Have you been hung out-to-dry by your old SEO agency? Perhaps you should have checked the colour of their hat earlier. But enough about what-ifs, what can you do now to get quality links to your website, now you’ve got rid of the spam?
Well quite a bit actually…
Why is Link Building Important?
Quality links are an important part of a site’s SEO, as they are a major influence on how Google will rank your site in search results. Google’s website states:
‘Relevancy is determined by over 200 factors, one of which is the PageRank for a given page. PageRank is the measure of the importance of a page based on the incoming links from other pages. In simple terms, each link to a page on your site from another site adds to your site’s PageRank. Not all links are equal: Google works hard to improve the user experience by identifying spam links and other practices that negatively impact search results. The best types of links are those that are given based on the quality of your content.’
So links are important, but how do you recognise quality links, and how do you find them?
Guest blog outreach is an effective way of building great backlinks to your website. If you create compelling content and market it in the right way, other people will want to reference and link to it, or even host a post from you.
White hat SEO experts will tell you that it’s not about the number of links you have, but the relevancy and value of them. SEOs will look at the PageRank and domain authority of a site before approaching it, and will always aim for links from sites that are more authoritative than their own.
If you are thinking of reaching out to other sites in your industry (that aren’t competitors) make sure that your emails are professional, yet catch their attention. And be aware they may automatically go to their spam folder.
An offer of a guest blog should be a win-win situation, the host site will want to get something out of it too. So, pitch an idea that will benefit their readers, perhaps a ‘how to guide’ or a review of a product. Think about what questions their readers may be asking, and answer them. It is much easier to pitch a post if you have a unique and useful idea.
If the post is of great quality, they may even share it on their social media platforms and tag your company in the tweet. It’s free marketing at its best.
Another way to entice sites to link to yours is the offer of free samples in exchange for a review or feedback. Bloggers love this kind of thing, after all everyone loves a freebie don’t they?
Google search – It may sound simple, but take a look at which sites rank for your target keywords, and which of these have blogs. All big businesses were small start-ups once upon a time, and many are therefore likely to accept a post and offer you a link.
Google search strings come in handy with this method. Put your “keywords” in speech marks to find an exact word or phrase, or use “guest blog” to find advertised opportunities.
Look at competitors’ backlinks – Okay, so this is slightly naughty, but by looking at your competitors’ backlinks you can easily find which of the more authoritative sites accept guest posts (without having to send a request and get rejected by others first).
Search for your target keywords and enter the highest ranking competitors into Majestic SEO. You can then export with Microsoft Excel, strip back the URLs to their root domain, remove duplicates and log potential website contacts for future use.
If you don’t have access to Majestic SEO, a simple alternative is to use the search string link: to see what pages link to a competitor’s homepage URL.
Content distribution networks – When you get to the bottom of a story on popular news sites you may see some suggested articles to read. Have you ever wondered who puts these there? Well, it’s content distribution networks like Taboola.
These networks will work with you to recommend your editorial content to high-traffic sites. Relevant stories are advertised on posts with the aim of increased traffic to your site and higher engagement. And of course, there is the reader’s benefit of finding useful and interesting content with ease.
Content distribution networks effectively do the outreach process for you, saving you time and money.
Other – Here’s Google’s view on guest blogging and how to do it right…
Does your company hold a lot of events, raise a lot of money for charity or perhaps you are award winning? Well tell people about it! Press releases sent to news sites can be a great way of building links, and are a handy way of controlling content. A link from BBC news or similar can do wonders for SEO.
For visual people, infographics are much more appealing than a block of text, and they blend SEO and social media seamlessly. The visual appeal of an infographic will add variety to a blog, and therefore as a stand-out piece it is more likely to get shared.
As an added bonus you can build in links and include an embed code, so anyone sharing your infographic on their site will automatically link back to your own.
Become a Sponsor
An easy way to get a link from a quality and high ranking source is to sponsor a charity or conference. They are likely to want to thank their sponsors on their website, and therefore you will gain a link in return. You will also have your brand on all of their material, gaining you extra exposure.
Are there any other techniques we missed out, let’s go back to Matt Cutts and see:
Link Building Techniques to Avoid
With good there must come the bad, and there are a number of link building techniques that should be avoided. Some are black hat, some are outdated, and others are simply ineffective.
We would recommend avoiding the following:
• Link farms
• Site wide links and blogrolls
• Directories or any other type of link network
• Paid links of any kind
• Forum signatures
Now you are more in-the-know when it comes to link building will you be attempting your own SEO? If you feel a little daunted by it, or simply don’t have the time, talk to us here at Liberty Marketing. SEO is what we do.