SEO firms have been preaching it for years…Link building unquestionably continues to be one of the most effective digital marketing strategies and this is not only because of its known union to under higher rankings. Whereas links still continue to be the major organic ranking factor, they also push referral clicks, generate leads all while leading your site to be less dependent on search and advertising traffic.
Self-serving link acquisition tactics not a favorite of Google and the outcome can be a loss in search visibility, so how should links be constructed moving forward? In part one of Constructing a Connected and Effective Link Building Campaign, we will explore the first five of 10 ways to develop a cohesive link building campaign and how to maintain it.
How Things Work Now
Link building cannot be charted and it is takes some skill and consistent effort. A smart and strategic approach to link building integrates all kinds of marketing tactics including content marketing, relationship building and influencer outreach. Let’s analyze how to generate an effective link building campaign.
Goals for Link Acquirements:
A successful campaign will achieve the following:
- Have resourceful links
- Content that Ranks (high-ranking content continues to bring in links organically)
It’s an endless loop: It’s hard to rank without good content but links also help to rank.
Creating a fruitful link acquisition requires you to aim for both:
- Content assets that are linkable
- Content assets that ranks on top of Google for associated keywords
Effective Link Building Approaches
- Research successful methods and try to duplicate/create linkable content (i.e. Content that attracts backlinks)
- Vanity baiting (ego-baiting): Featuring influencers in your content with the purpose of linking back to your published content as well as helping to attract more links (with name association)
- Relationship building (Connecting with publishers and journalists on social media for brand familiarity and a higher response rate)
- Broken link building (Contact website owners linked to broken pages and offer to link to your live page instead)
If you are serious about achieving both links and rankings, you should pool all of these methods into one campaign.
Setups for the Method
The following are steps to launch a well-integrated and highly-effective link building campaign:
- Content asset creation
Brainstorm – Stay specific to “linkable” areas, i.e. the ones you want to keep/your planned “linking” leads. Generally, the following content angles usually bring in links quite easily:
- “Safety of XX”
- “History of XX” (especially if you plan to reach out to educators)
- Recent research (especially if you plan to reach out to journalists)
- Industry survey (and stats). This usually goes well with niche bloggers.
Text Optimizer is a great tool to help you find more areas to hone your research. Semantic analyzers are used to extract related concepts from Google search result snippets, assisting to narrow in on more specific information to present.
- Defining outreach targets
This is a multi-step strategy that will be continuous. One of the easiest and fastest ways to start is to run the “Top pages” tool inside Serpstat that determines web pages that show up in Google for the variety of queries around your core term:
Note: Export the whole list of top-ranking pages for your core query and determine outreach tactics for each one.
- Twitter Bio search for more outreach targets
Social media marketing may not bring in organic links on its own but social media (particularly Twitter) is an amazing outreach tool to utilize in combination with traditional email outreach.
Twitter bio search is one of the most effective ways to generate link-building leads. Twiangulate is a great Twitter bio search that helps you:
- Find Twitter users utilizing keywords mentioned in their bio (or the combination of keywords)
- Find Twitter users by location (this is a great way to find local journalists and bloggers)
- Find common connections of two Twitter accounts (this is a very useful feature for ego-bait content outreach which allows you to find who is connected to your included experts)
- Find Twitter followers by a keyword (among friends of a certain account). This one can be used to find active Twitter users that work at the publication you are targeting for links:
- Broken link building
Ahrefs has an advanced link building feature allowing you to see (and export) all pages linked to broken pages within any domain. To access the report, run your identified leaders in the target niche and click through to “Backlink Profile -> Broken” report:
All you need to do now is to export the report into an Excel spreadsheet, identify most linked-to content on the website, and decide if you can build content to replace the deleted page and claim all those links.
CognitiveSEO is another (newer) tool that shows the most linked-to broken pages on any website:
Next month we will explore Part two of Constructing a Connected and Effective Link Building Campaign and go over the remaining 5 ways to develop a cohesive link building campaign.