Link building has come far since its birth. The free and relatively easy tactics are now most likely the ones that will penalise you on Google, and the ones that you have to pay for, well… cost.
Nowadays to build a successful link profile you need to have a solid tactic. You also need to prepare to delve into the world of PR, as a popular and talked about company will find a very easily growing backlink profile.
Before we begin I thought I’d share a thoroughly entertaining blog by Neil Patel, “Confessions of a Retired Black Hat SEO”. I love this post because it combines the creativity needed to secure some links, the value of being at the top of Google and also outlines what will happen if you build links in a ‘Spammy’ way.
Anyway, let me share some of my knowledge and opinions on what I feel are the best strategies to build your backlink profile.
Data and Research Content
In almost all industries there’s probably some form of research you can perform and share on your website. Providing you’re writing about information that your target audience will find valuable, then the engagement on this content should increase as well as the likeliness to obtain a link back. I find to write the best research content you should ensure the following:
- Benchmark all of your findings along the way – You can always take the unnecessary bits out later, just make sure you capture everything. In my case, I may make a little change on a website and hope that it makes a difference on a client’s website. So I should log both the rankings, traffic, conversion rate, the change I made and any other metric applicable to that change. For example’s sake, if that change improved traffic but not conversion rate, I’ll simply not include the conversion rate metric in my article (Unless it is applicable).
- Make your content accessible – After writing your article, why not try and sum it up in an online video, infographic or create a TL;DR version. You could even condense it into a podcast. All of these methods open up new avenues to advertise this content.
- Reach out to those that will be interested – It is important not to shove your content in peoples faces for the sake of getting a link. Instead, I’d advise to simply just let people know that you have written an article that they may find useful to use, or incorporate into their own research. A lot of my research has actually been conducted using other pieces of research.
With this being said, there are some legitimate links that can be indirectly purchased, this may fall a bit into the grey hat area:
Sponsorships: More often than not when you pay to be a sponsor of an organisation they will credit you on their website. Sometimes this link can be a Follow link and provide some good link equity.
Product Reviews: Paying people to test and review your product can be completely natural. They will naturally write about your product on their website and quite possibly send a link back to your website.
As for the rest of the paid link building methods, you’re totally putting your hands in the person/organisation you’re paying. One of the many philosophies I live by is ‘if it’s stupid and it works, then it’s not stupid’, I’ve worked in agencies previously that have conducted paid link building campaigns and these have worked incredibly well. Having reviewed the links sent back to the site they seem legitimate and difficult to map out via an algorithm. What’s better is that the websites themselves bring in some genuine organic traffic, which kicked back some to the client’s websites. Either way, the choice is yours. Just be very careful.
Share Content on Social Media
Sharing content on Social Media can send Google some good signals about the content being linked to. There are a few things to bear in mind before posting though.
Different platforms like different things. If your content is business related then Linkedin would be more engaged. If your content is quite visual, then Instagram may engage the best (Facebook too). If your content is inspiration, then perhaps try Medium!
Look for other similar content to find signs of engagement. If you have a particular topic in mind, look for another article of similar calibre and see how popular it was/is. I hate to break it to you, but sometimes you may find your topic a lot more exciting than most other people do, even your target audience! Take a look at what a competitor has posted, and ensure you don’t make their mistakes.
Repost your content – Once you’ve posted your content, repost it for about a week (and maybe even a couple of more times randomly in the month. Every new person that sees it could become a new client, or pass it on to a whole bunch of new people that could also become clients.
Hold Industry-Specific Interviews
If the interviewee is popular, their followers will naturally want to watch your video with their idol featured in it.
You can open the floor up to questions that the audience want answers to, this keeps the video content relevant. Providing the interviewee’s expertise is on point, the video will naturally contain a lot of valuable (and therefore linkable information).
The interviewee will probably link from their site or social media profiles for their following to watch. This can not only secure backlinks but also help you share the content.
Once the interview is concluded, remember to follow previous points such as making it available as a podcast, posting on social media (and re-posting it) and I’d also advise typing up a summary into an article.
If you want to find those using your infographic to check if they’ve included the link, simply do a reverse image search on Google.
Target Competitors Backlinks
I’d advise targeting their backlink profile using the following method.
Find what content people are linking to on your competitor’s website. (Use tools like SEMRUSH, ahrefs and SEO Spyglass).
Evaluate the content, and make better content.
Reach out to the sites linking to your competitor and explain that you feel that your content is much more informative. Providing they change the link, you’ll be gaining a link as your competitor loses one (see the importance of writing good content?).
*Bear in mind, most site’s probably won’t bother changing the link, welcome to the life of an SEO*
Let me level with you…
Someone trying to learn Digital Marketing for their career (Probably won’t be a client).
Someone interested in what my work for them entails (already a client)
Someone interested in what their marketing company is doing for them (someone else’s client)
Naturally, even though a lot of people may engage with this article. They probably won’t end up as a client of mine (maybe a couple will – but not a lot compared to the amount of views).
So what about this article about Link Building Strategies? What sort of person would read this one?
A marketing company that needs a bit of help with their link building strategy for their clients (One of the main reasons I am hired)
An individual trying to do their marketing themselves (A lot of my clients have tried doing the marketing themselves with little results before turning to me)
Someone trying to learn Digital Marketing for their career (Probably won’t be a client, but may recommend me down the line?)
The point is, both articles are about link building, but one is slightly different and as a result targets the audience which a number of new potential clients for me reside in.
“So why did you write an article about link building if it wasn’t going to appeal to your desired audience?”
Good question, I like helping people.
There are no doubt many other great techniques to build links back to a website. I’d love to hear all about any techniques you’ve personally used that have provided from great results. Feel free to comment them below!
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