In the world of SEO, inbound links are one of the more powerful weapons in a digital marketer’s arsenal. This is especially true in the world of off-page SEO. Seeing how off-page SEO accounts for the majority of a web page’s ability to rank for a particular keyword. Thus building authoritative and practical links towards your website from external sites is wicked important when it comes to your SEO strategy. Link building is flat out critical. However, it is also somewhat tricky, considering that giving an inbound link is the decision of the website linking to you. In other words, you don’t have much control over the matter. Furthermore, link building is an inbound marketing tool that demands dedication. It is also essential that you understand that success will not happen overnight.
This likely leaves you wondering, how can you take control of something that seems totally out of your hands? Well, don’t worry – you’re not totally out of luck!
Link-Building Method to Boost Off-Page SEO
1.) Submit your site to website directories
This is one of the very few link-building methods that you do have total control over. It is also one of the least potent SEO boosting tactics. Inbound links from website directories may not possess a ton of authority, the overall ease of submitting your website to them to jumpstart your link-building plans makes it worth it – especially the free ones!
2.) Content creation (aka linkbait) is a prime link building tactic
Another effective link-building method that you have 100% control over is the ability to generate superb content that others cannot resist linking to themselves. This sort of content has developed a negative aurora know as ‘link-bait’ (or ‘click-bait’). Linkbait is content designed to capture the attention of readers and encourage others to link to the website. That being said, not all ‘link bait’ content is terrible. As long as your content has value to your target audience, why wouldn’t readers want to link to it? Content that makes for stellar link bait is content that gets shared a lot. This includes original data and research, infographics, viral videos, and content involving controversial topics. In other words, a business blog is an ideal platform for this sort of content!
3.) Networking & building relationships
Networking and relationship building takes time; there no getting around it. However, it is an extremely effective means to engage in link building and keep your content fresh in the minds of people who might be interested in linking to you. Make a list of the bloggers in your industry with authoritative and relevant websites. Once you have a solid base, start forging a relationship with them. Follow and tweet with them on Twitter, and give them some link love by linking to their content in your blog posts. They’ll likely be more inclined to link back to you if you have content that’s relevant to their audience once you’re on their radar. In short, reciprocity is a beautiful thing!
4.) Optimize your social media presence to build links
Okay, this one is a little sneaky since most social media sites use ‘no-follow‘ tags, which means you don’t get any SEO mojo from links you share via your social media profiles or updates. However, even though these links may not benefit your search engine rankings, they’re still links from an external source directly to your website. Furthermore, search engines use social cues to identify authoritative sites and content. Make use of the links in your social profiles wisely. Point them to your website to direct viewers of your profiles back to your website. Isn’t the end goal to get people there, regardless of how they found you?
5.) Asking (politely, of course!)
We are by no means suggesting that you beg or bribe your way into generating inbound links. However, there are a few instances when it’s okay to ask a fellow blogger to link back to you politely. One such case is if you get a mention in an article on a site with a decent amount of authority. Examples can include when a site references your data and mentioned your company’s name as the source. While this is excellent PR, there’s often no back-link love. In cases such as this, it’s okay to politely email the author, thank them for the mention, and ask them to please include a link back to your website.
Furthermore, if you have a strong relationship with this website owner/blogger (remember method #3?), you may even be able to leverage said association to request specific anchor text and the URL you want them to link back to. Odds are, they didn’t have your business’ SEO strategy in mind when they mentioned you, and they may be delighted to scratch your back!
6.) Submit new posts to distribution services to enhance your link-building strategy
News releases are a great way to get the word out about your company’s product news and other important updates. They also have excellent SEO benefits, as well. Each time your release gets distributed by a wire service and syndicated on a website – SHAZAM! – you have another inbound link! An even better scenario is when a website picks up and covers the news you’re promoting in an article of their own. This generates an even more valuable inbound link.
While most distribution services charge for their efforts, there are a few free ones that you can make use of as well. To get the most bang for your buck, employ news releases to share news about the content you create that is particularly linkbait friendly.
7.) Leverage co-marketing partnerships & initiatives
Partnerships and co-marketing opportunities are a great way to cultivate inbound links. Generally, co-marketing efforts are conducted with partners who sell products or services that aren’t competing with yours. Consider leveraging these relationships in your link building efforts. You link to them. They link to you. Everybody goes home happy!
8.) Guest blogging
Guest blogging is arguably the most efficient and effective way to develop quality inbound links to your website. Yes, it does require more content creation on your part, but the end products are lasting and powerful. Think about it. What business that understands the importance of inbound marketing doesn’t try to provide a constant flow of quality content? If you were struggling to fill your blogging queue with high-quality content, wouldn’t you jump at the chance to publish a guest post from a qualified blogger? As a blog manager, they get fresh content with little, to no effort. As a contributor, you get control over the anchor text and URLs for the keywords you’re targeting. This is a total win-win.