What Is Link Building?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has since become the name of the game when it comes to online marketing. After all, SERPs and rankings are everything, especially if you want your website to be recognized as an authority in your niche and the go-to place for search users when they’re looking for information or products relating to your industry.
In order to put your website on top of SERPs and rank high in Google’s results pages, you need to use link building strategies that work.
Then again, link building can be a tricky thing to do successfully. But it’s one of the most important factors in determining whether or not your website will rank well on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. That’s why you need to have your link building strategies in place before you even begin to work on improving your website’s content and its rankings on the SERPs.
Let’s dive in.
What Is Link Building?
Link building is the process of acquiring links from other websites to link to your own. A link from another website to yours is like a vote of confidence – it shows that the site likes your content and thinks it’s worth linking to. The more votes (links) you have, the higher your site will rank in search engine results pages (SERPs).
So, without further ado, here are some proven techniques you can use now to start climbing up those rankings in no time!
1. Guest Posting
Guest posting is a link building strategy that involves writing content for another website in order to earn a backlink to your own site. When done correctly, guest posting can be an effective way to build links and drive traffic to your website.
Here are some tips to consider should you choose guest posting as a link building strategy:
- Make sure the website you’re pitching to has authority by checking out their Google PageRank and Alexa Rank before you write anything.
- Guest post about topics related to your industry or niche. For example, if you’re an avid online gamer, you might write about the gta5.exe file download process or other top online games for Windows today.
- Write valuable content. Don’t just promote yourself or list off the benefits of whatever product or service you’re promoting. Make it worth reading.
- Acknowledge the owner of the blog by linking to them when they mention something you like. If they have posted an article that supports a line you wrote on your blog, then mention them. If you’ve used a quote from their blog then quote them as well.
- Be consistent. Stick with one guest post per week or month at most. The more often people see your name pop up on their feed or inbox, the less likely they’ll be to click through every time.
2. Social Media Backlinks
Social media backlinks are links that come from social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. These links are important these days because people are on social media most of the time. Thus, they can also help drive targeted traffic and improve your website’s search engine ranking. In order to get social media backlinks, you have to put up content that is of high-quality and shareworthy.
A great way to get social media backlinks is to partner with influencers who have a large following on social media. You can also participate in social media communities and groups related to your industry or niche.
By being active on social media and in online communities, you can build relationships with other users, which may lead to them linking to your website.
3. Skyscraper Tactic
One link building strategy that is also effective is the skyscraper tactic. This involves finding content that ranks well for your target keyword and then creating something even better.
Once you have created your content, reach out to the websites that are linking to the original piece and let them know about your new and improved version. Chances are, they’ll be happy to link to your content instead.
If not, try reaching out to websites with a similar audience who might appreciate your hard work. Remember to mention where the original piece came from so you don’t get penalized by Google’s Penguin algorithm.
4. Business Directories and Local Citations (Listings)
This strategy involves adding your business to relevant online directories and local listings. This will help potential customers find your business when they’re searching online, and it will also improve your website’s SEO.
However, when you choose this strategy, you have to make sure your business information is accurate and up-to-date across all directories and listings. This will help build trust with potential customers and ensure that they have the most recent information about your business.
5. Broken Backlinks
If you want to improve your website’s ranking, one link building strategy you can use is broken backlink building. This involves finding websites that have linked to your site in the past, but the link is now broken. You can then reach out to the site owner and let them know about the broken link. In most cases, they’ll be happy to update the link to point to your website again.
6. Classified Ads
Advertising through the submission of classified ads is a great way to get your website in front of potential customers. You can target specific demographics and locations with your ad, and you can even track how many people click through to your website. Plus, classified ads are relatively inexpensive, so you can get started without breaking the bank.
7. Google My Business
Google My Business is a great way to get your website seen by more people. It allows you to create a listing for your business that appears in search results and on Google Maps. It also allows your business to show up in relevant search results, improving your click-through rate.
And the best part is, it’s completely free! Simply enter your information and then follow the prompts to complete your account. You’ll be able to edit any information that’s incorrect or add new information at any time from this account.
One more thing: you’ll need a Google account before you can sign up for an account. Once you have both accounts created, link them together by following the suggested steps. Then, return to Google My Business and look for the Get verified button in the top right corner of your screen.
By verifying your business with Google Maps, you’ll gain access to more features that will give your site a competitive edge against other local businesses that haven’t yet done so.
8. Reciprocal Links
When two websites agree to link to each other, it’s called a reciprocal link. This is generally done in hopes that the linking will encourage more traffic to both sites.
Here’s how it works:
Site A links to Site B, and then Site B links back to Site A. This can be beneficial because it signals to search engines that the two sites are related and increases the chances that either site will rank higher in search results.
There are some caveats to consider when using this strategy. One of them is the quality of links. You want your reciprocal link partner to have strong content and a lot of social media followers/subscribers, etc., as well as a domain with high authority (DA).
Another thing you should look at is relevancy; if your post talks about social media marketing strategies while the other site talks about home decorating tips, you probably don’t want to link these two posts together. However, if you know there’s going to be content coming out on Twitter strategies or DIY wedding decorations soon, those might be good potential partners.
In general, though, think before linking – what do your websites’ pages have in common? What topics could make for an interesting discussion?
9. Replicate Competitor’s Backlinks
If you want to rank higher than your competitors, one of the best things you can do is replicate their backlinks. Start by using available tools to check out your competitor’s backlinks. Then, create similar content on your own website and reach out to the same websites linking to your competitor to ask for a link. Don’t forget to track your progress to see how much your rankings improve.
Here’s how you can go about it:
- Find a website that has a similar niche as yours.
- Use Google Search Console to see what sites are linking to them.
- Reach out and ask those websites for links, too!
10. Forums, Groups, and Communities
Another popular link building method is to participate in forums, groups, and communities related to your niche. This can help get your website in front of a wider audience and build up your backlink profile. However, be careful not to spam other users with links, as this could lead to being banned from the forum or group.
There are a few different ways to find groups and communities that will be interested in your website or business. First, try to search for groups on social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. You can also look for online directories that list groups and communities by interest or location.
By taking the time to find the right groups and communities, you’ll be able to build strong relationships and boost your SEO at the same time. If you’re still not sure where to start, here are seven strategies to get you started:
- Make sure the group is large enough (5,000+ members).
- Look for niche forums with lots of engaged people (10+ posts per day).
- Find communities through social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.
- Find meetup groups near your city or town.
- Attend events related to your topic of interest.
11. Triangle Backlink Exchange
Triangle backlink exchanges are a type of link building strategy that can be used to achieve your marketing and SEO goals. These types of exchanges involve two websites linking to each other. In doing so, they create reciprocity and increase the chance that their sites will rank higher in SERPs (search engine results pages).
In a triangle backlink exchange, two websites link to each other in order to increase their rank in SERPs. When two sites exchange links, it creates reciprocity and increases their chances of ranking higher on SERPs.
There are many ways to implement this tactic but below is one example:
Website A includes a small widget from Website B on its homepage. Website B then includes a widget from Website A on its homepage. They continue to include widgets from each other until all widgets have been embedded into both homepages.
Once both websites have added each others’ widgets onto their respective homepages, they both have reciprocal links, which will help them to rank higher in SERPs.
Note that it is important for these kinds of backlinks to be natural looking so that search engines don’t penalize your site for trying to manipulate the rankings with unnatural-looking techniques.
12. Use Google Alerts
Google Alerts is a free service that allows you to receive email notifications whenever new content appears online that contains keywords you’ve specified. You can use Google Alerts for link building by setting up alerts for keywords related to your website or business, then monitoring the results and reaching out to the authors of relevant articles to request a link.
The best way to start getting links through Google Alerts is by using them as part of an overall strategy. Link builders with high budgets usually set up alerts on high-authority websites such as Forbes, Inc., The New York Times, or Harvard Business Review; those without budgets can set up alerts on less popular sites that are still relevant to their industry.
Another option is to create alerts for generic topics to get backlinks from blogs in your niche. For example, someone who manages a blog about fly fishing might create alerts for fly fishing (which would result in backlinks from any blog discussing this topic), fishing (which would bring backlinks from any site talking about fishing), and flies (to bring backlinks from sites dealing with insects).
While social media and mobile marketing are important, link building will always remain to be the foundation of your digital marketing strategy.
Link building should be an essential part of your plan from day one, and with the right mix of strategies and tactics, you can build quality links to both your website and social media profiles, boosting traffic to your site and helping you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Jess is a professional content writer and editor for Software Tested, writing about all sorts of technology topics under the sun. As a computer programmer, she is able to tap into her expertise on computers and gadgets to help others resolve their tech problems.