Any digital marketer who has worked in the industry for the past several years has been pulled in two separate directions when it comes to link-building. There are those who say that Google and other search engines have caught on to the tactics of many marketers, therefore discounting the value of links.
Then there’s the other side – the correct one – that insists that the power of links hasn’t deteriorated and that their influence in ranking factors continues to be extremely prevalent. That being said, we want to think about more legitimate ways to earn links that point to your website and brand.
For those in the first school of thought, it is a valid point that links being built on spammy sites or and link directories are certainly not the way to go. Who does that anymore, anyway?
In 2019, we want to look at the art of “ link-earning ”, where marketers are essentially let other publishers and writers build their links for them. It should be known that the concept of link-earning has been around for some time, with Moz breaking it down back in 2012. The relevancy in 2015 is still strong, and that’s why it is good for discussions to keep circulating.
So, how do you earn links?
Ask yourself this: Would you want to read the content you write?
Once again, we are falling on the reigning concept of digital marketing: creating valuable content. You hear it all of the time, and the reasons are myriad. Regardless of what industry you are in, having an active blog with well-researched and thought-provoking content is more likely to be seen and circulated in and around social networks.
Whether it’s a news item or an op-ed, put serious time into your articles and ask yourself: “Is this something that I would want to share?” It seems like a silly question at first, but when you really break it down, the more legitimate it seems. There are thousands of pieces of content that are published every day, and a vast majority won’t see the light.
Controversial (but not tasteless) content encourages shares, and new findings and data will encourage other readers to refer your work in their own articles. Reference equals a link – a link that you earned.
Foster a community by linking to others
There seems to be a common code of understanding in the world of digital marketers, especially those who are focusing on a linking campaign: We all know how hard it is. With that in mind, as you are writing articles for your blog, be sure to link to the resources that you are getting your information from. As a marketer, you have responsibilities similar to that of a journalist: citing your sources.
When you link to another website, it wouldn’t hurt to send the writer and/or publisher an email that lets them know you cited their article, and to thank them for providing their information. With this relationship established, they might do you the favor and put a link or two that points to your website within the next few days.
Build a name before you build links
In any industry, there are individuals who simply “stand out” compared to others. When these individuals publish or are quoted on something, the links potentially start piling up. This is something that obviously doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s not even something that you would want to do for the sake of links. Instead, the health of your overall career can get the most benefit.
Think about ways to become an authoritative and trusted name in your industry and community. This could involve consistently created content with your name attached, or applying to speak at seminars and conferences. Sure, this takes bravery, but the payoff is invaluable.
With everything discussed, the links that you are building are being built for you on the basis that you are a knowledgeable and authoritative leader in your field. In 2019, think less about just building links and more about encouraging others to link toward you instead.