Link building and acquisition is one of the most important aspects of SEO. Google uses the number and authority of the links you have pointing to your site as one of the core factors in determining whether or not your site is trustworthy. While links are just one of hundreds of ranking factors, the three most important are links, content, and RankBrain. In this post, we are going to focus on how to build powerful links to your site through connections.
You can think of a link as a “vote” for your website. The more votes you get, the more authority you’ll have. But not all links are created equal. In fact, having a lot of links that don’t make sense or were created for the sole purpose of trying to rank will hurt you more than help you. The best types of links, in my opinion, are those generated through relationships. In the video below, I’ll share three strategies you can use to build links through connections.
Table of Contents
When it comes to SEO, links are at the foundation of everything we do. Now link building has got a little bit of a bad rap. I think a lot of people just misunderstand the concept of building links, so they just forget about it and hope that it happens organically through content marketing. Now you can drive links and build links through developing content. That’s a really great way, but there are also other ways you can build links. It’s all through building relationships. I’m going to talk about three ways that we can use relationships to start building quality links to our site that aren’t black hat, that aren’t going to get us in trouble, that are really just going to boost our site’s authority and foundation and help us be more connected with the people we want to do business with.
The first type of link we’re going to talk about is unlinked brand mentions. Now somebody may have mentioned your brand or your product on their website, on their blog, in a piece of content online, but didn’t link back to your site. Now, this is a great opportunity for you to reach out to that person who wrote that piece of content and start a dialogue. Start by thanking them for mentioning your brand, mentioning your product, and saying that you really appreciate just sharing with their community about what you’re doing. Then politely ask that they link back to your site.
If you do it right, you do it organically, and it’s not stale, and it’s really authentic and a human connection, you’re not only going to get a link. You might also get a friend down the road who you can start to refer business back and forth to or somebody that may even write more about your products and services and boost you even more to their community. This is a really great way to build a connection with another site owner and gain a really powerful link in the process. Now finding brand mentions doesn’t have to be so hard. Moz has a really great tool for this. If you have a Moz Pro subscription, it’s awesome. It’s really simple to use and I’ll put a link to how to use that tool at the bottom of this post in this video, but you can also use Google Alerts.
You can set up a Google Alert for your brand or your product. You can set up how many times you want to be mentioned or how many times you want to be updated about it. They can let you know when someone mentions your brand. You can go and check and see if they provided your link. If they haven’t, it’s an easy way for you to reach out, find that person who wrote that content and build a dialogue and hopefully get that link and maybe a new friend in the process.
The second type of link building we’re going to talk about is broken link building. Now this has gained a lot of momentum in the last few years. I think a lot of people have abused it, but it doesn’t mean it’s not still beneficial and it doesn’t work. Now broken link building is about looking for links on other people’s sites that are broken, that are dead links. Maybe it was an old piece of content that the site just went down and no longer exists, but maybe it’s contextually appropriate to another piece of content that you’ve already created. What you can do is reach out to that site owner and let them know they’ve got a broken link on their page. Then you can offer a piece of your content as a replacement for that broken link that no longer exists.
Again, if you do this right and you do it as a human to another human, you can have a lot of success in building links this way. Again, you’re helping that site owner out because they’ve got a broken, dead link on their site and it’s going to negatively impact their user experience. If your content is good and it’s contextually appropriate and relevant, you could really gain a nice link. Again, maybe another friend online because site owners like to know when things are broken. You’ve got so many pages on your site, and sometimes things just slip through the cracks. You don’t have time to figure out where all the pieces are falling apart because sadly, as the internet grows and gets older, some sites just die out. This gives a lot of opportunity for content marketers, for business owners to look for types of content that are similar to theirs that no longer may be around and offer it to site owners as a very helpful way to continue to educate their audience online.
The last type of link I want to talk about is local link building. Now, this is extremely important not just for local businesses, but for all businesses. When Google is looking at your backlinks, they’re looking at the contextuality of those links. Are they appropriate to your site? They also look at the locality of those links. Do you have links in your neighborhood? Do you have links to other businesses around you? Are you somebody that’s trusted by the community that you are in? Building links locally is a great way to build relationships. Again, you should never build a relationship just for a link, but by building good, quality relationships, it can lead to very powerful links.
Now some great ways to build local links are supporting local charities. Reaching out to local charities and donating your time or your resources or sometimes your finances. In response, you can be a sponsor on their site. Very often when you’re a sponsor on their site, you get a link pointing back to you. Now Google likes these type of links because these are nonprofit organizations. These are charitable organizations. What this shows is that your business is investing in the community. Now if you’re going to do this, please invest in your community because, again, it’s all about building that relationship first. If you’re somebody that’s going to build these relationships and continue to support these local charities, you could actually benefit in more than just links. Maybe there are some other mentions and maybe some other opportunities for your business outside of the internet.
Another great way is to offer your expertise to local newspapers or local reporters and let them know that, “Hey, you’re here if they ever need a quote, if they ever need a little bit of help on your specific topic.” Just let them know that you’re available. Those are two simple ways to build local links and I’m going to provide a link at the bottom of this video to a couple more ways that you can use all three of these tactics to build more contextual, more human-driven links.
Link building doesn’t have to be scary. It also doesn’t have to be about just spamming a ton of people with email. If you start with building a connection, if you start with building a relationship, I guarantee you the links you’re going to get in the process are going to be one, more organic, two, more authentic and three, they’re going to last longer because they’re going to be quality links with people you actually know and have built a relationship with. When you’re looking for opportunities to grow your business, when you’re looking for opportunities to build trust around your website, take the time to build links the right way. Start with creating connections, and that will lead to quality links for your site and improve your overall search ranking. Hope you found something helpful in this video. Until next time, happy marketing.
Unlinked Brand Mentions
Broken Link Building
Local Link Building
For more ways to build links using connections check out this great article from PageOne Power.