A link building strategy is one of the most important parts of any SEO campaign, but many people mistake quantity for quality, and that simply is not the case. A few, high quality links from respected, high Page Rank sites are much more valuable than dozens (or even scores) of links from low value sites like link farms or even business directories. Your goal when building links should be to find authoritative sources and link from there.
Five easy and effective ways to acquire high value links are through the following sources:
- Social Posting
- Guest Posting
- Comment Linking
- Content Promotions
The sections below discuss each of the sources in some detail to help you develop a powerful link building strategy, improve your search engine rankings, and drive traffic to your website.
Social posting is simply a fancy name for interacting with your followers—and non-followers—on social media. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus are all great platforms for social outreach . The benefits of social media include:
- Connecting and engaging with your audience
- Building your brand
- Gaining exposure for your business
In addition, it is a really good way to build links. Simply post great content—say, a link to an article or infographic on your website—with the hope that your friends and followers will share it with their friends and followers. When they do, voila! You have successfully executed an effective link-building strategy.
The added links should drive traffic to your site and build its authority. Unfortunately, the way search engines treat these links is short lived. However, they are still links from high Page Rank sites, and no link is a bad link.
You can do more, of course. Be sure to engage your audience, comment on others’ posts, and interact liberally. Pay attention to what your audience likes and wants to see. If you remain active and consistent, your social media efforts can yield a lot of benefits.
To create a testimonial link, you must contact a business or product owner (or manager) and agree to provide a review or a testimonial in exchange for a linkback to your site. Once you have an agreement, you write the testimonial and the owner of the other website posts it, sending “link juice” to your site.
Testimonials are an oft-overlooked way to get quality links, and they are a great way to help a friend or strategic partner while helping yourself. The links you build tend to be long-term, and they provide a natural entryway to your site. These links often carry considerable authority. The only potential downside to this type of link is lack of relevance, depending on where the review is posted.
One of the best and most common ways to get a quality link is by guest posting. A guest post is an article or piece of content you create (or pay to have created) that you post on someone else’s website. You benefit because the owners of the other websites provide you with a link to your site, and the website owners benefit because they receive high quality content at (usually) no cost.
In fact, links of this type are some of the best white-hat links you can get given today’s link building landscape. In addition to link juice, they often drive relevant traffic to your website. The only downside is that it takes time and commitment to create content, and you must rely on others to add the links as they promised.
To publish a guest post, contact another website and see if they accept or allow guest posting in exchange for links. a link. Assuming they do, they may assign you a topic to write about, or they may just require approval of a topic of your choice. Then you must create the content and have it approved by the site owner or publisher. After the post is submitted it usually goes into a publishing queue. Once the content is in the queue it can take a few days or weeks before it goes live.
Comment linking—i.e. commenting on a blog post with a relevant link that guides visitors to your website—is probably the most common type of link building tactic on this list. However, this activity has come under some scrutiny by search engine managers due to its potential for exploitation, and tendency toward spamminess. The correct way to create links this way is to refer to yourself, your product, or your expertise in a natural and relevant way.
Post-Penguin, these links have a spotty chance at lasting long due to website owners’ fears of reprisal by Google. In fact, some may never go live if the website owner fails to approve them. However, when such links do stick, they often provide good traffic and a great link.
To leave a comment link, find a relevant piece of content on a site that allows comments. You can do this by searching for your keyword along with “blog” or “article.” You can even look for the general topic or vertical with the same search qualifiers. Once you find a source that allows commenting, simply post a relevant and useful comment that adds to the conversation and illuminates the content. Usually you must wait a short time for the link to be approved by the site’s owner or webmaster.
Content promotion is one of the most overlooked link-building tactics. It involves taking existing content (pictures, videos, articles, infographics, etc.) and promoting it on sites that are looking for this content. Whether or not you receive a do-follow link is fairly hit or miss, and you may not end up with the link juice you hope for. However, if your content is high quality, it may drive considerable traffic to your site in the form of visitors who seek more of the same. Thus it is a good way to promote your brand and gain exposure.
Link building is an important part of SEO, and the above tactics can help you promote your online presence. Some tactics will result in higher quality links than others. For instance, social posting garners you links from high Page Rank sites—Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc.—but the way search engines treat them is short lived. Testimonials and guest posts offer long term links from high value sites, as long as you choose carefully where you post your review or guest post. Comment linking and content promotion are more iffy tactics that may or may not result in do-follow links and improve your search rankings, but both may drive some traffic your way and increase your exposure.
The best way to make use of your SEO dollar is to focus on the quality of the links rather than the quantity. A few links from authoritative, high Page Rank sites are much more valuable than a bunch of low value links from link farms or web directories.