Marketers know that the value of backlinks from relevant, high-authority websites can’t be understated. They help boost your company’s credibility and visibility in the search ranks, which helps generate traffic and ultimately leads to more conversions.
In 2020, the war on low-quality links rages on, and many brands need to get with the times by doing away with old-school strategies like spam links and link buying. Thankfully, most of us have moved on from those methods.
Still, you may be missing out on some golden opportunities to build quality links across the web and boost your websites standing in the search engine results pages.
1. Get Links for ALL Brand Mentions
Your brand is more popular than you may think, and every time it’s mentioned on the web, you deserve a link to your website. Claim those missing links from brand mentions to quickly bulk up your backlink catalog.
All this requires is that you search the web for mentions of your brand name or specific products, then reach out to the site and request that the link is made clickable.
The majority of the time, your wish will be granted and you have a fresh backlink from a reputable site in your niche. Just make sure the site is relevant and doesn’t show any fishy activity. Use your best judgment and skip any shady sites.
2. Fix Those Broken Links
Even if your company is relatively new on the scene, you probably have a lot of missing links scattered around the web. Get the credit you deserve by linking each brand mention that exists, even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal.
There are technologies like the Link Juice Recovery Tool that identify non-existent pages (error 404) and allow you to pinpoint these deserted links one at a time.
In some cases, the link has expired due to updates to the source code of the site itself, or sometimes your own page has undergone changes that result in a broken link.
If you do need to create content to replace a missing link in your library, make sure it’s relevant to the original context. This will ensure Google gives you full recognition for the link, rather than disqualifying it.
This is arguably the quickest and easiest way to get backlinks, although it falls more into the category of housekeeping than productive link building. Regardless, you should run through this process at least once a year to make sure all your links are locked and loaded.
3. Get into the Mix with Competitors
It’s a touchy subject for many marketers, but the truth is that your closest competitors can be a guiding light in the digital domain, especially when it comes to link building.
Analyze how your competitors are leveraging backlinks from across the web, and reach out to websites that mention competing products in listicles and “best-of” compilations.
If you present well, you can earn a mention on these review aggregators or resource pages, and you usually don’t have to create new content from scratch to do it.
You may be surprised to see that a simple request goes a long way, and that you’ve been underestimating your brand’s ability to go head to head with larger competitors. It’s always worth a shot, so don’t miss these opportunities.
4. Leverage Ethical Reciprocal Linking
Keep in mind that Google will pick up on excessive reciprocal linking between websites if it’s clear you are trying to game the system, according to Link Research Tools.
A much better approach is to orchestrate reciprocal links with a wide range of partner websites across the internet and use them sparingly. This will also encourage you to expand your network and potentially form new beneficial partnerships.
5. Create Towering Skyscraper Content
In many ways, digital marketing is about taking inspiration from existing best practices and doing them one better than the rest.
This is the idea behind skyscraper content, which involves identifying a top-ranking piece of content and making your own version that improves upon the foundations. In other words, you’re building a “taller skyscraper” even if it’s just a few additional floors.
As we learn from SEM Rush, you want to focus on increasing length, adding deeper insights and including stronger visuals to make skyscraper content worth it.
Don’t be surprised if someone builds a taller skyscraper than yours – that’s the name of the game! Just be ready to bounce back with something bigger and better than before.
6. Secure a Spot in (Good) Online Directories
Think that online directories are a thing of the past? Think again! These resources are hidden gems which can give you strong backlinks and get the word out about your brand.
Sure, directories like Yahoo may have lost a bit of steam since the ‘90s, but many newer, similar sites are high-authority and considered legit by Google and other search engines.
This page from Search Engine Journal compiled 21 web directories that still have value in 2020, so search the list and see where you can earn some quality links today.
7. Don’t Be Shy on Social and in Forums
There’s no getting around the fact that social media is a bit of a mess these days, but your business can still generate organic traffic by posting strategically and adding value in the right places.
Be smart about where you post, and make sure you maintain the same authoritative voice that characterizes your best written content.
If you get the conversation going in a forum or niche social media page, there is money to be made if you link back to your main page or a specified article.
Stay active on social media, but remain above the fray.
8. Keep Pushing Visual Content
Long-winded articles and in-depth guides are great slow-burners, but visual content is what catches fire quickly and has the potential to go viral.
Infographics, videos and original images are some of your best assets for building links in the short term, especially if they feature in-house research that can’t be found elsewhere.
You don’t need a huge graphic design budget to pull this off, either. Even a few small visuals or short videos can help your page take off and earn you great links.
At the core of any link building strategy is a content marketing game plan that produces quality material on a consistent basis.
However, these shortcuts can help you earn some quick links and replenish your catalog if it’s looking thin.