Building inbound links can be tricky. Where other SEO strategies are in your control (such as improving page speed, using keywords with the right intent, etc.), convincing other authoritative sites to link back to you is less so.
You can’t decide to be linked in other resources — you have to earn it.
While a website owner’s decision is not in your control, you certainly have the power to influence them. There are many strategies you can use to improve your chances of building links. From creating the right content to simply reaching out via email or social media, here are a few things you may not have tried yet.
Publish Valuable Resource Lists/Directories
A resource list is a page where you compile links to resources that are helpful and/or valuable to your audience. This may sound backward. You may be thinking: First Page, I thought I was trying to get people to link to me?
Yes, but a directory can be a great reference for your audience. Any time you create quality reference material, others take notice and may share or link to it.
When you use resource lists for link building, you can’t just add anything and everything. Make your list high quality with resources from industry leaders. Be sure to include primary sources (as opposed to secondhand reports), original studies, and any how-to materials that your audience would find useful. Create a list that even you would come back to and use — that’s the kind of list that offers value and earns you links.
Network with Leaders in the Industry
Are you currently connecting and engaging with leaders in your own industry? In the context of link building, having these connections is helpful because it puts you on the radar for people who may have an audience in a different market segment you’re trying to reach.
Try doing an interview or working on a shared project. Your inbound marketing strategy should include getting a leader’s name on your website (like in a blog post or on an asset page) and vice versa.
Let’s say you conduct an interview, host the video and transcript on your site, and then the person you collaborated with shares it on social media. Their audience will visit your page to check it out and hopefully engage with you too.
If or when the roles are reversed (an asset is hosted on their website), request a link to your brand’s home page or a page that’s relevant to the topic at hand. Readers will be curious about you and may be discovering your brand for the first time, bringing new traffic to your site.
Create Share-Worthy Visuals
Infographics were once a hot trend. Some inbound marketing agencies (like us!) still recommend them as they can be quite valuable. Others say that this type of media is overused and is decreasing in popularity, which may be true.
What hasn’t changed is that, as humans, we’re visually oriented. If you love infographics and visuals that have useful information, start creating graphics that your audience would consider sharing with their own connections. It could be informational or even humorous.
When you’re link building with visuals, consider making charts, maps, and graphs that show some recent data that your industry is buzzing about. If you make something that looks professional and is useful, others will be more inclined to share, add it to their content, and link back to you.
Create Long-Form Guides
Long-form content like industry guides and ebooks can be great resources. Sure, creating quality content is time-consuming and can even become expensive depending on how people are working on it, but the inbound marketing benefits are worth it. This tactic encourages link building by giving other sites a reason to reference you as a reputable source. It can also improve your SERP (search engine results page) rankings and build brand authority.
Creating polished, useful long-form content means assembling a team of good writers, graphic designers, and in some cases, publishers. If you’re going to put in the time to create a resource, it needs to be good. Otherwise, you’ve wasted your time and money. If you don’t have the talent in-house and you’re not sure where to start, consider working with an inbound marketing company to assist with your content strategy.
Share Your Research and Case Studies
If you conduct case studies or do research in-house, publish your findings. This can be something as simple as “We tried XYZ for 30 days and here’s what we learned.” Or you could publish research that led to the creation of a particular product or service you offer.
Publishing factual information creates a resource that others in your industry will find useful. This establishes your authority, transparency, and trustworthiness, which goes a long way for building links. This type of content is also an awesome way to showcase your dedication to customers and helps potential clients understand why they should use your business.
Reach Out for Links
In what is perhaps the most rudimentary way to improve your inbound marketing strategy, you can always just reach out to people.
Do you have a piece of content on your website that would be a great fit for someone else’s resource list of links? Send them an email asking if they’ll consider including a link to your content. Do they have a broken or outdated link that your content could replace? Inform them of the issue and offer your link as a suggested fix. The key to reaching out and getting a link is framing your proposition in a way that expresses how your link can benefit their content.
You may be thinking that this is a lot of work to do in-house, and you’re not wrong. Someone has to find the sites that have an opportunity to link to your material and handle all of the back-and-forth communication.
Start Increasing Your Website Traffic Today
By working with an agency like First Page Strategy, your internal specialists can focus on their work while having expert guidance available to inform them of updates and ensure that all linking tactics and marketing services conform to search engine guidelines.
The penalty for breaking the rules can be steep. Working with reputable inbound marketers assures that only the best tactics are used to build awareness and traffic. With our help, you’ll be better able to keep up with your competition and bring new visitors to your website.