Link building is one of the best ways of boosting your website SEO. Here are some of the best (and legit) ways of building those links.
If you’re running your own website, sooner or later you’d have been told (or you’d have read about) the importance of link-building. This is a crucial way of reaching more people with your website.
It’s actually all about SEO, which as a website runner you should know about. Link-building is an important element of search engine optimization, which is why it’s worth all your time and effort.
What is Link Building & Why is it Important for SEO?
Link-building is how you manage to get other websites to feature hyperlinks that lead to your own website. You may have seen other web page articles with hyperlinks to other websites, right? Now imagine if one of those hyperlinks leads directly to your own website. That’s great for you.
Google came into prominence as a search engine because its algorithm factored in these types of hyperlinks. You may have noticed that on other websites, the hyperlinks lead to well-respected websites like official news websites and other mainstream web pages. It stands to reason then, that if many other websites lead to your own website, then your website must be of high quality.
Search engines crawl through various websites in search of all these hyperlinks. The crawlers then discover your website and that’s good news for your SEO. If these crawlers find lots of hyperlinks leading to your website, it naturally concludes that your website is a good one and therefore it should get higher standings in search engine result rankings.
Once you get these higher Google rankings, you’re bound to get more people to find your website. You’ll get more visitors, and that’s the kind of improvement you want.
How can link building benefit your business?
Aside from the SEO benefits, there are other reasons why you need to devote your attention to building links:
It Boosts Referral Traffic
These links are links. That means that the readers in that other website will encounter these links, and then some of them will be interested enough to click that link. If that other website has a considerable number of loyal visitors, then those people may visit your website through these links and then become loyal to your site as well.
Remember, your new visitors don’t have to always come from the Google search results.
It Builds Your Brand
When links to your site are featured at another website, that means that other website trusts and respects your website. The fans of that website will then be inclined to trust your website as well.
Imagine if your site is mentioned on the CNN or Time magazine website. That’s virtually an endorsement of your brand. Those iconic websites won’t feature a link to your site unless your website really matters.
Of course, it doesn’t mean you need to get on CNN or the Time website. You can find some of the other popular websites (either in or outside your niche) and then partner up.
It Builds Relationships
One of the main methods of building links is by reaching out to other websites run by the most important influencers in your niche. By reaching out, you can very well start a relationship with these people that can benefit you in the long term. Relationships with these people validate your importance and relevance in the industry you’re in.
Even though you reach out and fail to get a link-building agreement with another website, it doesn’t mean that you’ve soured your relationship with the influencer. You can still get on good terms with them, and it’s great to have more friends in your niche.
Legit Link-Building Strategies
If Google had its way, no one will actively pursue building these links. Google’s ideal is that other websites will feature a hyperlink to your site if your site is good, whether or not there was a formal agreement for them to do so beforehand. Such a process is natural. It is earned.
The problem is that we don’t live in an ideal world. The ability to provide those hyperlinks and help out other websites is an ability that can be bartered. Most websites won’t do this just out of the goodness of their hearts. If they will help you, they want to know what you can do to help them. You have to scratch their backs if you want them to scratch yours.
You need to know the difference between the legal ways of building links, however. Check out Google’s guidelines on the subject, so that you don’t risk getting penalized if you inadvertently break them.
Other Simple Link Building Strategies
Reach out to websites that already mention your brand
All you need to do is basically Google yourself, or rather your brand. Google can then give you a list of all the sites that have already mentioned your brand, even without any prompting on your part. They’ve basically shown their liking for your brand unless the mention was derogatory or insulting. It’s then up to you to take the next step.
Find out the contact info for these websites and then reach out to them. Start with a basic email to thank them for mentioning your brand. Then you can mention that they can provide more information about your brand simply by offering a link to your own website. Of course, you can also offer to do the same for their brand.
You can also Google the specific products you offer and find mentions of them on other websites. If a site mentions your particular product, you can then offer the specific product web page for that product for the link to lead to.
Reach out to your buddies
When people start with their own small business, they tend to approach friends and family for their needs. These can include being their first customers, or as sources of seed money for the business.
So why not use your contacts to get backlinks to your site? You can start with the people you already work with, such as your product suppliers. They can feature a link to your site on their website, and you’ll do the same for them.
You can also use this technique with your current clients. Just make sure that the clients you approach are the ones who are the most satisfied with your products and services.
Offering relevant guest posts on other websites
Guest blogging is one of the easiest and most popular ways of building links today, and you probably have heard of it. If you haven’t, it’s simply about submitting a post on another blog. Often this involves an included hyperlink that leads back to your site.
Guest posting is similar, except that this time you offer an article for these other websites. Again, you probably will be permitted to include a hyperlink back to your own site within the article. In some cases, the backlink can be found in your bio usually found at the bottom of the article.
The key here is to offer these articles to particular websites that are relevant to your niche. The process starts by finding the right websites and then sending an email to the owner of these sites. You can then suggest offering them an article to feature on their site.
The email should offer convincing proof that you actually have high-quality material to offer. It’s best if you already have an article written, so the owner can then check it out and see if it meets their standards.
But if you haven’t started yet, then you can start by offering the owner examples of your previous articles. Then you can suggest topics and titles cover and use for that article you’re planning.
If the owner responds, you can then negotiate and discuss the title and the word count. You should also comply with any guidelines for that other website.
Submit a well-researched and unique article and make sure that you prove it well. Nothing annoys these owners like spelling and grammatical errors. An article that contains these mistakes make it seem like you don’t really care about quality, and these owners care about their own websites.
Quite a few of the sites that are relevant for your brand and your industry may feature a section on their website about “useful links” or “useful resources”. This is a rather handy web page that also helps you out. All you need to do is to check out these links and see which ones can partner with your own website for backlinks.
Many of these links should be relevant to your industry, so you can try approaching them for a backlink partnership. You should also check out their sites first, to see if they’re already featuring these links to other websites. If they are, then you can be one of their partners as well.
You can also check out these sites to see if they have a “useful links” section of their own. If they do, then you can try reaching out to those other websites as well.
Another method you can try is to come up with creative content that really catches the attention of your readers. The content can be so good that other people can’t help but link to it.
This is one method that Google tends to really recommend, so you may as well try it out. It doesn’t need any backdoor deals at all. It’s a very natural way to earn backlinks.
The content you post can be a nice popular video or an interesting graphic. It can even be a very thorough guide or even a short ebook on a trending topic. Just make sure it stands out, so there’s every chance that this post can go viral.
Even an article can become popular, especially a helpful one that offers well-researched information. Try out making a list—lists are always popular with readers. These can be a list of tips relevant to your industry, top facts, or even the most popular myths about your niche that are actually not true at all.
Just don’t forget the visual component of the article. Most people aren’t really interested right off with just text. Include a nice graphic along with the words to make the article a lot more interesting to read.
Another key tip here is that for viral content, you can’t really focus on SEO. You have to regard the whole thing as more of a PR tactic. You don’t come up with an article or any other type of content that will catch the attention of Google (which is the essence of SEO).
Instead, you actually have to come up with content that will catch the attention of real people. These are the people who can then become so impressed with your content that they’ll spread it around with their own network of contacts.
Emulating your competition
It’s a very bad idea indeed to copy the articles on other websites. It diminishes the stature of your own brand, and it sure makes your SEO suffer. Google doesn’t approve, and may even take steps to penalize your site.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t copy other things your competitors are doing. That’s especially true with backlinks.
Do your competitor websites feature a lot of hyperlinks to other websites? They may be popular because those other websites also have links to that competitor website.
So, all you need to do is to check out these links on the competitor website, and then you can find out who they are. You can then approach these other websites and see if you can make a similar deal with them. If your competition is enjoying higher Google rankings due to these links, there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same.
Surveying your top competition
Let’s face it—everyone likes to be recognized. You can use this natural tendency to your advantage by stroking the egos of your competitors, simply by valuing their opinions. Here you can then plan an article featuring the opinions of various experts and authority figures in your industry.
Start by identifying a current topic that’s widely debated within your own niche. Let’s say you run a café that offers great coffee selections. You can then pick out various topics that can get a lot of different opinions from various experts. Perhaps you can tackle the topic of which country offers the best under-appreciated coffee beans. Maybe you can cover the best ways of preparing pour-over coffee.
While you may have your own opinion on the matter, the key facet here is that your article features the opinions of your competitors. Identify who these people are, and then reach out to them. Ask them about their opinion on the topic or question you’ve posed.
Gather all the answers you receive, and then combine them for the article. Of course, for their efforts, these experts may expect you to feature a link to their own websites.
Do it, even if you think you’re helping out the competition. The good news is that most people tend to reciprocate, and many of them will link back to you as well.
Once the article is finished, give these experts a heads-up. They’ll feel good reading the article since it mentions them and their opinions. In all likelihood, they can even promote the article themselves, since the article does mention them by name.
No, these aren’t about the testimonials of your clients and customers attesting to the high quality of your brand and products. Instead, you offer your own testimonials on the products or services you like.
The first tip here is that you don’t offer a fake testimonial. You actually have to have used these particular tools, and then you liked them. When you reach out to these people, it’s a lot more convincing when you can describe how their tools really helped you and your business.
Then find out if any of the websites for these tools and products have a testimonial section. Also, find out if the testimonials they feature can contain a hyperlink leading back to your website. If the website has this section, then you’re in business.
Reach out to these websites, and see if you can submit a testimonial they can feature. Explain why you really liked their tools and how it helped you.
If you succeed in convincing them to feature your testimonial, then it’s great. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. That other website gets an authentic testimonial that helps convince them that their products are really useful and high quality.
In return, you get a link back to your site. Google will be impressed, and the visitors on that other site may click on the hyperlink and visit your site as well.
These legit ways of building links don’t really take much effort, and they can help a lot when it comes to SEO. Try it out, and see your rankings soar!