Building a strong link portfolio is one of the most effective strategies for boosting your website's organic rankings and traffic.
However, as with any marketing strategy there is a right way and a wrong way to acquire links — it's all about application.
In the early days of Google some SEOs turned to black hat linking strategies, and their approaches left a stain on that area of the industry. Even today many SEOs still don't want to spend much time talking about link building because they associate it with manipulative schemes.
But Google has become much more sophisticated at detecting spam, and it has helped push link building towards real marketing activities. Black hat linking strategies are no longer effective today, leaving only legitimate link building techniques.
One such technique is guest blogging. While guest posting can certainly be abused like any other tactic, when done right it provides a host of benefits beyond SEO.
Guest blogging gives you a chance to connect with audiences who share your interests. Writing a well-researched, insightful post for another website will build your brand and generate interest in your other work. Of course, you also receive SEO benefits from linking back to your website within the content.
Most website owners are happy to accept guest posts — if they are original and high-quality — because it saves them time and exposes their audience to different perspectives.
Where you publish guest posts matters quite a bit, so you should focus your attention on websites that are relevant to your site, and already have good reputations and high rankings. The more relevant and authoritative the site is, the more beneficial the links will be.
Leverage Social Media
Great content deserves great promotion, and social media can help.
When you post great content on social media, readers can share links with each other leading to increased exposure for your content. More exposure means an increased chance of securing more links.
Also, it's a good idea to create Google Alerts for the content you share. Site owners don't always include links when they discuss content they find on social media, and alerts notify you when your content is being discussed.
Identifying where your content is being talked about online will help you gather feedback on your content, as well as give you the opportunity to join the conversation. You can even ask for a link if someone is particularly excited about your content.
Considering the huge number of web pages that get published every day, you need to create content that stands out.
Good writers know they need to create SEO-optimized titles that will grab the reader's attention. You may also want to try writing longer posts. On average, most of the top-ranking articles on Google have more than 2,000 words. Longer posts also tend to get shared more on social media, and earn more backlinks.
If you want to get away from written content, try audio or visual content.
Infographics get shared heavily on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter because they condense a lot of information into bite-sized chunks that readers can consume more easily.
Creating a video or podcast may take more work, but it can also help your content stand out from the status quo. Just remember to include keywords and introductions that help web crawlers find and easily understand your media.
No matter what type of content you share with other websites, you need to make sure your links function. Broken links make it difficult for customers to visit your site and create a poor user experience. Even a small barrier will convince most internet users to go elsewhere.
Link Building Infographic
No matter how much you think you know about building a healthy link profile, you can always find new techniques to boost your website's popularity.
For more information on link building, check out this whitepaper. You can also find several of the key points from the whitepaper in the infographic below that will help with topics like link building, influencer marketing, link management, and tracking your SEO progress.
Having so many tips available in one infographic should make it relatively simple for you to take control of your website's SEO and link building strategies without turning to black hat techniques that will get your site penalized.