Any webmaster worth his or her salt will sing about the importance of authority to a site’s SEO. For Google to rank your webpages high on its results pages, they not only need to contain those magical keywords web users are seeking information about.
Google needs to have the impression that your site is a reliable, authoritative source of information on that subject. One of the ways the search engine algorithm measures this is the number of other sites linking back to the page. In fact, some experts claim that inbound links are responsible for up to 80% of a page’s ranking on SERPs. Having established the importance of inbound links to your SEO, you need to set about building these links.
This is easier said than done. If you generate too many of these links in an unreasonably short time span, Google will suspect you’re trying to manipulate its algorithm and push you into its dreaded sandbox. Simply buying backlinks may land you in similar problems.
Online retailer JC Penney found this out the hard way in 2011. The SEO firm it had engaged generated a host of backlinks that made its web pages rank impossibly well. But when Google discovered that the links were to pages that contained unrelated information, it penalized the retailer heavily. Pages that used to rank so well for related keywords suddenly disappeared from the results pages.
Link Building Strategies You Should Use
Now that you know how not to build inbound links, you will want to know the right way to work them into your SEO. Here are some pointers you should consider:
- Good Quality Content
People should want to link to your web pages because they feel their readers can get valuable information from them. High authority websites that boast thousands of daily visitors will not direct their audience to a site stuffed with links and keywords but offers nothing of value to readers.
So instead of creating webpages thinking of Google’s results pages, think of the audience you’re targeting. Is there a pain point common to many of them that you can help solve? Is there information you can give them that will help improve their lives? If you regularly put out content that is informative and solution-oriented, your audience will keep coming back.
They will also throw links to your content to everyone they can think of who can benefit from it. Such organic link building will give your site high authority as Google also looks at how often your content is shared on social platforms.
Like the term suggests, outreach involves reaching out to website owners and content creators in your niche to look for opportunities for collaboration. When reaching out to them, refer them to linkable content that you feel will be useful to their audience. It is best to look for people who have the same target keywords and there are a number of ways to find such blogs and websites.
You can use tools to generate a list of sites that you can reach out to for link swapping. All you need to do is look for their contact information from the sites and reach out via email. To put your site in line for major traffic, you should identify sites that are routinely used as sources by journalists.
They may not be as popular or as easy to find as they used to be, but online forums are a great place to reach out to like-minded individuals and swap links.
- Guest Blogging
Creating guest posts for other blogs is a great way to not only increase your web pages’ SEO but also to build relationships with other content creators in the same niche. Being featured on a high-profile website is also a shortcut to giving your site good exposure.
Instead of trying to build these relationships from scratch, you can reach out to some of the top advertising agencies NYC businesses routinely contract for their content marketing. This way, you can speed up the process of building SEO backlinks by leveraging the networks they have established over time with various content specialists.
If you prefer to go it alone, you can reach out to other bloggers via their social handles or using reliable guest post tools.
- Replace Broken Links
This is a scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch-yours approach to link building that will also help you establish relationships with content creators in your niche. All you need to do is to go online and search for blog pages or webpages in your niche with broken links. Such links, which lead to 404 error pages, are detrimental to a page’s positioning on Google’s results pages.
Bring these links to the attention of the concerned webmaster when you find them and ask them to replace those links with a link to your pages. Presumably, the grateful webmaster will be willing to reward you for your efforts in that way.
Holistic, Not Piecemeal SEO
Link building is but one piece of the SEO jigsaw. For it to have a meaningful impact on your overall SEO marketing efforts, you need to incorporate your link-building strategy into your SEO strategy. This holistic approach will ensure enough resources are dedicated to the link-building exercise for it to bear the envisioned fruits.