If you haven’t already heard from our previous post, then I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but, link building is dead once again (hopefully this time it’s for good!). Although this has been coined many times before, the fundamental point is that no longer can we rely on building links to increase website traffic and if you’re disagreeing with this in any way, you’re probably still going through one of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and (finally) acceptance.

i dont believe you anchorman

So, what do we do now?

You may be sat there thinking, so if link building really done for good, then what do we do next? Well, firstly, ‘link building’ was never the best of terms to begin with. When you build something there’s usually a tangible end result that you can proudly show off to world and be patted on the back for your obvious achievement, but when considering links, you can build forever and still may not have anything to show for it. Having said that, was link building really an efficient way of increasing traffic to your business?

confused man

It certainly wasn’t the only way, and there are still many methods that can be used in order to reach your business goals. For example, the wonders of social media marketing and networking, email campaigns and engaging content that will aim for your target audience. All of these are fantastic marketing tools that cannot be ignored, even when it comes to SEO. Google has transformed the way it searches for queries and, because of that, the world of SEO has had to change drastically over recent years. Although links are still important to rankings, but it’s much easier to rank without links now through the creation of shareable content.

shareable content

Link Earning or Link Yearning?

Because of this, the term ‘link building’ (or what we like to call ‘link yearning’) has morphed into ‘link earning’ and this makes much more sense for the new search engine algorithms. We coin this term simply because you can ‘yearn’ for an abundance of links to improve your site’s rankings, but you have to ‘earn’ them in order to reap the benefits. Earning links can be done in a number of ways, but why not try some of the following:

  • Interview experts in your field of work and make the information public.
  • Be available to be interviewed by other publications yourself.
  • Make sure the content that .gov, .org or .edu sites link out to is updated.
  • Create engaging and interesting content that your users can connect to.
  • Learn how to connect with the right people – what draws them in?

However, whether you use link building or link earning to improve your online visibility, bear in mind that search engines have changed so much so recently that it cannot be the only method used for success. Any professional will tell you that in order to reach the goals you have set out for your website it’s best to use a combination of methods that produce quality results!

Quality, quality, quality…

The quality of what comes from these aforementioned methods is paramount; low quality, spammy links will just not work any more. The content you display, whether it is on your website or throughout social media campaigns must be of the highest standard in order to interest customers and increase traffic. Envisage your content to be ‘bait’ and your website is your fishing rod, essentially you watch to ‘catch’ your audience’s attention by serving up content that your demographic will love.

content as bait

All in all, SEO is just like anything else- put your best foot forward and you’ll reap the rewards. All you need to do is make sure you or the people you’ve hired to do it for you are not slacking on the job. Keep things up to date, constantly refresh your content and throw a bit of link earning in there too. With a healthy amount of each method, you and your business are sure to come up shining and you’ll be pleased with the growing success.

Link earning has become increasingly challenging over the last few years due to Google’s algorithm changes, which has ensured businesses refrain from artificial link building and maintain the natural process of link earning. Links now have the power to affect your search engine rankings both positively and negatively. Therefore more time and thought is needed to form an integrated strategy to earn valuable links.

Quality Content

You will have heard it before, content is king. Producing high quality content is significant, not only to earn genuine links, but to build a social media presence and fulfil a content hungry audience.

Creating content which is remarkable, shareable and useful are the fundamental features of content marketing strategy. There is no short cut to generating quality content, it requires genuine hard work, research and skill.

This allows businesses the chance to show creative flare and think outside the box to compete in a given industry. It is important to create content your audience will appreciate, content which will travel further through the web naturally.  Capturing and producing what people are talking about can ensure a word of mouth effect. Done correctly, this will grow your audience, boost website traffic and earn links.

content marketing

If your content is of a high standard, it will be borrowed, utilised in different blogs and shared across the web – naturally earning those all-important links. Your content is also a representation of your company and website – demonstrating value will ensure you are link worthy and will help you grow your domain authority.

Quality content that meets a demand generates its own links and is the backbone of any organic link earning campaign.

Social Media

Social media is a fantastic tool to amplify your message. Utilising channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter distributes your content to a larger audience. Sharing links to your blogs, pictures and videos can generate higher traffic to your website. Social media allows people to share and engage with content in more ways than ever.

Listening to social media channels can give marketers a strong understanding of what their audience is like. Understanding social trends can give you the the edge in a cluttered marketplace. People want to talk about relevant topics. What is relevant is more likely to be shared. Content teams can gain insight into how their audience think, utilising this knowledge to provide link worthy content.

social media

Being an active member of community and engaging with fellow users will help form online relationships. Use these relationships to grow your social following for greater link opportunities.

Researching and connecting with prominent figures on the web can give your business the edge in social media. Outreach to social media influencers is a powerful tactic. If this is done properly, influencers can endorse your content and can have a phenomenal effect on your organic reach.

A social buzz maintains a strong digital presence and is an effective indirect link earning tactic.

Networking

Thirdly, a networking strategy is vital in earning links. Forming genuine relationships with editors, bloggers, influencers and journalists can lead to increased exposure. Build these connections by showing your knowledge and proving you are of value to them. Understanding their area of expertise and ensuring your relationship can be of mutual value can generate a huge amount of inbound links for a given website.

Networking is all about speaking to the right people for your business, understanding where opportunities are and creating new connections within your network. Being able to out think your competition will ensure you stay one step ahead.

Networking

Building relationships offline as well as online is important. Consider attending conferences or networking events to meet new contacts. Meeting in person determines credibility and is an opportunity to get a feel for who you will be working with.

Content, social media and networking are crucial elements of organic link earning. Take time to understand your audience, provide them value and they will reward you.