After all that's been written about guest blogging, it’s time to get back to some link building basics. Sometimes, it’s good to just stick with what works, instead of seeking out the latest “SEO secret.”
Here are 7 fundamental link building strategies that are still effective in 2014.
Link building strategies in 2014
1. Earn Links with Quality Content
When it comes to SEO for your website, one of the most important factors is having great content. You need to grab your reader’s attention and engage with your audience. You can only do this by answering the basic question, “Who is my reader?”
Once you understand the reader's problems, you can provide solutions. This will make it easier for you to succeed at getting people to read your posts and come back for more.
Posts that naturally resonate with your readers will also make them want to share your content with their readers who have the same problem you’re solving. This will give you the backlinks you need.
Longer, in-depth articles (usually over 2,000 words) typically rank higher in search results, like review pages. Notice the conversational tone, images and longer copy? This usually translates into longer page stays and more interaction.
While we’re on the topic of authority, don’t forget to make good use of Google Authorship for any post you publish. This will improve your authority with Google (as long as you always write about the same topic) and your search rankings, too.
2. Social Media
Once you’ve created your incredible content, how do you get the word out so people will read it? Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ can be great tools for making this happen.
Make sure you have a social media following on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and the other major social media sites. Once these pages are in place, make it easy for people to tweet, retweet, add Facebook shares and Google +1 by including social sharing buttons to every page on your site. You can do that with tools like AddThis.
You can also add simple “follow us on Twitter” or “like us on Facebook” buttons to make it easier for people to follow your social media accounts from your website. In the future, content with thousands of shares on the social media sites will improve your SEO, so why not get started now?
Creating high-quality infographics is still a great way to get backlinks. By embedding a link to your website in the infographic’s source code, you can make sure that whenever someone uses your embed code, you’ll get a backlink.
Another option is to refurbish old infographics from other sites. Just because someone else created an infographic on a similar topic, doesn’t mean that you can’t do it better. Sometimes it’s easy to find old infographics related to your niche and then create an updated version with improved content to give it new life and get a few backlinks in the process. One thing to remember is to make sure it is still relevant and helps your readers.
4. High-Quality, Niche Specific Web Directories
Find some high quality, free Web directories in your niche and submit your link to these sites. Remember, don’t link back to them (some might ask you to), because you don’t want a reciprocal link.
PDFs can be a powerful way to create backlinks to your site while repurposing content you already own. You can transfer a guide or e-books to PDFs and post them to PDF sites. In-depth articles are also good candidates for PDFs.
Make sure you use target keywords in your filename (you can use hyphens between keywords). You can also optimize your PDFs metadata to make it easier for describing the file to the search engines. Once you’re done, you can submit your PDF document to directories such as www.ebookdirectory.com, www.calameo.com, www.e-booksdirectory.com and www.ebookjungle.com.
6. Give Testimonials
Providing testimonials for products and services that you’ve used frequently gives you an opportunity to get a link to your website. If the company likes the testimonial and places it on their homepage, then you could get a backlink from one of the most powerful SEO pages on their site.
7. Giving and Taking Interviews
Are you a well-known authority in your niche?
If so, giving interviews can help you show the world your knowledge, and you can frequently get a great backlink in the process. Many bloggers are eager to interview authorities in their niche. Most of them will be happy to give you a backlink in thanks for helping them out.
If you’re not an authority (yet!), you can reach out to people who are an authority in your niche and ask them for an interview. This way you can get high authority authors with experience in your field. You can increase the popularity of your blog by sharing these authority interviews.
Always start your quest for better SEO with incredible content on your site. When visitors arrive, you want your content to resonate with them. Solve their problems and you’ll get the backlinks. You can use social media to spread the word and improve your authority in the process. Along the way, make it easy for visitors to share your great content.
Once you’ve created a good foundation on your website, use infographics, high-quality, free web directories in your niche, PDFs, testimonials, interviews and social media to get more backlinks to your website; all without guest blogging.
Jeremy Page is an internet marketer and digital nomad. He began his marketing career at SEO.com before traveling the world for nine months, working from his laptop. You can connect with him on Twitter. His last article for SEMrush was "How to Guest Blog Outreach Using Advanced Search Queries and Twitter."