Oh, SEO. Search engine optimization is one of the most controversial issues in content marketing today. From crafty YouTube descriptions to local optimization to meta descriptions and titles and tags and… you get the idea.

Everyone has an opinion, but the only stance we’re offering up right now is our POV on link building. While keyword stuffing is inarguably a thing of the past, link building is 100 percent alive and well.

Here’s what you need to know:

Guest Posting Can Be Good – Or Very, Very Bad

Guest posting is a popular way to get your name out there while also directing other people’s audience’s back to your site. You simply write up something amazing, submit it to a blog, and include a little blurb at the end the details all your biographical awesomeness and mentions your website (with an embedded hyperlink, of course). It’s not posting that’s questionable, it’swhere you post that can be a problem:

  • Good Guest Posting: Contribute to high-quality websites closely related to your niche and write something that’s on-topic and original.
  • Bad Guest Posting: Write for any online publication accepting submissions, send in the same blog (or a multitude of weak variations), and focus on subject matters not related to your brand

Note: It’s not a good idea to allow low-quality guest posts on your own site, either. You can probably figure out why. Here’s a step by step infographic guide to help you guest post the right way.

Social Media is Perfect for Spreading the Word

Word of mouth is a powerful thing. You can’t chat up your new side business around the water cooler, but you sure can share your newest blog on infographic (the demand for which has increased a whopping 800 percent in the last year or so) on Facebook and encourage your friends to pass it around. Not only will you be using social media to increase your company value, you’ll also be getting (hopefully) a ton of traffic as your posts continue to make their way around the world wide web – hence our collective excitement over viral content, right?

Link building can be a tricky business, but think of it like eating kale – it might not be enjoyable while you’re dealing with it, but you’re going to love the results.

You Can Q&A Your Way to Better Traffic

It wasn’t so long ago that many people thought nothing of going on someone else’s article and clogging up the comment section with links to their own website or blog. There are two problems with that: first off, it’s like spray painting your name on a building you don’t even own, and secondly, it can really make people mad. Both fellow commenters and the actual author of the content tend to frown on some know-it-all attempting to shift focus onto themselves. Can this style of commenting be done tactfully? Sometimes, but we’ve got an even better idea.

Head over to sites like Quora, MetaFilter, and Yahoo Answers, and showcase your authority to the people actually looking for it. When you’re helping a random stranger answer their burning questions about anything and everything related to your industry, it’s actually to your advantage to mention your expertise and offer up your URL as a reference.

Don’t Pay for Links

DON’T DO IT! The links these bots (or unscrupulous yet enterprising humans) build for you will register as spam with the search engines and you and your site will be punished. Trust us. Buying links is a recipe for disaster.

The industry’s idea of what goes into making a killer link building campaign is constantly changing, and if you ask five people the same question you’re likely to get five different answers. While the details may never be consistent from expert to expert, a few things are certain:

  • Create great content that wows people into linking to you
  • Share great content that shows you off as an authority
  • Provide expert level information that solves people’s problem

Here’s a pro tip. Once you start driving massive amount of traffic to your website, 60% of them aren’t ready to buy. You need to capture their information via SMS or Email. Then you can begin sending them relevant, helpful content to nurture them into paying customers.