Link Building, You’re Doing It Wrong
Like the important, high quality links that we crave for our website, your link building strategy should also adopt variety. There’s more approaches to quality link building (call it link earning or acquisition), than you think. Many of these approaches, which we discuss below, are much more efficient than traditional link acquisition methods.
Time and time again, we see and hear from businesses OBESSESSED with a single minded approach to links.
Link building is not a 1 trick Pony
Link earning often gets slammed into the bucket of; “they must be from external sites”, or “we want links from these sites as they are relevant to our business”. From there, the plan usually evolves to “we’ll build some content and pitch, pitch, pitch”.
That’s fine, it can work. It’s a very hit and miss, time consuming approach, with no guarantee of returns. There’s nothing wrong with including this as a part of an overall strategy to build links.
But first, let’s take a step back and think about the primary goal of link building. It’s to build authority to your website or key landing pages.
Building authority can help pages rank higher and hopefully increase quality organic traffic that converts.
Let me state that again. The goal of link building is to build authority.
Authority comes from lots of places, not just external websites. By focussing on authority, not individual links, more opportunities can be found.
Focus on authority building, not link building
Yes, links from relevant, high quality sites will help you build authority. It also involves a very solid outreach plan to all the right people and lots of time.
You’ll need some killer content to pitch, or a very compelling product or service. It’s possible someone you reach out to will go out of their way to link to or share from there, if they see the value in what you are offering. It’s a lot of work. There is no easy solution, that’s for sure.
5 smarter and efficient methods to build authority
- Review your internal linking structure.
Yes, your own website probably have some authority already! Often, this is not shared around enough. Especially to key pages. Each and every page has authority. MOZ measures it.
Are you passing it to key pages via internal links?
- Look no further than Google Webmaster Tools for the biggest sign of all that internal linking structure matters to the Google search engine. Head on over to the Search Traffic > Internal Links section.
There you’ll see which pages are linked to the most. Boost a well optimised sub-page by adding more internal links to it, where relevant. This could be through a navigation change, or by adding links within relevant content or landing pages.
Internal links within page content also send signals to search engines. They indicate what your site is about. Use a variety of anchors relevant to your target pages to improve your search presence. It doesn’t take a lot of time either.
- Cross Link Owned Domains
Another source of authority that is often overlooked, especially by global businesses is cross-linking. If you’re a parent company that originated in Australia for example, but have expanded across the globe with a .co.uk or a .co.nz or whatever it may be, are you linking back to your parent site?
- Look at typical pages such as the About / Contact / Company History as places for potential links.
- If your other company websites run a blog, do they create content for other markets? Do they publish news or PR announcements about the parent company? More link opportunities there.
Again, use diversity in your anchor text. In Webmaster Tools you’ll see that Google looks at this. Check the ‘How your data is linked’ section, within the Links to Your Site sub-menu. Avoid excessive exact match anchors.
- Business partnerships & sponsorships
Business relationships are important and partnerships and sponsorships are of the strong variety. Are your partner sites linking back to you? Do you sponsor a charity or organisation that has a website? A link is likely to be an easy ask if you have gone out of your way to sponsor someone.
- Leverage the power of your service offering
A financial client of ours provides a white label service to banks and other financial businesses. They use our client’s service offering and platform, to service their own customers. We struck link building gold when we found our client had a ‘powered by’ button on white label partner websites. No link back to our client. Thank you very much!
As the financial industry is heavily regulated, all white label partners of our client also had to contain a disclaimer, PDS and FSG. Using branded anchors, this secured more highly valuable links for our client.
- Go Hyper Local
Do you or a colleague at your business speak regularly at events, host a meetup or generously give your time to teach people at a local school, college or community class? It shouldn’t be your primary motivation for speaking publicly and teaching. However, a link from the institution or event website where you speak or teach at, is definitely a valuable extra benefit.
- Engaging with your local community presents some highly valuable link opportunities for local businesses. Also an ‘in’ for .edu sites. Many meetups have a city name associated with them in the URL, so another highly relevant signal for your local business.
Don’t discount the power of meetup.com and their sponsors pages….you might have to give up your time or expertise, but the domain authority of meetup.com is 93. Try getting that sort of link anywhere else, even from a PR campaign!
Need more link building ideas? Get in touch with a In Marketing We Trust link building strategist, or check out Paddy Moogan’s Big-Ass List Of Link Building Resources.