Matt Cutts confirmed in a Webmaster help video last month that Google has run internal experiments that rank search results with the absence of link signals. They found the experiment was not successful for getting quality results since the SERPs contained some noise and a lot of spam. This means that links are still the most significant external signal for ranking websites.
We are aware that getting a link from a high authority domain will have a greater impact in ranking than getting a link from a low quality or new website. But getting quality links is not an easy job. This blog outlines 13 easy ways to build links in 2014.
13 ways to build links
1. Build Relationships
“Link building isn’t really link building. It’s relationship building.”
Like real world relationships, you need to build a good rapport and relationship with people in the same industry. Building meaningful relationships with industry leaders and other personalities is helpful to a great extent in getting links. These links can be also be in the form of likes, shares or tweets, otherwise known as “social media love.”
Creative imagination, relationship skills and persistence are key factors that a person should possess and put into practice to thrive in this field. My experience in relationship building taught me a few things, as explained in the image below:
I have been quite successful in implementing this strategy, and I've gotten the chance to interview industry experts like Rand Fishkin, Ann Smarty, and many more. Once you interview these professionals, you have the liberty to ask them to share the interview with their readers, or even tweet and post it on Facebook.
2.Link out to others
Linking is a common practice on the web. It’s a misnomer to think it will do harm to the site’s reputation, or that linking out will reduce your domain authority.
Linking out or giving reference to others’ blogs can strongly increase the likability of your site. Linking content related to your industry will help to enhance the relationship with the person to whom you are asking for a link.
Also, linking out is the best way to initiate reciprocation. For instance, if you produce quality content, chances are high that the influencers start linking back to you.Linking to quality content makes your site a more valuable and scalable resource.
So, linking to others will give you the following:
Yes, repurposing content works quite very well. It is very true that it requires a great deal of effort to create quality content, and further promote the content so it reaches a wide audience. Quality content can always be repurposed into different forms, thus expanding its reach.
People consume information in different ways. Some might like to see it as a video tutorial or infographic; others might like to see it in the form of slides. Some may even prefer getting the same information as an e-book or podcast. Making a strategy by which you can reach all these people with the same content in different forms will create a successful content marketing campaign.
Recently, I blogged about SEO lessons learned in 2013, and I repurposed the content into a video, presentation and newsletter, and shared it via Google+ communities and other social media. If you’re sharing your content with a new audience, your old content is new again.
You can also try converting your articles/presentations into video, and distribute them among various video hosting sites like Vimeo or YouTube. Videos uploaded in YouTube have a higher chance of ranking in search results for longtail keywords.
Presentations made using Microsoft PowerPoint can easily be converted into video as MS PowerPoint has a built-in feature where you can convert slides into videos. An example of this is shown in the above section.
Videos can be an extremely powerful form of content and make a significant contribution to your overall SEO strategy in many ways.
This is one of the best ways to get popularity in a short time, and also one of the most effective ways to repurpose content. Infographics are easy to distribute and naturally tend to get more shares.
My colleague Steve Toth had an interesting idea, which became the "10 Commandments of SEO." The blog post was a great success, with 710 backlinks and 71 referring domains.
You can submit your infographic in numerous infographic directories. Some simple tools which I use to create infographics are Piktochart, Infogr.am, Visual.ly and Easel.ly.
Every company loves to show off their clients/customer testimonials. If you love a product or service, make sure to send a video testimonial. If your testimonial is valued by the site owner, you will definitely get a link back.
When you send a testimonial, make sure you ask them to include yours on their designated testimonial page.
Review for WebCEO:
7.Sponsor or speak at an event
Sponsoring an event creates a great opportunity for earning backlinks. Chances are you can get a considerable number of links from PR releases related to the event.
TechWyse was a key supporter for Toronto’s The Art of Small Business 2013. The event was mentioned in many well-known sites and also with the link in many similar sites. Similarly you can sponsor a local softball team or a neighborhood local event, as there are dozens of events in your city which need your sponsorship.
Backlinks can be gained with much ease through this technique. Whenever you sign up for an account, make sure you include your website in the profile data. Many sites give you the option to enter external website links, and this strategy will give your link profile diversity. Thus, making it safer in the eyes of Google.
Raffle t-shirts, mugs, pens or whatever is left after an event, party or a gathering. For example, if you have a free t-shirt to give away, send it to this guy. He will take a picture and blog about you with a link.
You can also create a badge or award, and send this to blogs to be placed on their site to garner a link back.
10.Website Feedback Sites
This is one of the easiest ways to build links. There are many sites that can help you get feedback, and most of them will allow a do-follow link.
All you need to do is submit your site with a small description of how you want to improve it. Here are some of the sites you can use:
An example from ConceptFeedback.com:
- 11.Reclaim Mentions
If someone mentioned your company name or product in a blog post on their site, this is the best opportunity to politely ask for a link back to you. The conversion rate for acquiring links through these mentions is high, as the people who mentioned you already like you. They might even be flattered to know you have found and read their content.
There are free and paid tools available for finding mentions across the web. Some of them are:
This tactic also works well for Creative Commons images. If you develop wonderful photos that are very likely to be used by folks on their websites and blogs, make them Creative Commons licensed. You can then share these images on sites like Flickr and look for websites that use these images. Once you find the sites that use these images, make sure they give the credit back to you.
- 12.Ask People you know for a link
Ask your acquaintances, friends or the people in your marketing relationship circle to link to your best content/blog. There is no harm in asking for help in that manner. So, take advantage.
- 13.Help A Reporter Out
Everyone likes to get noticed in the press. It is indeed a good way to get links. HARO – Help a Reporter Out is the simplest way to get links from the press.
How does HARO work?
- Sign up as a source.
- You will get three emails per day from the reporters asking for sources.
- Reply back with your links and some helpful tips.
Once you help a reporter with the needed information, your link will be mentioned in the article for sure, and thus get you a link from the press.
The possibilities of link building are endless. Sometimes, you just have to be creative to build links; I think the most successful link builders in 2014 will be the most creative ones.