Link building is like cardio. You hate it every second until you see the results. Whether you’re a photographer in Seattle or a small tech firm in Cleveland, link building strategies that still work in 2020 are the backbone to helping your site rank and drive more traffic.
This article will cover some of the advanced link building strategies companies use to build their digital presence.
What is link building? For the novices, link building consists of building a digital infrastructure of links that leads to your site. Some link building examples would be a paper like the New York Times linking to a small blog specializing in the article topic.
Search engines now view your site as reliable enough for the New York Times. As a result, your SEO ranking rises and Google begins to direct more traffic to your site. Keep reading below for some of the best link building strategies that still work perfectly in 2020.
Over the past couple of years, guest posting has taken on a bad reputation in SEO. Most of this originates from Google’s algorithm, which tries to find “spammy” guests posts on less-than-reputable websites and promptly lowers their ranking. However, genuine guest posting will perform wonders on your website’s long-term traffic.
Guest posting consists of writing a contributing article to another, often related website. In return for your content contribution, they’ll link to your site, which says, “this is a reputable source, and we want our visitors to check it out.” As a result, we view guest posting as one of the best link building strategies that still work in 2020.
This strategy accomplishes two things. First, the next time Google crawls that website for information, it will consider that this authoritative site views your own as legitimate. And second, this strategy drives traffic to your site whenever a user clicks the links. These factors work together to help your website rank higher, resulting in more traffic and conversions.
As we mentioned, when you’re on a mission of link building for your site, bad guest posting will have a negative effect. Stay far away from websites that require guest writers to pay a fee, websites that exist only to promote guest posts, and any site that Google would view as unrelated to your own content.
Another of our link building strategies that still work is raising your online presence as a thought-leader. Sites like Help a Reporter Out (HARO) are great resources for websites looking to boost their SEO ranking. Like guest posting, this strategy consists of sharing your industry-specific knowledge within a larger body of work.
For example, we could go on HARO and find a journalist writing a story about how SEO tactics have changed small businesses’ landscape. We’d then reach out and offer to provide our industry knowledge in exchange for linking to our site.
While you might not always earn a mention in the New York Times, popular blogs and newspapers like Buzzfeed and TechCrunch are within reach. Google views links from these authoritative sources even more than your average guest post on a business blog.
Generally, links on social media sites like Twitter, Reddit, and Quora won’t directly impact your SEO ranking on search engines. However, these links are essential to overall link building strategies. Everyone from major sports teams like the Lakers to your small mom & pop restaurant exists on social media for a reason.
Entire professions dedicated to social media emerged in the last couple of years to help companies with their online presence. Companies are willing to pay them six-figure salaries because of the value social media traffic brings to a company. Even when Google doesn’t factor in links from these sites, the traffic you earn will have a compounding effect on your page ranking, especially when you can sustain consistent traffic from these sites.
Forums are a particularly interesting strategy for emerging companies because it provides a platform for your brand to answer any questions people might have. Strategy-wise, this can take many forms, such as answering industry-related questions that have an internal link to your site.
Again, linking on forums won’t inherently raise your SEO ranking, but the effect of increased traffic will raise your digital profile.
To this day, a large part of optimizing your site and content for SEO consists of link reclamation. Building traffic to your site with link reclamation is a time-intensive task that requires hours of dedication. Yet, over time you’ll begin to notice more and more traffic directed toward your site.
One part of link reclamation consists of searching for mentions of your product or brand online that haven’t link to you. Since links act as online votes for search engines like Google, turning these mentions into links lets Google know that more people view your site or brand favorably.
You can find these mentions through sites like Moz and Ahrefs. Once you’ve created a list of links to target, reach out to the website editor and ask them to fix their broken link, so it directs to your page. Links on a website will break from time to time, and pointing this out to an editor is a great avenue to get them to help you.
Once you’ve built up a considerable amount of links through this strategy, you’ll need to monitor their status. Once a link breaks, that gives Google one less indication that your site is worth its rising rank. Just like when you first claimed the link, reach out to the content source and ask them to fix the connection.
Developing link building strategies that still work in 2020 might require hard work, trail and error, and long nights, but building the infrastructure is essential to building up your site’s SEO ranking.