Link building is a crucial part of SEO strategy. It’s a way to get your brand seen and heard - but it has to be done right to be effective.
Your link building strategy should be made up of different tactics, and figuring out which ones work for your business can be a challenging task but also rewarding when it comes to increasing interaction with your brand.
Why is link building important?
Link building can be an effective way to drive organic traffic to your site. How?
- Links from content on other sites can help direct traffic your way
- It can gradually build brand awareness and increase brand impression
- Links can encourage more ‘linkers’ and followers of your brand
How does link building work?
When another site with a high authority score links to your site, Google determines that you have authority in your industry, which can help up your rankings. I mean, if people are pushing people to your site, you must be a credible source, right?
This also works the other way round; if you link to a site with a low authority score, then this can reflect how Google search perceives your site - uncredible. That’s why who you link to and which tactics you use to acquire and build links determine your success with this strategy.
Here’s a rundown of the most common link building tactics...
Outreach aka SEOs version of PR
Like the name suggests outreach is about reaching out to people within your industry and showing them something link worthy that they might be interested in. This could be a blog or a piece of valuable content, but even your brand, service, or a member of your team.
A lot of SEOs still use email outreach as a best practice, although it can work, some would criticise that if done the wrong way - it can come across as spammy. That’s why you need to show value in your copy and the content you are providing.
Guest posts in your industry
As an expert in your niche, you are most likely already writing expert content, all you’ll need to do is keep on writing AND reaching out.
Guest blogging can be described as writing a valuable piece of content that is specifically for another website. It has to relate to your niche and you’re going to want the other site to publish it - with a link to your site, of course.
Interested in learning about creating something link-worthy? Then you should read up on some tips for creating great SEO content.
This old school tactic can become a win-win for both parties, they get a great piece of content (practically for free) and you get valuable content that is searchable with a link that could potentially drive a ton of traffic to your site!
Data that is current is so useful for providing deeper insights into what is happening in your industry and how it is affecting your customers. Data journalism is about taking hard data, making sense of it, and presenting it in a way that is relatable and consumable but still highlighting the important facts.
Whether you go about doing this yourself or involve specialists, it’s an approach that is quickly becoming the norm when it comes to expert content for SEO and it can have an impact.
Claiming unlinked mentions of your site
If you’re lucky enough, and you look in the right place, you might find mentions of your brand on other websites that are unlinked. This is a golden opportunity for an easy backlink. Using an outreach approach, you can contact the site or relevant author of the article and simply ask if they could add a link to your brand mention.
To get a timely and positive response, the key is to make sure you approach them, showing the value that linking to your site will bring to them. Always check their authority score and, of course, only go ahead if the site is relevant to your business.
See how we helped a client grow their business in digital.
Reclaiming Lost Backlinks
Sometimes you lose links, and this happens a more often than you realise. It happens for several reasons; a site’s page may have 404’d, a page may have been removed or moved, or the link itself may have ended up being removed by accident when the content on the page was updated.
SEOs like to call these ‘dead links’... dead links can be internal or external, the first is easier to fix - here’s how...
Internal Link Cleanup
- It’s relatively straightforward to clean up any internal links on your site that may have died off one way or another, you can use Google Analytics and even Screaming Frog Spider (there is a limited free version.)
- To do this, crawl your site using Screaming Frog to make a note of any 4xx status codes and simply to the page on your site and replace the broken link with a new one.
But what about broken external links? This one is a bit trickier to fix...
- Although it’s paid, Ahrefs is arguably one of the best tools out there for figuring out which links you’ve lost over the last 7 days. Majestic is another tool that is useful for reclaiming lost backlinks.
- Once you've discovered dead external links you’ll have to reach out to the sites’ owner and hope they fix them for you to reclaim them, this could be a simple personable email. After all, you are helping them out and fellow SEOs would understand!
Is external link reclamation too much effort? To put it straight, reclaiming lost links is often a lot easier than starting to build backlinks from nowhere. It’s worth a shot if you’re not sure where to start!
Read up on our SEO hacks and make sure you are covering all nooks and crannies, SEOs love nothing more than a cheeky (technical) fix.
Repurposing great content and sharing
If you regularly create original infographics then this tactic will be right up your street. You can repurpose content and submit them to infographic directories such as Visual.ly.
This is not limited to just infographics, you can use video ‘How To’ content or anything original that you think will attract a lot of attention. Infographics have been used for over a decade and continue to see promising results in terms of shares and reuses.
If you have the data ready, you can easily use free tools such as Canva to create your own design with ease (or use a template), even easier!
Here’s an infographic we mocked up from one of our other blogs using some sizzling hot data...
Interested in getting more insight into gamer moms as a consumer? Read the blog here.
What about buying links?
Links are available for purchase everywhere online, it’s a tactic that can work but...
Hold your horses, before you hastily spend some budget on links you should first consider that Google does not approve of link buying.
The following is from Google’s guidelines:
“Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site's ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behaviour that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.”
So we do not recommend buying links. It’s risky, and you may receive a penalty should Google catch you.
You’ve been warned.
Links can also cost obscene amounts of money because of the authority they can pass over to your site. We don’t recommend this tactic, but it’s something to be aware of as it is common.
Remember there is no one way ticket to backlink heaven when it comes to SEO.
Need more help with link building techniques for SEO? Get in touch and let’s start a conversation.