Should My Brand Invest In Link Building?
Let’s get straight to the point; the answer is yes. Investing in link building can help to increase brand awareness and overall exposure of your brand, as long as you take on the task in the right way. Whether you are a large or small organisation, link building is an effective way to help increase traffic and visibility over time.
Paying For Links, Never Do It!
But not all links are good. One point to keep in mind is that you should never pay for links. Paying for links will mean you will be getting those awful spam links pointing to your site. Google doesn’t like spam and for good reason, spam is never good and Google will sooner or later penalise you for this.
Agencies may promise you to get you (X) amount of links each month; if that’s the case I would suggest steering well clear. All in all, links can not be guaranteed unless you are paying for them.
Quite often I will get those spam emails myself from SEO agencies located abroad telling me how they can help my blog to rank first on Google within a matter of months. Sounds too good to be true right? Well that’s because it is! They use an approach known as ‘black hat SEO’ and these are the types of people/businesses that pay to get you links.
Fear not though, not all agencies are like this, so let me share with you some ways in which you can protect your site and build natural links.
Monitor And Be Aware Of Who Is Linking To Your Site!
It is important to regularly audit, investigate and monitor backlinks. High quality and relevant backlinks can have a huge impact on your site and its rankings within Google. In order to identify links that are a threat to your reputation you can monitor your backlink profile using software such as Kerboo.
So you may now be wondering which kind of backlinks are harmful and which ones will damage your reputation. Below you can find a list of the most common ones:
- Links from sites containing adult content
- Links from gambling websites
- Links from unrelated websites that are not in your niche field of business
- Links from websites that contain violent language towards other people
These are links which you should never be proud of!
How Can I Remove Harmful Links?
Through monitoring your backlink profiles you can identify which links are harmful. After collecting all URLs you identify to be harmful, you will now need to disavow these links.
Remember to double check the links you are disavowing in order to make sure you aren’t disavowing any reliable links that have a positive impact to your site. Moz has a really helpful guide on how to create a disavow file and submit it to the Google’s disavow tool. It really helped me when starting out in the SEO industry.
You’ll now want to find out how you can build strong reliable links, so next I will be talking about ways in which you can do this.
What techniques can I use to build strong/reliable links?
There are a number of techniques which I believe to be very effective in terms of building quality backlinks.
Respond/ Sign Up To Journalist Requests
Journalist requests are simply sources looking for interview subjects and expert commentary over a wide range of subjects. Sourcebottle and HARO are FREE services and I use this for my own blog; both are quite effective.
If you are looking to take these requests to the next level and opt in for a paid service, Response Source is definitely a service I would recommend. There are so many opportunities each month which you can take full benefit of.
Top Tip: Always check the source to make sure it will be relevant to you; do this by checking their site.
Guest Blogging Is Not Dead!
Some say guest blogging is dead, I 100% disagree with this statement. Guest blogging isn’t something that you may always get a link from, but potentially you might. There are other benefits too, so don’t skip this part.
Guest blogging is essentially a form of free advertising across a different platform, it will be posted across another website and across their social media helping to bring traffic to your site. Yes, it will take time and effort but I definitely think its worth it. Just remember quality, quality, quality!
Everyone loves a giveaway, they are a great way to increase brand awareness and get people talking about you (in a good way of course). You can easily do something simple, for example a chance to win a gift card, if you follow and retweet the competition tweet. We did this at work for one of our clients and it was a huge success. It was promoted across social media and created a real buzz.
You can contact the local press create a story around it, be creative. Magazines and newspapers are most often than not happy to mention competitions and provide links back to you from their website.
Top Tip: Remember to maintain momentum across social platforms, show you’re enthusiastic.
Blogger Product Reviews
Blogger product reviews are always a great way to build links. As a blogger myself I look for opportunities to review products that I am interested in to share with my readers. There are so many bloggers across different niches that you will be able to find someone who is enthusiastic about your brand.
Although, you can’t directly ask for links, if they love the product it is highly likely that they will write a post linking back to your site. Personally, if I dislike a product I will not write a post at all, but if you’ve got a good product then there is nothing to worry about.
Top Tip: Don’t just send the product to the blogger; send a follow up email ask if they liked the product. It’s also a way to build relationships for the future, so it’s a win win situation on both ends I think.
Blogger events are a fantastic way to also build relationships with bloggers; it also provides the chance for bloggers to find out about what you do. Is it a new clothing line you are launching? Are you launching a new service?
As an example:
Again you can not directly ask for links but if the event is good there is a high chance you will receive a few links to your site.
Top Tip: Create your own hashtag for the event so you can retweet tweets and it’s a good way to categorise all tweets into one area.
Overall, we have established that all links are not good links. You need to be aware and monitor who is linking to your site in order to prevent your reputation being damaged and being penalised by Google (don’t upset him).
However, there are many ways in which you can build natural and reliable links. It is vital to remember that you won’t magically see increases in traffic overnight; strong links are a part of SEO will always be of benefit to you, even in years to come.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and I hope that it has helped you in some way. If you have any questions that you would like to ask me then feel free to tweet me and I shall be more than happy to answer.