What is Link Building?
Link building is the process of getting other sites to link back to your website. You promote your website to other website owners, aiming to have them use your link in their content. This way, you can drive referral traffic and improve your site’s search engine visibility.
In case you’ve missed it, a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google revealed in March 2016 that the two most important ranking factors are content and links pointing to your site. After almost 4 years and even with Google’s complex and ever-evolving algorithms, it remains to be one of the most important factors to determine which sites rank for specific keywords.
If you’re a marketer or business owner, you should look into investing your time and resources in link building. It’s a proven and effective SEO tactic. See, backlinks send Google a signal that your website is a quality source of information. Thus, with more links pointing to your website, you are more likely to be rewarded with a higher rank.
How to Do Link Building for SEO?
Not long ago, you can easily manipulate Google and put your website on the front results page by buying, selling, excessively exchanging links, and using automated programs to create links to your website. But with the Google Penguin update, that’s impossible now. Today, if you want to outrank your competitors, you have to establish your website’s authority with an SEO link building strategy that follows Google’s guidelines. To help you with this, here are some of the best ways to build links for SEO:
- Create great content: With high-quality and relevant content, it’ll be easier for other websites and users to share your content. So instead of buying and exchanging links, you are earning them.
- Aim for authoritative websites: Aside from the number of websites pointing to your content or site, search engines also look at the quality of links. And this is determined by a domain’s authority. You’ll have a better chance of ranking higher if your link was used by a trustworthy site such as NYTimes.com compared to a link from a new blogger. This may be difficult to accomplish but it’s worth the effort.
- Position links within the main body: The position of your link on a page is important. If it’s stashed in footers or sidebars, they won’t matter. So make sure your links are in the middle of a webpage’s body content.
- Link anchor text: This is a clickable text that redirects you to the target page. And Google uses this as a ranking signal. If you want to rank in a certain keyword, your link should use it as its anchor text.
- Link co-occurrences: Co-occurrences are the texts that appear around your link. These are considered as “baby anchor texts” and Google uses them to find what your page is about. Thus, make sure the words and phrases around your link are relevant.
It has been said over and again that link building is an effective SEO strategy that you should never forget. Even Google revealed that links are one of the top factors that determine your ranking. However, due to Google’s constantly evolving algorithms, the practices once used to build links and put your website on the front page of search results are now prohibited. Rather than help, these old link schemes may harm your website.
5 Effective Link Building Strategies
Thus, as with every other SEO strategy, you should keep up with what works and what doesn’t with backlinks. To help you do this, here’s a list of the most effective link building strategies you can apply today.
1. Broken Link Building
In this process, list down the anchor texts you are trying to rank for and search for content that uses them. Click each link and see if they are all working. When you find broken links, send the website a message to inform them and make your pitch to use yours as a replacement. But make sure your content is relevant to the topic.
This practice has been around for years and it still works but only on a small scale. It can be a rigorous process since it can take you hundreds of articles before finding a single link that doesn’t work.
2. Link Roundups
Are you aware of curated blogs? These are types of content that use several individual posts, listing them down under one topic. Here are some examples:
“Top 10 SEO Posts for the Week”
“Best Digital Marketing Agencies for the Month”
“Top Tips in Social Media Marketing This Week”
Now, how can curated blogs help you in link building? Well, these posts include links to their favorite content or sources. And most of them are updated during a given period. What you have to do is to find websites that post blogs about your niche and expertise. Or, search for a topic that is relevant to your content. Then, send them an email pitch and suggest that they use and link back to your piece for their next update.
Link roundups are great for landing links since creators and writers are always looking for content to curate. However, your success rate depends on the quality of the content you are submitting. So work on producing helpful content first before sending out emails.
3. Be a Reliable Source of Information
Being a resource person is one of the best link building strategies you can do today. You can provide a tip, a piece of information or a quote and ask to mention your name, website or business in exchange.
See, writers, reporters, bloggers, and journalists are actively looking for multiple opinions and sources for their content as this creates a bigger impact on readers, allowing them to see different angles of a certain topic. But here comes the dilemma: how can you contact bloggers and marketers to get featured without sounding spammy?
There are many websites that bloggers and journalists use to gather relevant expert sources. The most popular one is HARO (Help A Reporter Out) where writers post a certain topic and the type of quote or tip they need. You simply have to respond via email and wait for a confirmation. If successful, you can land your link on big, authority websites such as Forbes or HubSpot. Aside from HARO, you can also try Muck Rack, Critical Mention, and Business Wire.
4. Guest Posting
If you’ve read that guest posting should be a thing of the past, don’t listen. Guest posting is very effective in getting your links out there and gain more traffic for your website. However, there are two ways on how to do this: the right way and the wrong way.
Spinning your existing content, stuffing it with links, and posting it on paid and spammy sites is a no-no. It doesn’t provide any value for the readers and it can’t help your website or ranking in any way. You might even get penalized for doing this. Of course, this is the wrong way of guest posting.
Now, to do it right, create a strong article, link once to relevant content on your website, and submit it to top-tier sites that allow guest posting. See, blogs need excellent content and hiring quality marketers can be expensive. So here’s where you come in. With your valuable content piece, you can save them the money, get a byline link, and drive referral traffic to your site. But you shouldn’t stop here.
There’s a bigger reason for guest blogging and that is having an opportunity to build connections with your contact. Once successful, you can offer your help in any content they are making. You can provide them stats, quotes, tips, and helpful links that redirects readers to your content.
5. Local Listings and Business Directories
If you are a local business, especially one with a physical store, you should take advantage of moderated local listings and business directories. While these are no-follow links, they can create a large impact on your ranking on search engines. Also, consumers who need your products and services will be sent to your site.
Some examples of local listings and business directories are Yelp, Yellow Pages, Google My Business, Thumbtack, and more.
Link building remains to be one of the most important ranking factors we have today. Thus, making it worth every bit of your time and effort. But to be successful and to avoid getting penalized and hurting your website, you have to focus on the right types of link building in SEO.
Nowadays, it’s no longer about buying and selling links, infographics, and excessive link exchanges. Your link building strategy should be aimed at helping readers and sharing relevant information while encouraging them to visit your links. And to do this, the first thing you should do is create great and high-quality articles. Once you’ve done that, you can start applying these effective link building strategies and work your way up.