Many webmasters out there are spending a lot of time building links. This has been the standard for SEO magic for many years. However, as Dylan says “The times, they are a-changing” and to be honest, this has been true for years. Some have still been able to pull a rabbit out of the hat by blasting a huge amount of links to a site. However, the same people have been penalized and lost their rankings overnight that have only focused on link building in the last 5 years or so. This article will explain a better path to higher ground when it comes to your on-page and off-page SEO efforts.
What Is Link Building?
Link building is the process of using a variety of methods to get an inbound link to your website from another website. There are hundreds of different methods to do this. Most people out there that think they are an SEO genius simply purchase the next big digital marketing project from JV Zoo or the likes and think they are in the game. This is not the case. Just think about it. When thousands of people start to build links using the same tools, the same sites, and the same methodology, do you honestly believe that Google is not privy to this information? In fact, using paid tools only leaves more tips for Google to realize that you are lazy and that your links really have no real-world value.
Link building is something that still has value when it comes to ranking websites. Year after year the value of external links shrinks as other factors become more important. Anybody can create a free account on many popular blogging websites and link back to their main website and this is part of the reason that these links continue to lose value through time.
How Do I Build Authority Without Link Building?
If you are ready to take your business to the next level and start building a brand that will last a lifetime, we have a few pointers to help you achieve your goals. Websites can grow a huge amount of traffic with no links at all. Content is king, always has been king and will remain to be, you guessed it, King! Let dig into a few ways to build content that is worth putting on your website and making accessible to the world.
Page speed is a factor we are going to dig into in another post. This is a considerable factor in rankings today, especially on mobile search. However, there is a lot to cover, so I promise to create another in-depth article like this one soon enough, covering page speed factors and how to get your WordPress blog zipping along faster than the Flash!
1. Earn Your Links!
First off, earn your links. I cannot stress this enough. If you produce great content on your site, the links will come without you lifting a finger. When you create the next post on your website, think about this “Would I Link To This Content On My Site?” If the answer is no, you need to change your process. You need to only add information on your site that is so awesome that others are tripping over their shoelaces to share your content. If you do this, your website will explode.
Once you learn how to earn your links, there is absolutely no limit to how much traffic and growth you can bring to your website or blog. It makes no difference if you are selling physical products, digital products or simply have a hobby website. Learning how to truly deserve others to link to you is the single most valuable skill you can learn in the online marketing arena.
2. Build Share-able Content
Sometimes, great information can be shadowed by ugly content. Take the time to add a great image, have somebody on Fiverr set you up with a legit infographic, or make a YouTube video to pair with your text content. The small things can make all the difference. Add social share buttons to your posts to make them easy to share. You don’t want to make it hard, why would you?
When it comes to getting traffic back in from a social share, your image is really going to help, do you have an attractive image, that is on the topic? Will sharing your content make the reader feel like they are adding value to their followers or sharing something that is brand new? These can certainly help raise the shares you get to your content and the traffic that comes back through so keep them in mind when creating it.
3. Title And First Sentence Matter!
Think about it, when you write a blog post or article on any topic you can think of, you are in heavy competition. This is why even if you sit on the esteemed position #1 on Google. There are other juicy headlines right next to yours. If the headline of the 2nd listing catches a reader’s eye, then the first sentence of the post, shown right below, tells them what they are looking for, your #1 position just got jacked by somebody with a catchy headline that hasn’t ranked as well as you. Considering Google’s algorithm, if this happens enough time, you can go ahead and say goodbye to position 1.
For titles, search for the topic you are going to write on. Find the top ranking content. Are they using top 5 lists, are they using title hooks like “how to”, “find out how” or what. Now you have some rock solid suggestions to mimic, but never copy!
4. Are You Solving A Problem?
If you are not, stop and start over from this perspective. What do people really search for? Solutions. Every search is a solution, even if a person is searching for a funny video, they are in search to solve the problem of boredom. So, before you start writing the first word of any content, think of the solution you are providing, who would be looking for this solution, and how can you connect to this person in your writing. Use real-world situations with no BS anecdotes, people can pick up on these kinds of things.
If I find myself landing on the same page more than once to solve similar problems, I frequently end up bookmarking the site to check it first the next time, before I go searching. I can only assume others do this as well, so think about how much direct traffic you could receive from being found in organic results and truly helping people.
5. Long-Form Content Wins!
OK, I know you only want to write 300 words and when you pay somebody in a third world country to write for you, their general article size is only 500 words. OK well, this is where we bring up the word “Authority” again. Do you think that the authority on a topic is going to spit out 400 words of “bla bla bla” and then become world-renowned in their craft? The odds are certainly against it. Long-form does not have to be 2,000 word article after 2,000 word article, but you need to really dig in, show some value, bring the goods and don’t cut corners to pinch pennies no matter who is doing the actual writing. I suggest around 1000 words, if you don’t have this much to say, you probably need to move on to another topic that you can easily write this much about.
6. Skim-able Sections For Humans & Google
Let’s face it, readers can be lazy. Many times they will look over an article and if they are there, use the headings to zero in on the specific information they are hunting for. Guess, what Google bots do this too. They use the H1 tag to assume the most important and do down the H2, H3, H4 for progressively less important points. This hierarchy is important. So get you H tags rocking in your content and you will be rewarded by the Google Gods. Use them sparingly and in logical positions and you just might end up with something people actually want to read, share and something that will rank so they can find it!
Bold titles to sections make the article look nice, but for a real person, this makes it 10x faster to locate the information they have come for. Instead of reading fifteen hundred words to find the one sentence that is important to them, now they can jump right to the good stuff.
So What Are Authority Links?
I will try to keep this brief, as the focus of this article is about creating great content, not link building itself. Authority links are from domains and companies that have already established an authoritative presence in any given market. A backlink, as you can imagine from a site like this, carries a lot of link juice in Google’s eyes. Finding different ways to acquire links on these types of sites, is the only link building we suggest for real long term results. Yes, you may read other articles about lower quality links and you will find these only to be used as supporting links.
Reaching out to high profile bloggers to see if they will include information about your blog, website or product is the best route to getting these valuable backlinks. Some authority sites, like Facebook, for example, allow for links in groups, pages, and other locations. This can be another way to get valid backlinks from an authority site. You can get an authority link from Google in areas like their Google My Business listings too. We will certainly be covering many more techniques in detail in future blog posts here on Webmaster Business Plan, so please subscribe, follow our RSS feed or keep coming back, we have so much more to share!