In Fundamentals of Link Building, we discussed link building being one of the most important components of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) success.
What is Long Term SEO Link Building?
Long term link building is a practice of earning links over time from other relevant websites to your own. It allows search engines to discover new web pages and provide a vote to the hyperlinked URL being mentioned.
Google will then index this vote of confidence and add more SEO value to your website. Long term link building done well can help websites to gain more authority online and improve keyword rankings.
It is always easier said than done. Fair warning, long term link building strategy is not an easy one-day process. Many SEO professionals spend much of their time and investment in acquiring high-quality links naturally. It pays off because there are significant SEO benefits to be gained through the effort.
How Search Engines Determine SEO Link Values
Before we dig deeper into the topic, let’s understand two ground rules on how search engines determine link relevancy:
- Whether or not the link to the webpage contains relevant and original content
- The number of quality external backlinks pointing to a webpage
Keep that in mind. Now let’s talk about 9 long-term link building strategies to yield better SEO rankings for your business.
Top SEO Link Building Strategies for SEO Success
SEO Link Building Strategy #1: Make Frequent Updates
The first step to successful long term link building starts with creating good marketing content to publish on your website. Informative and well-organized content shows search engines that your website is an expert in the industry.
Incorporate a variety of content forms. Content can come in many different forms. The following are a few examples in addition to storytelling and pictures.
- EBooks or other downloadable materials
- Case studies
- White papers
- Charts and Graphs
- Interactive elements
SEO Link Building Strategy #2: Improve Content Crawling and Indexing
After publishing great content on your website, get it indexed by Google. Set up a free Google Search Console account if you have not done so. Make sure to submit your URLs within an XML sitemap.
Include the right keywords and Meta descriptions to properly index your webpage’s content. Meta descriptions are text within a Metatag (HTML codes contained in a webpage). A good Meta description will briefly and accurately describe the content of a webpage. It is also recommended to be no more than 155 characters long.
Example of Meta Description:
<title>Not a Meta Tag, but required anyway </title>
<meta name=”description” content=”Write a description about your page here and preferably make this 155 characters or less”>
SEO Link Building Strategy #3: Keyword-Optimize Content
There are many powerful SEO tools out there (including free ones) to help pinpoint profitable keywords. Great keywords boost the visibility of content and improve ranking. Link building is easier to accomplish when you have content authority. Take a look at our top keyword research tool selection Semrush.
SEO Link Building Strategy #4: Do Content Marketing
LinkedIn Blog published a list of 2016 must-reads for marketers. Amongst the top contenders, there was one highly acclaimed book we found very worthy of reading. Joe Pulizzi’s Content Inc. – How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses.
If SEO is a big pie, content marketing makes up just one slice. However, it is one irreplaceable slice. This book will help you to grasp one fundamental compartment of SEO, which is in-depth content marketing.
The Author Joe Pulizzi is founder of the startup Content marketing Institute. It hosts one of the most comprehensive content marketing even worldwide – Content Marketing World. In his latest book, he discussed how to effectively build an audience around content and then wraps that content around a business.
Pulizzi explored a workable six-step model. It custom fits content strategies for any business to gain more audience and ultimately scale in revenue. The context itself is easy to read. It is suitable for readers who want to focus specifically on the content-building aspect of SEO.
SEO Link Building Strategy #5: Bond with Influencers
In a perfect world, you will receive valuable backlinks through people or organizations that are well known in the industry. Their opinions tend to have significant weight in the industry trends. We call these people or organizations the influencers. Links from influencers are goldmines we all wish we have more of.
In order to acquire influencer backlinks in reality, you need to first pay attention to quality content development. If you want to be an authority, you have to put out content like an authority. A good way to start is to look at how industry leaders engage an audience. Examining their winning practices, and then come up with your own recipe for success that caters to your audience.
Once you have good visibility, proactively reach out and network with influencers:
- Research and connect with your influencers through social media like LinkedIn or Twitter. Look for their contact information on the website.
- Participate in online and offline communities where you can have opportunities to share about your business. Reach out to group leaders and members about your new marketing content and how it can be valuable for their audience. Interact frequently with other experts and users. Provide useful and relevant information, share news, events, or your constructive thoughts in the community.
- Provide insightful feedbacks to your business community, whether by responding to a commenter’s question or sharing useful information. Show the community and your fellow members why your business can have great benefit and impact to the community.
SEO Link Building Strategy #7: Ask to Write Guest Blog
Guest blogging is a great strategy to earn backlinks. You can gain exposure by sharing expert opinions on other industry authority’s blogs.
How do you start guest blogging? First, identify the active bloggers in your line of business that accepts guest blogging requests. You should be able to narrow down a list through Google search. Then, reach out to these webmasters about content you can contribute that are useful to their followers.
This is sort of the cold calling way to make your presence known. So how do you turn these cold-calls into warm leads and make others willing to link back to you? Certainly you need to deliver relevant and valuable information because a backlink is an acknowledgment of your website’s worthiness.
Make sure your contribution is genuinely helpful and not just another advertising pitch. The key is to help others and you will see how it can greatly benefit you as well. Likewise, if you have asked someone else to contribute to your website, don’t forget to give a backlink as a courtesy.
SEO Link Building Strategy #8: Outreach to Press and Media
Getting media coverage may sound like a bold move beyond reach, especially with smaller businesses or startups. It is not always the case. In fact, it is doable if you have valuable insights to share, which will benefit the community.
Unlike paid advertisings, real coverages are not bought, but rather earned. This means you can’t pay a reporter to write a story or a link to your website. So if the media aren’t jumping at your wonderful new products, do proactive door-knocking to get your business out there.
3 Ways to Earn Media Coverage for Long-Term Link Building
- Become familiar with the online media and publishers you want to receive coverage from. Follow their stories and analyze their style. Are they familiar with your industry? What category or segment do they focus their writings on? Reach out to these publishers when you have an expert insight to offer involving industry trending topics. Ask to pitch in for a story with a link credit to your business.
- Pitch for a great cause or propose a solution to a common problem. Whether it is online broadcasts or publications about a cause related to your industry, get involved in solving a problem. Talk to the press about your expertise and offer your professional opinion. Bring up real resolutions and values that can benefit the public. This same kind of value should also be present in your own marketing content. It is a great way to build credibility and earn a backlink at the same time.
- Join the conversation on influential online forums and social media discussions hosted by advocates, publishers, journalists around your industry. Exchange conversations and make the connection with both readers and writers. Give expert comments on trending topics to build your reputation. Once you’ve made a name out there, asking for media coverage can become a lot less challenging.
SEO Link Building Strategy #9: Avoid Scandalous Tactics
One critical mistake to avoid in link building is to massively obtain irrelevant or low-quality links. It may cost you to lose ranking for the entire website.
Activities like buying links, spamming, and content scraping (copying other people’s content) will be discredited and penalized by Google. Once you are caught, you will be looking at a long and difficult road to recovery. It is never worth it to try and cheat the system.
According to Google, here are some of the forbidden activities that can get you into serious trouble:
- Automatically generated content: Content automatically created by programs. Stealing or direct translating other people’s content and call it your own.
- Scam Redirects: Sending visitors to a different URL than the intended webpage for deceiving purposes.
- Link schemes: Link farming activities such as purchasing links or excessively spamming links without real content.
- Cloaking: Misleadingly trick visitors and search engines to show different sets of URL or content to each party.
- Hidden text and links: Purposely making fonts and links invisible or hidden to fool search engines.
- Doorway pages: Generating multiple similar pages to mislead visitors without usable content.
- Scraped content: Plagiarizing, copying or direct translating content. Scraping content may also result in copyright infringement!
- Affiliate programs: Copying original program’s content and description without contributing original and useful information for visitors.
- Irrelevant keywords: Repeating the same keywords, low value or unrelated keywords to trick search engines for ranking.
- Creating pages with malicious behavior: Forced download of files, viruses, malware, ad spams, or automatically changing user’s browser settings.
- User-generated spam: Trolling comments with spams, spamming content on webpages, or falsified system or browser warnings.
For your reference, learn about the complete Google quality guidelines:
Time and Persistency are Keys to Long Term Link Building
Rome isn’t built in one day, and long term link building is done the same way. It is sort of like a consistent grind. You are definitely not alone when it comes to a long wait before seeing results.
However, the end result is worth all the effort. With the right approach, you can grow audience reach, and rank higher in key terms while reducing marketing cost. So let’s get to work! Learn more about the best SEO content strategies to win ranking.
Fundamentals of SEO Link Building Strategies for SEO Success
One of Google’s algorithms to determine website ranking is to look at a website’s earned, authoritative backlinks. Backlinks are hyperlinked keywords from other websites pointing back to yours.
Securing authoritative backlink means your content has significant value that can set, reflect, or influence industry trend.
Search Engines and SEO Link Building
Let’s talk about how Google makes selection of what they consider as quality links.
First of all, the selection process begins with webpage indexing. Google sends out spider bots to constantly crawl the web. New webpages are regularly being discovered and ranked based on their relevancy to searched keywords.
Next, Google determines the worthiness of your webpage with two important factors:
- Quality content
- Quality backlinks
They should be your website’s core focus in terms of how to create natural links. You will need a game plan to carry out a successful link building campaign. We will cover this in a little bit.
Why is SEO Link Building Important?
If other webmasters authenticate or acknowledge your content with a backlink, then congratulations, you’ve gained an authority boost within Google.
As a result, your targeted keywords on these webpages can rank higher in organic search queries.
Sounds simple, right? Yet, link building is one of the most time-consuming, key tasks to master in SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Don’t panic. With proper planning and the right approach, link building can effectively boost your website’s keyword ranking over time.
Fundamentals of SEO Link Building Strategies
Before you start the master plan of web domination, the first step is to evaluate your website for a solid foundation. Optimized, strong content sets the groundwork for any successful link building game plan.
In a perfect world, when you have great content, backlinks naturally happen. In the real world, you need the right strategies to get noticed. As your website and content gain more authority over time, backlinks will come more naturally.
1. Build a Solid Foundation – Plan Feasible Content Strategy
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of content optimization and how it builds the foundation of all things online marketing. Likewise, effective link building is achieved on the basis of having quality content.
Think of it this way, when you recommend someone, you are also putting your own reputation on the line correct? So when you ask someone for a backlink, it is only reasonable to have the expectation that your website has reputable, authentic, and valuable information to contribute.
To start your content strategy planning for link building, you should first understand what works best for your website. It can be very different for every industry.
Should there be more visuals? Do you need better show-and-tell videos? Perhaps include more in-depth updates? You need to determine what works specifically for your business.
3 ways to Customized Content Strategy for Your Business:
- Research and analyze content that is well-received by your audience. Work to refine, improve and incorporate them into your new content strategy.
- Align marketing goals with content planning. It’s a good idea to keep a content calendar with agendas and topics you want to cover for future content plotting.
- Investigate the competition and learn about your strength and weakness. Make your brand stand out from the crowd.
Ultimately, the best way to approach content strategy is to tell your own story. Inject your brand’s personality, mission, and beliefs into marketing pieces. When other professionals perceive you as an expert, referrals and links will come naturally.
2. Establish Internal Links – Create a Crawl-friendly Website Architecture
Internal links are like bonus brownie points. Adding internal links in content and navigation will give your keyword rankings a boost. Best of all they are easy to do and are free. Internal links are those that will direct users to the other webpages within your own website.
For example, let’s say your candy store’s home page contains three links that are also your targeted keywords: “Belgium Dark Chocolate”, “Soft Star Candy” and “Hand Made Marshmallow”. When visitors land on the home page, they will likely click on these links. If you have done an excellent job driving traffic to your home page, these three internally-linked keywords can potentially help you gain three additional page views from each visitor. Isn’t that sweet?
Building internal links are essential to establishing website architecture. When Google sends bots to crawl and index your website, there should be a clear path that directs the bot to eventually find every page of this website.
A proper link path should start with your website’s main navigation links and leads down to every webpage that exists. Imagine a pyramid that starts out from the top (which is your main navigation) and then extends coverage to the rest of the website.
3. Network and Outreach – Smart Link Building with Contribution
Earn backlinks by proactively participate in online community conversations. It works well whether your business is B2B or B2C.
These online communities are legitimate and reputable websites, forums, or social media groups that hold significance in your industry.
In these spaces, consumers or other business professionals hold discussions or ask questions about topics you have expertise in. Mention your website in the signature for a backlink referral. It is a great way to put your name out there by helping others.
3 Examples of Quality Online Communities
- Open communication platforms of event hosts, chambers or boards.
- Forums or discussion boards hosted by business professionals or influencers in the industry.
- LinkedIn and Facebook groups where other participants also contribute quality information.
Watch out for spam websites. Avoid spaces where there is an excessive amount of random advertisements, irrelevant comments, or low-quality content.
4. Optimize for Conversion – Anchor Text and SEO Keyword Research
Anchor texts are usually keywords that are links pointing to internal or external webpages. A strategic distribution of anchor text and keywords can improve content optimization and page ranking.
The goal is to naturally incorporate keywords people are using to look up your business into content. However, be very aware not to over stuff content with anchor text or keyword links. It can backfire and hurt your ranking.
In addition, pay attention to Google algorithm updates, and don’t fall into SEO fad traps. If you are caught doing shady SEO tactics, you will be penalized by Google Panda and Penguin. Your entire website can potentially lose ranking and credibility.
So how do you find the most profitable keywords? There are many great SEO Keyword Research tools out there to get the job done. In fact, some of the best tools out there are completely free.
2 Best FREE keyword research tools for SEO link building:
Bing Ads Keyword Research Tool:
Bing Ads account and its keyword research tools are both free to sign up and to use. It offers a range of similar keyword research functions as Google AdWords. There is a great deal going on right now for first-time users. You can receive a $50 free ad coupon to run a few Bing ads.
Google AdWords Keyword Planner:
Google AdWords Keyword Planner is a free tool within Google AdWords, which is also free to sign up. It is extremely useful to search for keyword ideas, trends and search volume within Google.
5. Adequate Landing Page Support – Close the Deal with Quality Content
A landing page is what visitors see when they click on a URL associated with that particular page. Adequate landing page support ties closely into content optimization and proper keyword research strategy.
Google determines the quality of links with the quality of content being hosted on the landing page. If you want to gain valuable links, make sure what you put on the website is engaging and credible information. When content provokes interest, successful link building will naturally follow.
Now, let’s take a moment to evaluate your landing page.
5 Questions to Self-access Adequacy of Landing Page Support
- Do you have original, interesting and informative content?
- Do you have keyword-optimized content on the landing page?
- Do the landing pages have enough relevant supporting materials such as the actual offer, call-to-actions, and relevant visuals?
- Do the landing pages support the marketing campaign goals you have?
- Are there any broken links needing replacement?
If your answers are mostly “No”, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board and work on a better landing page with feasible content strategies.
6. Get the Word Out with Social Media – Link Building with Social Campaigns
One of the most effective routes to naturally build links is through social media. It is the perfect channel to harvest fan engagements and direct more visitors to your website. Social media is the perfect vehicle to broadcast content on your website to the public while quickly generating interest. Link building effort can greatly accelerate when pairing with the right social media strategies.
2 Things You Can Do Now to Improve Link Building with Social Media
- Regularly create social posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn to share content from your website. Associate content with relatable topics for the readers, and focus on relationship-building.
- Expose new marketing content to industry thought leaders, bloggers, and influencers. Participate in their conversations and invite them to join yours. You can earn more links over time as you gain more reputation through networking.
SEO Link Building to Success
The goal here is to build natural links that will last. If you consistently focus on the quality of content being produced, you are already heading towards the right track.