Links are the bread and butter of SEO, and probably one of the most important ranking factors around. What makes link building so valuable and, dare I say it, even fun at times, is that there is no limit as to how many quality, inbound links you can develop for your site. Link building is one of the more tedious SEO activities, and site owners often get burned out quickly because they fail to think outside the box and get stuck in the same link building routine. There is nothing particularly glamorous about link building, but if you want to have any chance of your SEO succeeding, it has got to be done!
Here are 4 ways to build a better link building strategy that you won’t get sick of:
Guest Blog Posts
Companies that are having a hard time keeping up with the content writing schedule for their own blog may cringe at the thought of adding guest blog posts into the mix, but it’s a great way to diversify your link portfolio, introduce your brand to new audiences and build your reputation as an industry authority. There are always industry blogs looking for guest posts, so why not take advantage of the demand for content? Popular industry blogs need to pump out fresh content on a daily (or several times a day) basis and don’t always have the in-house staff to keep up with the demand. Other sites are looking for new tips/opinions/voices to present to their readers. You might even become a regular or featured contributor on various blogs over time.
Most of your guest blog post links will come from the “About the Author” section, so it’s a great place to use anchor text to go after targeted keywords. Occasionally bloggers will let guest posts go live with anchor text in the body as long as it is related to the article. Some WordPress blogs might have you create an author profile instead.
Keep in mind that, depending on the age and reputation of each blog, some might have much stricter submission guidelines than others. If you submit a guest blog post and it is rejected, don’t lose heart! See if you can make it better and submit it to a second site!
Social media thrives on links and was built to share content! If you aren’t taking advantage of the link building prowess of social media you are missing out on some great links (social signals) that have a lot of weight in the eyes of the search engines.
1. Social Bookmarking Sites
Social bookmarking sites are a great place to get links to individual pieces of content and help promote your content to a wider audience.
2. Share Buttons
Share buttons allow your target audience to promote your content for you. Each Like/Tweet/post/e-mail/+1 etc. sends a signal to the search engines that your content is valuable and useful. If your blog is on the same domain as your corporate site, this is a great way to build your site’s overall value. Internal linking allows pages of your site to share link juice with other pages, so heavily linked blog posts pass their trust factor along to the rest of your site.
3. Social Networking Sites
Think of your Facebook page as one giant link, driving traffic through to your main site. You never want your target audience to call it quits on one of your social profiles. Drive them over to your site with links!
Who says links can only come from text-based content? Videos are a great way to breathe new life into your content marketing and link building alike. First off, videos can rank on their own in the search engines, increasing your online brand presence. Have you noticed that videos also rank above the regular websites in the SERP? Properly optimized videos can be indexed just like a regular article or blog post. That’s why it’s important to incorporate related keywords into the title and description of each of your videos.
The video description is also a great place to drop a link to your main site! For instance, whenever I create a customized description for one of my SEO video lessons, I always start the description with “Nick Stamoulis (781-999-1222 http://www.brickmarketing.com )…” Sometimes YouTube and other video sharing sites only show the first line of text in the video description, so getting my name, phone number and website in the first line helps with branding and link building.
There are plenty of articles about the value of blog commenting when it comes to link building, but it is important enough to be mentioned again! One of the most important things to remember when it comes to blog commenting is that you DO NOT leave a link in the comment itself. It may be tempting, but just don’t do it. There are very few ways to guarantee that your blog comment won’t get past the eyes of a watchful blogger, but this is one of them. A blog comment is not the place for you to advertise your business and drop links to product pages. Be happy with the link you get from the Name/URL boxes and focus on the other values of blog commenting like building a relationship with that blogger, building your reputation, engaging with other industry professionals and so forth!
Nick Stamoulis is a Boston SEO expert and President of Brick Marketing, a white hat link building and SEO company. With over 12 years of industry experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his knowledge by posting daily SEO tips to his blog, the Search Engine Optimization Journal (or SEO Journal) and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter. Contact Nick Stamoulis as 781-999-1222 or firstname.lastname@example.org