In 2016, global SEO (search engine optimisation) spending reached over GBP 463 billion. What’s more, UK marketers plan to spend even more this year on SEO! From 5.6% in the first quarter of 2018, plans were to raise internet budgets to 11% in the second quarter.
All these should tell you that you need SEO for your business to be competitive.
The thing is, search engines consider hundreds of factors before ranking sites. Google alone uses more than 200 of these ranking factors.
So, how do you even begin your SEO campaign?
One is by using effective link building strategies. Why?
For starters, because Google confirmed links are one of its top three factors for ranking.
Don’t worry even if you’re not that savvy when it comes to links. We’ve rounded up 10 legit methods that’ll make you a link building star, so keep reading!
1. Get to Know Links Better – Much Better
There are two types of links crucial to your SEO campaign: Outbound and inbound. This post will focus on inbound links, but we’ll still cover the basics of outbound links.
Outbound Links 101
Outbound links are those from your web pages linking to pages of other websites.
For example, you cite a statistic and want to prove to readers that you’re not making it up. So, you link the anchor text (relevant words) to your source, an external domain (a website other than yours). This link to a web page outside your website is an outbound link.
Of course, you’d want all your sources or outbound links to be legit and credible sites. After all, that’s what you’re trying to prove your readers.
A few examples are government websites, educational institutions, and research publications. Trusted news sites and those of industry leaders are great sources too.
Inbound Links 101
An inbound link is a web link on another web page that links back to your website. The referring domain (the other website) also uses anchor texts to link to their sources. If they find you a credible source, then they may link to your website.
In other words, you become their source. But for that to happen, you need to be worthy of linking back to. Also, like how you’ll want to link only to credible sites, you’d want sites that’ll link to you to be credible too.
2. Blog (To Also Prove Your Expertise)
To rake in those inbound links, start blogging with compelling content.
Killer content won’t only get you more traffic; it’ll also make you a credible source for backlinks. That then makes it one of the best ways to raise your chances of ranking higher in search results.
3. Become a Guest Blogger
You shouldn’t restrict yourself to blogging on your own website. You can reach more people if you showcase your expert content through other blog sites too.
Plus, it works as a building link strategy, since your guest blog links back to one of your web pages. Since the guest post is on a website that’s not yours, links to your site are essentially inbound links.
You need to do a bit of research to find blogs that accept guest posts though. Not only that but blogs that are already high-ranking. That way, their readers will more likely share the post on their own social media platforms.
4. Keep Content-Length in Mind
Content length is one of the crucial page ranking factors. Studies like this found search engines rank pages with long-form content better. The findings showed that the top 10 search results had a content length averaging over 2,000 words.
That alone should be enough for you to put in the effort to curate longer content. The more words you put in, the more useful information you can provide your readers. The more interesting things you talk about, the more visitors you’ll attract to your web pages.
Longer content also affords you more external links. The greater the quality of your external links, the more credible you’ll appear to readers. Other websites may also look at you with more respect, making them more likely to link back to you.
5. Make Your Content Visual
There’s also the simple fact that images are much better and fun to look at than pure text.
This should tell you that visual content is essential to your marketing campaigns. Particularly infographics, which are highly-shareable.
As such, make it a point to include visual aids in your web content, especially your blogs. People crave useful, interesting information. But they’ll love you more if you give it to them in an easier-to-digest format.
6. Take Advantage of Broken Links
Sounds like a bad thing, doesn’t it? But it actually works, it’s legit, and it’s pretty quick and easy too. That makes it a useful tactic to boost links to your site if you’re too busy to write your own content.
First, look for good-ranking, industry-related blogs with posts that have dead links. You’ll know these are “dead” because the links no longer work (AKA 404 error page). Then, request that site to replace the non-working links with your links.
Of course, your links need to be relevant. They should link back to content on your site similar to what the original link contained.
7. Share Your Content on Social Media
Those figures should tell you how social media is key to your link building campaign. The bottom line is, it’ll expose your content to the millions who use these platforms.
If you make sure your posts are worthy of sharing, then that’s a plus. The more people who share your content, the greater the exposure. The more exposure you get, the higher your potential of receiving links back to your web pages.
8. Get those Local Citations
But for your localisation efforts to work, you first need to list your NAP online. That stands for name, address, and phone number (of your business).
Start with Google My Business. From there, list with local directories, business registries, and other industry-related directories.
But… What does this have to do with your link building campaign?
First, it helps establish that you are a legit business. No high-ranking and authoritative site will link to a shady organisation.
Then, there’s the fact that local SEO makes it easier for people to find you. That translates to higher chances of getting people to pay for your products or services. So long as you make these consumers happy, they’re likely to share the good news about you online.
One way they can do this is by rewarding you with a citation. That’s a mention of your business’ NAP. If they’re very satisfied with your brand, they may even mention your website.
The more positive reviews you get, the more likely other websites will talk about you. That’s when you may receive all those links backs to your site!
Granted, this may seem like a roundabout way of doing things. But local SEO should be a key priority on its own. Getting backlinks is basically a (much-welcome) side effect of localising your SEO efforts.
9. Take a Page Out of Your Competitors’ Backlinking Strategy
You know that knowing your competitor is crucial to your own business’ success. But did you know that as many as 89% of huge companies have a dedicated market intelligence team? That’s how vital competitive intelligence is.
This doesn’t mean you need to hire your own “spies”. You can conduct your own research to know what works for your competitors. That includes what they’re using to get all those great backlinks and what doesn’t work for them.
Since you’re competing for the same market, then their strategies are likely to work for you too. By knowing what tactics aren’t doing them any good, you can avoid wasting your time on those as well. That alone can already give you an advantage.
10. Don’t Forget to Analyse and Monitor Your Links
How would you know that your link building campaign works if you’re not monitoring it? How can you make certain your efforts are paying off if you don’t analyse the results?
There’s also the matter of bad links killing your SEO. All those dead links and 404s can pull your site’s ranking down.
As such, make it a point to schedule routine link audits. We get that you may not have all the time in the world. If this is the case, consider appointing link building experts to take over the work for you.
Don’t Wait to Implement these Link Building Strategies
Building quality and organic links aren’t something you can complete overnight. It takes time, so you’d want to follow these legit link building strategies ASAP.
The sooner you use these techniques, the closer you are to getting better ranking results.
Still curious about what works for SEO and what doesn’t? Then go and pay our blog a visit! We have more white hat techniques to share with you there.