Note: this post was originally published in May 2016 and was updated in February 2019.
We all agree link building can seem terrifying; too many things can go wrong, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
There’s no reason for fear: link building is simply a channel to connect with your audience, and it can completely change the traffic to your website.
What is link building and why is it important?
Link building is the process of getting other websites to add hyperlinks on their pages pointing back to your site. It is important for SEO as part of the search engine algorithm is to see how many other sites are linking back to yours as an indicator of quality content. This all impacts your rankings on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Link building in 2019 is all about marketing your product, brand or website; its primary objective is building a relationship with your audience, and it should be an integral part of your online marketing strategy. Links are your workhorses: they are used more than almost anything else to increase value to the search engines and your website.
Link building strategies
- Create quality content. Good content pays off – the more useful content you have, the more it naturally gains popularity on the Internet, the greater the chances are that someone will link to it.
- Write evergreen content with quality writing and a good user experience. (And brush up your old content, too.) If writing isn’t your best skill, invest in quality content by hiring a professional freelance writer for a few hours a month.
- Although quality content is paramount, you still need to obtain links the old-fashioned way: manually. By reaching out manually to your niche target audience, you will be attracting links.
- Become an authority: you have to get your experienced opinions (and your name) out there and associated with your particular brand of expertise. This can be done through being quoted in interviews that appear on websites and in publications, or you can also take the DIY approach: creating a podcast, building relationships with journalists (for example, sign up for HARO – Help A Reporter Out), and/or participating in group chats.)
- Become a guest blogger, but only for websites with quality, authoritative content. Don’t be afraid to approach your favourite websites if you have an idea for their readership, or if you would like to share any of your relevant content. Do your research, and don’t forget to add your byline.
- Never underestimate a good infographic: visually stimulating, rich, interactive infographics attract fans like moths to flame. Make sure you do your research and use compelling data, don’t add the ‘embed this’ code feature, and share your infographic on your social channels.
- Stay local: local SEO is now the ultimate link building alternative for brands, where the IP address matters more than the domain authority. Research has shown that audiences use these links – by harnessing your community’s influence, you’ll add exposure for your brand through volunteering, local meetups and sponsorships.
- If you’ve invested in well-researched, amazing content, place your content on resource pages. Resource pages often lead to more links, and links you don’t expect.
- Use link reclamation to find and restore any broken links on your site, particularly if you’ve moved a page on your website without redirecting it. Watch your competitors, too: if you see them experience a 404 error, that is an opportunity for you.
Ready to discuss your online marketing strategy and see how link building can impact your website?