Link building is an integral part of any SEO strategy. A great SEO performance leads to increased traffic and conversion. This explains why every digital marketer and business owner, big and small alike, invest their time and money into link building.
Although many experts continue to predict the demise of links, they remain active and alive. Backlinko analyzed over a million SERP in 2017 and found that backlinks had the most impact on SERP, more than anything else. First Page Sage supports this with their own research, which shows links are the number one ranking signal. Quality backlinks can also impact your overall sales and search traffic. Sadly, many people are making serious mistakes that affect their SERP.
Here are 10 tips to help you improve your link building strategy!
Curate incredible content
A smart way to create new content when you’ve run out of ideas is to curate content from other blogs, or your own website, into a new content. It could be, the top ten SEO articles of 2018, the most shared SEO stories in 2018, top SEO tools released this year or all the important updates from Google in 2018. This curated content attracts a huge number of editorial links and makes your site discoverable to readers. Adding an internal link in the piece drives traffic to other pages in your site as well. A few tools include Buzzsumo, Pocket, Feedly, Curata, and Quora.
Reach out differently
If you’ve tried email outreach and it didn’t work, SEO expert Julie Joyce recommends the following:
- Call the webmaster
- If you don’t have their phone number, look for them on sites like Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn and engage them in conversation
- Arrange a meetup in person for local link building
Stop linking to sites with a bad reputation
When creating content, many web owners link to websites without conducting any sort of research to find out the authority or pedigree of the site. Linking to gambling sites or porn sites is bad for your SERP. Always check the domain authority of a website before linking to them. Always link to relevant websites within your industry.
Build interactive data
Interactive data is informative, eye-catching and engaging. It is a powerful link building tool that, when executed correctly, can earn you high-quality backlinks. The trick is to find an amazing idea and execute it creatively. This content is inexpensive and easy to create.
The anchor text debate
In the past, you could outrank your competition with an exact match anchor text, but it was used to trick the system until the launch of Penguin in 2012. With the new updates, sites that overused exact match anchor were penalized. The best way to use anchor text is the natural anchor. For instance, instead of placing a “https://www.umbrellar.com/cloud-platforms/azure/” just anywhere in your content, you can use an anchor text like Azure NZ or something close that fits naturally into your content.
Other options include naked URLs, latent semantic indexing, and partial anchor text. To achieve the natural effect, website owners should use different formats. Be careful when using a keyword-rich anchor. Ahrefs recommends 30% for phrase match and 2% for the exact match.
Create the ultimate resource list for your industry
This is not a bland post curated from 20 resources but an all-encompassing list of everything and anything bloggers and readers in your industry will need. Each subheading should be comprehensively discussed with images and infographics where necessary. It should be broken down with jump links and a table of content, so people can easily find what they need.
According to digital marketing experts, a post should be at least 1,000 words or more. Most people will link to it because it’s so comprehensive it would be futile for them to write their own. You can reach out to the websites you’ve linked to so they can link back to you in one of their articles.
Become the influencer everyone wants to quote
An influencer is someone whose opinion is held in high esteem. Their content is trusted and valued by thousands of people in their industry. People link to influencers because it shows authority in their piece.
Because of your status, you’ll earn hundreds of links every time you share content and it’s easier to establish relationships with other influencers. However, this title is not gifted but earned. It takes years of consistent hard work and high-quality results but when you’re successful, the results are truly astonishing.
Maximize social signals
Social signals are a ranking factor you shouldn’t overlook. It was one of the ranking factors on Backlinko’s list of Google ranking factors. Social signals include Pinterest pins, the number of Facebook shares, likes and authority of user accounts, number of tweets, social signal relevancy, the authority of Twitter user accounts and authority of Google+ user accounts. To get more social shares and engagement, use the skyscraper technique to create content that outperforms the competition. Install social media buttons and ask your audience to share your new content.
Do something newsworthy
Forget about using press releases to build links or embedding links in the press releases. Marketers were manipulating their press releases, which led to Google updating their algorithm. While press releases are a great way to earn links, it can hurt your ranking. The new approach is to do something newsworthy and share it, so others can write about and link to it. The links you’ll earn through this method is more organic and larger.
A little controversy doesn’t hurt
Some of the most viral posts you’ve seen online were controversial. Strong opinion pieces that were bold and sparked all sorts of emotions in everyone that read them. When publishing these types of posts, back up your argument with data so it doesn’t just look like a rant. Do not be vengeful, hateful, unfair, or mean, as it doesn’t reflect well on your website. You can share your view without being a jerk.
Link building is the life source of SEO, and that won’t change this year. However, it can be confusing knowing what to incorporate or leave out as Google continues to update its algorithms. By conducting a review of your current strategy, weeding out toxic links and using some of the tips we’ve discussed, your campaign can lead to increased backlinks, traffic, and conversion.