For a long time Link Building has been a necessary evil when it comes to SEO.
It’s time consuming, difficult and extremely over complicated by most of the SEO Community. However as we move into 2018, the art of link building, has changed significantly.
In this guide I’m going to be walking you through the exact link building strategies that I use for myself and for my clients each and every day. I’ll reveal the exact sources, lists, and timing for each type of link, as well as some extremely easy ways to get them done for you at a click of a button (more on that later).
Before I get into the exact tactics, here is a brief history. Click here if you want to skip to the juicy parts.
But first, what is link building?
Link Building has been around in SEO for almost 20 years now in one form or another. Initially it was manual submissions to ‘human generated directories’, then to spam software, and now to a happy medium where things need to reflect popularity.
In its core, link building has been proven time and time again to be the single most important part of SEO. For local search – MOZ again in 2017 confirmed that links are the #1 most important part of SEO, much like they did in 2015 and like Search Engine Land does every year.
Where things get complicated however is that everyone ways in with their opinion on how to do good link building, but very few people actually rank for anything. If you don’t know much about me then find out more here, but otherwise you know that I’m the real deal and am in the trenches every day, not on stage.
Why does link building have a bad name?
Back in April of 2012, Google rolled out the first of its infamous ‘Penguin’ updates. WIth the goal of weeding out webspam and link manipulation more than ever, the effects of this algorithm update destroyed many businesses who had been doing low quality link building, and as a result cleaned up the search results exponentially. These updates have caused Murrieta SEO agencies to re-think the way that they do SEO.
The downside however, is that because many have bad memories of these updates (You know, the people who were doing the dodgy), is that a lot of people have since veered away of link building in favour of other techniques (Which don’t work).
What has changed in 2018 Link Building?
The game has fundamentally changed at its core when Google rolled out two updates – RankBrain and Pengiun 4.0. These two updates combined basically made Google smart enough that you are no longer at risk of ‘bad links’ as they automatically ignore them, rather than slapping you down several months later.
As a result, Link Building is now safer than ever.
I am a bit of a blend between ‘tinfoil hat’ and rambo when it goes to my link building. I deal with clients whose livelihoods rely on what I do so I need to ensure that their rankings are safe, secure and natural. But at the same time, they need results.
The tactics that I’m going to reveal below are my secret combination of these focuses, and when used correctly in combination, will explode your results.
The 5 Best Link Building Tactics For 2018
- Social Foundation
2018 is the year of Social Media.
Now I don’t mean that Social Media is more important to businesses than SEO (Likely never will be as SEO is like the Yellow Pages & Social Media is billboards), however people hang out on Social Media.
So doesn’t it seem natural then that as a business, you would register yourself on all of the important an emerging networks?
This is what the Social Foundation is all about – securing your brand and reputation across the most important networks, while also building backlinks.
Now while this sounds simple – there are upto 300 networks that I recommend you register on, so its easier said than done.
When you then factor in the quality of the profile set ups that are required to stay live, it can become a daunting job.
So how do you get it done?
The first way is to sit down for approximately 30-40 hours and build them out yourself (Yes, I’ve done it, it takes this long!).
The second way, which I’ve put together to help busy business owners is to get a reputable company to do it for you. At DirectRank SEO I’ve combined all of this into one simple product that you can ‘order’ which will buiding them out for you immediately.
- Local Citations Dominance
For a long time Citations (otherwise known as directories), have been the ‘dirty’ side of link building, with many believing that because you can simply submit your site to these sources, that they are less powerful.
While they aren’t going to move the needle as much as a link from Inc.Com, they certainly have their place.
Why they work:
Local Citations, when done correctly help with two things.
- They help boost your Local Maps rankings by providing multiple references to NAP.
- They provide a solid foundation of ‘naked’ anchor text which protects you in the future from over optimization.
I suggest that you set up at least 100 citations for Australia, or 200 for the USA.
Once again my and my team at DirectRank SEO have made this so easy that you can simply click the button below and order this for your business.
Authority links are anything that comes from a big, trusted, and highly authoritative website.
Think the likes of Huffington Post, Forbes, Inc.Com, etc.
These links are hard to get, but when you secure several, they boost your total sites trust very quickly.
How to get them:
This is the tricky part – they are extremely hard to get (Which is why they are so powerful).
Below are the steps that I’ve used to get links from most major news sites:
- Create a piece of content that has enough unique value as to ‘earn’ a link from one of these sites. It could be a blog, an infographic or your own study. Ensure that its 1,500-2,000 words long.
- Get the piece to go Viral on social media. Ensure that you have share counters on your website, then get sharing. You can contact influences in your space to share the content also to help rack up the share count. Once you have at least 100-200 shares, then move to step 3.
- Contact the editors. Each major publication has a page where you can find the editors contact details. Contact them all and let them know about your content, and how it might help their readers. By seeing social proof from the social work that you did above, it can massively help your acceptance rate.
Remember, the goal here isn’t to pick up 20 links, but instead to secure 2-3 good, solid, contextual links that your competitors can’t go out and get easily.
- Niche Relevant
I’ve found over the last 12-months that Niche Relevant links are starting to carry more weight than ever thanks to Google RankBrain.
What is a niche link you ask?
Its simply a link from another site in your industry.
For example, if you are a builder, then getting written up on the Master Builders website will help you dramatically.
Each niche also has its own directories, citations and sometimes social networks (Eg – Behance for Graphic Designers.)
Do some research and find 10-20 niche relevant sites that you can either guest blog on, or submit your website to.
- Optimized Links
The final tactic that I’m going to share in this blog (not my last one, just the last I’m giving for free – Join DirectRank Academy for access to all I know.), is optimized links.
An Optimized Link is one where you’ve been able to affect what the anchor text of the link says when its pointing to your site.
Be aware – this tactic is like fireworks – if done wrong you’ll blow your own face off, but if done correctly will take you to new heights.
If you’ve followed the steps I’ve outlined above, by now your website will be safe enough, with 300-400 relevant, un-optimized links point at it, that you can get away with 5-8 optimized links.
So how do you get them?
Your best bet is while guest blogging.
Guest Blogging is a whole other topic on its own so I won’t cover in depth here today but I will soon.
In the meantime, here are a few tips to optimize your anchors:
- Don’t use more than 1 exact match (Aka – Builders Brisbane)
- Instead use separate anchors – 1 Brisbane, and 1 Builders.
- Include variations of the anchors (Home builders, renovations, build new homes), etc.
If you follow these 5 tactics, in order, then you’ll see incredible results from your link building in 2018.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me below.