SEO and link building are inexorably linked but the ties that bind them together are constantly shifting. Hence, bloggers have the responsibility to keep themselves updated with the link building tactics that Google, being the most popular search engine, dictates to us.
But before link building, it must be emphasized that content is king. Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, said this when asked what the two other ranking factors were in the top three list:
“I can tell you what they are. It is content. And it’s links pointing to your site.”
(For the uninformed, the third is RankBrain, Google’s AI system for processing search queries.)
So make sure you consistently create quality content for your blog. With patience and persistence, great useful content is a major step towards becoming an authority in your niche. And authority sites and pages get higher ranking at Google.
Then you look at your links. Do they come from quality and authority sites? Are you at par with worthy rivals in your niche? These link building strategies are for bloggers who are serious about wanting to improve their blogs’ search engine ranking.
1. Research your competitors
This isn’t an actually tactic for getting the links but it is crucial you do this and do it right. Set aside ample time to go through your competitors’ link profiles. You won’t be able to get all of them but what you do get will be valuable information, especially those links that are common to many of them. Focus on the sites that are known authorities in your industry and link to them. If your post is good enough, you might get a backlink from them, which will be great for your SEO.
There are backlink checker tools you can use to get these data. Use a plugin to export your competitors’ backlinks to a CSV file for easier sorting. Tools that reveal the competitors’ techniques and sources help you analyze the links and how you can get them as well.
Keep in mind that researching your competitors’ links isn’t a one-time thing. Get tools that alert you about their new links so you stay updated.
2. Use infographics
Infographics have been around forever but the past few years, it has become prevalent especially in well-known websites. Really great ones become viral in social media. Well-designed and useful Infographics can drive backlinks from authoritative websites to your blog. Here are elements of infographics that go viral:
Eye-catching design. It goes without saying that striking designs will get the attention first. If this isn’t your forte, outsource the process. Many online creators like Canva and Fiverr do them.
Well-researched information. Statistical data from credible sources are easier to understand as a visual representation. Choose popular topics but do background check on existing infographics about the topic so you can create one that is different from them.
Promote it. Discover the influencers in your niche and email them about your infographic, with its link. If it’s interesting and useful, they may use it and link it back to your blog. Exploit social media. Pinterest is obviously the first choice since it’s a search engine for images. The full image will also be displayed. For SEO purposes, description should be based on the topic’s keywords. Put your blog name on top so people will know where the content comes from. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are widely-used social media sites that are good for promoting infographics.
3. Guest blogging
When guest blogging, choose authority sites in your niche. They have a wider audience and are seen as credible. Write more than once so it doesn’t appear you’re only after backlinks. Include many outbound links and an internal link to the blog you’re guesting at.
4. Use the broken links method
This method has high link value and is one of the effective link building strategies around. You start by looking for popular websites in your niche, then you look for their broken links, usually in the resource pages. Chrome’s Check My Links is a very useful tool for this. Email the webmaster and let them know about it. Webmasters don’t like 404 pages as too many of them can have a negative affect on their websites SEO. Offer them your website as a replacement for the broken link. Naturally, your page or site must contain information related to their niche. Webmasters usually acquiesce to such requests to show their thanks.
5. Write list articles
List articles or ‘listicles’ as they’re sometimes known make for interesting reading because they require less effort to assimilate, information is given out in an orderly manner and is isolated to a particular element. For link building, a list about people (top 10 web developers in India) or companies (top 10 fashion blogs) will give you a link back from those mentioned in your blog post.
6. Have an RSS feed
If your blog is run on WordPress, Joomla or other content management system, chances are you already have an RSS feed. If you have to create one, use Feedburner.com because it gives statistics on your subscribers. Other sites will scrape your contents. So always include a link to your other pages so you get a link back. Install the RSS footer plugin for WordPress since it adds a link to your blog after every post.
7. Leverage the power of internal links
For all your blog posts, always create a link to another previously published page that is related or gives a more detailed description of something briefly mentioned in your current post. It’s a very good link building tactic and so easy to do.