For as long as you might care to remember, any search engine optimisation agency you approach will have told you that backlinks are one of the most crucial factors for bumping up your site’s search rankings. However, Google is also a lot better than it used to be at detecting ‘spammy’, ‘black hat’ and manipulated links and imposing penalties on offending sites accordingly.
So, there’s only one thing for it: you need to become even more ingenious in the ways you earn links back to your site. Here are 3 worthy methods that could work wonders for you.
1. Fix broken links
Have you ever browsed sites relevant to your company’s niche and came across a natural link to a product or service just like yours, only to find that it goes to an error 404 page or a page stating that the relevant product or service is no longer available or the company has gone out of business?
If so, there’s a big opportunity here to solve both ‘your’ problem and that of the website owner, who now has an unhelpful broken link.
- Delicately request that the site owner replaces that outdated content with a link to your own site.
- Make sure your proposal is truly relevant and irresistible.
2. Convert unlinked into linked brand mentions
Oh, those backlinks-that-aren’t-backlinks-but-came-oh-so-close can be immensely frustrating. Maybe people are just too used to mentioning your brand online, but without a link to your actual site. This happens a lot with local bricks-and-mortar businesses. Or perhaps they attempted to link to you, but mistyped the URL.
- Keep an eye out for unlinked brand mentions across the web.
- If you see one, sensitively suggest a change to ensure you get an actual effective backlink out of it. (This is another change that can have benefit for the provider of that content – for example, if they were genuinely trying to help out prospective customers of yours by suggesting your company and its services.)
3. Take a more PR-centric approach
While PR and SEO are not exactly the same, they are nonetheless complementary fields in terms of how they can help you to raise brand awareness.
A PR-based link building approach can certainly bring you wider benefits than merely a greater number of links, but links can nonetheless be a part of it, e.g. if you team up with an industry influencer for an interview that is then published online. The production of newsworthy online press releases can be greatly helpful here, too.
We get it – it’s tricky to build a large number of great links in ways that don’t leave you paranoid about Google singling out and penalising your site. That’s why the above are just ideas to be getting on with.
For a more detailed talk about your site’s SEO prospects, why not get in touch with PENNInk Productions? As your search engine optimisation agency, we can assist you in fashioning link building strategies that are genuinely fit for 2017 and beyond.
Edward Solomon has over 15 years’ experience in project management, technical education, computer networking, web design and development and is a Digital Business Consultant for PENNInk Productions Ltd.