Improve your link-building strategy efforts to help drive organic traffic to your site over the long term.
With so many places for consumers to focus their attention online, it’s never been more important — or more difficult — for brands to get noticed and build trust. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical way to achieve both of those marketing objectives.
The key elements of an effective SEO strategy
SEO is a holistic digital marketing process designed to help businesses improve their rankings on search engines’ unpaid or organic results pages. It involves a few foundational elements including customer-centric web design, relevant keywords and engaging content, the effective use of analytics, and building quality links to other websites.
Your link profile or backlink profile is one of the most important ways Google’s algorithm determines quality. The more quality websites your site is connected to, the more likely you are to rank above your competitors on Google, and the more you show up where your target audience is in a way that shows them you are authentic and trustworthy.
Tip: Follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to help the world’s most popular search engine find you and ensure you are using approved link building techniques. Google’s quality requirements show you how to build quality links and what techniques to avoid.
How to build quality links for SEO
- Add you link to online directories
- Build local links to your site
- Comment on quality blogs
- Create a list of relevant sites you want to link with and reach out to their owners
- Make your own content and website so compelling that others want to link to it
What is link building?
Link building is the process of getting hyperlinks to your site onto other high quality websites. This is important for two key reasons. It helps expand your reach because visitors to these other sites, who may never have otherwise searched for you, can simply click on your link to visit you directly. And, as mentioned above, it’s not just individual users who will find you. Search engines use links to crawl the web and determine their rankings.
Three benefits of link building
Beyond improving your search rankings — which is key — quality link building can help you:
- Build and strengthen long-term relationships. Linking to relevant and respected websites, bloggers and influencers will help build your credibility and expand your reach.
- Generate referral traffic. Links to influential quality sites can help drive traffic, increasing leads and sales.
- Increase brand awareness. The right links can help you establish your reputation as a thought leader in your specific market.
Postmedia’s best link building strategy
Here are five best practices to help you improve your organic search rankings using link building:
1. Add your link to online directories
Search out well-known and respected local and national online directories or business listing sites. These include Yelp, YellowPages and Facebook, as well as Google My Business, Bing Places and Apple Maps. Be sure to focus on directories that are relevant to your target audience. Keep your business citations consistent wherever they appear. To help Google trust that you are who you say you are, make sure your business name, phone number and address appear in the listing.
2. Build local links to your site
Build local links to your site by providing guest posts to community organizations, connecting to local events, and contributing content or getting featured in your local paper.
3. Comment on quality blogs
Quality is key here. Look for blogs that are relevant to your brand and have a large readership. Then it’s up to you to be thoughtful and make sure the content you bring is adding to the conversation in a positive and meaningful way. This is not an excuse to just add your link to someone else’s blog post or article. Done thoughtfully, this will help get you noticed and lead to a mutually beneficial relationship with the blogger.
4. Create a list of relevant sites you want to link with and reach out to their owners
Before you ask if you can link to their site, make sure you have a strong pitch. Give them a compelling reason for why they should link with you. For example, perhaps you have used their products and services and want to offer a testimonial or provide your company as a potential case study. Or maybe you can pitch a guest blog that would be useful to their visitors.
5. Make your own content and website so compelling others want to link to it
This tactic is about earning links. It is one of the hardest ways to build links but also one of the most effective. It is about creating compelling content that is a value-added resource for people. The content can take many forms but no matter how good and informative the resource, you’ll have to promote it to make sure people are aware of it.
Tip: Use link bait or linkable assets to attract links. These include infographics, maps, quizzes, surveys, studies, informative guides, and visual content such as videos, images and GIFs.
Simply put, taking the time and putting in the effort to increase the volume of quality links you have will help drive traffic to your site and improve your competitiveness over the long term.