Link Building is often frowned upon as a dirty tactic which should be avoided at all costs. “Produce great content and the links will come” they all say. Unfortunately, we all know that’s not really true, especially in a world where social media has become point 1 for sharing content.
But links remain incredibly important in getting good rankings and traffic from search engines so, if you want a piece of that pie, then you need to be getting great links from somewhere. We all know about the strength of guest posting, but how else can you get great links to your blog without risking Google’s wrath? Below are 5 ways that aren’t too complex, but could offer some great & creative link building returns:
Ok, this isn’t exactly a groundbreaking idea, but infographics work. If you do enough research into an area of your niche that people will be interested in and present that data in an interesting way, people will reference it left, right and centre (with links of course!). If you give them the opportunity to, then they can embed it on their own blog as well with a nice link back to the original source. It takes a bit of time to create, but if you use an ‘evergreen’ idea then you could be getting links from it years down the line.
Again, the list concept is nothing new, but it remains a great way to suck in links. By having a “Top 50 Bloggers in *YOUR NICHE*” page on the site, you give people a place they can link to in order to shout about their success. Likewise, if any of the people on the list want to justify themselves to advertisers then, guess what, they’ll link to your site where you say that they’re amongst the top 50. Simple idea, hugely effective.
Run a Viral Series
A viral series can be an amazing way to get a huge amount of links, if executed correctly. For companies this can be difficult as bloggers will always meet it with a certain degree of trepidation, but for bloggers there is far less apprehension as the intention isn’t purely commercial.
The idea is to nominate 5 bloggers in your niche to write a post about a certain topic, asking each of them to nominate another 5 to write the post after that. The only stipulation is they also have to link to the page on your site with the rules. Tripbase, a travel company, ran a “3 Best Travel Secrets” series which gained a huge amount of traction and hundreds of links for them from influential travel blogs. It’s important to come up with a good idea in the first place, and once you have that you need to seed it with the right people. Then you can sit back with a cocktail and watch the links come in for weeks and months on end…
Summary posts are a fantastic way to get links, social shares and reach out to your community. The posts themselves can be fairly flexible; “Top 5 Posts of the Week”, “10 Favourite Posts in May” etc. The key is in the outreach after the post goes live, informing everyone on the list that they have featured via email, Twitter, Google+ and anywhere else you can think of. Whilst this might not lead to links directly after the post goes live, it often leads to links from similar style posts by the people you feature. You get on their radar, then next time they do a summary post they’ll think of you and link to you. And in the meantime you’ll get lots of juicy traffic and social shares because everyone loves telling people they’ve featured on a ‘Best Posts’ list.
Create a Directory in Your Niche
This is a slightly more advanced approach, which will require a bit of investment, but once it is up and running it can provide links as far as the eye can see. You will incur some costs getting a new domain and hosting set up, but once the directory is ready you can easily recoup those fees through ‘Featured’ listings from commercial companies. From a link building perspective though, the key is to add the option of a ‘Free’ submission, which only requires a reciprocal link. But instead of linking to the directory, ask people to link to your blog. Bloggers are already on a budget, so more often than not they’ll go for the free option. And every time they do, you get a lovely one-way link to your blog. Genius!
Hopefully these tips have given you some god ideas to expand your link building efforts and take your blog to the next level. If you have any questions or other great ideas for blog link building then I look forward to seeing them in the comments!