Forget link building. think link earning!
Webmasters and SEOs have had a rocky year trying to navigate Google's frequent changes, especially in regard to link building. While link building remains an important SEO factor and is still weighted heavily in the algorithm, the process for obtaining links has changed dramatically. Today, it's all about natural links, and natural links must be earned, well, naturally. That's right, no more short cuts! We're here today to show you how to earn natural links to your website, while also engaging your audience. How, you ask? By creating original content.
The Power of Original Content
Content is king. Yes, the phrase is highly cliché, but it carries a lot of truth. It serves as a reminder not to underestimate the power of original content, especially when it comes to building natural links. Interesting, timely or informative content can go a long way, and these are several types of content that you should consider incorporating into your link 'earning' strategy.
This is one of the most obvious places that you can showcase original content, yet many websites still struggle to do it well. Think of your website as an avenue to assert your business as an industry leader and provide industry-relative content that other websites might want to link to. Write content that offers something to readers, and they will feel compelled to link to it.
SEO Quick Tip: Create a natural internal link structure on your website, using links that lead users to the areas of your site that they might be interested in linking to.
Blogs have been, and still remain a great way to get people engaged with your content, generate awareness around a topic and create organic links back to your website. The average company blogs about one to two times per week, but the more you blog, the more reach your content will have. However, if your blogs aren't worthwhile or interesting, it doesn't matter how many times you blog, because people won't link to them. For best practice when writing blogs, think both consistency AND quality.
SEO Quick Tip: Always create a blog under your own domain, so that link credit will be applied to your URL.
Memes play off people's natural inclination to share funny and topical information. A good meme can go viral, but it requires a company who is not only quick on their feet, but also witty, to deliver a meme that will really pack a punch. If you see an opportunity to play on a trend or event, without compromising your brand's image, go for it! (Look to Oreo for a job well done)
SEO Quick Tip: Host a meme on one of your WebPages, or on your blog to receive link credit. Also, Pinterest is another great place to post your memes for sharability and link credit back to your website.
Percent calculators, BMI calculators, analytics tools and calorie counters are all great examples of free tools that websites have built to generate more links and traffic for their website. Sure, they may require a little more investment and development, but they can result in a tremendous amount of back links if people find your tool useful.
SEO Quick Tip: Incorporate keyword rich (NOT keyword stuffed) content onto the tool page, so your tool will be associated with your overall keyword theme
Ensure Your Content's Success
Think Like a Consumer
Upon reviewing your content, ask yourself, would you share this? Really, there is no point in creating content that you yourself wouldn't consider sharing. Ask yourself what is interesting, different or informative about it. What value does it brings to your audience? Don't just distribute content for the sake of appearing active, create content with the motive that you want it to be shared, not simply passed over. Remember, the idea behind creating this original content is to obtain natural links from people who found your content compelling enough to link to.
Use Social Media to Propel Your Content
Social media is a powerful distribution tool so use it to your advantage. Share the links to your blogs, articles or tools across your social channels. Make sure to give the content you post some thought as well, to prompt people to click your links and go to your site to read the full blog. You'll want to write something catchy that gives a brief overview of what the viewer will see once they click the link. Ask your employees, co-workers or friends (nicely, of course) to share your links as well to help generate more reach for your content.
While link building strategies come and go, natural links will likely never go out of style. Create content with your audience in mind, content that you yourself would go out of your way to share, and you can't go wrong. Natural link building is the worry-free way to boost your rankings, in a way that both the search engines and your audience will thank you. If you have any questions regarding link penalties, how to build links organically, or how to create the type of content that results in valuable links, contact your SEO Agency or reach out to Titan Growth for a complementary evaluation.
Submitted by Erica Machin, Titan Growth