Many businesses today leverage search engine optimization (SEO), in order to boost their online visibility, credibility and awareness. Nowadays, competing on the overcrowded market has become increasingly difficult and many businesses simply need SEO, in order to stand out.
It’s safe to say that SEO is becoming mandatory instead of just optional these days. The main advantage of SEO is that it doesn’t just help companies rank well on search engines, but it also helps them improve their reputation online. One of the SEO activities, link building, helps businesses boost their domain authority and drive more qualified traffic back to their website.
According to Google, backlinks and content share the first place of being the most important ranking factors. Not only that, but through effective link building, companies can easily position themselves as industry professionals, which allows them to extend their reach on the market. However, not just any backlinks will do the trick. As a matter of fact, only high-quality backlinks drive the desired results, while black-hat link building only results in penalties. That being said, here are a few link building strategies that drive viable results.
Determine Your Goals
Link building is much more than simply creating backlinks for your website. As any other SEO activity, link building can drive results. Which results it will drive depends on what you want from your link building campaign. For example, the most obvious result you can get from backlinks is increased website traffic. However, do you want website visitors looking to gain more information or do you want visitors that are willing to buy from you?
There’s a big difference between the two, as both leads are on different stages of their buyer’s journey in this example. That’s why it’s important to determine your goals and what you want to achieve with backlinks. That way, it becomes easier to develop a good strategy that will drive desired and viable results. If you plan to improvise, you should be aware that things may not turn out as you planned.
Know What Content Is Best for Your Links
Link building and content marketing go hand in hand. If you don’t promote your content, you can’t build high-quality links. That includes content on your web pages and not just content you publish. The better the content a page contains, the more linkable it becomes. For example, pages containing content such as videos, images, guides, webinars, free incentives, downloadable content and so on are the most linkable pages.
If your pages don’t contain enough elements that will make it linkable, then you must first attend to those issues before investing time and resources into your link building campaign. Other than that, when deciding to publish content, it’s also important to determine which content is best suited for backlinks. In fact, whatever you decide to publish, you must ensure that it’s top quality and highly relevant to the audience you’re trying to reach.
Understanding Link Queries to Find Link Building Opportunities
As mentioned before, black-hat link building gets penalized by search engines, which means you can’t just decide to create backlinks wherever you can. That also means you have to create only the best quality backlinks on reputable sources. In order to accomplish that, you must understand link queries quite well. Basically, link queries are advanced search options that help you find the best link building opportunities, such as websites, blogs, forums etc. That includes linkable asset, link target and link prospecting query.
For example, a linkable asset is low-calorie foods, link target – mommy blogs, prospect query, “write for us”, “become a contributor” and so on. Doing these searches manually is a daunting and time-consuming task. Instead, you can leverage reliable link building tools to find suitable link building opportunities. It comes down to quality and relevance of your content that matches the relevance of the link prospect. The better the opportunities you find, the more quality backlinks you’re able to create and drive more qualified traffic back to your website or page.
Identifying Your Main Competitors
Competitive analysis is essential for every marketing campaign. However, analyzing your competition when devising a link building strategy is slightly different than any other competitive analysis. The main reason is that, when determining main competitors, you’re not looking at your industry rivals on the market. Instead, you’re focusing on websites that rank better than you for related keywords. Those are your main competitors in SEO.
The key is to analyze these competitors and have a look at their link building strategy. For example, what is their backlink portfolio? See which anchor-text distribution method they use, as well as how linkable their content is among other things. This is what you must focus on, in order to identify gaps that could potentially help you outrank those competitors. The purpose isn’t to copy their strategies, which will get you nowhere. Instead, its purpose is to help improve your own strategy and climb to the top of search rankings.
Retaining Your Rankings
When developing a link building strategy, many businesses or individuals focus on the quantity of links and boosting rankings. However, a good strategy also contains a plan for staying on top as well. Building authority is only a single positive result of an effective link building campaign. Therefore, if your end goal is more website traffic or improved sales, will you settle for a one-time increase or will you benefit more from a long-term increase? If your strategy drives viable results, but also allows others to outrank you easily, is it really an effective strategy? That being said, when creating backlinks for your business or website, make sure they have the power to last.
In other words, the content you publish and the content you link to must be top quality. As previously mentioned, relevance is of the utmost importance, but the quality of the content ensures more engagement from audiences from all sides. When creating backlinks, make sure they link not only to promotions and engaging web pages, but also to content that will provide additional value to consumers, such as how-to guides, demo videos, webinars, podcasts and other informative, yet entertaining and educational content. That way, you’ll ensure that you’re getting the most out of your backlinks and not just the results related to your goals.
When developing a link building campaign, it’s not just about picking a few strategies and continuing on with the flow. You have to have an endgame in mind when deciding which strategy to implement. That endgame doesn’t mean the end of your efforts, but the continuation of the desired results from your campaign that will get you the long-term benefits.
About the Author
Raul Harman is the editor-in-chief at Technivorz blog. He has a lot to say about innovation in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing.