15 Effective Link Building Techniques
Many questions are being raised within SEO circles as to whether link building is still effective. The reason for this is how Google defines ‘artificial’ or ‘unnatural’ links. The definition given by Google for these is:
“Any links that are intended for the manipulation of the website’s ranking in Google’s search results.”
Although, athletes are suspended or fined when they break the rules of a game, the penalty Google attaches to the use of so called suspicious links is quite serious in the world of SEO. Consequently, websites that violate the guidelines lose out on much more. It is estimated that businesses lose approximately $5million each month as a result of the heavy penalties dished out for using what Google terms as suspicious links. Some small businesses that encounter these penalties have ended up in ruin as a result.
The prospect of receiving or facing harsh penalties from Google has instilled fear in the hearts of online marketers and webmasters all over. It is no wonder that many fear using this tool.
Link building still one of the most effective tools available
Link building however, is not dead. In fact, it still remains one of the most influential factors for search engine result ranking. Aside from other factors, Google still heavily relies on the link profile of websites as one of the factors it considers in ranking for search results pages. A look at the top pages in search results will show you that they are on page one as a result of their link profile.
The question is how to build links without getting penalized for it. How can you improve our organic search results ranking making use of good links and avoid the penalties of using suspicious links? The following tips will help to get you started.
- Content is still king
Creating great content has always been first and foremost for SEO and it continues to be especially true when it comes to link building. You should aim to create content that others would find worthy of linking to.
One of the best ways to do this is to think about what your readers or target websites would find useful or actionable. Bloggers and marketers are constantly looking for content to use as references in order to add value to their content.
- Guest posting
Be careful with this one. This is one of the most effective ways to build links but it can also result in a penalty if Google considers the links to be referred as spam. It’s important to remember that guest posting on irrelevant sites that no one visits by submitting thin and shoddy content for the sake of building links will likely result in a penalty.
For guest posting to be effective, seek out websites and blogs that are relevant. Ensure that they are high quality sites with good traffic. Create content that is relevant and that would draw the attention of your target audience for posting on these sites. Be careful not to use keyword rich anchor text when linking your website in the author bio.
- What others say
Publishing roundup posts that give an overview of what experts say on relevant topics is a great and legitimate way to build links. Identify influencers in your particular niche. Prepare questions that you think your audience would be interested in having answered. Personally reach out the influencers you’ve identified. Let them know that you’d like them to answer a few questions for you and you’ll link the post to their website.
Publish the post and promote it on your social profiles. Most experts would be happy to answer questions as it builds up their own online profile.
- Create informative infographics
Infographics are becoming one of the most effective ways to build links for SEO. They provide a wealth of information in an easy to digest format and are easy to share and link to. Creating infographics are also a great way to boost brand awareness across the internet. Visual content draws attention quickly and goes viral just as easily.
The next time you come across some fascinating information, you may want to consider presenting it as an infographic instead of as text content.
- Increase internal links
Internal link building is one of the easiest ways to build links without the fear of being penalized. This SEO strategy has the added advantage of making your website more user friendly to visitors by offering readers links to get more information about relevant topics.
Increase the links to posts and pages that are relevant and share correlated content. This increases the credibility of your website to search engines.
Be careful not to overdo it though. A good guideline would be having no more than seven posts or pages linked to any given post on your website.
- Build broken links
A great white hat technique is to build your link profile and improve your search engine rankings by helping other websites build broken links. Search for authoritative websites in your niche and scan them for broken links. Inform the webmaster of the broken link and suggest that they can use your website as a replacement for the broken link.
- Your opinion counts
Giving reviews or testimonials on products, services or other brands is a great way to get links back to your website. It is however, important not to give testimonials simply for the sake of link building. Remember that other prospective customers read these reviews and testimonials and will take action depending on the information they receive.
- Maximize social media linking
This is one of the best sources for natural backlinks any website can use. You simply need to create social media profiles and connect them to your website. You however, will need to work at building your networks on social media platforms and sharing your content through your profiles. It’s important to stay active and share new content with your network to get more social cues for the content shared.
Repurposing content that you’ve published on your website on other websites is a great way to accelerate link building for SEO. That is provided that you maintain the quality of the content. Google does not penalize you for republishing your content on different websites.
Consider presenting your content in different formats including infographics, PDFs, SlideShare presentations and videos. Add new content to the old content if you have had some clever ideas over time.
- Claim mentions
Keeping track of your mentions isn’t just for tracking brand awareness. It can also help with your link building strategy. Keep track of brand mentions and reach out to the website to create a backlink.
- Request for backlinks
Asking friends, family, colleagues and bloggers for backlinks is a smart way to build your link profile. Build relationships by becoming an active participant on blogs and websites. Contribute to discussions, give relevant and informative comments and respond to their call-to-actions. After some time, you can personally approach the blogger or webmaster and request them for a backlink from any of their content that is relevant. You can offer them something in return for accepting your request e.g. mentioning their products on your website.
- Refresh backlinks that are inactive
It’s important to keep checking for broken links. Sometimes, a reader may get a 404 error when they click on your backlink. This may occur for a number of reasons including the changing of the location of the page that was linked or a misspelling in the name of your website. Redirect the link using the .htaccess code which you can obtain using a link research tool.
- Give answers
There are various Q&A websites online such as Quora and Yahoo Answers. You can use these websites to enhance your link building efforts by answering questions on the sites. Write brief but informative answers to questions that are relevant to your website. Be sure to include a link back to your website. This can result in gaining a steady stream of traffic back to your website.
- Apply the skyscraper technique
This technique is becoming increasingly popular for link building. Identify content that is popular within your niche. Identify the popular points and create in-depth data that can add value to the content. Reach out to the webmaster or blogger and request them to link to your content as a way of enriching their current content.
- Content curation
This involves finding high quality content that is relevant to a selected topic. You then organize the articles in a way that would be meaningful to your target audience. This would mean simply including a summary of the top pieces of the content thus providing a selective channel.
Since you’re linking high quality content, your ranking on search results pages will certainly improve.
Penalties for poor link building practices are harsh and should be feared. However, link building is still highly effective when done correctly and should be part of any successful SEO campaign. Using a systematic approach to your link building strategy will help you achieve success.