Links are important for SEO. Therefore, link building should definitely be part of your SEO strategy. But more importantly, link building should be part of your growth strategy. This can help you generate more traffic and attract new audiences to your site. Make sure you stay away from bad practices. If it’s attractive, it’s just going to hurt your rankings. In this post, we discuss the six steps to creating a successful engagement strategy. A strategy that will give you the right links and the right audience to your website.
Link link as part of your growth strategy
In essence, link building it means that other sites link to your page. If done right, and from a holistic SEO perspective, these links can help rank your pages higher in Google’s search results. However, this is not the only thing these links do:
A good link leads to traffic to your site in the first place.
Good links will help get more (referral) traffic to your site. When developing your link building strategy, keep in mind that links have been invented to direct readers from the page they are currently viewing to other pages as well. Therefore, you should use link building as a strategy to reach the right audience and focus on links from sites that will actually generate traffic to your own site.
The six steps to a successful link building strategy
1. Get to know your audience
If you want to attract more people to your site, you need to know two things: who your audience is right now and what your ideal audience looks like. This will help you maintain and expand your current audience and reach new audiences interested in what you offer. Do research get to know your audience. This will not only help you to understand them better, but also to determine who your desired audience is and whether you are reaching them now.
To give an example: at Yoast we started with an audience made up mainly of web developers. However, we wanted to expand our audience to a more general group of WordPress users (retaining our initial audience). Therefore, we have adapted our content to this broader group of people. But to reach our new audience, we also had to get links from other sites where these WordPress users can be found.
2. Make a list of sites that have appealed to you
Once you know who your desired audience is, it’s time to make a list of sites that can help you reach them. Find the sites that have already appealed to this audience. Links from these sites can help you reach people who may be interested in your site but who do not yet know about it.
Note that you do not want a link from every website out there. A link from a spammy website or a website that has absolutely nothing to do with your niche is not valuable at all. In some cases, it can even backfire and hurt your rankings. Stay away from spam sites, pay your links and others link building DO NOT. Link building is not just a trick. Getting these links should feel like a normal marketing effort and be a part of it holistic SEO approach.
3. Write good content
In order for other sites to link to your content, you must have content that leads you to want to link to your page. Which means you have to create quality content. I know, it’s easier said than done. But think about what your audience will address, what they want to know and what unique point of view you offer. If you are selling products or services, do not just write why it is so great and that it should definitely be bought. Create content that answers a question you’ve heard, or a problem they face. Give them the information they are looking for, and you will not only build trust, but you will also get more links to your page as other sites may see the value of your content.
In addition, you need to consider the readability of your content. Make sure your pages and articles are well structured and nicely written. If you need more guidance on creating great content, we have many blog posts SEO content and even a SEO copywriting training course.
4. Match content to websites
If you are satisfied with the content you have written, it is time to dive into the list of sites you created during the second step. Which sites are likely to link to the content you have created? You may feel the urge to just send everything you’ve created to each site on your list, but it’s likely to hurt your chances of having someone link to your content. People do not have time to read 5 blog posts and decide which one they want, plus you might run into spam.
Choose wisely and make an effort to find the sites that fit the specific topic of your blog post or page. These sites will probably be more willing to link as your blog post matches their content. More importantly, visitors who come to the link to your site will be really interested in your content (which greatly increases the chances of conversion and repeat visits). Also good to know: if you have a long tail keyword approach (write on small and niche topics) The number of sites that will fit well will be small. This is not necessarily bad, as very specific content can also mean that these few sites are more willing to link to your content.
5. Reach out
Once you have decided which website (s) you want to contact, it’s time to contact them. You can send an email, but social media like Twitter is also a great way to contact people. To increase your chances of getting that backlink, you need to know the website and the audience they visit. It helps you to reach out in a personal way what you want to do. Never send automated emails or instant messages. Send them a polite email telling them about your content and requesting them to post a link to your content. Note that you will often not get answers at all.
To improve your chances of getting a link to your page, you need to explain why your content is unique. Trying to get a link for a blog post that is very basic and that could have been written by anyone is less likely to succeed than when you provide unique content. Content that people can only find on your site. That said, do not make your email too long as this will result in people not reading it at all.
6. Use social media!
Reaching specific people or websites is one way to get links to your content. Another great way to get links and reach new audiences at the same time is by the use of social media. Make sure you share your new content via social platforms like Twitter. Even send a few tweets to specific people who might like your article. Facebook is also a great way to gain exposure to your articles, it also offers you the option to promote your content and reach new people. If people like your content on social media, share and talk about it, you’ll probably receive more links as well.
Linking for e-commerce sites
If you have an e-commerce website, link building has a number of challenges. Most websites are not so excited about the link to a page that sells products. Therefore, you need to create content that does not focus on selling your product. Focus your content on helping your audience with anything related to your product. Answer their questions, show your expertise on the topic and create content that is really interesting to your audience.
If you sell lawn mowers, write articles on topics such as ‘How to get your garden ready for summer’, where you actually discuss more than mowing the lawn. Or if you sell furniture, write an article on the latest trends in interior design. This type of content is much more shareable to other people outside of your business. This will increase your chances of getting relevant links.
Contact your network
An easy way to get some backlinks to your website is by contacting your business partners. Maybe one of your blogs is interesting to follow. Or maybe you can even write a guest blog for their website. It can be easier to contact people with whom you do business. Just make sure the backlink is relevant and does not feel forced. As we said before, public relations should always feel natural.
Linking for bloggers
Linking for bloggers can be difficult. Especially if you are just starting out. But it can help you grow your followers and meet other bloggers who can help you. Instead of sending someone an email and asking them for a link, you can also join a group on Facebook or guest blog.
Are your hands sweating from the idea of you having to email others to ask for links? Do not be afraid! Fortunately, there are many Facebook groups where you can meet each other and reach other bloggers. Look around for groups on topics you write about, from SEO and digital marketing to magazines. Join a few that seem interesting to you. You can join the conversation and share your link where it seems appropriate. Just make sure you do not prevent spam. And if another blogger posts a blog post, you can drop your link in the comments. With a little luck, you will appear in their blog post.
Another option to get links to your site is through guest blogging. Often blogs are looking for input from fellow bloggers, and in return you can link to your own content. You will not only get a link to your page from a relevant website. You also introduce yourself to the readers of the specific blog. Visit your favorite blogs, or blogs similar to yours, and see if it’s open to guest submissions. They usually mention it on their contact or collaboration page.
Conclusion: link building is a growth strategy
A successful engagement strategy should always aim to bring a new, striped audience to your site. A (welcome) side effect will then have a higher ranking in Google. As long as you view link building as a way to reach out to other sites to get more visitors from the site, you are doing it the ‘right’ way. If you want to learn more about link building strategies and other essential SEO skills, you can visit us Overall SEO training.
Read more: 15 Advanced Link Building Tactics »