In the past, link building was the term to use. Now, in 2015, it is important to think of it now as link earning. This implies that you are not just trying to gain links for SEO purposes, but you are gaining links to give the users information they are looking for that will lead them to your website. The links you earn must be relevant to your industry, or they will be viewed as spam and could get your website penalized in the search results. Below are some great ways to earn great backlink opportunities and give users a great experience.
Small-Scale Guest Blogging
Guest Blogging, despite what others may think, is still a legitimate form of link building. It is important that you do not focus all of your efforts on this type of link building. Try writing roughly 2 good guest articles every so often and move on. Additionally, it is very important that you are creating quality content and not just pumping out posts that have been done before. The websites you choose to place content on should have high authority, a relevant audience, and it should be a reputable source for information. If all of these criteria are met, it is a great place to write for.
Infographics is a great way to earn links because you are creating shareable content and when you do this people are more likely to link to your website. Many experts argue that about 90% of cases infographics are poorly researched and designed, but that does not mean you should write it off. It just means that if you want to create an infographic, you need to do your research and design it in a way that people will be engaged and want to share it.
Getting Active on Social Media
Once you have created the great content, the next step is to share it on all of the great social media profiles that you have created for your business. As of 2015, one of the most effective ways to get your content out there and linked to was to share it via social media. But, “getting active on social” does not mean just interacting on a couple of social profiles a couple of minutes per day. Being active means posting your content on all of your social networks, your LinkedIn groups you are in, as well as submitting to Reddit, Stumbleupon, and GrowthHacker.com. Social engagement is the best indirect way of earning links.
Asking For Links
From what we have been told, it may seem very foolish to ask for links, but it can be one of the easiest ways to get links to your website. The reason it gets such a bad reputation is because most search marketers generally misinterpret “asking for links” and go straight to “begging or trading for links,” which is a big red flag and is, in fact, unwise.
The most effective way of asking for a link is to leverage existing relationships with clients, friends or other people you know within your industry. Alternatively, you can build new relationships by doing nice things for people and reaching out to them letting them know what you have done. It can be as simple as sharing one of their blog posts. This will be a great way to break the ice and the next time you reach out, they are more inclined to share your content.
For almost every big search term you type into the search engines, a Wikipedia article is on the first page, if not one of the top three results. As a search marketer, I believe this is one of the most ethical and effective ways of earning a link. Because Wikipedia is non-profit, they do not do anything for financial gain, so they do anything and everything they can to keep the content as accurate as possible. They make sure everything that gets contributed is not just a reason for people to get traffic to their website. If you plan on using this tactic, make sure you are adding value to your users. One thing I will say is to be wary of creating a new page. It is very risky and very hard to get those approved. For tactics on how to get your link published, view this article.
Sponsor to a Team or Organization
A great way to earn a link and show your support to organizations in your industry is to sponsor them. It will not only get you a great .org link, but it will also show that you are involved in the community and in helping others within the industry. As with any link earning tactics, you need to ensure that to companies or teams you are sponsoring are relevant to your industry and have your same audience. A great place to begin is to make a list of great opportunities and reach out to them to see what you can do for them.
Become a Member of an Industry-Related Organization
Within many industries, there are organizations in which you can become a member. Most of these memberships give you a ton of benefits, including an addition to their directory with local information and a link, latest news information, and much more. It does sometimes cost a little bit of money, but most of the time will reach your audience really well and can get the right people to your website. By getting these memberships, you are not only gaining links, but you are also bringing prospective clients to your website to convert and become a customer.
Create and Share a Scholarship Opportunity
This is a great opportunity to create and share content in hopes to earn a link back to your website. In this case, you will create a scholarship contest that college students can enter to win. Give them a description, topic, and any other requirements you deem necessary. The next step is to reach out to all the universities you can think of and make sure they know of this great opportunity. This is not only a great way to earn backlinks, but you are providing value to these students and making a difference in their lives.
Give a Great Promotional Deal to the User
This opportunity applies to e-commerce websites. Most universities have a webpage that has a list of student and teacher discounts that they offer year round. Many e-commerce websites will create a discount code especially for these universities for their students and teachers. This will not only earn you a backlink, but it will get people to your website and in turn get you more sales through your e-commerce platform.
2015 marks a new era in link building. Even though earning links is far more labor intensive, it is still important. You simply cannot have a top-ranking site without generating top-quality links.