Link building can be a long and arduous process, especially if you’re just starting out. But the reward for your patience and hard work can be plentiful. If you don’t know where to start, or aren’t getting the results you hoped for, try following my guide to good link building below!
Define Your Audience
The first step to good link building is to identify your audience. Try to paint as precise picture of them as you can. What do they watch on tv? Where do they go on weekends? Don’t just stick to age, class, occupation. be creative!
I find this easiest if I can picture one exact person that perfectly fits my target demographic. This allows you get into the mindset of your fictional individual and make choices based on their thoughts. It will also make next step MUCH easier.
If you included a lot of detail in the last step, this will be a doddle! Think of other sources of information/products/retailers your audience might use. e.g. If your audience are cyclists, they might read Cycling Weekly (Weekly, affordable), Pro Cyclist (mid-level, glossy, monthly) and Peloton (High-end, glossy).
Each has a different place in the market. If you are aiming at the slightly more affluent cyclist with your content, then you would likely target Peloton Magazine
Identify your closest competitors in terms of size, market share, product range etc. You won’t be copying them, but the more of their presence you can find, the better.
Research, Research, Research!
Research their online presence and take note of all channels your competitors use to promote their company. A quick google search of the company name, or even their bloggers and writers (if you know of any) will reveal guest blogs on other sites and links to their site from others.
Make note of guest blogs and external links that rank highly on google, these are high quality links from reputable sites that are sure to bring a high volume of traffic and increase your search engine ranking.
This is the bread and butter of Link building.
High quality links will help you climb search results, whilst low quality links will reduce your site’s reliability and search engines WILL penalise you for this.
Create Quality, sharable, engaging content
Quality content is crucial in general, and link-building is no exception. Gone are the days of swapping links and slapping your URL all over forums and online notice boards. High ranking sites will now require targeted and informative content that provides the reader with valuable information if you want to appear on their site. (Some will likely charge you for the privilege too!)
Whether it’s content on an external blog/vlog or a guest blog/vlog, ensuring that your target audience will be interested enough to read/watch your content before following the link through to your site will make or break your link-building efforts.
See my blog ‘Writing for Online – 5 Simple Rules‘ to keep your audience reading all the way to your call to action.
Offer Your Service, or collaboration In Return For a link
Are you a blog writer? A Designer? Can you build websites? When doing work for a client, ask if you can link from their site. The worst you can get is a “no”. They might even be willing to collaborate on a joint blog, video or live stream (not technically link-building but will certainly give you an audience boost!)
Use Social Media to Publicise
Tell your followers about your latest guest blog with your new collaborator. Extend the benefits you’re getting from Linkbuiding to build your social following. @ or tag your collaborator in a post and don’t be afraid to ask for a retweet or a share!