Effective link building results in powerful link equity and prominence in search. This remains the gold standard of the SEO world.
Although black hat pre-Penguin tactics have effectively been eradicated, links are still as important as ever – though link farms won’t get you very far.
We know that link building is time-consuming, but are you getting the most out of your new and existing links?
Make sure you stay on the front page of Google: here are 5 advanced strategies to ensure your link equity isn’t diminishing over time.
1. Make Sure Old URLs Aren’t 404’ing
There are few things which frustrate people on the Internet more than broken links. But it’s such an easy thing to fix.
The dreaded 404 error will soon be followed by their departure from your website — almost inevitably. And if search engines find lots of dead links, it’s likely you’ll be punished in the search rankings.
This is to do with internal linking structures within your site. If you’ve updated or replaced pages, old links will stop working.
You need to set up an effective redirect to make sure people still find the content they’re being promised. Or, go and fix the individual broken URLs by replacing them with the new destination link.
2. Fix Broken Redirects
If you’ve migrated a website, it’s perfectly possible that there’s not just a problem with 404 links.
Broken redirects can sometimes happen simply because the site has been around for a while, with no migration.
Every time a URL changes, there is a chance for links to break, and for redirects to break. For example, if I change the name of a page for a second time — after building one redirect — I might break that redirect. Broken links will only frustrate people.
Use a decent analytics tool to identify broken redirects on your domain, and get to work on fixing them. It’s not a particularly exciting task, but it’s vital!
3. Don’t Forget About Content Quality!
If you have good content, your link equity is likely to be much stronger than someone without this asset on their side.
To get inbound links for your website, you have to create something that people care enough to link to. That’s easier said than done.
This content can come in many forms – video, audio, plain old text. It doesn’t matter, in theory, but the more shareable the content the better.
An entertaining, light-hearted video is likely to go further than a serious, text-heavy blog, for example.
Of course, formats which work well for some will be less effective for others. If a light-hearted video doesn’t work in your niche, it’s certainly possible to create great serious content which is still shareable.
Just remember to always offer your users something of value. For example, this might be teaching them something new, offering business strategy advice, or giving them money saving tips. It should be something interesting which they’ll actively want to pass on to their friends and colleagues.
4. Cross-Promote With Other Sites
Make sure you’re milking your website for as many backlinks as possible. Actively reaching out to other websites is a good way to make these links happen.
This process can be explained in three basic stages.
Firstly, you need great content (see number 3). Without this, you’re scuppered. No one will link to a site that they don’t see as being valuable in some way.
Secondly, you need to scout out allies. For the best results, you should specifically target websites covering similar topics and interests to the content you’re pushing.
The more authoritative the website, the better the link equity from there. So a link from, say, NBC or Forbes, being large and well-known websites, will be much more powerful than a link from your local grocery store.
But don’t discount the local grocery store either! All links matter, and you have to be a pragmatist — it’s far more difficult to convince a powerful website to link to yours. Fight for the ones you can get, rather than wasting your time in dead ends.
Thirdly, contact your new potential allies. Make them see the value in your content. If you’ve made good content, this will be easier. If the answer is a hard ‘no’, don’t be discouraged – there are plenty of other websites out there!
If they’re not so convinced, suggest a link exchange rather than a straight-up favor. If other websites can see the value for their own SEO in the relationship, this might close the deal.
5. Resurrect Dead Back Links
A hard-won link on a major website will give you no joy at all if it’s broken.
So the last thing you want after putting all the effort of link-building in is for your links to be killed off when another webmaster makes changes to their own site.
We suggest keeping a spreadsheet of key links you’ve built up over the years, and every so often making sure someone is checking that they’re still working.
If they’re not, email the other company and give them a new link. Most people will be glad you’ve done this, as you’ve actually also helped to fix a 404 error which users may attribute to their site.
You get your link back, improving your link equity – and their site has one less glitch. Everybody wins.
In fact, while you’re doing them a favor, why not suggest to them that they might like to link to that brand new article which you posted today?
Improve Your Link Equity Today
Link equity is the fuel that runs most SEO strategies. Keywords and good technical structure is all well and good, but without good links you’ll flounder.
When we talk about link building, we’re not talking about old school link farms. Those don’t work – don’t be tempted by anyone who tells you otherwise.
Why not get in touch for a free link building consultation, to see how we can help you on your journey to success?
We’ll throw in some more general advice about your SEO strategy too. Can’t beat a deal like that!