Want to improve your website’s domain authority with Google?
Steal these 8 SEO link Building strategies!
Guest post by Raul from Technivorz
The number of brands investing in at least some forms of search engine optimization keeps growing, making the digital sphere more competitive than ever. Therefore, to rise above your rivals and get yourself noticed, you need to invest in SEO heavily. One of the first steps you need to take to rank high in Google’s search results is to build quality links.
Want to find out more about the science behind link building and learn how to take advantage of it?
You’re in the right place. Let’s dive in!
What is link building and how does it work?
Ok, before we dive into explaining different link-building tactics, let’s first get you a brief definition of link building and explain why it’s important.
In simple terms, link building is the process of obtaining links from other websites that are pointing to your site.
In the world of SEO, these links are called backlinks and are critical for your online presence.
They allow you to rank higher and make your pages more accessible to your target audience.
Your readers, on the other hand, are given the opportunity to navigate between different pages and sites effortlessly until they find the desired content.
Now, as Google keeps getting smarter, link building has remained one of the most complex SEO techniques.
To rank high on Google and boost your online reputation, you need to keep track of the latest SEO trends, play by Google’s rules and, focus on the quality of your backlinks. Above all, you cannot reap the success of link building practices overnight, as they require continuous research and building relationships with industry influencers.
Therefore, to make link building a long-term investment, you need to choose the strategies that deliver results.
Here are some of them:
1. Use your blog as a powerful backlink generator.
We’ve been reading for years that content is king, but what does this really mean?
Content marketing is your most powerful weapon in the online world.
First, it gives you a unique voice and lets you provide a fresh approach to the hottest industry topics.
Second, producing informative and engaging content proves your skills and positions you as a trustworthy online resource.
Third, by contextualizing your content and creating a strong narrative around it, you will succeed in connecting with your customers on an emotional level and build a unique brand image.
Now, you’re probably asking yourself: “What does this have to do with link building?”
And, you’re right. Even though it has nothing to do with link building, technically, content marketing is closely related to link earning. Once your readers start seeing the value your content delivers to them, they will start linking to and sharing it constantly. In other words, your blog posts earn high-quality links on their own.
Of course, to inspire industry influencers to link to you, you need to create highly engaging posts and experiment with the forms of content.
Apart from old-school articles, you should also focus on:
- Visual content, including graphs, charts, memes, infographics, images.
- List posts, which are the most popular type of content, according to BuzzSumo.
- Original case studies and research that are perceived as highly valuable resources and cited and linked to extensively.
- Comprehensive guides that contain lots of facts and stats. They’re valuable to newbies using them to improve their knowledge, as well as to industry experts who share them with their followers as a valuable learning resource.
2. Write guest posts.
A few years ago, Matt Cutts, Google’s former head of the Web Spam team, emphasized that guest blogging is dead.
So, why would he say so? Well, many marketers take guest blogging for granted. They create low-quality articles, fill them with spammy anchors and links, and publish them on suspicious sites.
You don’t have to be a marketing expert to realize that it’s not the right way to build links.
On the contrary, you need to focus on the quality of the sites you’re collaborating with.
Before you reach out to the desired site, assess it carefully:
- Start with what you can see from Google’s search results, before even landing on the site. Keyword-stuffed titles and meta descriptions and poor rankings are the major indicators that something is wrong with the site you’ve targeted.
- Check its homepage features, such as the overall design, the number of ads, spammy anchor texts (clickable text in a link that is usually underlined and appears in a different color), and the presence/absence of contact information.
- Pay attention to the quality of content, the relevancy of the site to your target readers, people’s engagement with it (the number of shares, likes, comments on social networks, for example), and the number of sponsored posts.
Of course, conducting thorough assessments manually is extremely time-consuming.
If you’re still not sure how to find an authoritative site on your own or you want to save time, you should rely on link building tools to do that job for you. Apart from giving you a list of relevant link-building ops, they also have inbuilt algorithms that will filter out poor results and provide you with reputable listings only.
3. Get listed on local directories.
This is one of the most important SEO tactics for local businesses.
Just like their name says, local business directories are sites related to your location and niche, where you can submit the information about your site and links to it. The purpose of appearing on local directories is clear- to put your site in front of your potential customers and drive qualified traffic to it.
However, they can also serve as outstanding link building tools.
Now, if you’re running a local business, there is no need to target some large directories that have nothing to do with your business’ location.
Instead, focus on those that resonate with the people who are really interested in your products.
Some other ways to boost your local SEO are getting mentions in local newspapers, city or country directories, or local chamber of commerce.
4. Ask your customers to review you.
Your customers are coming across numerous branded messages every day. This makes it difficult for them to separate the wheat from the chaff and choose the right brands and products.
Precisely because of that, they rely on peer reviews.
According to the recent research, 84% of people trust online customer reviews as much as personal recommendations.
However, you shouldn’t be afraid of customer reviews.
Instead, learn to turn them to your advantage. As 7 out of 10 customers are eager to review your business, this is a great opportunity for you to collect customer insights and learn more about their needs, expectations, and problems.
Above all, getting your site featured on reputable business review sites is also an amazing link building opportunity. Of course, you should start with Google reviews, which have the greatest impact on your SEO rankings.
Some other popular business review sites are:
- Amazon Customer Reviews
- Angie’s List
- Better Business Bureau
5. Host a giveaway.
Your customers love free stuff.
This is exactly why you need to reward their loyalty by hosting a massive giveaway.
Sweepstakes are based on a simple concept- to take part in the competition, one needs to give you something in return, be it reposting your content on social networks or sharing user-generated content (e.g. the photo of your product a customer takes and posts on Instagram) and tagging you.
Now, the most important part of your giveaway is to know where and how to promote it effectively.
For example, to reach out to wider audiences and earn loads of high-quality backlinks, you should reach out to local influencers, newspapers, or community websites and ask them to mention your contest in their posts.
6. Offer scholarships.
You probably know that .edu domains are highly authoritative and appreciated.
Unsurprisingly, getting links from such sites is extremely difficult unless you have something valuable to offer.
As local schools and colleges are striving to make education more affordable and accessible to their students, they usually have the “Scholarships” section on their sites, where they keep their students posted about relevant scholarships.
Sure, to build a link on an .edu site, you need to make sure you’re sending your pitch from a professional address and that your offer is valuable to their students.
Above all, when reaching out to the school, don’t focus on building links.
Instead, emphasize your willingness to help the community and bring value.
7. Look for broken links.
This is one of the simplest and yet, most effective link building tactics. Its name is self-explanatory.
Your goal is to audit a reputable site in your niche and check whether there are any broken links in one of its blog posts.
This is where tools like Check My Links can help you. It’s a sweet Chrome extension that will highlight all invalid links on the page. The next step is to contact the website owner, inform them of the link that doesn’t work, and offer your related blog post as a replacement.
The similar technique can also be applied to Wikipedia.
Once you sign in, you should find a page that is relevant to your niche, and use the Wikigrabber tool to search for dead links and replace them with your content.
Even though the links pointing to your site from Wikipedia are nofollow, they are highly authoritative and may help you boost your online image.
8. Turn your brand mentions into backlinks.
Creating a viral blog post is great as it helps you earn lots of quality links and mentions. But, what happens when a blogger mentions your brand, company name, or resource in one of their posts, but they simply forget to link to you?
Does this mean you should send a furious email and tell them to remove your resource from their blog?
Of course not.
Turn this situation to your advantage and ask them politely to link to your site.
Most of them will be glad to do so and may even ask you for future collaboration.
But, how do you find the mentions without links?
For starters, brand mention tools like Google Alerts or BuzzSumo will notify you whenever someone mentions a keyword you’re tracking. Google’s Reverse Image Search may also be helpful if you’re publishing any form of visual content, such as images, charts, and infographics.
The sites using your visuals without your consent are automatically becoming your precious link building opportunities.
Conclusion: Link building is an investment in your online image.
No matter how complex or time-consuming it may seem to you, link building is the backbone of your online presence. It boosts your online exposure, positions you as an authoritative online resource, and drives loads of qualified traffic to your site. This is why you need to execute it strategically.
And, remember the golden rules of link building:
- Focus on quality over quantity of your backlinks.
- Don’t expect overnight success.
- Don’t panic. If you’re just entering the SEO waters, these practices may be overwhelming for you. But, no one says you should use them simultaneously. Start with simpler ones, such as getting listed on local directories or hosting giveaways. Once you gain the confidence you need, try your luck with more demanding tactics, like broken link building or guest posting. Learn to adapt your link building progress to your business’ demands and you’ll be golden.
Hope these tips help! Good luck!