Link building is the most difficult task in SEO, no doubt. Why? Because it is time-consuming, and requires careful research, and the results of which are not guaranteed. For the same reason, many SEOs either outsource the work or go for quick link building campaigns like softwares or simply ignore the whole thing focusing on onsite optimization – which is by far a more comfortable task.
I strongly believe that (and I have my experience to back it up) without link building your SEO campaign is not complete. You can tweak your template and rework on your content but if they don’t get a proper link building backup, you’re not going anywhere.
Before we start, let me list a few guidelines on effective link building.
Guidelines to Effective Link Building
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1. Link building should not be a quick fix process.
Because Google knows what’s happening under the hood, it’s never recommended to boost up your link profile immediately or in any unnatural time frame. 1000 links in three months? Sounds made up right? And Google knows it. So, link building always has to be gradual and “natural”.
2. Do not try to game the system.
Technically, we might be trying to game the system, but make sure it’s not aggressively stupid. You need to research what your natural niche is and leverage it. For example, if you have a website about “Red Apples” you need to stick to building backlinks on Apples and Red Apples not Oranges or Green Apples.
3. Link Building should go hand in hand with other SEO efforts.
There is no problem if it is otherwise, but link building works most effectively when you also do other SEO like content building and on site optimization.
4. Relevancy should be the key factor.
Make sure you have enough content on your website that when found or discovered through your new links compliments to your anchor texts and article. This might sound like very general advice but this is extremely important. Make sure your anchor texts are carefully drafted and the content they link to are optimized well.
10 Efficient ways to build quality backlinks to your website
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1. Clever use of guest posts is the easiest way to get quality backlinks
SEO experts will agree that in link building, more than the number of links you make it’s the contextual nature of the links that matters most to search engines. For example, imagine you have a website design studio, and you’re on a link building spree. Instead of getting random links from web directories it makes sense to get a couple of links from related domains like web design blogs or web design software websites. So, scout for opportunities to write content for such websites. Many web design software studios have their blog and accept content from their users. Make use of it. Now, this doesn’t mean that you can write a ten line paragraph and expect them to feature you on the blog. No. Make sure its a win-win situation and write something that they will benefit from as well. Like a nice tutorial on how to use their design software for web design, or how you used the software on one of your projects. This way, they would be encouraged to post your content on their blog and possibly give back a quality backlink to your website.Think about it.
2. Want links in big numbers? Try directory submissions
Even when we talk about quality, its important that we also build links in good quantity. Because quantity really matters as well. And talking about quantity, the best way to build links in bulk is to go for directory submissions. But here’s the catch. When you go for directory submissions, there are lots of services that promise the sun and the moon. Research well, before taking the plunge. A good web design or a good sales page may not mean a good service. Check out the forums or even ask for recommendations on social media, and figure out if they are reliable services. And my recommendation is that you go for “themes directory submissions”. What are they?
Well, themed directory submissions are link building via directories based on a theme. For example, if you have a website designing service, you might want to submit your website to all those directories who list web design/design services rather than general categories. Google values such themed (contextual) links more than general links. But this doesn’t mean that they are the best contextual links you can get.
Testimonials are a good way to build relevant and high quality backlinks. You’ve seen it on all the product showcases, websites, apps everywhere. Hunt for newly launched web services or products and offer them a good testimonial. This requires you to try out the service and give a credible recommendation. Now, you’ve also got to make sure that your you have a good reputation to hold on to. Because, those companies are looking for credible and influential folks to testify for them, not everyone. So make sure you have a decent profile.
4. Press Releases are your friend when it comes to link building
Press Releases, without doubt are an easy (and expensive) way to build links to a website. And, the plus is that you have perfect control over the copy, content and the backlink. Sending press releases can be an expensive affair, but doing it once in a while will only help you with your link building methods. At the same time, please do not consider them as replacements to your link building strategy. They are only bonuses, because links from press release websites are only given little importance by Google. They probably realize that they are paid links, so people with more money could manipulate the search engine system with these links so they see them that way. However, what I like most in press releases are the fact that you have control over what backlink and anchor text to select while going for it. Make use of it, as you’re paying for it.
5. Article Submissions
They are just like guest blogs, but more generic and are submitted through article marketing directories. The good thing about article submissions is that they can be controlled and can be submitted to appropriate contextual directories. At the same time, there is a problem with article submission, that they are less relevant in importance. Since there are many articles submitted and most of them are primarily written for link building, article submissions are not valued much by Google. The fix (well almost) to this problem is that you can go for reputed article writers than just about anybody. Reputed article writers will have a legacy to carry and their articles are promoted more than the average article. So make use of it.
Infographics are the new way of marketing. It’s the perfect combination of social media and SEO. They have two advantages. One, they being visually amazing, can be a super hit on social media if done properly. Two, they can be an amazing link building tool. There are several infographic designers available these days, so hiring one would be the best way to go about. With your company’s content in place, what you got to do is figure out how it can be manipulated to make it social media savvy. This requires some amount of thinking and brainstorming, but once you figure it out, it should be say integrating it to a design. Once the design is ready, make sure you plug it into your blog with the necessary HTML code snippet that allows people to embed it on their websites. When they do, you should be getting a backlink. And obviously, you know how to edit the code so that your required anchor text is plugged in.
7. Social Media and Bookmarking
There is a reason why I combined both. Social Media is very generic. In my opinion, for anything to be worth the time on social media, it has to go viral or become popular. And this means creating viral content. Content that will be duplicated on other websites and blogs. A lot of it will be copied without attribution but around 10% will be attributed. And with attribution you get the backlinks. So whenever you create content on social media, make sure it is linkable and shareable. A good way to crack this is to seed the content on various social media bookmarking websites. Once they get popular on those websites, it gets the attention it needs from people who would gladly republish the content to their websites. Some of the most prominent websites are Digg, Reddit, Delicious.com, StumbleUpon, and others. Each of them have a different way of working, and requires separate strategies to make it to the top (and lot of luck), but if you can reach the front page then you are on your way to success.
8. Offer giveaways
An amazing way to build links and add the buzz is to go for free giveaways. People love free stuff and they would do anything for it. Now, depending upon how amazing your giveaway is, there shall be more interest. Haven’t you seen the free iPhone give away scam? A lot of people fell for it. But that’s not the point. It was a scam. But if you have a good product to giveaway, there’s always people listening. So make sure you have a good product/gift/software to give away first. You can get this done by either buying them or arranging a partnership with the owners. They too wouldn’t mind some buzz. While giving away, also make sure that you ask people to review your site or your product, there by increasing their chances to win. Also make sure that you have planned enough time frame planned in advance so you get the most of excitement. A well designed giveaway never fails.
9. Buying Links
As a white hat SEO, I’d never recommend it. However, if you know how to spot a good quality potential website that can give you a link, don’t miss the chance. Buying links in my opinion is tricky. The first law is not to encourage blind offers that come to you offering links. Chances are that those guys are link vendors who’ve been doing it for long time now and would most likely have accrued black points from Google. So avoid anything mainstream. Instead go scout yourself for potential good linkers and buy from them. It’s always safe and better.
10. Develop a free theme
This works well with bloggers. Bloggers love new themes and design packs. Design something incredibly useful and give it away with proper credits in place. Make sure you use your required anchor texts in place. A theme is a good choice because not only will you receive reviews on your theme, but people who will actually use the theme on the websites will link back to you as well.
Bonus: Get link from scrapers
Now, that’s not something you hear often, is it? Well, the thing is everything matters. This probably only appears to popular blogs and websites but hey, you never know. What happens is that for popular blogs, there are often scrapers copying content. They copy the RSS feed and automatically copy content from the site as they are published. There is no particularly effective way to stop this but there is something you can do to your benefit. Add links in your content to yourself. There are different ways to do it or you could use a plugin to get it done. Anyways,make sure you have a good link on your content and footer (of the RSS feed) so that who ever scrapes your content is forced to link back to you. ;)