When you are building a brand online it is imperative that you build credibility and create content that is relevant to your audience. But how do you increase your reach and get more people to notice you online?
One of the most proven strategies for doing this is called link building. Link building (also known as backlinking) is the process of getting other websites to refer back to your website. This means that other trusted sources are referring to you, your content, and your website.
This is important because most people find information online via search engines like Google. While their processes and algorithms are constantly changing we do know that link building is an important cornerstone. This is because backlinks can signal to search engines that your content is valuable to users and the more valuable that content becomes, the higher your site can rank, thus giving you more traffic, exposure, and revenue.
Here are five key link building strategies to consider.
HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out and is a great way to get quoted in other publications and hopefully grab a backlink.
Writers and journalists use HARO to get quotes for their articles. For example, this query was in a recent HARO email:
I’m looking for managers and workplace experts to weigh in on the following: How can you improve employee engagement when some/all employees are remote or hybrid? Why is such engagement particularly important at the present time? Do some companies do themselves a disservice by worrying too much about employee engagement?
If you had a good answer to that query your quote might get picked up and included in the article, along with a potential backlink.
HARO is free to use and after you sign up you’ll start getting thrice daily emails with a list of opportunities to answer questions from writers and give quotes.
Related: What is HARO?
Guest posting is one of the most popular strategies for building your links as well as authority and credibility with an audience. The key, however, is to ensure that your content is relevant and that it is beneficial to all parties involved. This means taking the time to understand the audience where you would like to appear as a guest and providing value to them.
You should also consider creating something that is new and unique as opposed to recycled content that already exists on your own site. One of the best ways to provide value in a guest post is a case study or breakdown on a popular topic in your field of expertise.
When coming up with a topic for your guest post you’ll want a topic that will appeal to the audience of the host site while still being relevant to what you offer on your site. Think about where both topics meet.
For example, if a personal finance blogger was guest posting on a site about dogs they might want to write about how to find discount pet supplies or how to earn money dog sitting. Those topics incorporate both personal finance and dogs.
Replicate the Success of Those in Your Niche
Another powerful strategy with link building and content creation is replicating the success of others who may be in your niche. Taking the time to step back and see what types of content have gained the most traction could help you to create your own version or spin on that topic.
Remember that you want to remain original and authentic; it is unwise to simply clone the content of someone else. A better approach is to use that framework and add your own style and branding to it to make it your own and provide complementary value.
For example, in the investing space a blog post about the “Top 5 Stocks for the Month” might be a popular post. One way to replicate in your own way could be “The Top 5 Stocks for Beginners.” This replicates the success of the original but also allows for flexibility and creativity while complementing and building on the original idea.
High-quality content is more likely to get backlinks.
Create List Posts
If you create a list post of companies reach out and notify the included companies that your article features them. They will likely include the post in their social media (which won’t give you a backlink but may increase your traffic) and blog.
If your list is a list of other bloggers, such as 10 bloggers to follow this year, those bloggers may return the favor and give you backlink as well. Make sure you reach out to them when the post is live and let them know they’ve been included.
Another great way to get backlinks? Ask. You can ask your blogging friends or reach out via cold emails.
As a blogger, you probably get these emails all the time. Request from strangers asking you to include their link in a recent post of yours. You may find them annoying but you get so many of them because they do work.
If you find an article that would benefit by linking to an article on your site as a resource then don’t hesitate to reach out to the site owner and ask for a link. The worst thing they can say is no.
Link building is not an overnight remedy but like diet and exercise, it can provide long-lasting results when done consistently. No matter which strategy you use, remember that results could take a while to notice.
In the meantime, make sure that you have the right tracking capabilities in place to measure where your traffic is coming from and focus on the quality of your content as well as relevance for the sites that you’re looking to backlink from.