Link building as an SEO practice is reaching a high-level of maturity.
Google’s imposition of penalties for spammy practices made the lives of shady SEOs more difficult.
On the other hand, it prompted decent SEO practitioners to explore more ways to earn links – consequently leading them to discover the value of relationship building.
In his PeepCon 3.0 presentation, Jason Acidre, founder and CEO at Xight Interactive, shared valuable techniques on building links that every SEO pro can try this year.
Best known for his blog Kaiser The Sage, Acidre had this to say about link building.
“Link building is more of a branding tool. It’s both art and science. You get to let search engines and users know the entities who vouch for you – to build trust. And trust can’t be built through numbers and technology alone. The practice requires creativity, psychology and a ton of human effort (or marketing).”
He further added that while we’ve built processes around link building, what we mostly miss out on is “the human side of it” which is the right mindset.
Here are more valuable insights taken from Acidre’s talk.
You Still Need Quality Content to Earn Links
To build links in 2018, we still have to take a content-first and audience-first mentality.
Content should be created around keywords that matter for the business, and they should be:
- Genuinely useful and/or educational.
- Evergreen and authoritative.
- 10x better than the ones currently ranking.
- Have high chances of attracting and earning links.
- And you can confidently promote on a massive scale through outreach (or paid social campaigns).
Some types of content that you can produce are:
- Visual content
- Case studies (data)
- Success Stories
Build Relationships & The Links Might Follow
Relationships might also translate to links.
Connecting with the right people in your industry can enable you to take part in:
- Exclusive/curated listings
- Strategic partnerships
- Interview opportunities
- Regular columns
You also get the chance to have industry authorities amplify your content.
Who Should You Connect With?
Here are a few people you can target when it comes to creating content that earns links and how you can reach out to them.
Create content related to a product or service that can help validate the idea that sales people are selling and would likely promote.
Position your brand to attract and earn more links through featured snippets.
Find featured snippet opportunities by targeting low-competition, industry-specific terms.
Offer high-quality branded images – such as infographics, data visualization, product manuals and videos – to independent bloggers which can complement existing blog posts or generate new ideas.
Produce and promote more content that provides value to students.
Broken link building also works for .edu resource pages.
Offer student or faculty discounts.
When doing email outreach, focus heavily on value proposition and personalization.
Provide better topics to pitch. Do a content gap analysis to be sure.
Analyze why their content didn’t work. And explain what will be different about yours.
Identify the big movers in your space and then study, analyze and emulate the kinds of content they share, link to, and learn from. This is the best way to reach their audience.
Mention them or their work in your own authoritative content. Get their feedback.
Create content geared towards building strategic partnerships
Your Future Brand Advocates
Focus on a specific niche where you can excel. And build your brand through making a firm stand.
Building Links in 2018
There are a plethora of innovative ways to build links in 2018. And most of them will work only if you provide high-quality content that your target audience can relate to.
Educating and offering value makes building relationships and links more successful.
More than 300 search marketing pros came together Feb. 17 in Manila for PeepCon (“The People’s Conference”). You can view the speakers’ presentation decks here and here. Also, check out the PeepCon 3.0 album on SEJ’s Facebook page to view photos from the event.