In the early days of SEO, link building—or the process of getting external sites to link to your content, thereby boosting your search rank—was king. However, over time it has developed a slightly different reputation due to misuse by sites designed solely for search engine crawling. Link building can—to be frank—sound like a scam, but it can be impactful when you do it right.
So, what do you need to do to build up reputable and quality links to your site? Start thinking about link building as relationship building, and you’ll see greater success. As marketing expert Deborah Lee ( @debsylee ) reminds us, “The importance of gratitude is never forgotten.” . And while this is more than true for dealing with customers, it equally applies to reciprocity with links.
To get started, check out our six link building strategies for savvy marketers below.
6 Expert Link Building Strategies You Need to Know
1. Think Quality, not Quantity
The first strategy you need to keep in mind when it comes to effective link building? It’s all about quality versus quantity . Nowadays, Google looks for content that is written by humans, for humans, and that also looks the part. In fact, links from authority sites make up the largest factor when it comes to the algorithm, accounting for over 23% of ranking consideration.
2. Network, Network, Network
Get out and meet people within your local community and your global industry community. Over 30% of marketers in a recent survey identified outreach to be the most important component of effectively building links. Reach out to blogs that you follow, similar companies, and industry insiders to start building relationships with them. Not only will you improve your chance of getting your content promoted on their site , you will also gain a real-life connection.
3. Be Careful
If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. It’s likely that the ever-changing Google algorithm will become even more adept at identifying sites that are just meant for SEO, so abandon any sites that promise you links for money.
4. Remember the Point of Link Building
Yes, it’s helpful for your SEO, but it’s also how you’re going to capture a new audience . Will someone click through a link on a site with scrambled, robotic text? Not in the days of online safety concerns. However, if a reputable source links to you as a resource or reference, that link becomes a recommendation to their audience , and you’ll capture eyes that are interested in what you have to offer.
5. Seek Out Industry Publications
Find digital publications that focus on your industry, and pitch a product or company announcement. Or, if you have good content and establish yourself as a valuable resource, you can seek out opportunities to guest post on others’ blogs. Guest posting allows you to link build and expose your brand to a greater audience. Marketers have seen up to a 200% increase in traffic from a single well-placed guest post.
6. Keep an Eye on Your Analytics
Keep an eye on your analytics for referral traffic. You might find that you’ve been linked to by a source you hadn’t identified, and may want to reach out and establish a greater relationship. If they’re already sending an audience your way, then you know there is potential for more.