Developing an Effective Link Building Strategy
Google uses over 200 ranking factors, all of which have varying degrees of importance. However, there is no doubt in any quarters that links are highly important. A Moz study carried out in 2019 also concluded that there is “a strong correlation between links and rankings”. Links are not only important because that is how the Googlebot crawls the internet; the major reason is that links are a marker of authority. The idea is that if several people are linking to a particular webpage, then what’s on that webpage must be really helpful. Thus, its ranking increases.
Link building is the process of acquiring inbound links to your website. It is often a long-drawn process, but also highly rewarding if done right. If you master the points explained below, you would be able to develop an effective link building for your website and make your rankings soar.
Big-name websites gain links effortlessly and they dominate the SEO space. The owners of small websites have to work several times as hard to reach the top. Don’t expect people to automatically link to you. Instead, do the work yourself by guest posting on high-quality websites and linking back to pages on your site.
Not all sites accept guest posts, but the ones that do are not in short supply. But first, you need to gather a list of suitable websites, then reach out to them about guest posting. Because not all links are created equal, follow the guidelines below:
- By searching “write for us” (with the quotes) on Google, you would find sites willing to accept pieces from guest writers. However, some sites accept guest posts but don’t advertise that. So, unless a site explicitly states that it never accepts guest posts, don’t hesitate to pitch them.
- Consider the domain authority of the websites. Links to and from low-quality websites can lower your own domain authority, reduce your ranking, or even get you penalized by Google, especially if the other website uses black-hat techniques.
- Link to relevant websites. There is no point in seeking links from a site that is not in your niche. For instance, if you manage to garner a few links, you would have misled visitors and that would transform into poor engagement signals (high bounce rate, low dwell time), etc. This would, in turn, hurt your rankings. Linking to irrelevant websites is a clearly counterproductive strategy.
Outreach is a major part of any link building approach. This is not simply about pitching site owners to guest-post for their website. Make your outreach even better by creating content and requesting site owners to link to it.
When should you reach out to a site owner?
- When you have a ‘linkable asset’. A linkable asset is a content that other people are willing to link to, such as research studies, ‘definitive guides’, infographics, videos, etc.
- Target unlinked mentions. When someone mentions your brand without linking to you, it is a great link building opportunity. It shows they are already familiar with your brand. Therefore, they are more likely to accept your request that they convert the mention into a link.
Write Quality Posts
The idea behind this is to write so well on your website that others want to link to your content. This is the best link building strategy, at least according to Google. But it is also the most arduous one. The following are types of content that usually gather a lot of links:
- Evergreen content: Google prioritizes recency in its rankings. But ever seen an article from as far back as early 2010s rank on the first page for a popular keyword? Evergreen content would continue to earn you traffic and links long after they have been published because they are relevant for all times.
- ‘Complete Guide’ or ‘Definitive Guide’. These posts contain expansive information about a particular subject. Backlinko is popular for this content style.
- Research Report. Carry out some research and publish your findings. Do this in the most professional manner possible in order to prove your credibility. You gain more points if the report includes some unusual discovery.
Use the Right Tools
Writing, researching, reaching out, etc. Link building can be exhausting. You can simplify the process by letting dedicated link building tools handle some of your work for you.
They also help you in analytics, both of your own strategy, and of your competitors’.
The following are some link building tools you should consider in order to make your strategy foolproof:
- BuzzStream helps you in conducting email outreaches and building relationships.
- Majestic is an intuitive link building tool for links analytics, competitor analysis, and more.
- Linkody dubs itself a backlink tracker. It helps you to monitor your backlinks and to manage your entire link building campaign.
- Link Miner by Mangools is another useful tool for checking the backlinks of your competitors to know how powerful they are.
Once mastered, link building is a very great way to climb up the SEO ladder and overtake your competitors. In all, be careful not to overstep Google’s guidelines unless you want to undo your efforts. That includes steering clear of black-hat SEO techniques such as link farming and so on.