When a web page compels other quality websites to link to it, it improves the website’s standing with Google (as well as other search engines,) which in turn helps increase the overall search rankings.
However, the key is to encourage this process naturally and organically; otherwise, you risk being penalized by Google.
The challenge that many site owners face is actually finding natural ways to gain high-quality links. Many either don’t know where to begin, or get frustrated with the time it takes to accomplish this task.
However, there are a number of ways to create quality links back to your site, and they all fall within Google’s guidelines:
Update Your Site’s Blog
Guest Blog Post
Create Viral Content
Make It Simple To Link To You
Expand Your Network
Broken Link Building
.edu Link Opportunity
Link Bait Strategy
Personalize Your Outreach
When you create outbound links, it helps make your site more relevant within your niche, which helps improve your image & reputation with other sites and can ultimately increase your traffic.
Pages with outbound links make good resources, which makes reputable websites take note and want to link to your page in their future posts, which helps drive more traffic to your site.
In fact, reports show that websites that link out tend to get more links back in because they are viewed as more relevant and are helpful to users.
However, avoid linking out to irrelevant sites simply because you believe they will benefit your site. Just because they have a high DA, or a large following, doesn’t mean it will be a beneficial link (nor will it translate to convertable leads).
If you are being paid to link or attempting other manipulative strategies, this can be just as damaging as linking out to irrelevant sites just to boost your rankings.
Not only can this cause you to lose your standing with other sites, but it can also get you a Google penalty. Receiving a penalty can seriously hurt your SEO progress and put you many months behind in recovering your keyword rankings and traffic acquisitions.
Internal Links simply means you are creating links to internal pages within your site.
However, for this technique to work, the internal links must actually provide relevancy, such as helping visitors navigate through your site.
This could mean linking to a product page to help visitors locate a related product or service page – visitors clicking on the link can see firsthand more information specific to the product or service your website provides.
In doing so, it helps different pages of your site get indexed and crawled, which in turn helps increase your ranking.
Internal linking works especially great on sites with high authority. Because your site is already favored by Google, you can simply link to other pages within your site to help improve their ranking.
However, be careful when using anchor texts on heavily indexed pages to create your internal links because it can raise red flags with Google.
Instead, try keeping the links limited to lower-level pages, such as blogs, so it appears more natural.
Again, the key is to successful internal linking is to avoid manipulative linking, which can actually work against you.
However, as long as you think some portion of your audience would be potentially interested in the internal page, you should go ahead and add the link.
Think of it as a roadtrip – allow your visitors to have a seamless journey throughout your website without encountering any roadblocks or dead ends, but rather make it easy for them to find detours and side roads that take them to other interesting places on your site to keep them there longer.
Keep A Frequently Updated Blog
Since quality content is the main way to build links naturally, create a blog where you can post on a regular basis.
The more quality content you post on your blog, the more it will increase your chance of attracting links. You can also link out from your posts, which also helps build links.
However, don’t get caught in the trap of posting blogs simply for quantity – a well-written and highly-relevant blog will gain links from outside sites without much effort, but only if they find them helpful. Churning out multiple poorly-written blog posts a week won’t help your relevancy, and won’t gain you links either – you’ll simply be wasting your time.
Guest posting gets your content published on other websites, which helps put you in the midst of a new audience.
This increases the likelihood you will receive backlinks to your site.
The more reputable the blogs are, the more highly regarded the backlinks will be by search engines, which will help improve your rankings.
However, for this strategy to be most effective, the intent should be to build a trustworthy relationship with a third party site as well as their audience.
Therefore, the information you provide on their site should be genuine, and from a place of real concern, and not just something you’re doing to build links.
Strive For Viral Content
When you create valuable content and then seed your links on social media sites, it increases the chance it will be highly shared, or go viral, which can lead to an influx of backlinks to your site without you even being involved.
The key is to create content that is interesting and amazing enough to make people want to share it with others.
There is no formula or surefire way to create viral content; however, you can examine other viral pieces of content to try to determine what made them get shared as much as they did throughout all the different social channels.
Think about videos, gifs, infographics or stories that catch your attention on social media, and why they do so.
When creating videos and gifs, always remember to add captions for those who do not keep their volume on – this greatly increases the length of viewership and the likelihood of shares.
Quite often, they entail trending topics or content that is entertaining in some way, such as memes.
Infographics are another great way to get people to share your content.
Infographics are images that provide information in a graphic, yet visually appealing way, which many people seem to enjoy.
Therefore, by creating an intriguing infographic to share your information, it will help increase the chances that other people will want to share it, which will result in more links each time the infographic is shared by other sites.
Make It Simple To Link To You
Keep in mind that some visitors may not be savvy when it comes to linking to your page; therefore, make it easy for them to link to you.
This can be done in various ways, including creating a simple “Link to Us” command that will allow people to just click on the command to link to you.
However, keep in mind, this technique may not be appropriate for every audience, so know your audience to avoid offending those who already know how to link.
Similarly, having an easy method to reach out to you (or your webmaster) is a great way to discover new relationships with other similar websites/niches that can build into mutually-beneficial linking.
Expand Your Network
The more people you know, the more it will enable you to promote your website.
Build relationships with the right individuals as much as you can, which will help you build links.
This can be done through many different social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, LinkedIn, niche forums, and more. Create accounts for your brand and interact often to build awareness as well as provide a personality to your brand.
Broken Link Building
This process is a white hat strategy where you simply find broken or dead links across the web, examine the page for relevancy, and then develop more useful content to replace the irrelevant link.
In turn, it helps site owners and webmasters improve the user experience of their site by replacing broken links with a working, more relevant link to your page using a search term. Typically they are very grateful to learn of this issue on their site (as 404’d links are never good for SEO), and will oftentimes reward you with replacing the dead link with yours.
Dead or broken links are links that no longer work, which means they aren’t doing the site owner any good.
In fact, the more broken or dead links a site has, the more it can negatively impact the site because it signals to Google that the site is a neglected or abandoned site, which can cause you to lose your ranking.
Webmasters, especially, are eager to fix broken links, provided they know they exist because they understand that it can affect the site’s ranking.
This technique also saves them the hassle of having to do the research themselves, so they may be extremely grateful and want to link to your site.
.edu Link Building
Sites with .edu domains are highly trusted by the public as well as search engines; therefore, they have high authority in Google.
Hence, getting links from this type of top-level site can greatly improve your search rankings and overall brand growth.
However, it is not easy to get educational backlinks, even with high quality, respected content.
In fact, most educational sites are very adamant when it comes to accepting guest posts, and some won’t accept them at all.
Some other ways to generate .edu links include local resource pages, creating case studies that pertain to the subject matter, university discounts, and more, which helps build recognition with .edu sites and encourages them to link to your site.
This technique can also be used to gain authoritative links from other industry blogs as an .edu link provides the credibility to make your site an authoritative option.
However, it may be easier to get a link from a blog, which is where a technique called link bait can help.
Link Bait Strategy
Link bait is specifically creating content on your site that solves a problem to make other sites want to link to you on their own.
One way to do this is to find dead links on these blogs, which will enable you to suggest your own, better, content in their place.
After you have created the content, the next step is to send out a personalized email to the site owner or blogger, informing them of the broken link and how you can help.
And be sure to keep it personalized as research shows that it increases the chances the email will be both opened and read.
For instance, if you know the person’s name, then be sure to address them accordingly.
You should also avoid any spelling/grammatical errors or signs of deception as they will most likely cause your email to get trashed.
Similarly, it’s helpful to let them know that you’ve done your due diligence by mentioning a blog post you particularly enjoyed, or a feature on their website you find interesting.
The content you create needs to be high-quality and relevant to the topic; otherwise, you will have a hard time convincing the site owner to replace the dead link with your page.
Work With A Link Building Company
Building links can be a time-consuming endeavor, not to mention, there is a fine line between what is considered natural link building for SEO and black hat tactics by Google search engines, which can result in penalties.
However, talking with an SEO consultant on your side can help ensure your site benefits from the various tried and true link attracting techniques and best practices that help keep you off Google’s radar and on your way to increasing your search engine rankings and your traffic.