Link building is a great way to help your website rank higher on Google. However, due to black hat tactics surrounding link building, this strategy’s reputation has been tarnished.
Fortunately, Google has gone through significant improvements in the years, making it better at spotting black hat practices. As a result, it has greatly reduced the negative associations linked to link building. And with 2020 in full swing, it’s important to know what Google considers a black or white-hat link-building practice so you can avoid getting penalized.
While there are several things you need to remember to differentiate the good from the bad, at the core of everything lies a simple concept: offering your customers value. As long as your link-building strategy adds value to your readers, you’re on the right path.
Below you’ll find seven link-building strategies that offer value, which include practices you should avoid.
Publish Guest Posts with Value
Guest posting is one of the most common link-building techniques but is often misused. When using this strategy, always remember that you’re not simply building links—you’re building your reputation.
As such, you should provide highly informative content that benefits readers. Before writing your content, make a list of the sites you’ll be writing for. After all, there are a few pointers to consider when figuring out which one is best for you:
- Relevance – The site should be relevant to your niche or offer a connection to your business.
- Authority – The site should have a domain authority of over 50. You can figure this out by using tools like Moz or Ahrefs.
- Industry Leader – The site should be established as a leader in your industry, which means that it has a significant follower base on social media.
- Consistent – The site is constantly publishing quality content for its readers.
Now for the twist: where guest posting involves asking sites to write content for you to increase exposure, you can reverse the process and have webmasters post on your site or your client’s site instead.
But it’s important to remember that you need two different sites for this to work. The process is straightforward, though. You publish content from another site on your platform that links to the website. Then, you ask the website owner to take an article from your second site that you can link to on your first website. If you want to learn more, here’s an in-depth explanation of the entire process.
Get Interactive to Earn More Backlinks
Fostering a healthy relationship with others in your niche is just as important as any link-building strategy. Blog commenting, forum commenting, writing quality guest posts, and several other tactics can help you achieve this goal.
And while blog commenting is sometimes considered spam by experts, getting interactive is still a useful strategy if done correctly. Here are key elements to remember:
- Insert additional value to the blog you’re commenting on
- Only place links that are relevant to the content
- Use the link to support your comment
- Keep your comment simple and straightforward,
- Limit your comment to around 150 words
- Avoid content spam and post only one or two comments per day
By following these rules, you’re increasing your site’s exposure and telling audiences that you’re in the know. The idea is for other people to see you as a source of reliable info.
Build Traffic from Link Round-Ups
Having your articles included in link round-ups by authority sites is a solid link-building strategy. This tactic helps you reach out to site owners and convince them to add your content whenever they’re doing weekly or monthly round-ups.
Link round-ups are a great way to boost traffic to your site since you’re considered a great source of useful information. As such, your content needs to be of the highest quality. After all, you’re going to be lumped in with other experts in your niche who offer value to their audiences.
Again, if you’re pitching your article to a site, keep your email brief. Send them a summary of the post, what makes your content special, a link to the content itself, and how you plan to promote it.
Establish Authority with Relevant Data
Data is—and always will be—one of the top factors that will make you an industry leader. If you do it right, you’ll receive a significant amount of traffic to your site. But more importantly, that engagement will last for a long time if your content offers relevance.
Naturally, you’ll need to conduct extensive research on your topic. Using tools like RankWatch can give you an in-depth look at relevant industry data. Moreover, try to accumulate articles that contain informative stats then compile them into a single list.
One of the things you can do is create a month-by-month or year-by-year stat compilation, then single out certain trends in different areas. You can also survey your audience to identify what their interests are.
Conduct Thorough Research
When writing valuable content, always make sure that you’re covering all the bases. This increases the chance of people linking to your article since you’re discussing something that they’re also writing about. That heightens the chance of them linking to your piece as a reference.
It also makes it easier to enter SEO-related keywords and get good scores on Google’s algorithm. Long articles are often more credible in the eyes of Google since they’re packed with useful info, especially if you include links to reliable sources and industry experts.
And on top of that, your readers don’t have to go anywhere else to find what they’re looking for. Longer articles fall between 2,500 to 3,000 words, so try to reach that target.
Publish Newsjacking Articles
A term coined by marketing strategist and bestselling author David Meerman Scott, newsjacking involves covering a topic that’s expected to go viral. These topics only last for a short time, so timing is crucial. Aside from timing, there are several other things you need to remember when using newsjacking for link building.
- Avoid copying an angle that’s already been covered.
- Find an angle that will connect your brand to the subject.
- Monitor social media to stay ahead of the competition.
- Avoid covering tragedies, disasters, or controversial events that may result in backlash.
A good rule to remember is “if you’re in doubt, don’t send it out.” Remember, the whole point of your campaign is to build trust and credibility. If you do this right and cover all the important angles, others will link back to you.
Break Monotony with Useful Infographics
Infographics are a great way to build links since it offers digestible info. In fact, infographics can increase a site’s traffic by up to 12% and are considered more important than written content.
Combine data and statistics with creativity and originality to ensure you’re pushing out something that will receive strong engagement. If you have many followers, try to create polls and surveys about a topic your audience is interested in and use that to create compelling visuals.
Successful Link Building Requires Consistency
Your link-building strategy will always work as long as you place value on top of everything else. People in whatever industry always need relevant and in-depth information, and you can be the provider of such demand.
Just remember that the end goal is for you to be seen as a leading expert in your niche. Once you’ve accomplished that, the next thing to do is be consistent with your publishing content.