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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
Scale makes the link-building process way more complex.
While you have more resources at your disposal, figuring out the most effective way to use them can be a bit challenging.
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.
Securing high-quality links at scale requires innovative and unique 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.
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.
All that is left is to reach out to the site owners and ask for a backlink.
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:
For instance, brands under the same umbrella company can strategically exchange links.
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:
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!
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.
Crafting content is only the initial step. To get backlinks, you should ensure that it reaches your target audience.
Common content promotion channels include:
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.
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 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).
Common digital PR tactics include:
Whichever approach you choose, the process normally involves creating the relevant content and pitching it to journalists writing about the topic.
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.
What else can you sponsor?
Sponsorship comes at a cost, but enterprises, with their financial resources, are well-positioned to leverage this strategy.
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.
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.
Because of the challenges of enterprise link-building, here are a few tips on how to allocate your resources for maximum gains.
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.
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.
Enterprise businesses, like Coca-Cola or Johnson & Johnson, have established themselves as trustworthy brands, and they leverage it to build links:
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:
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!