As Google’s algorithms shift, black hat tactics are squeezed out of search, and search engine optimisation specialists are becoming more interested in organic approaches to link building. The days of distributing low quality links are long gone: link building now requires more investment, care and planning.
If you’re looking to take your link building strategy to the next level, try these tips. They’ll come in handy as you progress through your inbound marketing career.
1. Advanced Guest Posting
Many businesses are already using guest blogging to generate backlinks, and it’s a perfectly valid tactic. Links should always be accompanied by quality content that’s engaging and unique, and if that happens, the link will serve as an authoritative pointer back to the client site.
A more advanced tactic is to find a well established writer in your niche and pay them to generate content on a regular basis. Guest posting inevitably involves investment, but any business worth its salt should be allocating some of its marketing budget to content marketing anyway.
2. Stats and Infographics
Quality content or junk, filler content. What sets them apart? Often, quality content is defined by original thought and analysis, or an editorial slant. And when creating content, it’s a good idea to remember that the reader wants proof of everything you’re claiming is true. Backing up content with figures is a great way to do this.
As bloggers develop their sites and establish a following, their readers become more sophisticated. Tired of consuming ‘filler’ articles, they become more demanding and want genuinely interesting, new insight that can be proven with cold, hard numbers. Whether you use statistics, surveys or farmed data in a pretty infographic, your audience will believe in that content because you’ve gone the extra mile. That makes your link far more valuable.
3. Press Releases
Google’s clamping down on paid links, and press releases sometimes tread a fine line between genuine content and link building spam. But press releases still have value if they’re used in the right way.
If you have something genuine to say, and you’re careful in how you say it, the press release is still a valid link building tool. Just be natural. Don’t force keyword links into the text, and don’t try to sneakily use your press release to scatter low value links across the web. Instead, be honest: use natural links, long tail keywords and be transparent in what you’re trying to achieve.
4. Lesser-Known Social Channels
Many marketers now understand that Google+ membership is an essential part of their marketing job, and posting content to Google+ is a key tactic when building authority. Just as there was scepticism around Google+ initially, so some other minor social networks are being neglected in favour of larger, more crowded communities.
Rethink your strategy and look hard at the sites you’re promoting. If your client is best marketed B2B, don’t ignore LinkedIn or relevant business forums. If you’re representing a technical client, try conversing on ADN. Think outside the box: there’s more to social than Facebook, after all.
The key to success in link building is tracking progress and measuring ROI, so always have at least one analytics package switched on and plugged in before you start to experiment with link building. And remember: content is an investment, so expect to put your hand in your pocket to get the project started.
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