Successful link building is not as easy as experienced in past days. Google is consistently updating standards and expectations of the practice, and maintaining the slightest ignorance of these changes is a sure way to earn penalties. Fortunately, there are countless opportunities to engage in ethical, high-quality link building. A great place to stay informed is their Google Webmasters YouTube Channel.
Link Building Strategy
To understand and implement the latest, most popular link building trends, it is critical to define and explore the essential components of an effective link building strategy. Campaign objectives should first be identified. For example, some goals may be to garner links from websites that are popular with the business’s target demographic, and to build external links to particular website pages. Clearly defined goals narrow the focus of a link building campaign. With specific goals in mind, the next step of the process is to identify and reach out to potential prospects. When doing so, it is essential to remain personable and to avoid forcefulness. Link partners should share some common industry interests, so they have means with which to help one another via their linking partnerships. Once link building locations have been established and the campaign itself is launched, effectively measuring its success is vital. By providing information regarding the components of the campaign that are most and least effective, changes can be made and future planning can begin.
Link Building Techniques
There are various means of building links, some of which are more effective than others. Each technique has particular value based on strategy and needs:
- Link creation. This is the simplest of the techniques. It is the action of visiting various online sites and platforms and adding links. Link creation can be done via online discussion boards, social media profiles, blogs, and online press releases.
- Link requests. Although this is the most complicated of the techniques, it is very valuable. It refers to the prospecting and outreach activities referenced above, and can be accomplished several different ways. They may take the form of offers to repair broken links in exchange for recognition on the fixed site, for instance.
- Link attraction. Safe and effective link building can be achieved with this option. Link attraction or also known as link baiting involves creating high-quality digital content, such as blog posts and videos. Informative and attractive content will automatically garner links.
Remember that internal links are good, but external links are better. Also, anchor text is extremely relevant to overall ranking.
Types of Links
Link building is not a uniform process, and neither are the links themselves. They may appear differently, and each link presentation option has value based on context. For example, the most recommended anchor text to use is the brand name itself. “Naked” links are just that – the URL itself without any anchor text. These links function well, but are not valuable for SEO purposes. Generic links are also defined by the term itself – “learn more” or “click here” are commonly used. Links can also be optimized using keyword phrases as the anchor text.
Latest Link Building Trends
These basic concepts of link building function as foundations on which to consider and evaluate today’s most popular link building trends:
- High-quality content. This is easily the most legitimate link building trend. In-depth articles, for instance, are now ranked high in search results. Use factual and statistical evidence to support claims and to establish credibility. Users will be more likely to share and reference such content.
- High-quality infographics. Infographics are rich, informative images that are easy to share. When creating infographics supported by credible sources, it is possible to embed website links. Backlinks then occur every time the images are shared.
- Submissions to high-quality web directories. Free web directories are available for countless industries. Websites, keywords, and product and service descriptions can be submitted.
- Social media profiles. Social networking sites are excellent link building resources. Whether in the form of text, infographics, photos, slides, or videos, intriguing content is widely shared.
- Support and Sponsor events. Businesses that participate in either real-world or virtual events cultivate relationships with their communities. These are networking opportunities that can lead to link building activities, such as guest posts on blogs. By sponsoring events, the company website can be listed on the event website as well as hard copy flyers.
- Submissions to blog aggregators. Blog aggregators are somewhat similar to web directories, but are perhaps more advantageous because they organize and categorize web content. They use blogs’ RSS feeds to regularly pull content and link back to every post.
- Comment on .gov and .edu blogs. These are credible and authoritative domains and commenting on their posts can be effective as long as they relate to the company’s niche. Unfortunately, these are sometimes difficult to locate.
- Linking in PDFs. Instructional PDFs, guides, and other materials are convenient and often forgotten link building opportunities. They are most effective when keywords are included in the file names and meta data, and when documents are submitted to PDF directories.
- Ego baiting. This is a delicate means of link building. Celebrities, industry experts, thought leaders, and other well-known individuals have opportunities to influence mass quantities of people. Engaging them for the purpose of using their influence to optimize business availability is often accomplished by mentioning them in comments, linking to their sites, and the like. With the right amount of ego baiting, they may respond.
- Repurposing and redesigning content. Content need not be completely original to be used for link building purposes. For example, outdated infographics can be recreated and made relevant again.
- Donation links. Incorporating opportunities to donate to non-profits, charities, and fundraisers are legitimate ways to enable backlinks to relevant web pages. They can be added to sites internally or via social media sites, guest blog posts, or any of the other options listed above.
When link building strategies deemed legitimate by Google and other search engines are utilized, they can have powerful, far-reaching impacts. A successful link implementation strategy should be well constructed and continually revaluated to ensure optimal function and relevance to the business and its website. Staying in the loop of the latest link building trends can ensure the attainment of these objectives.