Link building is one part of your digital marketing strategy that makes your content stand out from others and one Google still greatly values.
There’s a good reason a page on a powerful domain will rank on the first page even without links to that particular page, and that’s because of the quality of links to that domain over time.
Let’s look at some link building strategies you can apply in your small business site:
1. Get Competitor Backlinks
When you start writing a post, you’d have a primary keyword to target in mind. Whether you decide to publish your post or not, there’ll be other sites already ranking for that keyword.
If it’s a medium to high-competition keyword and even most low-competition keywords, most of the posts on the first page will have backlinks pointing to them.
Instead of trying out new ways to attract links to your post on the same keyword, you can try replicating some of the existing links on your site.
Tools like Ubersuggest can help with this, you simply input the test link into the search bar and backlinks to that page will be shown in the results.
Ubersuggest doesn’t have the largest backlink database among the SEO tools but it’s a largely free tool so it’s a good start if you don’t want to invest in a good paid tool yet.
There are a few things you should be looking for when you see the backlink report. How many are guest post links? How many are influencer roundup posts? How many are infographics?
All of these are strategies you can replicate to approach the same sites with your guest post or skyscraper post for Influencer roundups and infographics.
2. Appear On Resource Pages
Resource pages are web pages with curated links to external websites on a particular topic.
Resource pages are good spaces to pitch your link because the site owner is actively looking to link out on those pages. A site can have one or many resource pages especially if it covers different topics.
Google’s advanced queries are a good way to find these resource pages.
That’s a good one to use right there. This particular search string produces the top resource pages for Facebook Ads. Replace “Facebook ads” with a topic you want resource pages for to get the same result.
Facebook is always making updates to their algorithm, this means some of the posts on those resource pages will be outdated, if you have something recent that’s constantly updated, those resource pages can be a good source of links.
Pitching to be on a resource page has a high conversion rate if you have good content, some sites even have pages openly requesting for these links.
Some sites don’t make it obvious that it’s a resource page so using the search strings earlier listed won’t reveal these pages.
You can instead try typing out:
Keyword “best sites”
Keyword “places to learn”
Where the keyword refers to the topic or the primary keyword your content targets followed by the phrases in quotes.
3. Serve Your Niche
The original idea behind why link building is such a strong ranking factor is that Google believes pages, especially external pages, should earn links only when the webmaster decides that the external link on his page will be useful to the user.
Yes, some people do game this system by selling links, creating PBNs and other shady practices that worked to get spammy pages on the SERPs years ago but things have changed since then.
Google has since gotten tougher on the kind of pages that make it on the first page but the basic principles still apply.
Content that serves your audience will still earn you links today and here are some examples of those:
It doesn’t matter what industry your website or blog serves, there are still many grey areas that require fact-finding research, and that’s where you can help.
Research can be expensive so try to find a topic that covers an important area and still within your budget.
Feel free to be conversational and avoid technical lingo except you’re submitting your research to a scientific or academic journal.
A tool many people in your industry can benefit from is one way to generate links naturally. An example of someone doing this well is Neil Patel with his tool, Ubersuggest.
Neil Patel is a common name in digital marketing circles and Ubersuggest is an SEO tool with most of its features provided for free.
So, Ubersuggest earns links when mentioned in blog posts by other marketers while the Neil Patel domain increases in authority.
It’s expensive to get keyword and link data as provided in Ubersuggest and Neil admits this himself as it’s cost him millions developing and maintaining the tool.
If you’re a digital marketer trying to create something similar on a limited budget, you don’t need to track everything in SEO, it’d be very expensive.
4. Publish Guest Posts
Content creation and the expense that comes with it is something most website owners don’t talk about but if you look into the data, you’d see it’s very expensive, especially when you’re creating quality content.
The larger a site grows, the harder it is for the owner to keep up with its content needs, some people hire freelance writers, accept guest posts or even both.
There are thousands of sites with guest post request pitches out there and here are some tips to make guest posts an effective strategy for you:
#1. Create Relationships Before Pitching (Where You Can)
You’re more likely to grant a request from someone if you’re friends with them or at least know them than if they were strangers.
While there are many sites offering guest post opportunities, there are also too many people and SEO agencies pitching the same blogs.
Relationships can help you stand out especially if you’re pitching a small blog.
The bloggers there want to know you care about their site, so commenting and demonstrating knowledge about their industry are things that can get your foot in the door.
Creating relationships will probably be a waste of your time if it’s a larger site with an editor who has no personal investment in the site and just wants to receive a good pitch, get right to it with those sites to save time.
#2. Use The Site:domain Search Operator To Confirm Topic Freshness
Most sites that accept guest posts, don’t want to publish on the same topic twice, especially when there’s no fresh angle to the second post.
And when you’re pitching to a site with thousands of pages, going through all those pages to see if your proposed topic has already been published is a poor use of your time.
That’s how it works, so if you planned to pitch the same topic, you can either get another one or propose a fresh angle to the primary topic.
A fresh angle to the topic in the example will be something like: “10 Facebook Advertising Tips to Reduce Your Ad Spend.” It’s still a Facebook ad tips post but one that offers a fresh perspective.
Link building has been important for a very long time and it’d remain so even in the future, you don’t need any black hat techniques to build links, you can use the tips in this post that are compliant with the search guidelines.