Despite countless algorithm updates, link building is still one of the most effective SEO techniques. Attracting high-quality links from trustworthy domains increases traffic to your website and improves your rankings on the search engine results pages (SERPS). But attracting the wrong kind of links through spammy practices will do your site more damage than good.
Like links, not all link building techniques are created equal. In this blog post, we’ll show you which link building techniques still work in 2016:
Guest posts came under attack in 2014 when Google announced that ‘low-quality guest blog posts‘ were in violation of their guidelines. As a result, many SEO agencies started to avoid guest posts altogether.
This is a mistake; guest posts can be an extremely effective marketing strategy that has many benefits beyond SEO alone. For any company or individual aiming to establish expertise or raise awareness, writing guest posts is an exceptional way of achieving this. This allows you to tap into existing networks and extend your audience in a natural and useful way for all involved.
Unfortunately, this technique has been imitated and spammed by SEO’s as a low-quality link building strategy. As a result, the internet has been flooded with masses of content and untrustworthy blogs, making it hard to see how low-quality guest posts were ever acceptable.
However, if you want to get the most of your link building in 2016, guest posting still needs to on the menu. To do it right, create and maintain relationships with industry news sources and blogs, produce high-quality content and make sure that you link back to your site in a useful and relevant way.
As a link building strategy as well as a business strategy, blogging is critical. Blogging is a unique way for a company to engage their audience, attract links and achieve higher organic rankings. As an example, companies that blog regularly are 13x more likely to achieve a positive ROI from their marketing.
Due to the huge uptake in blogging, this is another technique that’s drowning the internet with spammy content that has little use other than to satisfy the needs of search engines. Don’t be tempted by content spinners or keyword stuffing your blog. Producing low-quality blog posts violate Google’s guidelines is a sure fire way to get hit with a penalty.
For the time being, blogging is still one of the best link building techniques. Web sites that actively run and maintain their blog have on average 97% more inbound links than those that don’t. But how you can you use your blog as a way to attract links in 2016?
Most importantly, create content that is worth linking to. Try not to spin other people’s content and ideas unless you can improve upon it. Produce content that is genuinely useful, answer questions that nobody else has answered and keep up to date with trends and new ideas. If you can manage that, then you won’t need to worry about links!
People love infographics, and for good reason. Research shows that we absorb visual information 60,000x faster, meaning that the information displayed in an infographic is much easier to digest than text alone.
It’ll come at no surprise that this is a fantastic link building technique that’s saturating the internet. So making sure that your infographic stands out from the crowd and attracts those all important links isn’t easy.
As with all content, creating something that’s useful is your top priority. But once you’ve got an idea, making it into a strong, link attracting infographic is where the real challenge lies. Your design needs to be accessible and attractive, so hiring a professional designer needs to be factored into your budget.
If the main aim of your infographic is to attract links, then the websites that your infographic link to and reference can help to promote and attract links to your infographic. Try to reference the top players in your industry and then contact them to let them know – either they’ll link to you themselves or share it through social media. Either way, that’s a valuable link or your infographic being shared to your target audience.
Finally, getting your infographic seen by the right people is key. Notify your sources and any relevant contacts, upload it onto infographic directories like this, and share it through social media. You’ll soon start to see some traction!
Although directory link building still works, you need to be mindful with how you approach it. Directory link building requires judgement and critical thinking – don’t be tempted by low-quality directories, they’ll cause you more damage than good. No matter what, the end results aren’t great, so it’s not worth spending too much time on this other than to make sure you’ve got all bases covered.
Be selective with where you submit your site. There are thousands of directories out there and the majority will provide no value to users or search engines. Avoid any directory that sells itself on SEO value and passing page rank, especially if they allow you add additional anchor text for a small sum. Although paying for directory listings is acceptable, when they’re touting the SEO value that should raise a red flag.
Another warning sign that you should always avoid is the option of placing a link or widget on your site to speed up the submission process. This is an example of a reciprocal link scheme that Rand Fishkin and Matt Cutts himself will warn you against.
Instead, submit your site to relevant and useful directories, locality and niche often work well. As a guide, any directory that seems harder to get into is a good start. For more general directories that still hold value, try DMOZ or Aabaco to get you started.
Asking for Links
The original and trusted technique of asking for links will still work in 2016. A lot of people find this a bit humiliating but put simply, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Asking for links doesn’t mean begging or demanding, be friendly and you’ll get the best results. Start by asking people or companies that you know or have done business with in the past. This technique is effective but will only get you so far.
To take this link building technique to the next level try using tools like Moz’s Fresh Web Explorer to find mentions of your brand name. Contact the relevant webmaster and politely ask if they could reference you as it may be useful for their readers and would be doing you a massive favour!
When asking for links never lie about why you want the link or twist it into somehow helping them. And never start an email with “I was browsing the web and came across your website.” – I guarantee you will get no response!