Enterprise SEO link building simply refers to the scope of the linking strategy. In other words, if you have a large company and therefore large website, you will need to be creating an SEO approach that is at that level. It’s not as easy as earning a few links here and there and trying to get a small audience. Enterprise SEO requires constant link analysis, link building, and the use of data tools to track progress and growth. However, what enterprise SEO really needs is to focus on relationships as opposed to the links. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for many larger companies.

Because Google has put such an emphasis on the importance of links and link building, it’s easy to get caught up in the linking fever. New tools are emerging and more and more articles are covering the topic of link building that it can be tough to realize that Google has long since changed their message—link building is about building relationships. It’s relationship building that will get you the links that you so, so desire.

Top Ways to Build Relationships First (and Links Second)

There are many different ways you can build relationships, but it is good to keep linking in mind as you talk with different editors. A few different ways you can create both a relationship and that link include:

  • Keep a master list of all of your contacts and existing relationships.

This is something that I have been doing very early on in my career, and I have found it to be priceless. Each time I talk with a company about potentially signing up for our services, I record their name and their website into an excel spreadsheet.

I fill in information each time I come into contact with a publisher online. This helps me remember who I have talked with in the past, and it allows me to see all of these previous clients or contacts side by side; thus allowing me to decide where I want to begin asking for backlinks to my site (usually in the form of a guest post). If you have too many contacts to go through and analyze or you’ve forgotten some of them in the past, consider using the MozTrust tool.

  • Complete blogger outreach to meet new contacts.

Meeting new contacts is as easy as getting involved in the other blogs in your industry. If you see a blog that discusses many of the same issues as your company, you want to establish a relationship first and then eventually contribute a guest post in order to obtain that backlink.  You want to start out by engaging in that blogs community by commenting on articles and sharing content through social media. Next, try to learn about the site and the editor by reading “about me” pages and “write for us” pages. Finally, reach out to the editor and explain how you think a relationship would benefit you both. Explain that you’re looking for something long-term.

Don’t Forget to Analyze Your Existing Links

While building relationships is extremely important when it comes to enterprise level SEO, you should still worry about your existing links. You should first look at your internal links and the pages to which they are pointing, and you should then analyze the links from different websites that are pointing back to your site. There are a few different tools and methods you can use when you’re working at the enterprise level:

  • Look for broken links internally by using Google’s Internal Links Repot tool.

You want to check for broken internal links, or links that point to a page of your website that no longer exists. Readers don’t like to see this, so Google doesn’t like to see this. The easiest way to begin this sometimes-long process is by using the Internal links report tool from Google Webmaster Tools. This will give you a list of all of the internal links on your site, so you will quickly be able to see which webpages have the most internal links pointing back to them. You’re not looking for broken links in this case, but rather just evaluating the ones you already have. You may also want to use these links as a starting point to check your webpages for broken links.

  • Look for broken external links and begin creating 301 redirects.

Using SEO tools such as SEOMoz or Omniture, discover where external sources are pointing back to your site. You want to create a list of these links and then determine which links are broken and then talk with editors about changing the destination of the links. If this isn’t possible, make sure that you use a 301 redirect, or permanent redirect, on the page where the links are pointing to ensure that your keeping the same SEO juice.

One of the most important things to remember is that you don’t want to establish a relationship, get the link, and then leave. A relationship means that you will continue to keep in contact with that person or company. In many cases you may be asked to offer a guest post on your site. This is usually worth it because you have formed a positive relationship. You will be able to get natural, real organic links from that site in the future—something you wouldn’t get had you ignored the relationship aspect of link building.