A short while back, it wasn’t hard to create an effective link building strategy to propel your business’s or client’s SEO into the stratosphere, but things have changed quite a bit, with a lot to with Google implementing new policies and restrictions as to what constitutes ‘proper’ linking building.
Bear in mind that you’ll want to follow updates regularly from Google as nothing will forever be set in stone, as such is the casein this ever changing landscape of technology. If you inadvertently use outdated practices, you can actually harm your SEO rather than help it grow.
So, what is link building? Why do you need it? How do you get it? The purpose of this article is to answer these questions to assist you in your SEO journey.
What The Heck Is Link Building?
Wikipedia defines Link Building as ‘actions aimed at increasing the number and quality of inbound links to a webpage with the goal of increasing the search engine rankings of that page or website.‘
What this means in layman’s terms is that Link Building for SEO is, to put it simply, the fine art of generating links that point back to your own website(s). A key ranking factor are links that direct to your website; this tells search engines like Google that other websites and platforms find value in your content.
But, before you start spamming your website with all sorts of links, keep in mind that not all links are created equally, in fact, some are more equal than others! The actual quality of the link, source of the link, trustworthy score and more are determining factors on which links bears more importance and value than others.
To put this as an example, if let’s say, The Economist had links pointing to your website, the quality, authority score, value and trustworthiness from a website like the Economist holds much more value than a few blogs that your friends (or yourself) created a week ago.
Why is this? It’s to do with trust and authority. The Economist is referred to as a high authority website, and links created from them pass more value through it as they are highly trusted websites when it comes to Search Engines like Google. They’ve earned it, and you’ll have to as well.
This is something to always keep in mind since the purpose of link building always aims to build links back to your website or your client’s website from trusted, high authority (aka credible) websites.
This also doubles down against link building schemes that Google constantly cracks down on.
Things Have Changed Regarding How Link Building Is Achieved
Once upon a time, it was super easy to create an effective link building strategy. How? For starters, by buying links! Yes, you used to be able to fork over your hard earned cash for some sweet sweet links, but as we’re in 2020 now, this is considered a big no-no when it comes to SEO and Link Building.
Heed these words: DO NOT BUY LINKS! Google now refers to link buying a link scheme and you can actually get penalized if you’re caught (PS – you’ll get caught).
It doesn’t stop there either; old link building techniques may also end up hurting rather than helping you. It’s crucial to stay up to date with current Google’s SEO and Link Building guides and trends to avoid the pitfalls newcomers hit when working on live websites.
1. Make Sure You’re Creating Meaningful Content
Search Engines love it when you post content, and it truly powers the internet nowadays as many websites offer user-created content to stay relevant and alive. Think of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and many more. Their primary focus is user-generated content to drive traffic in and out of these platforms and to keep them relevant and active.
It’s no different for other websites that are looking to increasing their SEO score in Search Engines.
You don’t need to have a user-generated approach like the aforementioned platforms, but you should be churning out creative content regularly – it can be blogs, news updates, Social Media posts, or insightful, helpful content (more on this in the next point). Be creative!
2. Offer Content That Aims To Help Or Inform
During your brainstorming session, a surefire strategy is to develop link building ideas that center around helpful, unique information that can help fill in a gap for your users.
Think about a time when you were looking for an answer to a question you may have had, but had difficulty in pinpointing the solution, or simply couldn’t find it at all. Maybe the solution or information you found to your query was outdated.
You’re more likely to develop meaningful links and traffic if you’re able to provide new findings, analysis or a solution on a topic that’s relevant to your niche or website, since they’ll need to credit you if they end up referencing any information you’ve provided.
A great way to find potential gaps would be to use specific SEO tools, like a keyword research tool. You can also review Google Analytics data to dissect the information scraped and develop a strategy toward any kind of questions that may come up.
3. Share Your Content. And Make It Easy To Find!
You don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot by creating amazing, engaging and relevant topics that your users can utilize, only to have it sitting in a hard to reach place. This is where Social Media is going to be your best friend.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and more. Ideally you want to have a Social Media presence on as many platforms as possible, just ensure that each account you have running is active and pushing content regularly (having a content calendar helps immensely for this).
Now, you won’t develop backlinks when users link your social media posts but it’s still an incredibly effective way to share your content with everyone. They’ll also be more likely to find and share your content with a link on their own website, especially if you practice tip number 2 above.
Once you’ve fine-tuned the execution of the tips outlined above, this will be a surefire way to run an effective link building strategy in 2020, complementing your overall SEO strategy that you or your clients are running.
Make sure to invest your time an effort in developing the compelling and creative, unique content that users will find helpful.