Link building is essential to an online business’ success. Links don’t just aid the all-important organic SEO efforts, but they help people find your business throughout the web, build strong relationships with integral partners, generate leads, and strengthen your brand identity. Yet many marketers still struggle with tested methods to amass quality links; it’s quite simply not an easy process.
The long-term link building strategy is simple: create a credible, stellar reputation as an authority in your space, and people will find you and automatically choose to link to your content. But that can take years of hard work to develop, and we all need links in the short-term to survive. Link marketing tactics, therefore, can help you pave the way to success. Below are some trusted techniques that actually work.
Tip #1: Interviews. Lots and lots of interviews.
If you’re a newbie to the process of building links, start interviewing everyone in your field and write comprehensive articles about their insights and opinions. This kind of content is highly valuable to your core demographic, if executed properly, and can amass loads of links in return. It’s also a great exercise to further your expertise and connections with the movers and shakers in your field. It’s an old trick in the link building handbook, but it’s still highly relevant and effective.
Tip #2: Social Media is Your Friend
These days, social signals essentially equate to a web page or link, so amassing tweets, Google+ posts, and similar shout-outs are integral to link building. In fact, Google+ links pass Page Rank to the sites they point to, and other social networks do the same. Shareable content gets noticed by search engines, so craft yours in a manner that encourages shares, likes, and related social signals. Your link building and organic SEO efforts will reflect these efforts tenfold.
Tip #3: Repost Viral Content
Google+ isn’t the only social tool that can aid you in your link building quest. Consider the treasure trove of content on sites like Facebook and Tumblr; these are by far two of the best channels to find content and assets worthy of links.
The methodology is simple: if you’ve taken the time to become an expert in your space, you should also highlight like-minds and repost valuable content. If you find pieces your audience would love to see, share them, and in turn, you too may be linked to by the experts you choose. It’s a “I’ll scratch your back and you scratch mine” kind of approach, without the need to beg someone to be your link partner. Find great content, be proactive, and the favor will often be returned.
Tip #4: Diversify Your Content
Articles and blogs are the typical go-tos for content generation, but the more you diversify, the more you’ll increase your odds of getting links from all across the web. Podcasts, videos, infographics, and other formats have higher odds of becoming viral, and therefore can do more to build your external links.
Tip #5: Watch Your Metrics Carefully
Keep a close eye on the content you create, and take special note of the pieces that get the most shares and attention. Take inspiration from the content you produce that gets the biggest positive response; these should be the foundation you use for new content ideas. Of course, the reverse is true; those pieces that flounder give you great insight on what not to do in the future.
Tip #6: Let Your Competitors Pave the Way
Just as your metrics tell a very poignant tale, so do the results of your competitors. Research where they receive the majority of their links from, and the methods employed to gather these links. This analysis will also help you to identify ideal partnerships. Tools like OpenSiteExplorer are aces at helping you get the inside scoop.
Tip #7: Build a Comprehensive Collection of Premium Images
If you’re in this link building business for the long haul, and your industry necessitates the use of gorgeous graphics, building a database of these images can be a huge bounty for links as well. Yes, this requires a budget, as you’ll need to hire a photographer/designer or have one on staff. But the benefits are substantial if your images are used by bloggers and journalists en mass – that’s a lot of valuable links, should you be successful.
Tip #8: Guarantee Link Relevancy
Make no mistake, all links are not created equal. In all of the efforts that you employ, it’s essential that you make sure all external links are relevant to your business. If you run an online hardware store, as an example, links from a self-help guru are not going to help at all. Links need to, as a rule, be related to your industry, and aid in validating your expertise and authority. Gathering a bevy of unrelated links will actually hurt your rankings, rather than give them a boost.
Tip #9: Create Epic Content
Last but not least, it’s the most obvious but least honored tip – ensure every last piece of content you create is truly of value. No one wants to link to lackluster content. If it’s attention you’re seeking, you’re wise to put your best foot forward with everything you publish. If it’s not interesting, it’s not linkable, and it won’t do anything for your SEO or brand identity. Quality should always, always trump quantity.
What other tactics have helped you amass high quality links?