Effective Link Building Done Right

You may think that the ingenuity or originality of your online content may inherently entice a wave of internet traffic. However, much like the real world, exposure and publicity draws in the crowds. Links are the pre-eminent means of attracting internet traffic; the whole internet is built and calculated on links. Although top rate content is the most important feature of well linked material, there are further steps to take to captivate a large audience. To get the most out of high quality content, you need to understand how to direct and captivate links through search engines. SEO (search engine optimisation) and link building is the way to achieve these goals, but not all link building methods are the same. It all depends on what kind of business or industry you are engaged in. After all, you don’t want to attract spam just as much as you don’t want to be known for directing it. Because this is your reputation on the line, here is how to do link building the right way.

The Basics

Links are the building blocks of the internet, precisely because search engine algorithms commonly direct traffic to pages that are ranked by their number (and frequency) of incoming links. This means that simply creating a page with fascinating and detailed content is less likely to be retrieved through search results than those pages which have already directed traffic, even if you utilised all your keywords. Instead, you first need to think deep and hard about what your audience wants and reads.

Understanding Your Field

In drawing up a list of what your audience wants you can begin to really cater to that audience, observe and compile similar pages into a spreadsheet or document. In doing so, you can also begin to carve out your own niche. Although still in the early stages, you should recognise the highest quality content in your field (the big players) and aim to eventually get your content linked by them. Nothing creates a more quality laden link — to be caught in search engine algorithms — than the prestige of being forwarded by a high-ranking and authoritative site; a link from a large media company or its affiliate will generate more authority than that of a no-name blogger, but don’t be afraid to start out small. With a list of quality competitors and compatriots in hand, try to match your content to their websites, send out feelers and forward content on social media. This works particularly well with blog posts as blogging offers the most direct route to grabbing your audience’s attention.

Reaching Out

Reaching out to others through Twitter, Facebook and even by telephone can have great effects. If your content is good and well marketed, these websites or blogs will be willing to redirect traffic to your original page. Do not be afraid to go via this direct route. Social media is an important tool for you to build a presence on and communicate directly to gather high quality links. If you promote your content regularly (albeit not excessively), you open yourself up to exposure. Do not be afraid to ask for backlinks.

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging can be a tricky one as it is often abused and spam heavy. However, if you publish a fascinating guest post on an extremely relevant site, this will help gather more links and “forwards”. If the opportunity arises, go down this route. If possible, try re-writing or re-organising well received content for guest posts. This lessens your work flow and builds on what you know best.

Submit Content

This goes without saying. There are many ways to submit your content. Either opt to guest blog or use social media as explored above, or submit your site for peer review. A strong and critical eye generates views and helps you improve your marketability.

Be SEO Savvy

SEO has a tendency to look clunky and intrusive if done badly. But there are several tips for good SEO. Keyword heavy anchor links (the clickable text section of your link) looks bad. However, the words that surround your linked content are still very important. Don’t opt for nonsensical keywords. Create stimulating and descriptive content to surround your links. These give clues as to what your content is about. One common SEO method is the “Skyscraper technique”: find the key competitors in your field, add value to what is already popular and then reach out to the same high-profile players in the field that linked the foremost content.

Be Content Savvy

Certain styles in content and formatting tend to generate more links. Whatever you are working on, try to incorporate visual aspects. Images, charts, diagrams and infographics all fare better in generating a cross-linking buzz. Colourful and clever headers, breakers and footers can help distinguish your content from the crowd. As with images, lists also work. If you can simplify content into bite-size chunks, this concentrates the value of your content and promotes links. Given the importance of these styles, pay attention to how you link others on your page and on other blogs. Adopting an editorial approach to content is far more natural and professional in look and ethos than swathes of links.

Be Original

Originality, like quality, is also king. Offering comprehensive, new material — be it research, data analysis, surveys or guides — around popular and much read themes, makes you stand out from the crowd.

At Ampology we know that generating traffic from search engines is becoming far more difficult as algorithms advance and the content market saturates, but having faith in the quality and originality of what you do should always come first. With this quality content, you must now be diligent, strategic and persistent in your link-building. Contact us if you would like to discuss your link building strategy and how to increase results from your efforts.