Whether you’re only just starting out in business, or you’ve been in your niche for years, it’s always good to find new ways to promote your products and services. The internet has unlocked incredible opportunities for small and medium-sized companies, but it has also made them more competitive than ever before. As well as the likes of Amazon, you likely have thousands of other businesses vying for your customers’ attention – so standing out from the crowd is important.
One of the most effective digital marketing techniques is search engine optimisation (SEO). Being able to rank ahead of your competitors on Google and gain access to targeted, relevant traffic to your website can help you find new customers and grow your business, but it can take time to get to where you want to be. An effective link building strategy can help to get you there.
Below, we’ve put together some of the best link building techniques for businesses, and give you some pointers on how to secure high-quality links that are valuable, impactful, and free.
Guest blogging is one of the oldest tricks in the link building book, but it’s just as effective today as it was five years ago. In simple terms, guest blogging involves you reaching out to websites that post content relevant to your potential customers. If you run an ecommerce store and sell men’s clothing, for example, then you could send an email to male fashion bloggers and ask them whether they’d be willing to accept your guest blog on their website. If they say yes, then you can create a piece of valuable content (a blog or a video) and add a link back to your site.
However, guest blogging is much tougher today than it used to be. Webmasters are becoming increasingly picky as to who they choose to work with, point-blank refusing guest post pitches because they get so many, often from spammers. If you want to stand out and secure a guest blogging placement, make sure you follow their rules, use Google Search Operators like men’s fashion + intitle: ”write for us” and personalise your guest post pitches every time.
Broken link technique
Another common link building technique is the broken link technique, where you find websites that link to an outdated or broken piece of content and ask them to link to your content instead. It involves some hard work and some digging, but you can use sites like Ahref to find broken links, and scale your outreach as you discover how many people link to that outdated resource.
Say you run a plumbing company, for example, and have a piece of content on how to fix a dripping tap. If you discover that a website like The Guardian is linking to a broken link on the same topic, then you can get in touch and ask them if they’d change it to your link. They update their content to better serve their users, and you get a free backlink from a high-profile site. You can then reverse-search that broken link and find hundreds of other websites that have linked to it – and reach out to them all to ask whether or not they’d be happy to use your link instead. This technique doesn’t always work – it’s a numbers game, and for every 100 requests you send, only one or two might respond, but those that do will offer you a high-quality backlink for free.
If you’ve carried out a lot of PR or naturally receive mentions on local news sites or trade blogs, then you’ve found another untapped link-building opportunity. Use a free tool like RankTank to see which sites have mentioned your business name, and drop them a quick email thanking them for their coverage, and asking whether they’d be happy to add a link back to your site. In the majority of cases, journalists and bloggers are willing to do so – if they’re not, then move on to your next target, and try to secure coverage on more websites and blogs to build more links.
Creating linkable assets
Perhaps the most obvious, but also the most challenging, way to build links back to your website is to create content and assets that people will naturally want to link back to. Infographics, video and long-form content tend to perform best, but you’ll need to go above and beyond what is already out there for people to want to link back to you. If you think you’ve created a blockbuster article, then let people know. Send it to journalists and bloggers and ask them for their thoughts, and if they like it, they may include it in one of their upcoming articles or post it on Twitter.
Repurposing and syndication
Finally, you can build links through repurposing content, or syndicating it to websites that have a better domain authority than your own. Unlike guest blogging, which requires you to write blogs for other people’s websites, content syndication means you can have a single blog post appear on hundreds of different websites, all linking back to its original spot on your site. You can find a great list of content syndication partners on Buffer, and pitch your site and content to them. If they like it, they’ll start to put your content on their website, and you can ‘SEO proof’ your content by asking webmasters to add rel=canonical tags or noindex your content on their site to avoid duplicate content; sites posting the same content can be penalised by Google.
If link building sounds like too much hard work, then get in touch with the SEO experts here at Zudu. With years of experience helping sites big and small rise to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), we take a strategic approach that’s designed to help you attract more targeted traffic, boost your visibility on search and generate powerful new leads. To find out more, fill out our simple project planner, or get in touch with the team on +44 (0) 1382 690 080.