Your search engine results rely on a few factors. One of them is the amount of back links you are getting to your website. In fact, this is the most important factor for increasing your domain authority and rankings overtime. You need to get more earned links. If you aren't sure what this really means, read this article first.
Now that you have the basis on our beliefs in SEO, let's get down to business and talk links. You need to earn those links and not build them. I can't reiterate that enough.
Remember Google Penguin? Maybe you were hit hard by the update. Google Penguin went after bad links. Spammy link. Black hat links. Not good high quality earned links. Those who had good high quality and natural links weathered the storm well and are still enjoying the fruits of their labor.
How do you know if your links are earned?
A link is earned if you don't have control over the anchor text.
How To Get More Earned Links
The best way to get more earned links is by creating content that people want to link to and share themselves. This can be content that furthers proves the points they are trying to make in their content. People want to link to outside content because it shows they are siting sources, making their content more trustworthy and it is a good SEO strategy. It's a win win.
The content should be hosted on your website to make it clear where the content came from, but it could also be hosted on outside sources. Just note, if it is hosted outside your website and people link to it, you run the risk of them linking to the outside source and not back to your website. If you notice your content not attributed correctly, you may want to reach out and ask the blogger or website admin to link back to your website to credit you properly.
21 Ways To Earn Links
1. Blog Regularly
This is the best way to increase your links. If you blog regularly, you will have a ton of content for people to choose from and link back to. Keep blogging and your authority online will grow which is cause even more people to link back to you.
2. Link To Others On Your Blog
It's the whole reciprocation thing and it works. Blogging is a community, show your blogger friends a little link love and you'll be in good hands.
3. Guest Blog Authentically
There is a lot of talk about whether guest blogging is a good thing or bad thing. I think it is a good thing if you do it right. That means real targeted websites and not spammy guest blogging networks.
4. Create Surveys That Others Can Use
People like to link to stats and facts. Be the source.
5. Create An Infographic
Again, people like to share infographics. Do it authentically.
6. Create A White Paper
It's all about the authority, this shows you know your stuff.
7. Create An Ebook
The same thing applies for ebooks as for your other content. If you can teach someone something they can link to it.
8. Do Blogger Outreach
Have something exciting to share, blogs need content too. You can pitch them a story that is relevant to their audience. For more rules on blogger outreach, see this article here.
9. Do High Quality PR Outreach (No, sending out a press release to 10000 sites doesn't count as high quality)
PR can work wonders for helping you get buzz and exposure, but it also helps you get links back to your site in highly trafficked websites. A syndicated press release is not the same as real stories written about you.
10. Empower Your Influencers
Your influencers are a great network to tap. For more on Influencer marketing, see my post here.
11. Host A Giveaway or Buzz Worthy Contest
There are a ton of real sites that share contests and giveaways. You can reach out to them.
12. Create A Video Series
People love to share videos on their site.
13. Be An Expert Source
I love this because it brands you as an authority and gives you an earned link. Check out HARO's List for opportunities.
14. Host A Podcast & Interview Experts With Blogs & Websites
I love the idea of reciprocation. When you have a podcast and you interview people, many of those people will turn around and promote themselves on their blog and website. When they do, they are linking back to your website where the podcast is hosted.
15. Be Social
Being social is important. Not only do shared links have some weight, but the links in your bios are links. It's also a great place to make friends with bloggers, share content that they can use, and encourage conversations.
16. Be A Guest Speaker
Will you be speaking at an event. There is probably a bio page with all the speakers and your website and link. 🙂
17. Create A Great Ad
There are a ton of websites that profile ads and content. Do you have one to share? Reach out.
18. Produce A Case Study
Case studies are always important for the marketing crowd. Creating one that applies to other businesses can give you some clout and some links.
19. Host An Event
People like to talk about going to events or recap the event after the fact. If you have speakers at your event, they will likely post a link on their website to promote where they will be and to show they are an authority in the subject. This can be a good thing for you.
20. Create Relationships & Be Likeable
People like to help others. It starts with the relationships. The stronger they are, the more you'll be referred and helped in the long run.
21. Have An Affiliate Program
If you give people the opportunity to make money, they will promote you because they want to make money. Of course you actually have to give them something good to sell otherwise, what's the point?
BONUS - Everything you do online should be to add value to others. Focus on this and you'll get those real earned links.
As Bonnie Raitt once said, "Let's give them something to talk about."
How do you earn links?