5 White Hat Link Building Techniques for 2019
Link building is a critical part of SEO. It is the single most varying element of SEO, changing dynamically over the last decade. Today, it is all about user experience. Spam and intrusion have been replaced by relevance and quality.
Link building has seen the same kind of evolution. Black Hat strategies will only hurt you in present times. Google dominates search engine trends and algorithms. It keeps churning out ways to maintain the flow of “quality information” to its users.
It has declared that links intended to manipulate a site’s rankings will be considered part of Link Schemes and considered a violation of Google Webmaster Guidelines.
It implies that the following techniques definitely won’t work:
- Blog Networks
- Comment Spamming
- Paid Linking
- Excessive Guest Blogging
- $5 Fiverr Backlinking Services (those where they guarantee active links.)
No room for the bad means complete freedom for the White Hats
White Hat Links are considered excellent for website SEO and rightly so. Google should feel that your blog/website/vlog is relevant and trusted by visitors. In other words, you must have good word of mouth online. White Hat links are genuinely earned links and do just that.
The primary focus of White Hat Link Building is to improve user experience and devise link-building strategies accordingly. Google nowadays is all about user experience.
Henceforth, here are 5 detailed hacks, in sync with the latest trends.
#1 Broken Link Barters
Many marketers and SEO specialists skip it as it can be tedious. However, broken link building is an excellent way to generate organic traffic through new links.
The overall process is simple. First, you find websites in your niche. Then you find their broken links with the help of some tools. Now you scan the content these broken links are a part of and create similar relevant content.
Now comes the tedious part. You establish communication with managers of such websites and ask them to replace the broken link with the link for the content asset you just created earlier.
It is a win-win situation, as, the site gets to fix their broken links and you get white-hat links in return. Recent case studies have proven that such Broken Link Barters can help websites a lot.
Take, Webology, for example. They experimented with a broken link campaign to see the effects on their brand exposure.
Analysis of links pointed to sites that included links to Yahoo Site Explorer that had been merged with Google Search Console. Therefore, these were non-existent pages or broken links.
Now, Webology created a post explaining what happened with Yahoo Site Explorer and enlisted tools that could be used as alternatives. They contacted sites with the found broken links and asked to replace those with their resource.
In a matter of 4 hours, they gained 6 new links to high-quality domains.
You should use tools like Ahrefs, OpenLinkProfiler and SEMrush to find such broken links. Some tools offer advanced filters to see page authorities, link directions and referring domains. Don’t contact websites that don’t offer Do-Follow links. You can track traffic and contact those websites that have higher readers.
You can analyse the links to see how they were broken and create a game plan.
#2 Planned Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is highly efficient when done right and disastrous when unplanned. You can find many authoritative websites and blogs where you can submit articles as a guest.
It also helps you to build a strong network of website owners and bloggers. Good content relays relevance and increases chances of recurring submissions to high authority pages.
The process is straightforward:
- Curate a list of websites that allow guest articles.
- Your content should be relevant and interconnecting to the niches of these websites.
- These websites you land your SEO goals in terms of metrics like referring domains, readership and traffic. Don’t go for mediocre sites.
- Contact these sites and pitch your content. Sooner or later, submissions will follow.
You can use some proven steps to find excellent websites that allow guest posts in your niche. You can use Google search. For example, if your niche is “obesity”, then search keywords can be:
- Obesity guest post
- Obesity contribute
- Submit an article on obesity
- Guest authors on obesity etc.
Reverse image searches are also an excellent way to find out authority guest blogs. I am sure; you know the top bloggers and influencers in your niche. Find someone and search him or her on Google.
Let’s search Patt Flynn for example:
As bloggers use the same profile picture and bio to standardize their online presence, you get results with articles they authored on guest posting sites.
These searches lead you to top guest posting sites. You should use tools like Ahrefs to filter your search to domains with authority over 50.
Using digital PR streams is also an excellent strategy. It helps you get links and garners an online reputation for your brand. Sites like HARO (help a reporter out) will land you many opportunities to find journalists and pitch them your content. Many times you can add to requests by genuinely linking your content assets!
You also should keep some things in mind while writing guest posts:
- Don’t be too promotional about your website
The ideal way is to have a short author bio and a couple of links in the introduction.
- If your post is accepted and published, share it with your existing social media network. This brings in traffic to the publishing website and your credibility increases. It increases your chances of approval in the future.
#3 Find your Brand Mentions and convert them into Backlinks
It is a relatively straightforward strategy that can yield excellent results. It is ideal for mid and high authority websites that generate mentions and are cited now and then.
You can use simple tools like BrandMentions and even advanced tools like Ahrefs to thoroughly analyzed every mention of your website or brand online.
They can pop up in recommendations, reviews, and testimonials. Most of the times, they are not hyperlinked to your home domain.
You can use social listening tools to find such websites and contact them with a plan to lace that mention with a hyperlink rightfully. It works for 99% of mentions, as there is no harm in interlinking the source site.
#4 Follow the trends: Go local!
In the simplest of words, if anyone shares something about you or your brand online, you get a backlink. These shares happen every second. Why?
It is because people online are talking about your niche and somehow, your content is relevant to the topic of conversation, solo or group. Hence, your content gets engaged with, and events happen like the creation of a backlink.
Now, people don’t talk about stuff that is history. They talk about what’s trending, what’ happening in their neighborhoods, what’s happening in their countries… People talk about what’s happening. People talk about trends!
Therefore, if your content isn’t up to date, white hat link building will be difficult. Therefore, use tools like Google Trends and Buzz Sumo to research subjects in your niche that are trending and create content plans accordingly.
Broken Link Barters are also subject to trends. Most broken links arise on pages that have trending niches. However, they have broken links, as the linked page is out of date!
You should also keep checking your older posts and update those that are out of date. It is helpful as fresh content drives more traffic. Plus, there may be irrelevant content due to which people are not interlinking to these posts. After updates, increased relevancy will lead to higher chances of white hat backlinks.
Local resources must be critically used for organic link building.
46% of all Google searches are local. Business listings, therefore, can prove to be highly productive backlinks for your website and your niche.
List your business on local directories like:
- Lonely Planet
These directories help local users and tourists find the relevant places and information that they are looking for in the area. You can appear in their search results as direct results or recommendations.
Such techniques emphasise on the evolution of Link Building from being a massive spam operation to a holistic process for brand exposure, credibility and recognition.
#5 Create High-Quality Content that people automatically want to link
The most critical element of an excellent white hat backlinking strategy is stellar content. If an SEO specialist doesn’t pay heed to quality content, steer away from his or her direction.
Relevant content and regular content will do wonders for your website, unlike any other organic or paid link building strategy.
Basics that you must keep in mind:
- Content should be free of spelling and grammar errors. If you are still not using Grammarly premium, then get it now!
- Content should be value-driven. It should provide unique value to readers and viewers. It should promote engagement and drives events like shares, increasing healthy links.
- Content should be highly engaging. You should include data that people can share. That is why listicles, case studies and comparisons draw higher traffic than standard posts.
Create media-rich content. It should have elements that drive action from users and improve retention. This way, they can link back to when they are posting something in your niche.
- Using tables, comparisons, and embedded videos adds to your content’s health.
- Keep a varied portfolio of content. Include blogs and mix them with videos, podcasts, interviews and infographics. You can create numerous permutations and combinations.
Create posts that have higher chances to drive shares:
For example, this post by Smart Insights has over 100 stats that can help digital marketers identify vital metrics. They will share it with content teams, SEO teams and others. It will create a link cycle to this post.
Influencers in digital marketing and related sectors will also make use of this post to create articles and videos and are bound to mention a link to it at someplace.
Google crawlers recognise such efforts and boost your SERPs. It leads to high authority meaning more white-hat links.
Keyword Research should sync with Audience Research:
Marketers often don’t give due importance to audience research, put in too much on keyword research, churn out volumes of content and get no results. That will not work now.
Audience research refines your content outreach. Sort out your target audience subsets according to relevant filters like demographics, consumption, or whatever correlates to your niche.
You can identify the kind of information they are consuming. Now, you can use this data to create content that hits the spot. This will increase engagement and shares will lead to more links.
Content is king, irrespective of how critical any digital marketing and SEO element is perceived. Therefore, the ability to turn over engaging posts will keep your white hat linking chances evergreen and growing.
SEO is dynamic. As algorithms are updated continuously, some strategies that are powerful today may become obsolete tomorrow. Therefore, you need to be on top of SEO trends.
As far as link building is concerned, marketers agree that it reached a second peak in 2017 as algorithm changes are concerned. Therefore, strategies in the meantime can be stably implemented. However, 35.65% of marketers confirm that link building is the most challenging part of their strategies.
Changes in Google opinion require your constant attention. You have to be on the move every second. It gains even more critical importance in corporate markets as a slide in 2 Google ranks can mean millions of dollars in losses.
Therefore, correct link building strategies are of prime importance. Shy away from black hat strategies and work in sync with Google updates. Use tools like Ahrefs, Buzz Sumo and SEMrush to keep a watch on your competition.[just like I do ?] Don’t buy links a lot. Remember, it is quality over quantity that ultimately matters.
Build strategies that keep user experience in mind and focus on link building that generates meaningful engagement for your users.