- Posted by Andrew Chacon
- On June 10, 2016
- Guest Blogging, Guest Posting, link building, seo, SEO Tools, White Hat
Link building is a touchy subject. Just the word “building” sounds manipulative and has a negative ring to it, in some people’s minds. “Earning” links sounds much better, don’t you think? That being said, link building absolutely needs to be a part of your overall SEO strategy because links are arguably still the most important piece of the SEO puzzle.
The problem for most CEOs and business owners is they have no clue where to even begin when it comes to obtaining white hat links.
The goal of this article is to help you get started using some simple white hat link-building techniques and how to go about seeking the right link opportunities.
Yes, Link Building is Still Important
Its simple. Google wants to see that your website has links from quality, authoritative websites that are relevant in terms of niche or location. The more relevant the link, the more powerful it can be.
Gone are the days of spinning content, forum commenting, and buying links. If you want to pay someone on Fiverr to build links for you, best of luck… hope it works out for you!
When you use white hat link-building tactics such as creating original and unique content, not only do you add value, but there is also potential to position yourself as an expert and build relationships with customers and other industry influencers.
According to the 2016 State of Link Building survey conducted by Moz, the two most popular tactics used to acquire links are guest blogging and resource pages, so for the sake of this blog we will focus on those.
What is Guest Posting?
Guest posting is one of the most popular link building tactics many link builders use today. Whether you have written the content or not, you want to find a website that is relevant and authoritative to the topic you want to write about.
Luckily for link builders, there are plenty of websites out there that are willing to accept guest posts. As long as the content is original and relevant to the rest of the site, finding a guest post opportunity can be pretty simple.
A lot of the websites you might come across will actually have a “write for us” section. This section will probably include a list of guidelines and rules to follow if you want to post on their site. Always make sure to follow these carefully and look for an email or a form to fill out when sending in your proposal.
Let’s say you are looking to write an SEO-related blog post and want to find a guest posting opportunity. If you do a simple Google search and type: SEO “write for us,” this is what comes up.
Now, it may look like you have just found eight opportunities, but it is very important to remember that you want to go after links on authoritative websites. So, before reaching out to potential sites, look over them thoroughly and make sure you want to be associated with these sites. Check out the websites while asking yourself these questions:
- Is the website spammy?
- You will see things like ads all over the page that probably aren’t related to the site
- The content is mostly coming from an RSS feed from other sites and isn’t unique
- Is the website authoritative?
- First things first — check the domain authority. The higher the better.
- Check the content of the site to see if it is unique and relevant to the rest of the site and if there are links on the site as well that connect to other authoritative sites
- Is this website relevant?
- Check to see if the website is relevant to the content you have written or want to write. If you find a site that does reviews on cell phones and you’re writing about SEO, that’s probably not a good match.
The second most popular tactic, according to the survey by Moz, were resource pages. Resource pages could be blog posts, or pages dedicated to products or services, that have a list of links that they put on their post that would be helpful to their readers…aka “resources.” An example of these lists could be something like “Top 10 Free SEO Tools” or “List of Ecommerce website resources.”
One important difference between guest posting and posting on a resource page is that with resource pages you have to have content written to pitch them. This content could be content you already have composed or content that you write after finding a resource page you’d on which you’d like to be featured. Maybe you have an SEO tool that you built and you want to be featured on an SEO resource page. Or, you have written a guide titled “How to Optimize your Adwords Campaign” and you found a resource page that has a list of resources to help with Adwords.
When looking for resource pages, you want to make sure that you are truly finding worthwhile resource pages, so do the following
- Make sure that when you find a resource page that you click on the links and that it takes you outside of the website
- Analyze the page and make sure it is relevant to the site you are targeting
Here is an example of a resource page:
The title of this page is “24 Free and Easy SEO Tools” and it gives you a detailed list of tools that includes a description of the tool and a snippet of what it looks like. The name of the tool is also linked to where you can go and get that tool, which makes it easy for readers to find.
Now, let’s say you or a client you’re working with has an SEO tool they have built. This would be perfect because now you don’t have to write any content or build out a tool, you already have something to contribute to this page.
So, if you have written a lot of guides or resources or built tools, you can target these specific types of resources first. If not, you must write relevant content that you think will be of value to the resource page and to the audience of the site it is on.
At some point during the link-building process, you might find yourself saying that link building is hard. That’s because it is. Finding the right sites, creating awesome and unique content, and crafting an email pitch are tough to do and take time.
When reaching out for links, ask yourself this question: “Is this link going to bring high quality and engaged readers to my site?” If you answer yes, give it a shot and reach out to that site. Not everyone is going to accept your pitch, so it’s important to stay patient, be positive and keep at it. Find a strategy or tactic that works for you and take advantage of it.
Besides guest posting and resources pages, what other techniques do you use for link building?