As a primary ranking factor, link building is one of the most effective ways to help your website rank well. In effect, links are votes that search engines like Google use to determine a website’s authority and relevance.
By definition, link building is the process of encouraging authoritative external pages to link to a relevant page on your website. Link building is crucial to creating a strong online visibility. The more links you have directing back to your site from relevant and reputable sources, the better.
Securing links from other authoritative sites provide multiple benefits for your digital marketing strategy. They’re invaluable to SEO efforts, they generate and/or improve website traffic, and they build relationships with relevant industry professionals.
Search engines use certain criteria to measure the value of a link, so link building efforts must focus on quality over quantity. It is more effective for you to gain one link from a highly reputable website (with a domain authority of 70, for example) as opposed to gaining 30 links from a lower quality website (with a domain authority of 10, for example).
If you ask any SEO analyst, they’re most likely to confirm that link building is one of the more challenging aspects of their role. However, there are many different techniques that vary in levels of difficulty, that can be used to gain links.
Here are a few effective link building strategies to get you started.
Infographics are a low risk, high return link building strategy that will encourage link prospects to generate backlinks.
Like other visual content formats, infographics are highly attractive and shareable digital content. In fact, numerous studies have shown that visual content tends to earn more external links that plain textual content. This can be attributed to infographics’ ability to visualize boring data in a creative way.
To generate backlinks from authoritative domains, your infographic should be structured with common elements that create the potential for your infographic to go viral. These key aspects include:
- Great design
- Well researched visual data
- Promotional outreach
While there’s no secret formula to improve your chances of your infographic going viral, these common elements can produce amazing results. Especially when paired with strong outreach.
The best way to maximize this link building strategy is to piggyback on trending topics or news that will attract a lot of attention. Whether its editorial or contextual, transforming relevant information into an interesting infographic format will attract high-quality links.
Websites are usually in a continuous flux of changes. Designs are altered and pages are added or deleted depending on the product or content changes. This can cause broken links to propagate throughout the site. The loss of web pages can create the disappearance of backlinks that your company has earned.
Link reclamation is the process of fixing broken links. It is also finding opportunities in which your brand is mentioned on third-party sites and requesting a link to your site. Link reclamation is one of the easiest ways to improve your SEO.
To restore the value of your SEO through link reclamation, all you need is a tool that analyzes backlinks and link building opportunities. Moz has created Open Site Explorer, a free tool, that analyzes a webpage’s linkages. AHrefs and Majestic are equally credible alternatives,
Local Listings and Citations
Business directory listings do more than just boost your local search visibility on search engines.
Local business listings and citations are vital in customer engagement, reputation, and search engine rankings. In fact, Google considers local business listings to be an integral part of its local search algorithm.
The more customers that engage with your company through local listings or citations, the more authority your site gets. Local listings are an effective local SEO strategy because they provide inbound links, increase the potential for dofollow links, and improve business visibility.
Guest blogging is an effective strategy to earn links back to your site.
Yes, Google has accounted for the increasing automated processes that have proliferated throughout guest blogging as a way to earn links. But what Matt Cutts, former head of search quality at Google, meant when he said, “Stick a fork in it: Guest blogging is done,” is that low-quality and over-optimized guest blogs are no longer relevant. Guest blogs continue to be an effective strategy for link building.
It’s crucial that any guest blogs written are of high-quality and sent off to relevant, high-authority sites. For companies starting out with link building strategies, it’s advisable to target localized, industry-specific sites. There is a higher likelihood that guest blogs will be accepted on those sites.
Similar to guest blogging, interviews are a great way to exchange ideas and interact with industry-specific peers and consumers. And simultaneously, provide ways to acquire genuine backlinks to your site.
A great tool to engage with the right audience for your business, an interview can lend itself to increase site traffic, brand recognition, and improve industry relationships. If you’re new to your space, interviewing others is a great way to build your reputation and community. It is also a fantastic way to ask for backlinks post-interview.
For those who have built up their reputation, being interviewed has the potential to earn links and generate leads. Whether you’re a prominent industry expert or you’re building your community, preparation is key. Both sides of the table require engaging and relevant questions and responses while demonstrating expertise and finesse.
There are numerous ways in which interviews can be shaped. Blog interviews, podcasts, and webinars are to name a few. Participating in ‘expert roundup’ posts are also highly recognized. So choose the format that best exemplifies and presents the information your audience needs, in order to create engagement.
Like any other SEO strategy, link building requires time, practice, and experience. But in time, the efforts you’ve put into link building will pay dividends.