Ten years ago link building was all about doing things en masse. You wanted to get your links out there, to as many places as possible and get maximum exposure. A lot of link building was established through trading and buying links, as well as posting in various directories. While these methods may not be dead, they are certainly on their way out.
There are several reasons why a lot of the previously used methods are no longer advisable. One is that they’ve been over run with spam and low-quality linking, meaning that they simply don’t work as well any more. When a site has stuffed two or three keywords into all of their links, it becomes obvious and a target for Google, which brings us to the other reason these methods are no longer representative of good link building.
Google’s Struggle Against Spam
Google has started coming down hard on websites that it feels are using link building for SEO rankings alone. It has removed entire sites from its listings and greatly damaged sites that rely on their position on Google for revenue. Many of the older methods, including linking in comments and linking to irrelevant content are being targeted by Google.
So, if these methods aren’t working and are being targeted by Google, how is link building surviving?
There is a new era of link building that has emerged and is growing. This focuses on utilizing link building the way it was intended to work by producing good-quality, high-traffic links to your site that both help your business by generating quality traffic, and also increasing your SEO.
Chances are you can think of several high-traffic, respectable sites that you would like to see your link on and if you can’t, go find some because it’s important to know your target market. Before, you would send your links out to as many places as you could and hope that some of them would agree to link to your site.
But it’s the relationships that are important and you should get to know the people who run the websites. If they have a blog, comment on their blog and leave useful opinions and responses that will catch the writers’ attention. This will increase your chances of getting them to link to you. If they run a website, contact them in a professional and friendly way and build that relationship before you ever ask them to link to you.
No matter which specific link building tactic we are talking about, it shouldn’t be merely about links: Relationships come first. That’s what I’ve been saying about guest blogging since 2010: It’s useless for link building unless you get the “relationships” part! There are no niches nowadays where relationships can’t be built!
Create Great Content
It seems simple and obvious, but many businesses are so focused on SEO and page rankings, that they forget that sometimes the simplest steps are the most important. Make sure that your website has something to offer that people are going to want to see and talk about. Make sure that it’s relevant and interesting. If your website provides something that others don’t, you will start getting traffic and links. It is one of those things where being good at what you do, will end up doing a lot of the work for you.
Utilize Social Media
Many people seem to believe that social media has now taken over link building, but the experts say that the two can be used incredibly effectively when done together. Social media brings potential visitors to your site through a number of new ways and is crucial if you want high traffic to your website. Having quality, active social media outlets for your business expands your audience and your brand. Linking to your site from each of these places is one of the best and foremost link building tactics you should utilize.
However, social media can be used for link building in less obvious ways too. For example, you are able to communicate not only with your customers, but with other business owners, bloggers, journalists, and other influential people who can produce great links for you. It enables you to interact with them, get more attention, and build several new avenues for links that you may not have had before.
Link building is an important part to SEO and creating a successful business, but in the end, the best way to promote yourself and make sure that your website has a strong web presence, is to make sure that you’re running your business well. This is true whether you’re writing a blog, producing videos, or selling something. It all comes down to making sure you have something worth seeing which will make others want to link to you.
Have your own link building tips? Comment below!