Out of approximately 200 Google ranking factors, back links are by far the most potent. Back links prove to Google that your website is worthwhile –here’s how to land as many as you can, even if you’re on a tight budget.
The race is on for local businesses and casual bloggers alike to acquire as many links pointing back to their websites as possible –and as the competition heats up, those trying to be Google’s darling are going to have to romance the decision makers of the websites they approach, too.
In this article we’d like to highlight a handful of actionable strategies we use that will help you simplify the link building process, and get more of that much sought-after “Google juice”.
- High Quality Content
Yes, we know. You’ve been beaten over the head with this one in recent years, although we simply couldn’t leave it off our list. From personal experience, we’ve been given some pretty unremarkable content to be a guest post on our website over the years. So much so, that we now have clearly articulated guest post requirements for anyone looking to contribute.
- Write guest posts that are so good, you’d actually post them on your own website
- Adopt the voice, character, and structure of your suitor’s blog
- Build yourself up as an authority if you’re able to put your own name on it, and do it anyway if you’re not
- Be consistent –just as you regularly post on your own blog, have a schedule for guest posting, too
- Make friends –don’t treat your link building like a task; build relationships and keep it human
- A Wee Bit Link Bait
I’m sure even my editor thought that the title of this blog post was a bit link bait –almost too link baity – however, I was being tongue-in-cheek when I wrote it. The original title for this post was supposed to be “7 Different Types of Link Building Campaigns You Can Run on a Budget”.
Boring. Overdone. Next.
And as link bait, as the title is, it’s been proven to work. So no shame on me –shame on you, the reader! Ok, not really. We love you, but check out what Steve Rayson has to say about it;
“This headline format sets out why the reader should care about the content. It also promises that the content will have a direct impact on the reader, often an emotional reaction. The headline is clear and to the point which makes it elegant and effective.”
“Elegant” –While I think that many of the suggested titles are about as elegant as a barrel of monkeys, the title of this blog post was inspired by the sixth one down in the infographic above.
100 million article headlines, folks. That’s almost a bigger number than Dr. Evil can articulate.
- Test out different headline combinations
- Make the reader feel positive, and that your content will have an impact on their lives in some way
- Relate titles to popular culture, too –don’t be afraid to say something like “100 Blah-di-Blahs that Even Bronies Can’t Live Without” –a little WTF factor can go a long way
Insert Dr. Evil meme here.
- Well-Researched, Well-Designed Infographics
It may not be beautiful, but the infographic above is certainly well-researched. The one below, now that’s just snazzy. (Article continues below this infographic).
The only way to gather (the) Force and make an impression strong enough to make your content go viral is to make them both pretty, and smart.
Your father doesn’t need to be a Jedi Master in order to accomplish beautiful infographics –tools like Piktochart and Canva will do the trick.
- Find existing top-performing content on competitor websites using tools like Ninja Outreach, and improve upon it with an infographic
- Share the infographic with the said top-performing content publisher
In many cases, you can just take a look at what’s working on a website you hope to acquire a backlink from and make a great companion infographic to go with it. A free gift like that will go a long way with your prospective guest post partner.
- Web Directories
Every niche has a number of worthwhile directories for businesses and bloggers alike. These directories can serve up a powerful backlink alone, or they can also drive traffic to your website, too. And they thrive on being everything to everyone, so it’s a win/win engagement for all involved.
These also make great local citations. If you’re on a lower budget, start off by identifying the free directory websites and smaller gated search engines within your niche.
- Search Google for free website directories in your niche
- Follow their guidelines and submit your website
- Submit your website to 50 websites without taking a breath
- Broken Link Building
I believe this one is also called the “Backlink Skyscraper Method” –simply find broken links on a high ranking website using tools like Online Broken Link Checker.
Use the Wayback Machine (Internet Archive) to see what was once the piece of content that is now missing, and create a better alternative.
Inform the site owner that their link is dead, and point them in your own alternative article’s direction. Rinse, repeat.
- Find broken links on a website
- Create original content on your own website that makes sense for said link
- Inform site owner of a broken link, and point them to your own
- Get Interviewed
What’s that one awesome thing you’ve done that you could make read like a summer blockbuster?
Pitch it to a site owner in point form, and see what happens.
When you land an interview, tie it to a case study on your own website, or tell only part of the story “because it would simply take too long to tell the story in this interview” –and encourage readers to visit your website (and site owners to link to you), et voila –instant traffic and backlink from an interview on someone else’s’ blog.
- Find a website in your niche that’s popular
- Pitch them a story or a few reasons why you’d be a hit interviewee
- Mention a broader story within the interview, ask them to link to your website
Everyone is link building. If you’re a little slower on the uptake, find someone who isn’t –and ask them if you’re worthy of an interview. Successful bloggers love underdog stories –and so do their readers.
Everyone loves free stuff. And surely there are some products or services used heavily within your niche that are universally understood.
Exposure leads to links –and if you’re incredibly unknown and your prize is worthy, you could simply make a backlink to your website a webmaster’s entry into the contest.
- Find a great product or service in your niche that is universally understood
- Contact them and ask if they’d like to partner, and give away said product/service to your readers
- Promote, promote, promote
- Make a back link a requirement to join said contest or giveaway
The most authentic link building campaigns will often only require a little bit of time. The trick is to work smart, not hard. Tools like Ninja Outreach make building links a breeze –automate what you can, as long as it doesn’t make you feel like a clammy handshake.
How do you build links? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you.