Today’s post is about effective link building methods that deliver results, in other words a ranking benefit. We are going to look at different outreach strategies, PBNS, business citations, and links from social media profiles.
Link Building In SEO
SEOs spend a lot of their time building links, because a sites backlink profile is one of Google’s most important ranking signals. The bad news is that not all SEOs know how to build links properly. What they do instead, is load a website with dozens or even hundreds of what Google considers spammy links. These are likely going to get a site penalized, something every webmaster definitely has to avoid.
Outreach & Relationship Building
Today, link building is about quality not quantity. What’s more, the success of each link building campaign depends on what keywords or keyword phrases you are trying to rank for. Some niches/industries are more competitive than others and high-volume or high-CPC keywords are usually fiercely contested.
Another influencing factor is the current position of your website in Google. From first-hand experience we know that, if your site is among the top 50 already, we can usually make it jump to Google page two or three within a month or so using our proper outreach channels. From there, it’ll likely need another 1-2 months of concentrated link building efforts to enter the top 10.
How do we achieve such results?
In terms of effective link building methods, we strongly believe that blogger outreach is the way to go. The reason being that, generally speaking, it’s a process that pertains to some incredibly high-end websites with domain authority scores of at least 50 and all the way up to 90.
→ learn more about domain authority and its importance in link building here.
Just a couple of links from these powerful sources is worth much more in the eyes of Google, than having dozens of average backlinks pointing to your site.
And while blogger outreach can be a long and tedious process – we are talking about establishing nurturing relationships with real people here – a single backlink can shoot all of your important keywords through the roof.
The basic principle behind blog outreach is that you put your content in front of the right people, for example industry leaders and other authority figures in your niche. Chances are that these people like your content and share it with their own readers or followers without you having to ask for it explicitly. New links are a by-product. The most important requirement is that you’ve created high-quality content that’s worth linking to.
There also is the more direct approach. You can reach out to bloggers and ask for guest posting opportunities, sponsored posts and product reviews among other things. We’ve listed your best available options below and sorted these alternative outreach strategies according to what SEO experts that participated in a recent SEMrush study considered most effective in terms of link building.
#1 Guest Posts
You can reach out to other sites in your niche and ask if they’d like to feature you as a guest author on their blog. Usually, you are allowed to include a backlink to your own site in the body of the content or the signature.
#2 Sponsored Posts
A sponsored post is a paid post. Your business or website will be featured on someone else’s blog, but, you have to pay a publishing fee.
Please note that it’s against Google’s webmaster guidelines to pay for link placements.
#3 Claiming Unlinked (Brand) Mentions
We’ve already talked about linkless brand mentions on this blog before. Google considers them as one way to measure authority and they can earn you a ranking boost. However, they are also easy link building opportunities. If you stumble upon a linkless brand mention for your business, why not reach out to the website and ask to add an additional link?
#4 Product/Service Reviews
You can ask a blogger to review one of your products or services and write a post about it. On many occasions, you can offer your product or service for free in exchange for a thorough review.
#5 Link Insertion
If you create super high-quality content, it can make a great resource for others to reference on their sites. Use Google to browse for already existing articles on a certain topic and submit your content as one more value-providing resource.
#6 Recover Lost Backlinks
If you constantly monitor all your backlinks, why not reach out to a respective website as soon as a link went down and ask for a replacement?
#7 Resource Pages
There are websites that feature a resources section with a list of links for further reading. It’s often super easy to get your site added to these lists. Using this strategy, you need to make sure that the other linked sites are of the same high quality, as you don’t want your site to be found in a bad neighborhood.
Broken Link Building (Not Included In Study)
Broken link building is a way of strengthening your backlink portfolio by searching for content that contains a link to a third-party page that doesn’t exist anymore. The next step is to contact the site owner, let him know about your discovery and suggest to link to one of your pages instead.
Private Blog Networks
A couple of years ago, private blog networks (PBNs) where probably the most popular link building tool out there.
A PBN is a set of domains owned by the same individual and used to point links to a “main site”. Sites in a PBN usually carry a lot of link juice and authority, and when set up correctly they are going to provide you with a real ranking boost. You have to watch out, though, because using PBNs is against Google’s guidelines and your site can easily get penalized.
If we use PBNs, we don’t want them pointing to your main site. Typically, we wouldn’t use more than 20 PBN domains and they are used to point to your social media profiles or Google Maps profile. The SEO value then passes from these web properties on to the main site. When it comes to your main website nothing beats high end domain authority websites that Google eats up.
Citations & Social Media
Business citations can be very helpful, too, and especially if you are trying to rank locally. The more listings you create, the better. Stick to renowned directories and you can expect a slight ranking boost here.
Of course all profiles on major social media platforms – think Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and the like – that contain your company description, website URL, and posts that generate organic likes and shares, are a big part of Google’s algorithms and definitely help to position your site at the top of the search results.
Link Building Methods That Stopped Working Long Ago
Finally, we wanted to quickly mention some of the link building methods that stopped working long ago. Make sure to stay far away from these, as they are only going to hurt your website’s rankings:
– SAPE links
– Automated software links
– Spammy directories and article submissions
– Bulk Press releases (the occasional is OK)
– Scholarship links
– Link Farms
– Bulk Links (quantity doesn’t add value any longer)
– Low domain authority sites with very low trust scores
If you want your websiyte to rank you have to put in the time and the expense. These days there’s no way around it. Taking short cuts will only lead to headaches and longer result time frames. Do it the right way, contact our team for effective strategies.