Search engine optimization techniques are the most effective way to drive traffic to your website. In spite of this, many companies continue to concentrate on the use of on-site SEO, completely disregarding the importance of link building.
According to Google, links are among the top factors that influence a website’s ranking position, along with the quality of content. Therefore, ranking without link building is extremely difficult. Before you start linking you should know that not just any link will do the trick. Google clearly states their preference for natural links in their guidelines, which they define as follows: “Natural links to your site develop as part of the dynamic nature of the web when other sites find your content valuable and think it would be helpful for their visitors.”
Google is basically saying that natural links occur as a direct result of your quality content. However, there are some other ways that will help you generate them.
1. Know your audience
If you’ve done any amount of research, you may have noticed this is a recurring theme in marketing. The truth is that knowing your target audience is what lays the foundation for your strategy to make your business a success. If you don’t know what your customers need, want, are interested in, how can you create content that will appeal to them?
As mentioned above, natural links are a direct result of other sites finding your content valuable enough to share with their own audience. If you establish yourself as a trustworthy source of information that provides its readers with interesting content, the links will follow.
However, creating good content alone is not enough to help you generate natural links. The internet is full of sites filled with great content. So, remember that promoting your brand and your website will be necessary to make sure that people are even aware that your content exists. There are three ways you can get your content out there.
2.a. Guest blogging
Guest blogging consists of publishing content on other websites that can link back to your own site. If you choose to go this route, you should be careful about which sites you select to guest post in. Not only should these sites be relevant to your target demographic, but they should also be reputable and have an engaged audience. You wouldn’t like to go to all the effort of creating a guest post only to have it end up collecting dust on someone else’s website.
2.b. Article marketing
Thanks to Google’s ever-changing policies, article marketing has gone through some changes since it was first introduced. Nowadays, publishing business articles on several directories are not as great at generating natural links as it used to be.
However, much like guest blogging, if you do your research, choose the right website, and create a good quality business article, this too can be a useful tool. Be sure to follow the site’s guidelines and tack-on an enticing bio to drive traffic to your website.
Most video networks let you add links to the video description, which is another great way to generate natural links to your site. Remember that these videos, like every other kind of content your company creates, should appeal to your target demographic.
You probably already know that social media is a great way to promote your brand. By using different social media platforms, your company can engage with its customers, establish a relationship with them and, of course, generate natural links. Aside from the usual methods of including links in your business’ profile page or bio section, there’s something else you can do to help your link building efforts in social media.
3.a. Connect with influencers
Word-of-mouth is an old strategy, but a really good one. These days, social media influencer marketing is the new, modernized version of the traditional form, where ordinary people reach celebrity status and have a lot of influence over their many fans’ purchases.
When it comes to choosing an influencer to help you carry out your marketing campaign, make sure that he or she is relevant to your business. Their content should align with your brand’s; their public should match your target audience, etc. And if you feel like you’re too small of a fish to apply to turn to influencers, micro-influencers might work for you.
Generating natural links is somewhat of a time-consuming effort, but it will be worth it in the end when you see your website ranked on the coveted first page of a search result. Remember to focus on producing good quality content and promoting it in the right manner. The key to generating the kind of links that will help your ranking is that they shouldn’t be obviously promotional, they have to be relevant to the context of your content, and they must provide value to your customers.
- David Gutierrez started his career as a web designer in 2005. In 2012 he founded a creative design agency, now serving clients across multiple industries with a focus on FMCG and Fin-Tech.