It’s more important than ever before to use legitimate link building strategies to improve your search rankings. Google’s Penguin spam filter now works in real time, so anyone using dubious linking techniques will be penalized.
Backlinks are still essential to ranking high in SERPs. This was confirmed in March 2016, when Andrey Lipattsev, a search quality senior strategist at Google, said that the two most important ranking factors were links and content.
Social media marketing, guest blogging, and local directory listings are all still important, but what else can you do to improve your SEO? Here are seven more ways to strengthen your link profile in 2017.
Turn Mentions Into Backlinks
Is your brand mentioned on another website, but has no link to your domain? Is one of your products featured on a review site without a link to your product page? These are both great opportunities to request a link to your site.
On the whole, if someone is willing to give you a mention, they’re also willing to give you a link. It’s usually enough to reach out to people and request a link. To find these mentions without links, use a tool like Fresh Web Explorer from Moz.
When requesting a link, try to use phrases such as “mention our website” or “reference our site.” You’re likely to have more success than if you use the word “link.”
Testimonials are a great way to build your backlink profile and your credibility. Many businesses will appreciate receiving a few words about your experience using their products. It’s also more likely to be approved than a standard link request. It’s a win-win scenario: companies get another testimonial to publish on their website, and you get a new backlink to boost your SEO.
It’s important to develop a loyal community around your brand, and people who naturally support your business give you the perfect opportunity to generate relevant links. Find out where your fans are talking about your business and products, and reach out to them for links. You can develop these relationships by offering exclusive content and news to people with more social influence, which will benefit both parties.
Local Chambers of Commerce
Most companies will have a listing with their local chambers of commerce, but it’s worth checking to see if all your listings include a relevant link to your website. This is especially important if you have multiple branches. A full listing with the local chambers of commerce will help to build your reputation and improve your search rankings.
If your company is involved in the local community in any way, use this as an opportunity to build more links. For example, if you provided goods for a local school or contributed to a charity event, it’s helpful to link to the relevant websites involved, in return for a link to your business. Most organizations will be happy to give you the recognition, especially if it’s a long-term relationship.
There are still many brands that don’t understand the importance of high-quality content when it comes to link building. Providing consumers (and therefore search engine users) with the best content on a particular subject is still one of the best ways to improve your authority and search rankings.
By using multiple content formats, you’re likely to generate more links and also leads for your business. As well as publishing standard blog posts, produce more dynamic content such as infographics, videos, webinar recordings, podcasts, research papers, and reviews. It’s also worth noting that list posts receive on average 74 percent more links than any other type of content.
Links from websites related to your industry usually carry more value, which is why it’s important to develop online relationships with other credible businesses. Use industry-related forums, niche blogs, and social media groups to build your presence. Make valuable contributions to discussions and leave a link to your website when possible.
In 2017, it will be even more important to provide real value to consumers and search engines with useful and unique content. Real link building requires time and effort, so avoid using black-hat link building techniques that will cause more harm than good.
Try some of the strategies outlined above. Remember to always focus on your audience and try to produce the most valuable content you can to enrich the Internet. This will naturally increase backlinks by improving your reputation in the eyes of consumers and the major search engines.