In today’s modern era of information technology, link building is considered one of the most valuable assets of a company’s digital marketing strategy. Although a number of marketers say that investing in link building is only a waste of time, vast numbers of websites still gain a huge increase in visibility, brand awareness, and traffic after having implementing effective link building strategies. Due to the very fierce competition that aims to win your audience over, you might find yourself willing to utilise unethical link building techniques only to gather authority faster. But let’s not forget that Google is ruthless, and using unethical ways of building links can get your website penalised or completely de-indexed.
Read on to find the most efficient and ethical link building strategies in 2015, and be ready to update your current one.
1. Create Quality Content Others Can Link To Making your website linkable is a matter of how valuable and helpful it is – or might be – to your audience. When users are surfing the Internet, their primary goal is identifying content that can provide a useful answer or solution to their query. By creating and posting quality content to your website, you will gain increased visibility and brand awareness due to the fact that you will be providing valuable information to Internet users. This, in turn, will help drive more traffic to your website, so you will eventually become an important, reliable resource with a greater authority.
Content marketing brings new opportunities to companies looking to build solid links. When the content you publish is of a great quality and delivers resourceful solutions that are tailored to your audience’s needs, it becomes linkable – which means that other websites will link back to it. The more helpful your content is, the more authoritative websites will link back to it – for example, Huffington Post.
Quick Tip: Before you proceed to publishing any content to your website, take the time to conduct research – your audience is consistently looking for fresh information, an interest approach, and a friendly, industry-oriented style that conveys a good understanding of the topic.
2. Create and Distribute Press Releases Press releases have long been one of the most effective ways to gain visibility – and they seem to be an important part of link building 2015. Most press release directories give your text access to premier news outlets such as USA Today and The New York Times, which allows it to be seen by thousands of eyes. Given that you are allowed to include at least one relevant link within the text of your press release, you can successfully insert a link to your website – which will be, in fact, published by the news outlets in question. Due to their excellent visibility, authority, and reputation, your link will start driving a lot more traffic to your website, and will help you rank higher in search engines.
The key to making your link building strategy yield the desired results is creating press releases that can interest your audience. The text needs to follow a strict structure, convey only facts, and have a formal writing style, but you can still make it appealing to your audience by providing news-worthy information that might solve a problem, or give an answer to an issue. If your intention is announcing the launch of a new product, you must talk about benefits while keeping your release as formal and professional as possible. You need only a few quality backlinks from authoritative news outlets such as The New York Times to get your visibility, traffic, and conversion rate boosted in a relatively short time.
3. Add Diversity to Your Links Most websites owners tend to always link back to their homepage – and for a good reason. While this might help your website thrive due to the fact that these links will basically redirect Internet users to your main page, your link building efforts will certainly be more rewarded if you add diversity to these links. For example, you could include a link to your product page rather than your homepage when creating and distributing a press release. This will make you appear as an important and super-valuable source to Google and major search engines, hence giving you priority in rankings
Quick Tip: To make the most out of your link building strategy in 2015, you must consider acquiring links from different types of websites, or websites with different global tier-level domains – .com, .net, .org, .edu, .gov, etc. Tools such as BuzzStream and NinjaOutreach will help you identify influential blogs and websites you should reach out to for links.
4. Monitor Broken Links Monitoring broken links is of paramount importance for your link building 2015. Assuming that you have several other websites linking back to different pages of your own website, there is a good chance that at least a few of those links are broken. This normally happens when you delete a page or change its slug, as the link in question will no longer redirect Internet users to that page if it does not exist anymore, or if it has a different slug (although it still exists).
A wide range of online tools allow you to successfully monitor broken links. Once you identify them, reach out to website owners, let them know the link is broken, and offer your content as replacement. You may also ask them to link to a different page to avoid redirecting consumers to error pages. By removing broken links, you make your website appear as a credible source to your audience – which is absolutely important to your reputation and authority.
5. Distribute Content via Social Media Social media networks are perfect distribution channels for your content – not only do they make it easy for you to reach your audience, but they also allow you to interact with both fans and non-fans on a personal level. There are different ways of utilising social media for link building purposes – starting right with using social sharing tools and plugins that enable your audience to share your content via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and more. Social sharing plugins encourage hypersharing, which is the foundation of social media. When your content is distributed via social networks, it gets displayed to a wider audience, which means that there will be more people to see it and click through your links.
Another option is distributing the content yourself, and including a link to your website with every post. Your audience will see it, possibly click through the link, and share it further to a wider audience that might also access your website through the link(s) provided. You should make your content more distributable by providing quality information that can help your fans by either answering a question, or proposing a solution to their problem.
Link building is dramatically changing in 2015, as Google is putting more emphasis on quality and value rather than quantity. Website owners should always remember that they must first provide valuable information to make their websites linkable, and also to encourage other websites to link back. Furthermore, keeping your link building strategy as ethical as possible will make the most out of your efforts, preventing potential penalisations that might result in long Google Penguin recovery periods. Remember that link building is dependent upon your content marketing strategy, so take the time to produce and publish quality content before you reach out for links.
Joe Ryan is the Founder & CEO of UK online marketing agency, Digital Search Group, which specialises in smart internet marketing. He is a specialist in online marketing strategy and brand building. When he’s not considering the next best online marketing strategy with his team, he enjoys travel and spending time with his family.