For any business that wants to establish a presence online and generate business through said presence, search engine optimization (SEO) is essential.
Sure, there are ways to generate leads and sales with paid advertising quickly; doing so isn’t a sustainable strategy unless you have an enormous marketing budget. Not to forget, modern internet users are smarter than ever before and can spot a search engine ad from a mile away.
70-80% of such users tend to completely ignore paid listings in the search engine result pages (SERPs) and focus exclusively on organic results.
In other words, whether you are on the marketing team of an international enterprise or responsible for a local business and its internet marketing in Frederick, MD, giving time and investing efforts in SEO is one of the best ways to generate consistent and targeted traffic for your website.
Now that we have established that SEO is important let’s talk about the one aspect of SEO that most people find challenging- link building.
Link building is one of the most prominent aspects of off-page SEO. In most cases, the strength of the backlink profile of a website is responsible for giving it an edge over the competition in the SERPs.
Despite that, most beginner marketers and online business owners find themselves confused and struggling when it comes to link building.
If you identify with the previous statement, this article is for you.
In the following sections, we will discuss the strategies you can start implementing right now, to build quality backlinks for your website and start outranking your competition.
Don’t let this make you think that this article contains some magic formula that will enable you to create a stellar backlink profile overnight.
However, if you implement the following strategies with care and diligence, they will surely put you on the path to creating an exemplary backlink profile that will help your website rank high in the SERPs.
Let’s begin by discussing the first and the simples backlink building strategy:
Link Building With Unlinked Brand Mentions
As the name suggests, an unlinked brand mention is when another website has mentioned your business’ name but hasn’t provided an associated link to your website.
Ideally, every mention of your brand should be accompanied by a link to your website. This isn’t just ideal for you; it is also a good user experience on the part of the website that has mentioned your brand name.
The “free of cost” way of finding unlinked brand mentions is to search for your brand on the Google Search Engine. It is also a good idea to search for the names of prominent people associated with your brand. This list can include people from the upper management or even entry-level employees who have engaged in collaborations with other websites on your organization’s behalf.
While Google Search is a great place to start, there is a chance that you may miss out on some unlinked brand mentions.
If you want your search to be exhaustive, you can try using tools like SEMrush or AHREFS that have specific algorithms to scour the web for unlinked brand mentions.
Once you have found an unlinked mention of your brand on a website, look for a way to contact them. Ideally, you should look for the email address of the owner or editor of that website. If you cannot find the email address on their website, you can look up the website owners on LinkedIn.
Alternatively, you can utilize Hunter.io to find email addresses associated with that website. However, keep in mind that Hunter.io is a freemium tool, and the free version offers restricted usage and features.
If you cannot find an email address despite employing all these tactics, you can utilize that contact form on the website.
The final step here is to send the website owner or editor a message telling them you found an unlinked brand mention and politely ask them to turn it into a linked brand mention.
For added effect, make sure you add a bit about the editorial and user experience value they will gain by adding a link to your website.
Broken Link Building
Broken link building is another great, low-effort way to build some quality links.
The one reason that broken link building is such an excellent strategy is that instead of asking someone to link to your website, you will actually be helping them improve the experience on their website.
Remember, fixing broken links will also help them get a boost with their SEO efforts.
To execute this strategy, begin by looking for websites and webpages (in your niche) with a high number of outbound links. More links mean better chances for you to find a broken link.
Once you have prepared a list of webpages that have several outbound links, it is time to check each page for broken links.
You can utilize free tools like Check My Links for this purpose. The tool/extension will reveal all the broken links on each webpage.
Now, on your own website, check whether you have a piece of content that is worthy of being linked in place of the 404 pages. Ideally, your website’s content should be more exhaustive and of better quality than the page that was linked before.
If you don’t have a relevant piece of content, you can consider creating one.
Once you have published the content on your website, reach out to the website owner with the broken link and inform them about the same, along with your article that can replace the 404 page.
Another great way to execute this strategy is to find several websites that link to the same 404 page, create your own high-quality resource on the same subject, and reach out to all of them asking to link to your content instead.
This way, you can attract several high quality with just one high-quality piece of content.
Supplier And Business Association Links
While similar, building supplier links and business association links are different strategies, and both may not fit everyone reading this article.
Let’s begin by understanding which businesses can secure supplier links and how they can do it:
- Supplier Links
If you are a retailer that stocks products of various brands, then those brands are your suppliers. These manufacturing brands usually have a page dedicated to businesses and online outlets where their products are available for sale. Here’s an example:
In this example, MuscleTech has provided a link to the website of each of their distributors.
If you stock products from different manufacturers, you must check if each of them is linking to your website. If not, simply reach out to your contact with the supplier and ask them about the process of adding a link to your website.
If you find that some of your suppliers haven’t mentioned your website or brand at all, you can reach out to them about the process for listing your brand and linking to your website.
- Business Association Links
This strategy is for those websites that don’t have any suppliers.
Let’s understand business association link building with the example of a Maryland SEO company that offers local SEO services. If, say, this agency is part of an excellent marketing association in the Maryland area. There is a good chance that they will be mentioned on the website of the marketing association.
In this case, if the mention is an unlinked one, the SEO company can ask for a backlink from their contact at the association.
Similarly, suppose the company is also a part of a national association. In that case, they can talk to their contact at the association about a linked mention of their business on their website.
If you or your business have been affiliated with one or more industry specialist associations, you can potentially attract a number of very high authority links.
There are many more link building strategies that you can employ to dominate the SERPs for keywords that are relevant to your brand. However, the strategies mentioned in this article are relatively less effort-demanding when compared to other link building strategies like Digital PR or using the Skyscraper technique.
With that said, while the strategies we have discussed in this article are great for building your initial links, you must be prepared to dive into more complex and effort-intensive ways to build links if you want your website to have a long-term fighting chance at a good position in the SERPs.
What is your current go-to technique for building backlinks? Share it with us (and everyone else) in the comment section below!