Ah link building. The one thing that keeps most SEOs up at night. Does this work? Should I try it? Will it be okay in the future? Will I get a penalty for doing something Google thinks is “shady”? These questions have our knees shaking every time we give the go ahead on another link.
By now I think we all have figured out what is expected from a content standpoint. If not, catch up on building website authority through content here. But the main gist we all understand right? User friendly rich content, careful not to over optimize, internal linking, etc. etc.
Now we just need to figure out this link building mess. With the SEO headhunters over at the Google rolling out new warm and fuzzy sounding SEO assassin algorithms every time you turn your head, it can be difficult to know exactly what you should be doing. Especially in regards to link building in 2013.
With a new year comes a chance to get on the right track, disavow those “skeleton in the closet” links from campaigns past, and start building quality links. Here are 8 ways this can be accomplished, and their easy!
- Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is by far my favorite source for link building these days. And no I’m not talking about those auto-posting garbage blogs of the post Panda era. Now more than ever, there are tons of amazing blogs out there, looking for awesome content to share with their readership. Becoming a guest blogger is an amazing way to not only build quality links to your site, but a great way to expand your brand, build lasting relationships online, grab some referral traffic, and have some fun as well.
- Broken Link Building
Here’s a chance for you to put your detective hat on. Broken link building is an excellent way to not only score some great links for your site, but to help clean up the web and make some friends at the same time. Through my broken link building strategy, I have had a ton of success. But by no means is it the only way. Have fun with it and get creative.
- Relationship Building
Here is the meat and potatoes of what the SEO world is gabbing about in regards to link building. The idea behind it revolves around making friends with others online that can help meet common goals. I’ve written a great piece (if I do say so myself) on relationship building here, so I won’t go into a ton of detail about it. The only thing I’ll say is through this, you might find opportunities even better than scoring links. But if you don’t get started, you’ll never know what you might find.
- Giveaways & Contests
Giveaways and contests are something I have been using to grow social followings for years, however the same rules apply for SEO. People love free stuff, it’s a fact. And most will do whatever you ask of them for a chance at it. Many contests are run in such a manner that entries are required to tweet, like or link to the giveaway before entering. While this is a surefire way to score some signal love, if your contests are truly epic enough, the links will simply pour in. No effort required.
- Link Bait Blogging
While we just discussed giveaways and contests, it is just one of an unlimited number of ways to use your blog as link bait. Things like top ten lists, infographics, case studies, etc. are all great ways of baiting some links. The fact of the matter is, with sharing becoming an integral part of our online lives, creating amazingly interesting content will naturally be the target of a massive influx of links and shares.
- Competitor Backlink Hunts
Why do all the work to get ahead of your competitors when you could just be doing what they’ve already done right? Using your competitor’s backlink profiles to poach off their hard work can definitely pay off. From sites they frequently guest post on, to sites listing them in their resource section, the possibilities are endless. You may even find some of these links to be 404ing, an excellent way to use broken link building tactics to steal competitor links right from under their noses. Give it a shot.
Well there you have it. Now go out there are start scoring some quality links, the right way. If you have any other awesome, timeless tactics for link building in 2013 and beyond, share them below. Let’s discuss! Onward!
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About Josh Patterson