Despite all of the claims that “content is king,” the fact is and always has been that it’s actually just the king’s helper. The actual king is links. Search engines have tried a huge number of methods to determine the best rankings, but none produce results that are as reliable as scoring the links coming into a particular page on a website. Therefore, links remain the king because whether the search engines like it or not, all other metrics produce lower-quality results.
Needless to say, this means that sensible webmasters are always looking for more links, because those are what produce the most reliable increases in search engine rankings. There are many ways to earn links, ranging from begging individual webmasters to using tools that can spam out millions of comments per hour. Here are some of the best ways to get links that will be “counted” by Google
How to Earn Links for your SEO strategy:
Define your audience
This seems so simple when read, but in reality, many people have trouble defining their audience. The result is a site that rambles all over the place without ever satisfying the needs of any specific group. This type of bland, directionless content draws no links. It’s better to focus on a narrow band of people who are looking for solutions and advice on a specific issue.
Create evergreen content
Content isn’t king, but it definitely has a big place in a link building strategy. After all, other webmasters will need something to link to!
Target niche audience
This evergreen content should target the niche audience you identified in Step 1. Remember that not everyone is at the same experience level, so publish some articles for rank amateurs, some for intermediate readers, and some for advanced visitors. Cover each topic your audience is interested in thoroughly.
Be the best
Another important point to keep in mind when creating evergreen content is that yours will have to be better than what’s already out there. Every niche has seemingly been written about 10,000 times already, so you’ll need to beat it with quality. Avoid the urge to look for some really weird take on a subject, because nobody will search for that or link to it. Instead, simply go for better quality in terms of the use of language, answering anticipated questions, and other such things.
Coming up with an original infographic can be hard, but refurbishing an outdated one with fresh information is far easier. Search engine journal says that infographics and other visual materials are picking up plenty of links this year, so using some sort of visual content should be part of your overall strategy.
Ask for links with a unique twist
One suggestion is to look for sites in your niche that are accidentally linking to 404 pages. Contact those webmasters, let them know about the dead link, and suggest that they link to your live page on the same subject instead. Some will go ahead and do it because your handy link will save them from having to go find one.
Use tools to discover where competing sites have gotten links.
Tools like Open Site Explorer can reveal many, though not all, of a competitor’s links. It’s often possible to reverse engineer a site’s link building strategy this way, and then copy the good parts.
It’s important to note that a single link building strategy, or even a few, won’t always remain the best possible methods. These tips have been identified as being good for 2014, but it’s always a good practice to revisit link building strategies every couple of years to catch up on changes.
Of course, there are other methods for getting links, but the mass linking tools don’t involve your site actually earning them. Unfortunately, un-earned links tend to get ignored by Google or even bring penalties. Therefore, it’s safest to stick to the methods that can stand up to a manual check by the search engine giant.
Originally Posted: 14th January 2016
Last Updated: 13th September 2017