Every year various industry insiders and thought leaders in the SEO community put together ranking factor reports to help marketers and business owners understand what is and isn't important for websites to rank better in Google's organic search engine results. One metric that is always in the top 10 is the amount of high-quality backlinks your website has. This not only makes link building acceptable but also a paramount piece of your Internet marketing strategy.
So let's do a quick review of what link building is. The goal of any link building strategy is to get a link to your website on another, more authoritative website that is relevant to your audience. For example, if your website is about your plastic surgery practice, then getting a backlink from your local hospital can be very valuable. For attorneys, a link from a local legal services website can be valuable as well. The backlink should be relevant to your business and from a higher authority site to maximize benefits for your website.
Link building is one of many tactics that help increase the search relevance of your website. There are many different link building strategies that require various investments of time and resources to complete – we'll go over a few of these below.
Link Building Strategies
1. Content Marketing
With content marketing, the goal is to publish a great piece of content and, by performing outreach to influencers and niche content creators, earn the opportunity to have your content shared and linked to. Examples of niche content include:
- White papers
- Online guides
- Slideshare presentations
For example, if you create a list of the top 5 yoga studios, recommended to your patients after a procedure and post it on your plastic surgery blog, and you get some or all of those yoga studios to share your post, your practice website has just earned some backlinks with significant relevance to your target audience.
2. Guest Posts
Guest posting is very similar to content marketing except you're taking yourself out as the "middle man" in terms of where the content gets published. A guest post is exactly what it sounds like: You create content for another website and you get a backlink as part of the author credit or by including a link back to content on your site.
The hardest part of this strategy is to find content partners that will allow you to create content for their site; they'll likely ask for the same opportunity from you. The most important advice to follow is that you don't want to create content partnerships or the content itself for websites with little engagement and traffic. Here is where you can use Domain Authority (DA) to quickly see if a website is worthwhile to pursue for guest posting.
DA is a score from 0-100 that takes into account the SEO value of a website. You can use the Moz Open Site Explorer to find these scores – just copy and paste a URL into the tool. The ultimate goal here is to drive traffic to your site, so getting a backlink via guest posting on a low-quality site isn't the best use of the time it takes to write quality content and form relationships with the publisher. Knowing how to find a site’s Domain Authority, therefore, can help you identify great guest post opportunities.
3. Link Reclamation
Strategies like link reclamation take time to put together but don’t require the upfront costs of creating content. With link reclamation, you're just taking advantage of opportunities that already exist by searching the Web for branded references (i.e. your name, your practice name, etc.), broken links or 404'd pages and then creating or requesting a backlink to your website. One of the most popular methods of link reclamation is by running the Moz Fresh Web Explorer tool to find mentions of your brand throughout the Internet.
After running this report, make a list of the mentions that do not link back to your website. Then, reach out to the author of that content and very politely ask for a link back to your practice website so their readers can easily find you online. This is a great way to not only find individuals that are mentioning your business but also ensure that any mentions of your brand are optimized to their full potential with a backlink.
There are many more link building strategies than the ones I mentioned above, but these three are a great foundation and mix of strategies that should get you started on the right foot in 2017. If you don't think you have the time to implement these essential strategies yourself, give Page 1 Solutions a call at (303) 233-3886 and we'd be happy to evaluate your website for FREE.