Link building is one of the most effective search engine optimization (SEO) techniques you can do to drive people to your site. However, it can be one of the most labor-intensive. We’ve put together this Ultimate Cheat Sheet to help you tackle this task with ease.
Link-building encompasses the actions taken to increase the quality and quantity of inbound links to your website. Inbound links are those coming from external domains, pointing back to your site. Link-building is a vital aspect of SEO, albeit one of the most difficult parts. Search engines, like Google, Bing and Yahoo, view links as “votes”. The more sites linking back to your website, the better your site appears. However, search engines do use complex algorithms, so the quality of links matter as well. Below is your ultimate cheat sheet to link-building.
- Create Share-Worthy Content
The most important part of link-building is creating share-worthy content. If your content is rich and well-written, others will be naturally inclined to link to it. However, this is easier said than done.
Creating online content includes a variety of different types of content including blogs, website content, press releases, social media posts, videos, photos, podcasts, webcasts, and more! Each of these types of content can be share-worthy in their own way. While site content should never be duplicated for another platform, different types of content can be repurposed. Each platform is different and content should be developed and altered to meet the requirements of the platform and the expectations of its users.
Tips for Creating Share-Worthy Content:
- Create content for humans, not search engines.
- Make it useful and provide your users with something they actually need.
- Tailor your voice and message to match your viewers’ expectations.
- Written content should be bite-sized, easy to scan and easy to understand.
- Create Attention-Grabbing Headlines.
- Include buttons that allow viewers to share on social media.
- Share Original Content on Social Media
First and foremost, it is important that your company has a social media presence. Other than social media playing a huge role in SEO, it also offers the perfect outlet for creating links that you can control.
Whenever you create an original piece, such as a blog, you should share it on your social media platforms and link back to the original location of the piece, preferably on your site. Remember that all social media platforms are different and should be used as such.
Joining Google+ Communities and LinkedIn Groups that are relevant to your industry is a great way to share your content with new people. If others enjoy your content, they will be more likely to link to it.
- Ask Customers to Link to You
Your customers and clients can be your best brand advocates. Thus, they are most likely to link back to your site. You can ask your customers to link to your site for various reasons ranging from blog mentions to product plugs.
How to Ask:
- Offer to trade links
- If they feature your product/service on their site, ask them to give you credit
- Ask your staff members to utilize professional blogs or LinkedIn accounts and link to your website from either. You will want to implement standard procedures when allowing staff to link from blogs or personal websites.
- Utilize your community by asking local businesses to link to your site.
- Create a link kit where people can freely access information that will make it easy for them to link to you.
- Utilize Connections to Get Highly-Trusted Domains to Link to You
As we’ve discussed, the quality of your inbound links is just as important as the quantity. Seeking out domains with high trust and asking for links will increase your chances of ranking in search engines. High-Trust Organizations are typically larger, best-of breed companies with a large web presence. Hospitals, Universities, Nonprofits, News Giants and Government Entities typically fall into this category.
Tips for seeking out high-trust organizations:
- Brainstorm a list of high-trust organizations with your team
- Research the domain authority of these organizations that you have come up with
- Consider asking established local businesses to include your events in their directory
Keep these things in mind when making your pitch:
- They probably will not benefit much if you offer to link to them in return so let them know what it would mean to you and offer your support and gratitude in return
- They may not understand the concept or importance of back-linking. You will need to find the right person to talk to such as someone in Marketing or communications, explain the role that links play in SEO, and let them know that their link will help others find your site in search engines
- They may feel they do not have time to link to you. Direct them to your link kit and let them know how easy it is. Tell them how important this is to your site and how greatly you would appreciate it
- Submit Site to Relevant Directories
Web Directories list websites by category and subcategory and range from paid to unpaid. Some directories are large and all-inclusive, like Open Directory, whereas others are more specific to an industry.
Directories are important for two main reasons: they increase your number of inbound links and index your site, making it easy for others to find you. While directories typically aren’t high quality, they also aren’t low quality and will not harm your SEO.
Below is a list of directories you should consider submitting your site to:
- Send out Press Releases
Press Releases are important for SEO because they offer share-worthy content that other sites, such as news organizations, are likely to link to or share. When you write a press release, it is important to distribute it to the necessary people Send your press releases to the appropriate person at specific news organizations and then expand to distribution sites like PRWeb, PRLog, or Vocus.
Tips for Writing Press Releases:
- Incorporate a Catchy Headline
- Begin with Background: Your opening paragraph should cover the basics of who, what, where, when and why.
- Provide Useful Information
- Include Relevant Keywords
- Write for Humans, not search engines
- Close with Information About Your Company
Although link-building can be difficult and time-consuming, it is well worth the effort put in! If you need assistance with SEO or any of these link-building tactics, contact Informatics.