Organic Link Building Strategies for SEO
Google is constantly updating its algorithm to combat spammy, manipulative, and low-quality search results. This is great for users, but it can make things more challenging for marketers when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation.
Search engines want user-friendly websites that users love and trust and that publish great content. Essentially, their ultimate goal is to reward websites that add value for users and leave pages that are deceitful or not helpful in the dust.
To achieve organic growth, you need to understand how Google views your site, so you know what they like and don’t like about it. You also need to have a deep understanding of how Google crawls your website and indexes its content. Once you know how it works, you can tailor your SEO strategy accordingly. Link building is a crucial aspect of SEO and to succeed in this area, providing genuine value should be your top priority.
The Importance of Backlinks in SEO
Links are one of the biggest ranking factors that determine how well your site will rank in the search engine results. This is because they’re considered as votes of trust that let Google know your site is an important website that users should have easy access to in the SERPs.
Building links and getting backlinks is essential to almost any SEO campaign. It helps your website get discovered by other websites, blogs, and social media accounts. Google notices those links and the more links pointing back to your website, the more likely it is that you’ll rank for the keywords you want.
If we look at Google’s algorithm updates over the past few years, we can see one major trend: more focus on user experience. That’s not to say that they haven’t always focused on the user, as this has always been an important part of the algorithm, but it’s become much more important recently.
Indeed, there was a time when keyword stuffing and getting links were the only things that you had to worry about. But now, if you don’t have a user-friendly site, you won’t even make it through the door. Google’s algorithm will simply ignore your website and leave you with no traffic at all.
Google wants people to come away from their search engines feeling satisfied. They want their users to have a positive experience and come back for more, which is why they’ve been placing a huge emphasis on user experience. As well as the quality of the information, Google takes into account other aspects of such as the page loading speed and whether the website is mobile-friendly.
To generate backlinks organically, you create content (or get someone else to create content) that provides inbound links to your website. Quality is more important than quantity in this case as low-quality links can cause your site to be penalised.
Low-quality links are the result of poor SEO practices or the promotion of spammy content. They may be created by someone who:
- Has no real interest in your site
- Doesn’t provide any value to the visitors of their site
- Is not an authoritative source of information.
- Is trying to sell something. This could mean that they are trying to send you to their product or service, rather than having a genuine connection with you and your audience.
With that in mind, let’s look at some methods to add to your organic growth strategy.
Guest posting is a popular tactic. It involves writing blog posts for other websites and getting a link back to your site. You can also earn these backlinks by promoting your guest post on social media and forums.
First, choose a topic that is relevant to your target audience then identify high-quality sites that cover topics similar to yours. Once you have identified potential sources for links, you need to create a compelling pitch that will encourage the sites’ editors to publish your post.
Next, you need to write the post, publish it on time, and promote it on social media and forums so you can earn backlinks that help improve your site’s SEO. Building strong professional relationships with these other sites will increase the chances that they will let you do more guest blogging for them in future.
Remember that your guest posts are primarily for the host site’s audience, so write with them in mind while also considering your own niche.
This method is when you swap links with another website of similar, but not competitive, content. To exchange links, you can use a tool like BuzzSumo to see which sites in your industry are sharing your content and contact them directly. You can also find influencers in your niche who have large followings and reach out to them to promote your site.
One of the main reasons why people shy away from link building is because they don’t know how to do it properly. There are plenty of tools online that can help you find relevant sites in your niche; however, it takes a lot of time and effort. The best way to start is by figuring out what type of links you want to build and then doing the research yourself.
Brand Mention Link Building
This strategy is when you find sources where your brand has already been mentioned and ask the publisher to link to your site alongside those mentions. Just like with exchanging links, an advantage of this method is that you don’t have to create new content and instead, you capitalise on existing opportunities.
When looking for those opportunities, keep in mind the quality of the link. To make use of brand mentions, first make sure the site is reputable and that the mention is relevant and paints your brand in a positive light. Finally, make sure the mention is recent – the older it is, the lower the chance that it will be relevant and that it will be getting any traffic.
The most high quality backlinks are editorial links. These are links from trusted publications, and they significantly increase your site’s authority. Getting editorial backlinks is one of the most difficult aspects of SEO, but it’s also one of the most important.
Writing unique, newsworthy content and promoting it through your social media channels is a good place to start, as well as keeping in mind the principles of digital PR.
To increase your chances of landing an editorial backlink, keep these tips in mind:
- Be interesting. This one is obvious, but it’s worth mentioning, nonetheless. If you want to get people talking about your site, you’ll need to create content that’s worth talking about and worth sharing.
- Be consistent in your tone and approach when promoting your site. Don’t change who you are just for the sake of it; be yourself and show people what makes you unique.
- Be willing to participate in interviews – the host will be likely to link back to your website. You can also conduct your own interviews and publish them on your site – guests will want to link to your site from theirs in order to direct visitors to the interview.
- Keep your content up to date. Nobody will want to a link to an article with outdated information, so do some content pruning once in a while – a great practice for SEO.
- Check the guidelines that each publication has for editorial links and make sure your content meets the criteria for the ones you’re interested in.
One of the best ways to generate backlinks is to encourage people to share your content on social media platforms. Through sharing, you can build a relationship with the people who are interested in your topics and make them feel as if they have a stake in your success. This increases their trust in you and helps them to take action, which is essential when it comes to earning backlinks. It also helps to create a buzz around your brand and get more people talking about you.
A well-established social media profile with great engagement is important for making the most of this strategy. With a strong social media presence, your target audience will be able to find your content, link to it from their websites and share it with their own followers.
Networking is a great way to find new opportunities to get links and can make it easier to implement any of the strategies above. It is a long-term approach that will pay off over time. Approach people in your industry through LinkedIn or other social media sites and start building relationships with them. To build genuine relationships, do something to help them. For example, you can link to their sites from your content, which will also increase the chance that they will reciprocate in future. You can also make yourself available for discussions or advice about industry topics.
Another strategy to use with these individuals – or any site owners – is to find broken links and suggest that they replace them with links to your content (providing that the content is relevant and valuable for their audience).
You don’t have to confine yourself to networking within your industry. People in other industries may have reasons to link to your content, so keep an open mind to any networking opportunities that present themselves. Finally, don’t forget about the offline world – industry events are prime opportunities to build genuine relationships face-to-face.
Internal Linking for SEO
Internal linking is when you link to other pages on your own site. It can have a great effect on your SEO and it’s the quickest method you can implement, so make sure you don’t overlook it while seeking backlinks.
You can use internal linking to point readers to other related pages on your website, or to link to pages with keyword-rich anchor text that will help improve your page rank. When creating internal links, be sure to use relevant keywords in the anchor text, and make sure the destination pages are well-optimised for those keywords.
At the end of the day, all of these strategies come down to one thing: quality content. If you create truly remarkable content that people want to read, they’ll want to link to it.
If you’re struggling to build links, take a step back and look at your content. Is it high-quality? Is it something that people want to share? If not, it’s time to re-evaluate your strategy and make the necessary changes. If you want to rank in the SERPs, you need inbound links – the more the better. If you need help with your content and link building strategies, click here to get in contact and find out how my team and I can help you.