By Samuel Thimothy, VP at OneIMS.com
Links can be one of the biggest influencers of your SEO, but unfortunately, link building isn't always in your control. As a marketer, I have clients constantly asking me if buying links or listing their services on online directories is worth their time. The answer I always give is no.
Black hat backlinking strategies, such as placing links on spammy pages, can seriously damage your online reputation and online directories rarely drive the traffic and authority you're looking for.
Instead, I give my clients advice on four ways they can efficiently build links that boost SEO and help improve online authority. Here are my tips:
1. Connect with journalists, reporters and trade publications.
Traditional public relations is one of the best ways to build links to your site. By making connections with journalists or reporters who will feature you in their stories, you can get links back to your site in a credible website.
You can also contribute content to industry publications and trade journals as a guest author. These kinds of articles allow you to show off your knowledge or give input on relevant stories, introducing you to new audience members and expanding your reach. This type of strategy is usually referred to as digital PR placement. It's essential for establishing thought leadership and positioning yourself as a subject matter expert in your industry.
You can start making connections with journalists or reporters through sites like Help a Reporter Out or by reaching out to journalists through platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook. Comment on something they've written in the past and make a meaningful connection, then let them know you're interested and available for giving input on future articles.
2. Offer shareable quotes.
Sharing bits of knowledge, insights or ideas is another great way to boost links. When you're posting shareable quotes on social media or your website, other marketers or journalists can easily grab them to share with their audiences.
For example, pulling a shareable sentence or two from a blog post, podcast or other piece of content can encourage others to share that statement as well. When they credit you for the insight, you can get a link back to your site.
You can also share quotes through roundup posts. Connecting with content marketers who frequently write roundup posts containing tips and advice from leaders can help boost your backlinks.
3. Find broken links to replace.
Broken links can be problematic for websites, but they can also be difficult for marketers to find and locate. You can take advantage of this by locating broken links on a website and contacting the owner, suggesting they replace the link with one of your own.
This practice takes the work off the marketer's hand and makes it more likely that they'll replace the link with yours. However, you need to show your link is worthy of their attention.
Don't send a copy-and-pasted message to each marketer. Instead, explain how you found the broken link and a bit of background about who you are and what you offer. Then, supply them with a replacement link and request a swap.
4. Provide testimonials.
Testimonials are another great way to boost your backlinks. By giving reviews of the companies you work with, you can get links back to your website on high-quality pages.
This is also a mutually beneficial backlink strategy. The companies you work with can improve trust with their audience, creating a win for both of you.
Reach out to the companies and brands you enjoy working with, and ask if they'd like a testimonial. If yes, ask if they'd be willing to include a link to your website in exchange for your honest review.
What are you waiting for?
Having strong links to your website can boost your SEO and help you attract more high-quality clients. However, all backlinks aren't created equal. In order to get links that truly improve your online standing, you need to have a well-thought-out strategy behind it.
These four tips for building links are a great way to get started. Network with journalists and reporters to build connections, pull out quotes that can be easily shared, provide testimonials, and take the hard work out of finding and replacing broken links.
As you start to build up your connections and links back to your website, it will become easier and easier to keep the ball rolling.
Samuel Thimothy is the VP at OneIMS.com, an inbound marketing agency, and co-founded Clickx.io, the digital marketing intelligence platform.