The internet is a vast and ever-changing place, but some things never change. One such thing is the importance of link building to your website’s ranking. It’s been repeated time and time: links matter in the digital age. Link building is an essential part of search engine optimization (SEO), and it can mean the difference between success and failure for any site with aspirations to rank high on Google or other search engines.
Why do links matter so much?
Links are the internet’s version of word-of-mouth. They show Google that your site is being talked about and shared across the web, which will make them trust you more. If enough people think your website or blog is good, they’ll link to it from their websites, sharing it with their communities and networks. Links act as a vote of confidence in your website, and this is precisely why they’re so important.
A natural, organic flow of links to and from a website is the best way to get this vote of confidence for any keyword or long-tail phrase. However, it can sometimes be challenging to get people to notice you and your content enough to link back to you. This guide will give advice, tips, and resources for marketers who want their websites and blogs to get noticed by building links naturally.
10 Link Building Strategies and Resources for Busy Marketers
- Guest Post
Outreach is an integral part of any link-building campaign, and guest posting is one of the best ways to get noticed. Guest blogging can have enormous benefits for your website, including increasing brand awareness, boosting pageviews, and generating links. Not to mention that it’s a great way to establish yourself as an industry expert. However, guest posting is a lot of work! Not just anyone will accept your posts, and you’ll need to make sure they’re well-written, on-topic, and relevant to their readership.
To start off with this strategy:
Write a fantastic post. It doesn’t have to be super long (600 – 1500 words is plenty), but it has to be good. If the post isn’t compelling or valuable for the website’s readers you want to guest on, you shouldn’t bother pitching it. There are caveats here: even if your content is crap on its own merits, someone will say yes (seriously) if you send enough pitches eventually. Even if that happens, though, it’s not going to help you in the long term, and it’s not going to give you a link that will move the needle for your website. Guest posts need to be awesome if they’re going to attract links and attention. Decide where you want to guest post.
- Link Roundups
Link roundups are blog posts or articles that feature a collection of links to other websites and resources. Generally, these roundups are curated by hand rather than automatically generated, so they don’t usually include the same link-heavy content as article directories or contextual link pages (more on those later).
There are two types of link roundups: those that get published regularly (like ‘This Week in Tech’ or Tools of the Trade) and those written as the need arises. The latter is harder to find, but they’re usually more relevant and exciting.
- Link Reclamation
Link reclamation is focused on finding and claiming the links that used to point to your website but no longer do. Sometimes, Google or other search engines will remove pages from their index for violating their webmaster guidelines. Other times, a site might go offline entirely, taking its entire broken links with it.
These broken links aren’t doing you any good, so it’s essential to find them and get them fixed. Link reclamation can be a lot of work, but it’s one of the most effective link-building strategies for an established website with lots of content and historical data. If your site has been around for a while, chances are there are plenty of broken links that need fixing.
- Leveraging Social Media
Social media is an excellent way to get links and traffic, but it can take much work. You’ll need to be active on social networks, sharing your content with your followers while also keeping an eye out for other people talking about or linking to you. This can quickly become time-consuming if you don’t have someone dedicated to maintaining your social media accounts. If you’re doing link-building yourself, be ready to spend a significant amount of time on social media networks.
- Link Bait
Link bait is content that’s explicitly designed to attract links. It’s usually high-quality and shareable, with a catchy title and an intriguing image. Link bait might be a slideshow of funny cats, an infographic about the history of Pokemon, or something else equally shareable.
The trick is to post link bait when lots of people are actively browsing social media and bookmarking content: for example, perhaps on the night before a holiday when everyone is bored at work. Link bait can be a valuable part of your link-building strategy, but it shouldn’t be confused with guest posting.
- Competitor Backlinks
This is probably the most common form of link building, especially for new websites and blogs just starting. Sites usually focus on finding which of their competitors have built links pointing to their page, then reaching out to those website owners asking if they can create a link too (on their own site). This is often done in addition to content marketing or guest posts to boost rankings while simultaneously increasing brand awareness. Link building can be time-consuming, so you should always be sure to focus on link types that will give you the most significant results.
- Using PR & Media Outreach
Public relations (PR) is a form of marketing that focuses on getting free media coverage and publicity for your brand, product, or website. It’s designed to increase awareness and attract links from reputable sites with high authority, resulting in an overall boost to your rankings. There are several ways to do PR, but emailing journalists who have written about your industry is one of the most common.
- Broken Link Building
Broken link building involves finding broken links on other websites and pointing them to your content (on a page you control). This should be done carefully because Google does not like irrelevant or spammy links. Some broken link building is okay, but you should avoid flooding other websites with a bunch of links all pointing to your homepage. Instead, focus on outreach that provides value to the site owner while also promoting your own website.
Link building can be an extremely effective strategy for boosting your rankings, but it’s essential to focus on the suitable types of links. The more relevant and high-quality the link is, the better it will serve your website user experience and search engine rankings. As always, remember that quality trumps quantity every time.
If you are link building services in Sydney to support the SEO of your website, Helpline Marketing can help.