The Best Link Building Strategy: Don’t Cheat The System

 

You’ve heard about link building.

It’s a vital feature of any content strategy. In today’s SEO and content marketing world, the winner takes all – traffic, leads, and conversion. And to become that winner, you need to be perceived as being the most popular, right? You need to build relationships and earn trust and loyalty.

The strategy behind link-building is similar to Frank Underwood’s (House of Cards) views on loyalty. “If you want to earn my loyalty, then you have to offer yours in return.”

(Of course, if the political evil mastermind was a link-builder, he’s definitely be black hat.)

In the SEO-world, this “popularity” is based on:

  • Other people who link to your content
  • Trust and loyalty

Like any contest – a beauty contest, a football game or even a presidential election, there’s rumors, speculation and truth to one practice: cheating.

Link building: many people claim to be experts.

But only a few really make it work for them. It’s one of the least expensive tactics. That’s why there are consultants who claim they help you with a “link building strategy”. There are a lot of “link building services” and “automated link building” strategies.

It’s important not to be fooled.

Because search engines sure aren’t. They put a lot of energy into the quality of the search results. They prune websites that show the known “bought SEO”-tactics. So be very careful about hiring a company who claims to do link building. In the link building game, the mantra is:  Quality Over Quantity.

A Vote of Confidence

The premise: back links build trust with search engines. They consider it to be a vote of confidence. Think of our public officials. We don’t enjoy the idea that lobbyists can buy our votes. And search engines don’t want to count votes that you buy through a search engine optimization service.

Though it takes more effort and more creativity, it is well worth to do high-quality, organic link building. You can do this if you have an in-house team.

It’s Simple

Always be on the lookout for influencers you can connect with online. Excellent link building style starts with getting the attention from the influencers. Think of the important people in your field, your region, and your client base. Get your whole team to keep their eyes open – and maybe a Google Doc list running  – with these genres:

  • Target market leaders online
  • Online business leaders in your field. The people in charge of SEO and online content of leading websites
  • Third-party opinion leaders who might be interested in linking to your business

Find Opportunities In House & Beyond

  • Manufacturers you represent
  • Local, regional, national news outlets
  • Prominent 3rd-party reviewers
  • Endorsements from contests and public figures
  • Re-shared video, graphics, and unique charts
  • Local businesses with a strong online presence
  • Creating backlinks to your own website from your Google Places page and Google Plus

Quality link building is a relationship game.

This is the most important part. It also takes the most time. Search engines can tell the difference between a quick-and-dirty link building and a genuinely organic strategy.

Connecting with influencers takes creativity. Think of it this way: you’re putting in the time and effort to get votes high-profile people. They have good positions online. And it’s worth the effort to get in front of their audience.

 

William Flanagan

CEO & Founder, Audienti. Former VP-Cognio, Founder-sentitO/Verso, SALIX/Tellabs, PrimaryAccess/3Com, CompuServe. Expert in data-driven marketing.

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