Your job, when it comes to earning links, is to create a user experience on your website that others deem worthy of linking to. Link building is no longer viable in today’s SEO practices; it rides close to the line that separates good SEO from bad SEO, and it is essentially a waste of time. Why is it a waste of time? If your website is filled with useless, recycled information, the links you build won’t last, and high quality websites won’t anything to do with your content. This is why it’s imperative that you begin utilizing tactics to earn links, rather than build them. These are five great examples of effective link earning tactics and how you can incorporate them into your own website or blog posts.
5 Great Examples of Effective Link Earning Tactics
Receiving links from powerful websites, bloggers, and other presences online is one of the most powerful tools in SEO, and there is a very good reason. Major search engines consider a website to be useful and pertinent when it has managed to rack up loads of links from other high quality web sites. When a search engine detects this, it will bump that website significantly higher than others in SERPs (search engine results pages).
Create; Don’t Recycle
Think about any website that you’ve ever been interested in. There is something unique and interesting that each good website offers its users that they can’t already get somewhere else. When creating content for your website or creating an overall experience, you need to do what hasn’t already been done before. Offer information that hasn’t already been shared online by other people.
If you run a blog that is dedicated to gardening, you might not want to write articles that tell users when to water their plants or how to start compost heaps. They can get this information in countless, different places online, and you won’t be established as an authority on the subject. Get specific, and go into detail about things that the average gardener wouldn’t already know or be able to research easily online.
Overall, always ask yourself how pertinent the information is that you’re planning on sharing. Is it something that users will likely see and then quickly move on from because it’s too generic or simple-minded? Don’t make the mistake of offering generic, low quality information. It’s not share-able, and even if you try to build links with it, it will likely get shot down due to it serving no real usefulness. Offer something that’s worth reading, and you’ll be surprised by how many links the content generates with you not having to intervene in the slightest.
Make a Name for Yourself
Speaking of establishing yourself as an authority on your niche, it’s also your job to make a name for yourself. This means that you have to be one-of-a-kind in your field. YouTube personality, Ray William Johnson, is among other users that offer content related to pop culture and current events. However, what sets this particular vlogger apart is that he was among the first to pioneer this type of vlogging, and he is particularly funny and great at it.
If you want to make a name for yourself, you must be original and an authority on your niche. Nobody remembers a blogger or website that offers recycled information that can be found in excess already online. Before creating content, do a quick search online to find out whether or not the content has already been covered by other users in your niche.
Think About Content that People are Searching For
Additionally, you must also cater to what people are searching for. You might think you have the greatest idea for a blog post or piece of content, but if nobody is searching for it, they more than likely won’t care. You can use SEO tools and website trends to see what people are searching the internet for, and then you can craft your content accordingly.
This is why websites that are based around current events and news typically do well. People like staying informed on what’s going on in the world, and news websites can easily deliver this. Of course, your website probably isn’t news-related, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to keep your content relevant to what’s going on in the world at the time of posting.
Merely listening to other peoples’ conversations can also give you ideas on what people currently care about. There are loads of ways to find out what people want to know more about.
Integrate Social Media into Your Website and Create Share-able Content
If you’re serious about earning links, you have to make your website share-able. Sure, another user can link to your website or blog post by copying the web address, but you want to make it as easy as possible for them to share by using social media tactics. If you examine the end of any modern blog post, there’s likely going to be a plethora of social media buttons there. There will more than likely be one for Facebook, one for Twitter, one for email, etc.
This is the age of social networking and “share-able” content. People love sharing things online with their friends. Fortunately for you, you can use this to your advantage. Take a look at the things people are sharing online to get an idea of the type of content you should be crafting.
A great example of a goldmine for share-able content is BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed is constantly pumping out list style articles and photo sets that their users are guaranteed to want to share. This is mainly because BuzzFeed users find that they easily relate to a lot of the content found there. This is how BuzzFeed knows that users will want to share your content. Instead of just delivering information to your audience, you need to give them share-able content; content that will cause a switch to flip in their brains and think, “Other people will relate to and glean something from this.”
Get Involved with Your Users
Lastly, it is imperative that you get involved with your users if you’re serious about earning links. Nobody rises their way to the top by standing off to the side and staying silent. You have to get involved in any way you can. Get involved in discussions on other websites, interact with your following via social media, and show your users that you are human by interacting with them on your own website.
When it comes to social networking, it may help to hire someone to take over that aspect of communicating with fans. Instead of merely posing questions as status updates on networks like Facebook, get involved in the discussions that stem from them. If you simply ask how everyone’s days are going, don’t just walk away after the update has been posted. Post replies and interact with the users as much as possible.
On your own website, offer forums and blog comment sections where discussions can take place that you can also participate in. You don’t want your website to appear as merely a medium or an entity; you have to put a face on your website that your users can actually acknowledge and interact with.
Timothy Carter is the CRO for AudienceBloom. Since 1997 he's been helping businesses maximize their sales revenue from websites via content marketing, SEO and Internet Marketing strategies. Over the years he's written for publications like Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal, MarketingProfs and other highly respected online publications.