers and authorities in the field is one. For example, this Elon Musk interview hosted by the New York Times has generated over 1.5k links from high DR domains like Reuters.

example of how many backlinks interviews or podcast can give you

Another way to capitalize on podcasts and interviews is by being featured in them. This not only enhances media exposure but also opens up opportunities for building links.

Let's Talk Link Building podcast with Dmytro Sokhach

How To Do Enterprise-Level Link Building?

Because of the challenges of enterprise link-building, here are a few tips on how to allocate your resources for maximum gains.

Focus on category pages

Let’s imagine you’re a clothes retailer, like Zara or Next. Building links to each product that you’re selling doesn’t make sense - there could be hundreds if not thousands of them.

What’s the alternative?

Evelina Milenova recommends focusing on category pages instead.

Starting with a specific niche or category is essential: set clear goals and focus on them until success. Then, you can replicate the process across other niches and categories.

Evelina Milenova, SEO Manager at Opinion Stage
Evelina Milenova

SEO Manager at Opinion Stage

example of NEXT category page

Stay relevant

Relevance is a crucial factor that search engines consider when assigning value to the links you provide.

This implies that links from irrelevant sites won't enhance the site's performance. Conversely, they might harm it if search engines view them as spammy.

However, considering that enterprises need to build links at scale, you may soon run out of relevant high-DR pages that could link back to you.

There are two things you can do:

First, lower your DR expectations. Domains with DR 20-50 may not pass as much link equity as higher ones, but they’re better than completely irrelevant ones.

Second, focus on securing links from websites that share the same target audience. For example, a large travel agency and the producer of photographic equipment might be in different industries, but they may appeal to the same audience. This opens new opportunities for creating relevant content and link exchanges.

example of relevant content

Leverage your brand

Enterprise businesses, like Coca-Cola or Johnson & Johnson, have established themselves as trustworthy brands, and they leverage it to build links:

Most enterprises have built recognizable brands that people trust. In link building, this means other websites are more inclined to link to yours. 

This tip is also useful for smaller brands owned by well-known organizations. You can use the enterprise brand name to establish trust and authority, facilitating any link-building efforts.

Evelina Milenova, SEO Manager at Opinion Stage
Evelina Milenova

SEO Manager at Opinion Stage

leveraging the position of your main brand to promote your other brands

Empower your teams

Link building in large companies shouldn't be limited to dedicated teams. All employees should be encouraged to contribute to the efforts, for example, by sharing content on their social media and engaging in industry forums.

To enable them to do so, they need the right training:

Ensure both teams and management are well-informed about the importance of link-building. Without knowledge, realizing the results becomes challenging, making education crucial for success.

Kristýna Štadlerová, SEO Manager at Cisco
Kristyna Stadlerova

SEO Manager, Cisco

Final Words

While enterprise link-building relies on the same techniques and processes as building links for smaller businesses, it requires a more sophisticated, strategic approach to manage its scale and complexity.

If you’d like to scale up your link–building efforts and boost your business performance, the Editorial.Link team is here to help. Get in touch!

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