Link building has always been a viable and important way to maintain your SEO rank as the Google algorithm is actually heavily based on links. However, for those who cannot adapt to the dynamic rules of Google’s backlinking may consider it as a less-effective off-page SEO method, while the fact is that it is still very promising. Link building once was famous for its use in blackhat SEO practices (link-stuffing), but as Google prohibits that per its terms of service, link building has also changed.
As the link building landscape is ever-changing, it is important to keep up to date with the latest strategies surrounding it. Here are some things that you should consider before link building and some prospective strategies that you should use for outreaching this year.
What Is Link Building?
Link building is a method that earns natural hyperlinks for your website from other websites.
Whenever search engines crawl pages on the web, they will crawl all the links included on a website. Sites with high-quality links will have a chance to appear on the first page of the search engine results pages (SERP).
Why Is It Important?
Search engines check links to discover new web pages and later crawl the page’s content. The quality of the web pages’ content and the number of hyperlinks pointing to them will determine how well they are ranked in the SERP.
Simply put, whenever a website links to another website, it implicitly says that it is a valuable resource in the context of the article. So, link building is essential if you want to grow your traffic, leads, and sales organically through SEO – especially, if you do link building on high-quality websites, which are sites with a good reputation, authority, and traffic.
Apart from helping you to rank higher on SERP, link building is also essential to enhance your overall online presence: it helps you build partnerships and relationships with other websites with a similar niche and to build brand acquisition. Here are some examples of what you can get:
Opt-in Email List Growth
Social Media Buzz
Online Community Growth
Online Brand Awareness
What Do You Need to Do before Doing Link Building?
Let’s get into some basic preparation that will greatly help your link building process:
Creating Flawless Content
Great content has become the most promising strategy to drive backlinks. In a sense, the best strategy starts before you do any actual backlinking.
You need to provide relevant content that answers your audience's queries, because, when your viewers feel interested in your content, they will likely keep coming back and clicking any link that leads to your site. If your site’s content is not good enough, or worse — it’s not relevant, nobody will want to link to your website.
Optimizing On-page SEO
Before link building, which falls in the off-page SEO category, you need to optimize your on-page SEO performance first. You have to analyze the anatomy of your website by examining how you create your meta tags, title tags, meta descriptions, heading tags, SEO factors such as keywords, your content usability, and relevance, URL-strings, images, mobile responsiveness, internal links, and backlink. This is to ensure that people will want to link to your website in the first place.
Conducting Backlink Audit & Link Reclamation
Then you also have to perform a backlink audit using the Google Search Console. You have to analyze the effectiveness of your backlink placement structure, the linkable top performing pages, and also the broken pages that you should fix. So, it will give you insight into how you should do link reclamations.
To conduct link reclamation, the first thing you need to do is fix the 404 errors on your website. Then, you need to update the link on other websites that link your error pages.
15 Link Building Strategies for Outreaching
Now that you know what should be prepared, we can cover 15 link building strategies that are time-tested, proven to work, and great for the coming year:
Manual email outreach can be a promising way to build backlinks, however, you need to do it right as GDPR rules personal data protection. You have to make sure that you get your target audiences’ consent to receive your email.
To make the most of email outreach, you need to personalize your email content according to your recipients’ needs and, still, add a few of blog or site hyperlinks. By sending an email that your audience will value, they will likely do what you ask them, including clicking any links that may also be highly beneficial for them. This will also create a long-term personal connection with your audience, giving a positive effect on your brand's overall online performance.
There are tools that may help you with email outreach, namely Buzzstream, Yesware, Boomerang for Gmail, and Muckrack.
Guest blogging is an easy and highly recommended way to build link connections. The combination of high-quality content and controlled publication can boost your link building driven SEO rank. It can enhance your online visibility, building brand acquisition, and reputation. When you write for other websites, you can easily build backlinks to your own websites either from your bio or your content, so it can increase your overall traffic and leads.
Buzzstream, Buzzsuma, and Alexa are tools that can help you make the most of guest blogging.
Directories are still helpful to make up a valuable link profile. You need to choose high-quality local directories to personalize your brand. Google and Facebook still are the most used directories. As many people still use search engines to find things that they look for, using directories can be a promising way to help audiences discover you on Google Maps or Facebook.
Proprietary Data-Driven Content & Link-Worthy Content
If you create content that can be the primary source of certain data, you would probably win the link building game. When you create your own data, many websites will automatically backlink your page whenever they use your data as their content source.
Creating your own data can be hard if you have no clue about what is worth writing about. However, Google Trends and the Google Consumer Survey can help you to find trending topics and start to create your own data.
You can also create link-worthy content in which you provide trending content with good commentary about a popular brand or marketer, as a result, they will share and link back to your article. It will be easier and more beneficial if you build a partnership with that brand or marketer; it not only helps you attract more links but also builds a positive relationship within your niche community.
Podcast & Radio Stations Tours
It is possible for you to get backlink by promoting your content online via podcasts, and similarly, offline via radio stations. Doing podcasts and radio station tours can increase your brand exposure as you can directly persuade your target audience. Thus, it can give you authority that increases your link credibility. You can just combine these offline and online marketing tactics to reach broader audiences and media partners.
Social Media Campaign
Social media can be an effective channel to share your website content with external sources, and, therefore, can help you build links. Many social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Linkedin, allow you to attach a link or even an ad on a post. So, your followers can directly be redirected to your site whenever they see your posts or ads.
Link repo or brand mentions are surely a big chance to build backlinks. It works wonderfully combined with valuable content promoting it and encourages audiences to keep coming back. You can build a partnership with other powerful brands, and you will get not only link repo from their online activities, but also offline events.
Another important strategy that might be missed by most marketers is building competitive links. It is important to research what kind of links your competitors link back to gain the same qualified links as your competitors. After knowing the sites that your competitors link back, you can also build a relationship with those sites. This lets you gain on their SEO ranks.
Similar to building competitive links, link gratitude is often neglected, while in fact, it can help maintain long-term link building connections. It is necessary to evaluate the performance of your backlinks – checking for 404 error pages, broken links, and even simple things like image alt texts. Then, you can deliver your gratitude to those sites, and offer to help optimize them if you find any issues. The performance of the websites that already link to you is important, as the better they perform, the more valuable your links become.
Syndicating your content with other qualified channels or websites can help you build links. In fact, it is a great way to make your content do double duty that allows it to get seen, linked and shared by broader audiences. You can self-syndicate your content too, by simply using social media like LinkedIn. By this, you can leverage your content multiple times, and increases your back link to specific content.
Testimonials and Reviews
Testimonials and reviews can give your overall online brand trust and authority, either for your audience or search engines. Thus, it allows you to rank for long-tail keywords. There are some ways to encourage more testimonials and reviews, with one of the easiest ways being implementing a referral plan for those who review and give testimony for your product.
You can reach larger audiences by doing influencer campaigns. Influencers are already acknowledged and trusted by their followers, so whenever they promote your brand, there are high opportunities to generate and improve brand image and, therefore, build backlinks.
Link building can also be done effectively via an offline channel, such as community engagement. You can do link building campaigns by sponsoring communities under your niche. They will unconsciously become long-term evangelists for your brand, as a result, you will get not only more links but also a real-time relationship with real people.
Even though it might be a nightmare, blog comments are actually beneficial for your brand if done correctly. You can engage with the commenters of high-quality websites, and encourage them to join your audience. Keep in mind that you must keep your comments short and convincing, this will allow you to get more online visibility. As a side note, never lie to other commenters. Being transparent will keep your reputation safe.
Integrating affiliate links in your marketing strategies allows your brand to get more mentions and new links. It is cheap, promising, and also stabilizes your online performance as it helps you get high revenue during slow months. So, this may secure all of your link building strategies.
Tiered Link Building
There are many strategies for building hyperlinks, but it is better to optimize each of the strategies using tiered link building to get long-term link acquisition. Tiered link building is a method to build natural hyperlinks based on a specified schedule and categorized strategies.
Tiered link building helps protect your link rank from all aspects of Google's algorithm changes. It controls the traffic of your website so you can periodically maintain and even enhance your link building strategies. This can avert your website from a sudden SEO ranking drop.
Tiered link building once became notoriously beneficial in the blackhat SEO – manipulating off-page SEO – practice, but as Google algorithm has been optimized to reduce the blackhat SEO practice, it became less effective. Therefore, to maintain the effectiveness and advantages of tiered link building, you can just do a little Google algorithm adjustment on the strategies mentioned above.
TIER 1 (1st four months) – Proprietary Data-driven Content, Link-Worthy Content, Podcast & Radio Stations Tour, Email Outreach, Directories, Link Repo, Competitive Links, Social Media Campaign
TIER 2 (2nd four months) – Guest Blogging, Proprietary Data-driven Content, Link-Worthy Content, Podcast & Radio Stations Tour, Link Repo, Competitive Links, Link Gratitude, Blog Comments, Influencer Campaign
TIER 3 (3rd four months) – Proprietary Data-driven Content, Link-Worthy Content, Podcast & Radio Stations Tour, Link Repo, Competitive Links, Link Gratitude, Content Syndication, Testimonials and Review, Community Engagement, Affiliate Links
It may require a little effort, but if it is done correctly, it can be the safest and most promising way to increase your site’s metrics organically.
However, instead of planning and employing these Link Building strategies manually, you can simply ask for assistance from a content marketing agency. PRable is a reliable content marketing agency that can help you get a high SEO rank by building links for your website, and enhance it with other digital marketing strategies. So, you will not only be able to rank high in search engines, but you can also easily maintain your business’ conversion rate and leads, gain brand acknowledgment, and increase your sales.
It can be said that Link Building is a prominent factor to rank high on search engine result pages (SERPs), so it is important to adjust Link Building strategies as time evolves. The old link building strategies involving blackhat SEO may be considered outdated. However, in 2019, there are many strategies for organically building hyperlinks for your website, ranging from email outreach, guest blogging, directories, proprietary data-driven content and link-worthy content, podcast and radio station tours, social media campaigns, link repo (mentions), competitive links, link gratitude, content syndication, testimonials and reviews, influencer campaign, community engagement, blog comments, to affiliate links. It is better to make the most of those strategies based on scheduled tiers so you will get long term results.