Link building is an SEO discipline designed to attract inbound links towards website pages.
Search engines use links as one of the signals of page importance. Pages which, among other quality signals, show relevant and authoritative inbound links tend to rank well in search results. The aim of a link building campaign is to increase the number of links a page earns by optimising its content and visibility.
I’ve been involved in link building projects since 2002 with a vast number of projects from startup to very large brands operating in the following industries:
During this time I’ve seen the trends and tactics come and go. One thing has always worked well, and it starts with a single question:
What’s the reason for this page to be linked from other pages?
I answer this question for every single one of my clients and I do this before link building campaign starts.
If there’s nothing linkworthy on a page then any link pointing to it will appear suspicious. Also, link building towards unremarkable pages is really hard. This is why creation of linkable assets is an essential first step in any link building campaign.
One of the best ways to get links is via passive link earning. It works on its own, doesn’t require human outreach and it never stops. For link earning to work well, we first need to understand what people who link to digital assets look for. This is why keyword research is involved during link building campaign design. An example query could be:
Australian mobile phone statistics 2020
Researchers, bloggers and journalists will use queries like this to look up sources of reliable information. Providing this information to influencers increases the chances of natural citations and links.
Once all important pages have something worth linking to, an outreach campaign can be executed. This can be done manually or through automation.
Effectiveness of a link building campaign depends on the quality of influencer targeting. My personal preference is in the “goldilocks zone”. I prefer targeting influencers that are not too hot, but also not too cold. Aiming for a top celebrity or a high-profile journalist may be a noble goal but the chance of getting through to them is not so great. Similarly, a low-profile blogger might be quite receptive but the value of the link they create may not be of the same value as from a more established blog.
Outreach don’t have to involve link begging. One of my favourite techniques is to target influencers with micro-campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and present the “source of news” content to them as an ad. This tactic is not as effective as personalised, manual approach but it allows for targeting at scale.
My favourite link earning tactic involves community, influencer and expert engagement. Rather than cold-pitching content to the media, I prefer to invite influencers to comment, contribute or write entire pieces for my clients. This creates meaningful relationship and makes link generation more likely.