Link building is one of –if not the most- important part of any SEO campaign, accounting for over 90% of your ranking success. A white-hat link building strategy is one that adds value to the user, abides by Google’s regulation and produces good, sustainable results over a long period of time. If your idea of link building involves creating push button solutions such as blasting out spun articles or spammy blog comments in an attempt to ‘trick’ Google, then you’re walking on a very thin line.
You have two choices here;
- Change your tactics right now, and adopt a white-hat approach, or
- Sit and wait for Google to come and destroy your website- and your business along with it.
Take a look at these 10 link-building strategies and implement them in order to get high SEO rankings.
1. Always write high quality articles.
This is critical when you want to drive natural incoming links to your website. It’s pretty simple; the more researched and relevant the article is, the more links it yields. The best type of article is one that educates your audience and helps solve a problem for them. You could try drafting case studies, how-to guides, or offer inside information on relevant topics.
2. Make use of social bookmarking websites.
It’s one thing to post the articles to your blog- it builds exposure for your brand- but in order to really get your name out there, you’re going to have to promote the articles online, and sharing them on social bookmarking sites put them in front of large audiences. If your nail the headline then it shouldn’t be too difficult to get curious visitors popping in to see what you have to say. Some of the more popular social bookmarking sites include stumbleupon.com, dig.com, reddit.com and delicious.com.
3. Operate a WordPress blog.
Your blog offers a great way to build internal links to the pages you want ranked highest in the search engines. Write a fresh article at least once a week and make sure to include a few contextual links directing the visitor to the most crucial pages on the website. Aside from the benefits of internal linking, a blog has a few other key merits; for instance it keeps the website fresh in terms of new content, it also includes an RSS feed which pings the search engines when a new article has been uploaded, and it also boosts your PageRank.
4. Share the articles across different social media platforms.
You can gain significant exposure by posting the articles on popular social media platforms. Open a company page on the main platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, and as a way to keep your followers interested, make the effort to share other content on the internet –not just yours. Keep in mind the more the article spreads the more links it builds; provided it’s of good quality.
5. Integrate link-building into your service offering.
If you can find a way to do this, then you will have made significant strides towards broadening your reach. One of the ways web designers do this is by integrating a nifty little link at the bottom of every website they design. It’s not just web designers who do this: hosting companies may give away free website templates to loyal customers but they also negotiate a space on the footer area to post their link. Have you considered large brands, especially ones that host award ceremonies; they give winners a badge to post on their own websites with a link back to the company’s website.
6. Offer testimonials.
Have you bought a product recently that you thought was completely awesome? You should contact the company that sold it to you and offer to give a testimonial. Just make sure to include a link that sends audiences straight back to your website. But be careful here, and try not to go offering fake testimonials in the hopes of amassing a huge number of links. People tend to see through the fake stuff so try to keep the testimonials honest.
7. Use link baits.
‘Link bait’ is basically a piece of content or information that marketers use to generate hundreds or thousands of links. This is achieved by creating a controversial piece of content, and this could be anything from a leaked photo of some new technology, such as the new iPad, or news about a famous figure designed to get people’s attention. In order to create a successful link bait you have to understand your audience very well, and use a little of your imagination.
8. Join memberships and associations.
Whatever your industry is, you can join a membership organization and have them post your link on their membership list. These types of links could be invaluable to your business; that is if you choose the right organization.
9. Create more web pages across your website.
It’s pretty simple; the more pages you have on your website, the more PageRank you get and the higher the number of links you control. Blogs are great for adding pages to your site but you may choose to create typical standard pages as well, making sure to focus on specific products, services, and/or keywords.
10. Make use of article directories.
Article directories haven’t yet become irrelevant, so try to submit the articles to the likes of Ezine and Articlebase. It helps if you allow other people to republish the articles on their own websites, just remember to include a link in there, so that as the article spreads out, so does your link. Before posting articles on the directories, have them indexed to your blog first- this will ensure you retain ownership, and it will prevent cases of plagiarism.
Black-hat link building may yield immediate results but it’s hardly a sustainable system. One way or another you will get pinched by Google, and if that happens, your business could suffer a fatal blow. If you want a solid spot in the game you will have to play nice, and this article shows you how to do it. Keep your eye on these 10 white-hat link building strategies and watch your site grow, and the best part is you won’t be holding your breath waiting for the hammer to drop.