Link building is a topic that still raises eyebrows among many marketing professionals – it’s understandable that websites which are saturated with thousands of spam links are going to cause alarm bells to ring. Not only is this sort of link building detrimental to your brand, it also produces negligible results.
However, when done right, link building is an important off-page ranking factor. High-quality links improve your site’s visibility in SERPs, boost your authority as a trusted source of information and help to increase your web traffic — making it an integral part of any SEO campaign.
We’ve put together some simple ways in which you can start getting those all-important links to your company’s website.
Invite guest bloggers to shout about your products or services
According to HubSpot, companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website than those who don’t — and by getting guest bloggers to speak glowingly of your products, you’re prompting customer confidence.
When you consider 92% of online consumers now read reviews, a stamp of approval from an authority figure within your industry will prove to be a very powerful marketing tool. An outbound link to one of your transactional pages is a great way to lead customers into a purchase and get more people visiting your site.
Spread the word on social media
Creating engaging content is only half the battle when it comes to content marketing – it’s the sharing of your posts that earn you backlinks to your website.
Build relationships with accounts that will reinforce your brand identity and instill trust in what you do. Post your articles on relevant Facebook pages, LinkedIn groups or Google+ circles (and comment on posts from other people, too), and engage with industry influencers on Twitter. You never know, they might just retweet your content and expose your brand to a whole new audience.
Whichever social platforms your business is spread across, make sure each account looks professional and is rich in quality, relevant content that people will want to share and link to.
Outreach to your local area
There are plenty of things you can do build local links —such as arranging a networking event, hosting a charity fundraiser or even sponsoring a sports team.
Another top local link building tactic is to offer alumni discounts to universities in your area. Once you’ve got a page set up explaining the discount, you can contact alumni groups to get your page added to their site.
Sam Hurley, Director of Optim-eyez.co.uk, speaks positively about building local links. He said: “It’s all about relationships. Build strong connections with other businesses and organisations in your target locality and everything else will follow…backlinks, social mentions and partnerships to name just a few.”
Link across your site
Your homepage is the post important page on your site, so naturally it will feature the most links. It’s important to make sure links on your site are natural, relevant and diverse — focusing on your brand rather than keywords.
Any outbound links should always direct to a relevant website. Linking to content appropriate to your industry will help your site be seen as a trusted, authoritative source of information — which Google looks favourably on.
Although the benefits of link building aren’t instantaneous, putting in the time to build a strong backlink profile will pay off in the long-term. Link building is a crucial part of any effective SEO campaign; and although it has its critics, Google’s Penguin update is there to penalise any sites that are spamming its search results.
As long as you play by the rules and avoid any frowned-upon black-hat practices, you can look forward to improved visibility, authority and web traffic.