Starting out on your link-building journey can seem daunting at first. In fact, over half (52%) of marketers say link-building is the trickiest SEO tactic, according to data from Ascend2. It’s also one of the most effective SEO strategies behind on-page content and keyword research.
SEO experts from digital marketing agency, Glass Digital, have put together a comprehensive list of link-building strategies to get you started on your journey to valuable and authoritative backlinks.
The news can be a fantastic source of inspiration when it comes to outreach. Newsjacking allows brands to get involved in a newsworthy conversation, while offering advice on important issues, such as finance, sustainability, equality, etc.
Whatever the breaking news story is today, see how your expertise can fit into it. Can you offer expert commentary? Can you give people advice? Maybe you can even provide an entirely new angle.
You may need to think outside the box a little and try out tangential content to share your knowledge. If you think your point is useful, then chances are journalists and editors will too.
This type of link-building is more efficient than other link-building techniques as it is less time-consuming than a hero campaign and can often achieve similar results.
This type of campaign generally consists of extensive research, design assets, case studies, expert commentary and anything else that journalists see as valuable content for their publications, usually playing on a particular emotion. Hero campaigns are often assets that are created to be hosted on a brands website in order to secure deeper backlink opportunities.
A little creativity never goes amiss in SEO. While they can be a bit more time-consuming, creating a unique hero campaign can be a very effective link-building strategy when done well. The best campaigns can result in a variety of links so it can be an efficient use of time.
Your knowledge and expertise are valuable assets when it comes to link building. Most journalists and editors will be looking for professionals to provide a specialist point of view that they can’t offer themselves. Not only will this offer a link opportunity, but it’s a great way to position yourself as an authoritative voice in your industry.
Just like with reviews, you can utilise your product offering to get links back to your site. Any new or unique products can be used for product PR. In fact, journalists are actively looking for press releases relating to brands.
That’s compared to 30% who trust a company spokesperson the most, and just 20% who trust the brand’s website.
Products that relate to pop culture are generally highly shareable, so usually work very well for this particular link-building strategy, but new products can also be big news for the right sites.
Editorial is perhaps the oldest SEO link-building strategy around and it’s still one of the most common. Sending out an article allows link-building teams to dive into a trending topic with the guarantee of work being published.
Your first step to outreaching an editorial is coming up with your initial idea. You should have your target site and its audience in mind to ensure the topic suits them. Then, you can pitch the idea to the relevant site.
This is perhaps one of the simplest link-building techniques out there. If you’re a well-known brand, you’ll most likely be mentioned out there on the internet already, and if you’ve already got a mention, you can easily transform this into a link!
You can find these mentions using a simple Google search (or advanced search operators if you know how) and check if there’s an existing link to your website. If not, it’s as simple as getting in touch with the site’s editor and requesting that they quickly add a link to the page you’ve highlighted. Ta-da! You’ve turned an unlinked brand mention into a linking one.
Despite the rise of ecommerce and online shopping, there are a still many advantages to having a brick-and-mortar location — one of which is the potential for more links! With a bit of effort, you can usually find a multitude of websites associated with your location, all of which can be used to gain links via mentions.
Look for opportunities to list your business details or offer unique content — perhaps commentary about the area — to a website based in your local area. Again, search operators are a fantastic way to dig a little deeper to find niche location-based websites for you to contact.
Obviously, if you’re purely an ecommerce business, opportunities might be a bit limited here. That said, you can still reach out to partners in the area, such as local charities or your local council, to be listed in their business directory.
Your product offering is one of your most valuable assets and you can make the most of it throughout the year by pitching for a spot in various gift guides. Media requests are the perfect way to find journalists looking for gift guide products. These can be found on media contact databases and on Twitter via #journorequest.
You can also find potential sites by typing “Gift guide + [event/product]” directly into search engines.
The results will show you which journalists and publications have created this type of content before, so you can reach out to them about future opportunities for exposure.
You know your product or service is the best, so why not let others write about it for you? More often than not, shoppers will search for reviews and recommendations before they make a purchase, so having your brand mentioned helps build credibility for your site as well as gain you valuable links.
Think of podcasting as the more modern version of written interviews. This link-building tactic involves pitching yourself as a guest on an industry podcast for a link back to your site.
To prospect for these opportunities, search “[industry] podcast AND interview” e.g. ‘property podcast AND interview’ or ‘car interview AND podcast’. Look for complementary businesses that host podcasts and reach out asking if they’d like to speak to your client/expert.
There’s one final way you may be able to gain valuable links, and that’s by checking for broken links (HTTP 404 errors) and getting them swapped for the correct one. Finding the right target for this link-building tactic relies on backlink checker tools, such as Ahrefs and Moz.
When a 404 error (broken link) appears on a website, it means that link is no longer directing users to the correct page. The most common reasons for a 404 error are if certain products are removed from the site or the URL has changed.
If a link has been featured on a website back to your client’s site and is now broken, you can contact the website editor via email to fix it.
Jonathan Birch, Creative Director at Glass Digital, commented:
“A great way to begin your venture into link-building is to utilise your existing assets to build connections with other websites. Some of your existing assets may be obvious. Others, not so much.
When link-building and developing assets, keep the journalist, publications and readers in mind. What does the audience want to see? Can you solve a problem for them or teach them something new? When trying to obtain a valuable backlink, always have in your mind that you are trying to help the website you are contacting. That way, there is a genuine reason for your approach and, more often than not, they will thank you for providing them with something useful for their readers.”
See full guide here: https://knowledge.glass.digital/link-building-strategies-to-grow-your-seo