SEO and link building strategies go hand in hand. One can’t be nearly as effective without the other.
In case you’re not familiar, link building is the practice of getting websites and publications to link to your website pages and content. These types of links are referred to as backlinks. Links from respected websites can boost your ranking authority dramatically because search engines give higher priority to content that is credited by highly ranked sites. Backlinks from low-authority websites aren’t as valuable but can still be used to improve ranking.
Creating a Link Building Strategy
Should you establish a link building strategy for your website, or not? My answer is an emphatic “Yes.” Link building is one of the best ways to attract organic website traffic and establish your brand’s influence online. If your website doesn’t have a blog, creating one should be your first step. You absolutely need a blog in order to gain authority with search engines.
Organic website traffic can be extremely difficult to earn, especially as the amount of online content continues to increase exponentially. Here are four tips for creating a successful link building strategy your business will benefit from:
1. Become a Resource
The entire point of link building is to become a resource for other valuable websites. That means creating and publishing exceptional content, then distributing it far and wide. This often requires you to invest substantial time and resources into developing custom content.
As Neil Patel so eloquently puts in on Kiss Metrics in his discussion of SEO and content marketing, “The crux of the problem is that SEO and content marketing are separated, as if they were two very different things. The truth is, however, that they go together, overlap, cohere, blend.”
While there are many differences between content marketing and SEO, the two must work together to achieve a successful link building strategy. Your content needs to be both valuable and forward-thinking and must implement SEO best practices to make it as easy as possible for search engines to find.
2. Find Websites that Appeal to Your Target Market
If you’re a consulting company, it makes sense to associate your brand with publications like Business Insider because they share content that your audience is interested in. If you’re a sports equipment brand it makes sense to associate your brand with ESPN. Find relevant publications and organizations that your brand’s audience appreciates and then redistribute their content on your social channels and in your email marketing campaigns.
While this doesn’t directly establish backlink authority for your website, it still helps you reach a larger audience within your target market.
3. Network and Outreach
This one can be time-consuming, but it’s worth every second. To do this effectively you need to have at least one piece of amazing, custom content on your website. Find an authority site that publishes exceptional content on a related topic and find a blog post, article or resource your content can add value to.
Once you find a good piece of content, contact the author, editor, or publication and gently pitch them for a backlink. Make sure you know how your link adds value to their content for their audience. Address the reasons their content caught your eye and tell them how your content can help. Be succinct, genuine and helpful.
I’ll be honest. The acceptance rate isn’t always going to be great, but just one link from a credible website is worth the effort.
4. Guest Posting
This is my personal favorite. Guest posting offers four major benefits to your brand:
1. Establish valuable backlinks
2. Place your content in front of a larger audience
3. Improve site authority
4. Build networking relationships
Most major publications have guidelines on guest posting for their websites. Make sure you read every word of their guidelines very carefully before contacting them and pitching a topic.
Once you have a pitch accepted you’ll need to write a draft and coordinate with the editing team to polish the final piece. After your article has been published, you’ll have a live backlink with excellent opportunities to improve your website’s authority.
If you follow these four tactics your search ranking authority will begin to improve as you gain more backlinks along the way. Keep in mind, any significant SEO efforts will take at least three to six months before you begin seeing results. Just be patient, be persistent and be consistent.