When developing link building tactics, it’s best to keep it simple, clean and straightforward. You want to create high-quality content and provide top-notch products and services that result in people linking to your site.
It’s not complicated, but it takes consistency and smart work. Part of that is routinely checking the quality of your links - particularly your backlinks - to ensure your pages are visible to both visitors and search engines in the best way possible.
Here are some ideas for smart link building tactics in 2018 and beyond.
Assess Where You Are
As with most content marketing strategies, it’s important to see where you are before deciding where you need to go. Check your backlinks to see what kind of quality links you are getting and where they are pointing on your site. Ahrefs has a free backlink checker that will help analyze your backlink profile.
Your link profile is extremely important. It shows search engines how your site is connected to the Internet. That can dictate the flow of traffic to your site, as well as the quality of traffic. Both are vital to doing successful business on the web.
Make sure to check how many different root domains are linking to you. Having links from different domains is better for your profile than having many from just one. Also, check out the domain authority of linking domains. The higher, the better.
Links to “Boring” Pages
All the above said, so-called “boring pages” such as product and service description pages, need links, too. It just needs to be the right kind of link that will direct someone to exactly the information they want.
One tactic to build such links is to find references made to your site on a page that would have readers looking for such detailed information right from the start. These can be found through Google searches, scouring social media, and looking at media sites that cover your industry (especially any you’ve ever granted an interview). Services such as BuzzSumo also allow you to monitor your brand mentions
Contact the website and ask them to give you a link since they mentioned you in their content. Or, if they have already linked to a more fun part of your site, ask them to also link to one of your “boring pages.”
A key part of link building tactics is developing relationships with other sites that can help you with a link. Whenever you reach out to people, make sure to be direct and straightforward about what you want - professionals in this business will appreciate that approach.
When cultivating these relationships, look for signals that are positive and negative from each site you consider. Positive signals include:
- A consistent and sound editorial process and guidelines
- Sites that publish quality content consistently
- Sites with a history of linking to other quality sites
- High domain authority
That’s a network you want to be part of. On the other hand, these signals usually mean you want to steer clear:
- Low domain authority
- They have no-follow tags on external links (this provides no value to linked sites)
- The site only links internally, or only has external links to .edu or .gov sites
- They have links to far too many sites
- A lax editorial policy and inconsistent, low-quality content
Another wise link building tactic is to find links that need to be fixed. This can fall into many different areas. In some cases, a link points to content that is outdated or has been removed. You will either need to update the content or change the linked page. Others may come from sites you no longer want among your backlinks. Whatever the case, make a list of the links that need to be repaired and prioritize fixing them.
Advice From Google
Much of the above seems like common sense, and that’s on purpose. Too many people try to turn link building tactics into a complex scheme. It’s best to take your cues from Google itself, which offers steps for making a Google-friendly site. Some highlights:
- Have content that is relevant for site visitors
- Every page on your site should be linked
- Make sure you work with legitimate consultants who offer solid search engine optimization services
- Don’t over stuff your pages with links
A solid link building strategy takes hard work in creating good content and building a network of like-minded sites to link with. But the payoff is getting the credit from Google that your site deserves.
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