What is Long Term 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 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 Link Building Strategies for SEO Success
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
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">
Strategy #3: Keyword-Optimize Content
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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.
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.
Strategy #6: Use Social Media
One of the best ways to spread your content and earn backlinks is through Social Media Networks. Create your free LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus accounts for your business if you have not done so. Spread the word about your new marketing content on social media.
Synchronize your website updates with social media, and make regular social posts to keep your audience engaged. Social media platforms are effective, free ways to build your own unique niche community around your business. It is a great way to further brand building, encourage sharing and get the word out about your products and services.
With so many social platforms, managing social media can turn into a complicated task. Often with sizable companies, social media management can be a full-time job. Effective social media marketing can help businesses to retain, engage and gain customers. It also helps us to better understand customers’ needs and wants.
Many universities and educational institutions offer classes on business social media marketing. For example, LinkedIn’s large online-learning platform Lynda.com offers unlimited web-based classes and tutorials on virtually anything related to business.
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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.
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.
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.