Link building used to be one of the more straightforward SEO practices. After all, between paid link exchanges and article directories, webmasters could just plug and play.
But that’s not how things work in the post-Penguin update world. These days, the emphasis is on organic link building strategies that won’t draw Google’s attention. Modern link building requires hard work and creativity.
To help help CAP readers cope with this new reality, we’ve compiled a list of the best, unconventional, organic link building strategies we could find.
Research and Relevance
Before you get too far along in your new link building efforts, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the new landscape. Google has been placing an ever-growing emphasis on relevance. The scatter shot article directory approach is no longer worth pursuing.
That means you need to plenty of research about the sites you’re hoping to link up with before making content with them.
You can still stretch your wings a little (a sports handicapper could write about the Tour de France for a cycling site) but you don’t want to push it too far. Remember all those WordPress theme designers whose footer links reeked havoc after Penguin?
Seeding the Web Yourself
Link building is an ongoing process that’s no unlike handing out printed business cards. Don’t be shy about adding your links to e-mail signatures, forum posts and any other place you’re allow to put it.
If you want to take this technique up a notch, take Neil Patel’s advice and make that signature link to a dedicated landing page for new customers.
Build Personal Connections Before Links
New age link building is nowhere near as automated as the old ways. Whether you’re looking for guest blogging opportunities, or just hoping to catch someone’s attention, you’ll want to approach them directly. Keep your initial contact brief and be sure you mention why your content is relevant for your contact’s site.
Participate in Social Media
There’s a big difference between maintaining a social media presence, and actually participating in social media. Tweeting out every article you post is only part of the social media equation. If you really want to amp up your link building efforts, you’ll engage in social media.
Go ahead and ask questions on Twitter or forums, and certainly don’t be shy about answering them either. It may feel awkward at first, but the more time you spend Twitter or Facebook, the more comfortable you’ll feel.
We also recommend using a service like Klout to help you track how engaged you really are in the social conversation.
Of course guest blogging is a great link building tool, but it’s not the only content-based link builder. There’s no reason why you can’t be getting links out there by offering to review e-book,
Giveaways have turned into the most popular post-Penguin link building technique. Branded products such as e-books, apps and WordPress themes are inherently viral and provide customers with real value.
In a recent CAP webinar about increasing conversions, Tim Ashe recommended simply letting these giveaways go without making the customer provide any personal information. If the content is good enough, readers and users will click-through from internal links.
The key to making this kind of link building effort work is giving your customers something that they’ll really use. When you do, they’re happy to get it out there for you in the forms of blog posts and social media.
Phoning in a link building strategy just won’t work anymore. If you’re ready to wade into the fight, we also recommend you take a look at Link Building Strategies – A Complete List by Jon Cooper of Point Blank SEO and 131 (Legitimate) Link Building Strategies by Julie Joye on SearchEngineWatch.com.
What are link building techniques are working for you? Share your experiences on our SEO Forum.