In 2021, you must be familiar with search engine optimization or SEO if you have an eCommerce website. This area of digital marketing involves using a variety of tactics. The role of tactics is to help your website rank highly on search engine results pages relevant to your business.
Typically, an SEO strategy will have three elements: content, technical SEO, and link building.
This article will break down what link building is and how you can use it to boost your SEO.
What Is Link Building?
Link building is the process of convincing other relevant and highly authoritative websites to incorporate a link to your website into their content. When this happens, Google and other search engines take it as a vote of confidence in your work and will boost your rankings on the search engine results pages (SERPs) as a result.
When done right, link building can have a very positive impact on your search engine rankings. But, if you make any link-building mistakes, you could end up being penalized by the search engines you’re trying to appeal to. So, let’s break down how you can smartly incorporate link building into your SEO strategy.
Create Shareable and Link-Worthy Content
If you publish high-quality content that people want to share and link to, you will put yourself in a great position to attract organic links to your site.
Let’s look at some of the most shareable types of content, why they’re so shareable, and some examples for inspiration.
If you conduct original and helpful research, then publish the results on your website. Other sites in your niche will want to link back to it and cite you as the source. You can conduct case studies, surveys, or experiments to find new information about your industry. Then put together valuable and linkable content others will love.
Orbit Media Studios, for instance, has a blog post all about their original research regarding website best practices.
They looked at the top 50 marketing websites to see how standard some of their practices were. They found out which websites had horizontal navigation menus, social media icons, and more. This type of research is helpful for anyone getting into marketing for the first time. Also, as they might be interested in the standard website practices, this article is particularly shareable among publishers in the marketing, web design, and business fields.
Consider what people in your industry would like to learn more about from you. And consider whether you could conduct your research to answer people’s questions.
Is there something related to the business that you know inside and out? Consider writing up an ultimate guide to show off your knowledge. These guides contain anything someone would need to know about a given subject. But they’re also so shareable because anyone who wants to write about a similar topic can cite your guide as a trusted source of information.
For example, Neil Patel, a digital marketing expert, shows off his knowledge in his ultimate guide to copywriting. He covers what copywriting is, how to write the best copy for your website, and more. This guide is undoubtedly helpful to Patel’s audience of freelancers, small business owners, and other digital marketers, all of whom are likely to do their own copywriting.
If they find it useful, they’ll be much more likely to share a link to it in their content if they relay information from it later, thus boosting the creator’s SEO.
Infographics are another excellent form of shareable content. It is essential to mention that infographics are engaging, easy to read and make complex information easy to understand.
If you have some data that you want to convey to your audience, a long blog post isn’t always the best way to go. If you can compile this information into an infographic, you can engage your viewers more effectively. And, if you do a good job explaining the topic, others will share your infographic, citing you as the source.
If you’ve never made an infographic, don’t worry — Venngage has a series of easy-to-use infographic templates that you can personalize and make your own.
Buying Guides or Comparison Pieces
If you can help your website visitors to make a good purchasing decision, not only will they be happier with their choice, but they’ll trust you as a leader in your respective field. You can do this by publishing buying guides and comparison pieces relevant to your audience’s needs. If you recommend a solution to a particular problem but don’t necessarily endorse a specific brand, you’re opening yourself to many link-building opportunities.
For inspiration, take a look at this buying guide from SocialPilot. They outline eight great Facebook Ad tools, including their prices, pros and cons, and best features.
Publishers who create content about social media, business, marketing, and technology are all likely to want to link to this guide, as it offers a lot of valuable information. Plus, despite including SocialPilot’s platform as an option, it’s not overly promotional. The content aims to help prospective customers make the best decision to suit their needs.
Best Nursing Programs does something similar with their comparison guide about the best Certified Nursing Assistants programs in the United States.
They outline various schools and their costs, program lengths, pass rates, and more. It is a great resource that could be shared on education- and healthcare-related websites, which will send a lot of excellent link juice back to the site and boost its SEO.
If you want to recommend a specific product or service, consider outlining it to customers in a buying guide or comparison piece to make their own decisions. They’ll know what you offer but will only shop with you if your option is genuinely right for you.
How-to guides are another excellent form of shareable content. If you can explain something to your audience quickly and effectively, they’re likely to want to share it.
For inspiration, take a look at this cover letter how-to guide from NovoResume, for instance. They cover what a cover letter is, why it’s crucial to get a new job, how to write one, and offer some examples. Thorough, right?
TIME Magazine, Business Insider, and LifeHacker all thought this how-to guide was so helpful that they wanted to share it with their readers, boosting the SEO of NovoResume in the process. If a high-profile website or magazine has given you a shoutout, consider posting about it in your content.
Share Your Expertise by Guest Posting for Relevant Websites
Writing guest posts for websites in your niche has multiple benefits. Not only will you get a high-quality link back to your website, but it also shows Google that you boast E-A-T, or expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. It is something they’ve been paying a lot more attention to in the last few years! Also, this is because Google only wants to point its users in the direction of high-quality websites that can offer reliable and valuable information. As a result, securing guest posts that show off your E-A-T will help boost your SEO further.
There are several ways you can secure guest posts. To start, head to different websites in your niche and see if they have a blog — they might have a masthead or a submission guide that explains how you can get your content published. You can also ask!
If you have developed a relationship with a business in your industry, you could also consider reaching out to them through the likes of LinkedIn to see if they would be willing to host a guest blog of yours.
Study Your Competitors’ Backlink Profiles for Inspiration
Looking at your competitors’ backlink profiles can help you build your strategy — after all if specific sites are linking back to your competitors’ content, why shouldn’t they do the same for yours?
You’ll need a tool like Ahrefs’ Site Explorer to get you started. This Explorer can help you figure out who you’re up against. Also, what you might need to do to overtake your competitors on the SERPs. Ahrefs can tell you which websites are currently linking to your competitors — once you find this out, reach out to these websites and build a relationship with them. Also, it can help you secure a backlink in the future.
Create Free Tools That Solve a Problem
One way your business can provide value — and attract backlinks — is by creating free tools that your target audience will enjoy and find useful. If they’re genuinely helpful, people will want to share them with their audience.
Let’s look at a few types of great and helpful free tools to provide you with some inspiration.
For instance, JINS, an eyewear brand, has created a virtual try-on tool that allows potential customers to see what their glasses would look like on them. It is an engaging and helpful way for JINS to show off its products and convince viewers to buy them. Opticians or fashion bloggers, for instance, could share this with their audience as a tool they would find helpful, thus boosting JINS’ SEO.
On the other hand, H&R Block, a tax preparation company, helps its website visitors with its tax refund estimator. A user can plug in some basic information. Including their marital status and income level, to receive a rough estimate of how much of a refund they will get from the IRS.
However, this builds a sense of trust between the user and H&R Block. It is also a very sharable tool in H&R Blocks’ niche. Financial companies, banks, or budget bloggers might link to this tool to help their audiences. When coming up with ideas for your tools, think about what you have on your website that you can offer for free. A series of templates? An eBook or compiled how-to guides? These are great link-building strategies!
Get Involved With Initiatives or Events People Will Talk About
Another great way to build links for your website organically is by getting involved with initiatives or events in your industry. If you speak at an event, run a booth at a festival or fair, or offer your support to a charity. Also, this can provide you with a lot of opportunities to secure high-quality backlinks! For instance, bloggers, news sites, and industry publications will be likely to want to report on it.
When looking for these opportunities, you could look at your town’s community website. Many of these resources will have schedules of different festivals, events, and more coming up at any given time. Check out these events and see how you can get involved, perhaps with your booth or by offering your employees as volunteers.
Provide Testimonials for Companies You’ve Worked With
If you’ve worked with other reputable companies in the past, offer them a strong testimonial praising their work in exchange for a backlink. Be careful with reciprocal links, or when you and another website link to each other’s content. Google and other search engines see this as inauthentic, and it will hurt your SEO as a result. But, if you offer the company you’ve worked with a testimonial, a link back to your website comes naturally and works as a tremendous link-building strategy.
Before you secure links to anyone who has provided you with work, you should first check their domain authority. Domain authority refers to how likely a page is to rank well on the SERPs. However, this is important to consider when link building because the better the domain authority. The more likely a website is to help you rank. For help, check out the Loganix Domain Authority Checker tool. It can show you any given domain’s page strength and help you determine its ability to help you rank your site with its links. Also, this will help you decide whether it’s an excellent link to a place.
Look for Mentions of Your Business and Ask for a Link
One of the easiest — and most effective — ways to collect more backlinks is to look for instances where you are already mentioned online. For example, if you’ve been talking about a specific company’s blog, reach out to the business. Asking for a link in a case like this is a great, effective strategy because it doesn’t require much work from the publisher. Often, it’s as easy as adding a hyperlink to your existing mention.
When you decide to reach out, be sure to do so professionally. LinkedIn is an excellent tool to use as a professional social media network. If you already have an existing relationship with the business in question, feel free to reach out where you’re most comfortable, saying a social media direct messaging or through an editor’s email.
Link building is one of the most effective ways to boost your SEO and get more organic traffic. In this article, we outlined how you can use this strategy to your advantage!
Consider our tips, like guest blogging, community involvement, and creating shareable content, when putting together your backlink strategy. It won’t be long before you start to see results.
Adam Steele is the COO at Loganix, an SEO fulfillment partner for agencies and marketers. We build easy-to-use SEO services that help businesses scale. If you liked this article, please check out our SEO guides and templates on the Loganix blog.