Following the latest Penguin 3.0 update, it’s clear Google will continue to target spammy ways to build links. The bar has once again been raised in terms of requirements for the quality of new links that SEOs obtain.
Here are some ethical ways to generate new links for your clients (or for your own sites) that rely majorly on real business connections and content strategy.
1. Fresh Brand-Based Link Reclamation
It might not be a new one, but it's as relevant (and safe!) as ever: Reclaim your brand mentions online and turn them into URL mentions or links. This is a future-proofed approach, and should be part of every SEO campaign.
- Set up Google Alerts for your brand name or, better, use a software like Mention.
- Set up the keywords within such as your brand name, and exclude/include any additional keywords necessary to mute the noise
- Wait for the lovely alerts to come through and get in touch with the publishers to reclaim your links
- Ensure the site is reputable and that the content is unique — so, generally speaking, it’s a quality link.
Note: You may want to run these by your clients before proceeding as they might have already existing relationships to utilize to make the process easier.
2. Linking to Resources on Your Website
Guest posting is not dead, as long as it’s not abused. Linking from author bios might have less potency these days — that’s why I’m a believer in editorial links.
It’s hard to link to your client’s site to a product/service page or via brand name and not appear promotional. This is why developing genuine resources (whether they’re guides or just really good blog posts) is crucial; they allow you to link in a natural way.
Link using a statistic to the content on your clients’ site that contains this statistic, or use an image from their site and link to them via the image source link.
3. Real Industry Directories/Local Citations
Directories aren’t as strong as they used to be. But the real, authoritative, industry-specific directories that feature real businesses will always be a source of recognition and entity-juice for Google.
They might be expensive or nofollow or hard-to-find, but they will reward you and your rankings.
Example: Training Industry
4. Events/Jobs/Interviews = RCS
Hosting an event is a great way to get links. This may not be possible for any campaign, but here are more affordable options that could result in great, Penguin-proofed links:
- Client’s employee presenting at an event
- Way to the link: Find opportunities for your clients to speak at events. They might be doing this anyway, but missing out on the link love.
- Client’s employee interview
- Way to the link: Find websites interviewing in your niche and get approval from a client to get their employee interviewed.
- Job listings on the client's site
- Way to the link: Check backlinks of your competitor’s career/jobs pages to find where to get the links.
- Attend free industry events
- Way to the link: Produce takeaway or round-up blog posts, and earn links. Let the organizers know about it and they’ll share them too.
5. Broken Link Building & Helping
Using broken link building is a great way to make a first contact with a blogger or webmaster. It shows you care about their site and you’re ready to offer value without being selfish.
I won’t go into too much detail because Brian Dean did it justice in his blog post on Smart Passive Income. Here are a few habits in addition to this I’ve developed to help me "score":
- If a site owner I’m contacting has a product and it’s free, I’ll test it and send feedback as a "first contact" email.
- If they have a newsletter, I’ll subscribe to it and wait for it to arrive. Then, after a few days, follow up and tell them what I thought.
- If I can see anything wrong with it at all:
- broken images
- missing content
- broken code
- social buttons not working
I then let them know and make this my first contact email. Again, it shows I am willing to help and provide value without asking for anything back.
Be mindful and link carefully. Put your heart into it and do things to help improve the industry and the business — not just for links; they’ll come as a byproduct (with a little nudge here and there).
Image Source: kyuubidemon98