Link building is the process of exchanging links with other websites to increase your own siteâ€™s backlinks and quality links. It is also a marketing tactic to increase brand awareness and conversions. The SEO and link building scenario keeps changing but the importance of link building is very high. However, with changing Google algorithms earning organic links has become more important.
Importance of â€śEarningâ€ť Links and Not â€śBuildingâ€ť Links
Link building is a strategy that worked in the past as Google measured the number of links to a site to determine how important the site is to online users. But with its Panda update, Google started penalizing those sites that practice shady link building strategies.
The quality of the content is what matters now. Good quality content is meant to be informative and beneficial for online users. Moreover, it is this kind of content that is very likely to be shared via social networks. Quality content will help business owners earn more quality links. Link earning is the strategy by which meaningful content is shared among like-minded people online, increasing the popularity of the website. Business owners now need to focus on linking to relevant thought influencers that offer superior content to users.
Gaining Authority with Links
A brand new website cannot hope to find a place on the first page in leading search engines. It needs to gain credibility by connecting with other popular sites that are recognized as influencers or consumer advocates in their particular niche. This type of linking will enable the new website to project itself as a reliable website that consumers can engage with.
It is also important to understand the search demands of today so that you can update your website accordingly. Google revises its algorithms many times a year which often remains unannounced and unnoticed. Sometimes it will have an intense impact on what people see online during a search. Popular updates like Penguin, Panda, Pigeon etc. aim at providing valuable search results and also remove access to sites that have:
- Duplicate and borrowed content.
- Large volumes of irrelevant links that prevent users from continuing their individual search in a consistent, meaningful way.
The Three As behind Good Content
An article in entrepreneur.com suggests the three As behind how content will rank in the near future. At the time of planning a new link-earning campaign, the three As of legitimacy are important.
- Authority: This is the level of credibility, experience and intelligence a website has that is based on consumer recognition and search engine algorithms.
- Alignment: This relates to how well a website or its content aligns with the needs, intentions and expectations of the consumers.
- Authenticity: The websiteâ€™s technical aspects should meet the specific needs of each individual online user.
There are some tactics on which strategists should not waste their time.
- Engaging in creating as many directories as possible
- Posting extensively across small/unused social channels
- Submitting press releases on free online sites
- Contributing content to inexpert/irrelevant third party hosts
The fault lies not in the above mentioned strategies, but the way in which they are implemented. The same strategies can be effectively used with the best results.
Focus on Users, Donâ€™t Worry Unduly about Rankings
Good links can be earned if you think about creating brand awareness or conversions first rather than about rankings. You may be trying to build authority to obtain high ranking in Google search results but ignoring the three vital As. With this policy, you will be wasting valuable time posting content on insignificant social venues and creating directories on sites that rarely receive visitors.
Here is the right way to execute the same strategies.
- Create directories that provide authentic information about your brand: Making directories that show valid information about a brand or service is the best way to earn links. Always take into account your specific audience. Consider whether the directory will lead to a new link, or lead to a new link and bring qualified referral traffic. The directory you create must be published in a location that is relevant to your brandâ€™s message/service. Find out particular directory sites that your target audience engages in. Foursquare and Yelp are credible directory sites.
- Post on social media: You can earn good links through social networking platforms by:
- Sharing an article/blog on Facebook
- Retweeting a comment on Twitter
- Repinning a photo on Pinterest
- Commenting on a blog post
Your audience must be able to react to the content they get; this will help you earn qualified links. Publishing content on popular social media is a good option but publishing in underdeveloped/unused profiles that have no followers is useless. If you have social profiles with only a small number of followers or those that are inactive, you need to allocate time and resources on building them up.
- Submitting Rress Releases: Press releases can be a great way to connect with the people and give them information about your brand. There are a few practices that need to be followed though, for better response:
- Write press releases with fresh and relevant content related to your brand. Make sure to provide evidence such as statistics, quotes and references that establishes the genuineness and quality of what you are promoting.
- Publish a press release only when you have something newsworthy to announce or something that is significant for the public.
- Send out press releases over actual media outlets including newspapers, TV stations and radio channels, rather than online wires.
- Guest Posting: The best way to connect your business and brand with new customers is by publishing guest posts. However, these posts must be published on host sites that have set standards as regards the quality of submissions they accept. In addition, the host site must be relevant to your primary message. When guest posting, let it be on sites that are influential, authentic and recognized as leaders in their niche. Consider the following factors:
- How often they publish new forms of content
- Who their target audience is
- Domain authority
- How many social followers they have and how actively they participate
An affordable way of ensuring strategic and organic link building is to consider reliable SEO services offered by a provider with some experience and standing in the industry. A good SEO company takes care of all requisites including creating directories, submitting guest posts, posting on social media and monitoring various social media profiles, and submitting press releases.