Monday Marketing Mash-up: Link-Building Tips

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What’s link-building? It’s the term used in SEO for getting good links to your site, so that your search visibility goes up.

But is link-building a good term to use?  

Earning links is about creating things that people want to link to, so rather than asking people for a link, you’re just placing excellent quality content in front of influencers, and letting them do the rest.

I especially like this part of the post, since so many people ignore offline activities as a factor in online marketing:

Think offline. Sometimes online marketing has to start offline. Just think about how many websites must review, write about, and link to events and news. Well marketers, it’s time to create that news, and plan those events. Get out there and get involved with your target market, create a flash mob, launch a publicity stunt, and do what it takes to make people talk about your brand. What happens online is often reactive to what happens offline, so maybe it’s even more effective to be the creator, not the commentator.

Go read the whole post for more tips.

If you haven’t got it from reading that post, building quality links is hard. Getting your website more visible isn’t easy. It’s not supposed to be. If someone tells you that they can do it for you easily and cheaply, don’t trust them.

Yet, when I tell people ways to go about getting more visibility (ways like guest posting on relevant sites, and asking bloggers to review you, and of course, improving your website content), I’m sometimes met by surprise and resistance. Isn’t there an easier way? Or even, can’t we automate this? I’ve seen misguided “marketing” people submit their sites to a bunch of directories, without even considering relevance. This doesn’t help, and it’s very likely to hurt your SEO.

So read this post by Danny Sullivan from last year to understand how you should go about earning links.

In much of life, the most valuable things are the things you have to work hardest to get. It’s no different with links. If you find an easy route to obtaining them, there’s an excellent chance you’ve found an easy route to obtaining links that either have, or will have, little to no value. The higher the frustration factor, the harder it is to earn a link, the more likely that link is one that will help you with Google.

Still aren’t convinced? Read this post to understand how one blogger increased organic traffic by 348% in 7 days. Looks great, doesn’t it? But see how hard he worked to get it: emailing and following up with 115 experts for their views for the post, and then emailing people to get links.

But go, read it all. And how did I come across this post? Because the blogger, Brian Dean (who wrote the case study, not the original blogger in the case), emailed me about it.

And in the process, I discovered a terrific new (to me) SEO resource. Check out this excellent post on Backlinko about 200 ranking factors that Google (probably) uses. This post tells you exactly how to optimize each page on your site.

So there. Stop expecting easy answers and start earning your links the hard way: by creating good content and then putting that content in front of the right people.

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