The World Wide Web wouldn’t exist without links. In fact, links are why it is referred to as a web – they provide the webbing that eventually interconnects billions of websites into one interconnected web. Every website owner and marketer ought to take link building seriously because links not only provide the primary method of navigation on the internet but more importantly because search engines rank your website higher when it has quality inbound and outbound links.
In 2013, Google crashed unexpectedly, and that led to a 40% drop in website traffic. This is because the average internet user heavily relies on search engines to get information online. This underscores the importance of taking every SEO initiative seriously, and building links should be part and parcel of your content strategy.
Google uses PageRank as its core system, and it is this algorithm that has made Google the dominant search engine on the web. This algorithm places a lot of premium on inbound and outbound links and uses them to determine the ranking of websites in search engines.
You cannot get quality links accidentally. Link building is an intentional process. While it is important to focus on producing quality content, that alone cannot guarantee link juice. You must be intentional about it by marketing your content to websites where your content makes sense. A 2015 study by Moz realized that most of the online content lacks external links. As a consequence, most content cannot get enough search engine traffic.
The good news is, you do not need to get hundreds of links to your page to rank better. All you need is a couple of natural links from authority websites. The commodity of one link has increased tremendously in the last couple of years.
There are three broad categories of SEO namely; technical SEO, On-page SEO and off-page SEO. Technical SEO deals with configuring of technology Google uses to crawl your website like robots.txt. On-page SEO deals with configuring HTML and content on your page to make it more visible to Google. Off-page SEO deals with link building.
Off-page SEO is fascinating and challenging because it is the SEO component you have the least control over. You have to convince another website that you are worth linking back to. Links are the strongest SEO signal and getting them guarantees you a better SEO rank.
Top 7 link building strategies
1. Broken links
This is a perfect strategy for creating one-way links. To get started, you identify a couple of websites in your niche and then locate some broken links on the site and report them to the webmaster. You can then recommend your website as an alternative for the broken links. But how do you scan through a website to locate broken links? It is easier than you think – just download the check my links plugin (chrome) and run it on a page to automatically locate all broken links.
2. Content promotion
It is not just enough to create great content – you must also take the initiative to promote it. The only way your great content will get you quality backlinks is if you know how to promote it properly. Apart from social media marketing, you can search for roundups in Google by typing “your keyword + roundup,” e.g., Roundup link building. This should give you some bloggers that are doing roundups. You can then contact them to introduce your website and add a link to your best tutorial. If they like it, they could add your link in their next weekly roundup.
3. Guest blogging
Guest blogging is another great strategy for getting backlinks. Most websites, including Google, now allow for guest blogging. You can take advantage of the author biocapsule to add a link back to your website. The rule of thumb when going the guest blogging way is to always look for websites that are in your niche. You should also write thought-provoking and fluid guest blogs because you want the reader to check out your profile and possibly click on your backlinks.
4. Social media bookmarks
Social media websites are the great sources of quality backlinks. You should have social media pages for at least 4 major social media channels. But it is not just enough to open accounts and then configuring your website to auto-post content on social media – you need to engage your audience as well. Reply to all comments and questions, post useful information and tips and just be friendly to your followers.
There is an insatiable hunger for visual content on the internet. Infographics are quickly taking over from text content. If you have some content that you can convert into an infographic, you may want to do just that. It will increase your social shares, and if the infographic is good enough, you might just get noticed by some authority sites.
Interviews are the in thing nowadays. Anybody that is an authority in their niche will get enough interview offers. But before you build a name, you might have to get proactive about interviews. Look for websites that are offering interviews in your niche and let them know of your availability and the information you will bring to the table.
7. Document sharing
Submitting your eBooks and documents to document sharing websites is another strategy for getting links. If you haven’t written an eBook, just compile some blogs you have written into an eBook. You can hire a freelance writer from websites like Upwork to help you in the compilation. Document sharing websites are trusted by Google, so those links will significantly improve your search engine rating.
Google places a lot of premium on high-quality backlinks. Off-page SEO can, therefore, no longer be wished away. If you are a website owner, you cannot afford to leave your SEO to fate – you need to start actively building links. With some little effort on your side, your backlinks will start trickling in, and you will see your search listing improving.