Why is link building important?
Link building will help your web pages rank higher on the Google search results page, and backlinks will also drive more traffic to your site. As an important part of your holistic SEO strategy, perfecting your link building techniques should be one of your top priorities for growing your online presence.
According to several recent studies, one of the biggest reason why a website ranks highly on the search results page (SERP) is because of the quantity and quality of its links. The more links you have that are relevant and obtained from high-authority sites, the more your web pages will be rewarded with higher rankings on the SERPs.
Today, we’ll cover the top five most effective link building strategies for growing your online presence. These top five strategies will include a mix of internal linking strategies, social media link building techniques, and also backlinking strategies for boosting targeted, organic traffic to your web pages.
1. Internal Linking
Internal linking strategies are link building 101. This is by far one of the easiest strategies to use. With this strategy, you are consistently creating high-quality, relevant internal links to make the Google algorithms happy. Search engine spiders use internal links to find new content on your website. Readers also appreciate relevant internal links because they make your site much easier to navigate and find content that interests them.
One of the reasons why internal linking is so easy is because you have complete control over the links you use and where you place them within the anchor text. The most effective internal links to use are ones that are located and distributed throughout your article, not ones that are clustered at the very end of the article. It’s all right to cluster internal links at the end of the article if it’s relevant, but you should also have internal links scattered throughout earlier parts of the piece.
2. Use Strategic Guest Blogging
More and more companies are using blogs to generate more traffic and increase their conversions. Companies who blog will generate on average 97% more inbound links and also see 55% more website visitors than companies that do not invest in blogging.
Guest posting is one of the ways to increase your online presence, but you need to be strategic about it. It’s crucial that you target websites with high authority whose viewership aligns with your target audience demographics. Know what kind of content the audience is looking for, and study the most popular posts on the site.
3. Use Social Media
Social media networks are a great way to distribute your content, build links, and foster relationships with new customers and fans. If you’re not using social media networks effectively, you’re making it harder for people to find you and doing your brand a disservice. Here are some fast facts:
- Shoppers that are referred to a company website from Pinterest are 10 times more likely to make a purchase than shoppers from any other social media network
- Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than any other outbound marketing technique.
When you use social media networks effectively, you’ll see an increase in engagement and also expose your brand and website to more people. Social media will improve your profile of your links and also increase your online visibility.
4. Broken Links for Busy Marketers
Are you too busy to create new content, or too cash-strapped to pay a ghostwriter? Consider using a broken link strategy to drive traffic to your site. Finding the time to create new content is a huge pain-point for many digital marketers, with 36% of surveyed marketers struggling to find the time to create new content on a consistent basis. If this sounds familiar, you’re in luck.
How does broken link building work?
What you do is find pages on blogs with dead, or broken links. Then request that the blogger replace the broken link with a link to similar content on your website. Replacing the broken link with high-value content on your blog or webpage will increase your SEO and online visibility.
5. Creating Backlinks
Backlinks are incredibly important for driving organic traffic to your pages. Keep in mind though, that the more targeted your websites are for backlinks, the higher-quality traffic you’ll get to your website. In essence, the key to this strategy is knowing your audience, finding websites that will resonate with the audience, and crafting content with these factors in mind to distribute to a list of targeted websites.
Who is your audience?
Knowing who your audience is will help you either expand your current audience or help you reach new viewers. So, who is your audience now, and what does your ideal audience member look like? When you have a good grasp of your viewer demographics, you’ll know which types of websites and what kinds of content appeal to your target audience.
Make a list of websites that appeal to your target audience. Creating backlinks to these websites can help you find new people to add to your fanbase.
How can you find these websites?
One of the simplest ways to find the websites you need to target is to check your competitors’ backlinks. Searching for the right kind of websites to target for an effective backlinking strategy can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. Looking at what your competitors are doing will save you a lot of time researching and give you the answers you’re looking for.
It’s true that Google is continuously changing the way their algorithms work and how they reward certain web pages over others. However, Google is pretty consistent in that the search engine giant believes that links should be earned and not simply built. Your high-ranking competitors have already done the hard work for you in finding the high-quality sites that you want to link to.
What is an easy way to check competitor backlinks?
First, identify your biggest competitors. Go to SEMrush.com, and enter your keyword. Scroll through the page, and you’ll see what websites are currently ranking for that keyword. Make a list of these sites.
Next, head on over to Moz Explorer to analyze the backlinks. Enter one of the web page URLs you collected from SEMrush and click “search.” The results will show you which links are causing that webpage to rank highly. The webpage might only have a handful of links, but if they are high-authority, that is going to boost the page’s visibility and overall rank on the SERPs.
If your competitors are getting a lot of backlinks from relevant blogs, then their link building strategy is probably guest-posting dominated. If their backlinks are coming from corporate sites, then they are using a networking strategy. See a lot of backlinks from high-authority sites like Forbes, Huffington Post, or CNN? Then chances are they are using an editor or columnist and their links might be paid for.
When you know where your top competition is getting their backlinks from, you’ll be able to quickly launch your link building campaign. Knowing is half the battle, and conducting a thorough competitor analysis will show you what strategies are working with your particular industry and niche.
Content Is King
You have to have compelling and engaging content to entice relevant websites to link back to your web pages. Your content should inspire the viewer to become not just a passive reader of content, but to become a buyer. Make sure that your content is structured for desktop and mobile devices, and is easy and also entertaining for viewers to read.
Remember, Google likes links that are earned, not just built. Producing relevant and valuable content on a consistent basis is also going to help you earn natural links throughout the online ecosystem.
What is a natural link?
A natural link is one that is earned, and also organic. Natural links are given when your content is valuable and helps people. As you grow your brand, and as your content becomes an extension of your thoughts and your authority in your niche, people will start to link to you because your content adds value to their site and to their audience. When you blog or publish content consistently, you will eventually get noticed throughout the online ecosystem and you will start to earn links without actively soliciting for them.
Distribute the Content
Once you’ve written an engaging article, your next step is to look over the list of websites you’ve created. Choose which sites are the most likely and the most relevant to link to your content.
It’s important that during this step you find websites that are incredibly specific to your long tail keyword strategy. Also, link to the website that you want to link back to you. This will help sweeten the deal and increase your chances of getting a response and having the other person link to your content. The more niche and specific your content and the websites that link to it, the more likely you’ll be to get your brand in front of the right, targeted audience. Plus the more your content fits with the other website’s content, the higher the chances are that the website will want to link to your piece.
Finally, you’ll want to contact the site owner, editor, or content manager. For this step, it’s best to avoid automated messages and go the personalized route. The email you send doesn’t have to be long, or complicated. For example, you can use a template like this:
Hello (insert name of website owner here),
My name is (insert your name) and I’m the owner of (insert your URL here). I found your webpage (insert their webpage URL here) and I thought the content was extremely helpful and entertaining. Recently, I wrote an article that relates to the topic you covered (insert your webpage URL here) and I linked to your original article.
If you like the post and think your readers and social media fans may enjoy it too, I would really appreciate it if you could share the article. Thank you, and have a great day!
Sign off and include your target URL again
One of the reasons why this approach is incredibly effective for building links is because you’re building a personal relationship with people in your niche, and you’re linking back to their site. This way, you’re establishing trust with this person and also indicating your appreciation for their content, too.
A Final Warning About Blog Commenting
Because of the increase in black hat SEO commenting software and the link, using blog comment links to drive traffic is generally frowned up. However, this technique can still be effective in certain contexts.
For one, look for blogs that have a large readership that closely matches your target audience, publishes valuable content, and include dofollow comment links. Don’t include your keyword in the “name” section because that is considered spammy.
You want to use this technique sparingly, and it should be used to build relationships through blog commenting. This technique can give you increased traffic, and also boost your page rank if you do it the right way.
Links are one of the languages that the search engine giants speak. You want to make it easy for them to discern what your website is about. Building links the correct way will compel the search engines to reward your website with higher rankings on the SERPs. Consistent blogging, finding high-authority sites, and creating a web of high-quality links to and from your pages will make it easier for your target audience members to find you. The next time you publish a piece of valuable content, keep these link building techniques in mind to grow your online presence and establish yourself as an authority in your niche.