Even if you don’t know much about the concept and history of link building, you probably know that it’s an important part of search engine optimization (SEO). Those who are new to the game are likely unaware that the rules pertaining to backlinks have changed dramatically over the past several years.
Back when the worldwide web was the virtual Wild West, it was easy to build a network of links for SEO purposes. However, search engines like Google quickly became wise to some of the shady linking schemes underway. As a result, poor quality backlinks flooded the internet and search users weren’t gaining access to the most relevant, timely, and useful information related to their searches. Rather, the most optimized web pages, regardless of relevance, achieved top ranking.
Needless to say, search engines looking to keep their users happy quickly put an end to this tactic. Search companies started denouncing linking schemes, adjusting their algorithms, and de-listing sites that refused to fall in line by providing quality content to meet user needs. The end result is that businesses invested in SEO must build an organic network of links. While difficult, this is now the preferred method of creating a quality system of backlinks.
How can you accomplish this for your trenchless business? There’s no one solution, but there are several strategies you can employ.
Post Quality Content
Creating quality content for your website, blog, and social media accounts is the best way to improve your search rankings. The good news is that your content can perform double duty. You not only need killer content but also a solid reputation to build authority within your field and earn the links (and customers) you crave.
You can characterize high-quality content by several criteria, including relevance to the audience, timeliness and usefulness of information, and, to an extent, the reputation of the source. Reputation, of course, relies somewhat on the recommendation of others (i.e. links). It’s a bit of a catch-22, but reputation and links aren’t the only criteria that will make your website a trusted one.
When you start with quality content you have the basis for attracting natural links. Next you need to promote your content, build some momentum, and position key players (reputable websites within your wheelhouse) to provide natural links.
Post and Promote Regularly
Linking is just one part of any website optimization strategy. In order to make your overall SEO efforts successful you’ll need to regularly post, optimize, and promote new content. This is not an easy task for the busy owner of a trenchless business.
You can either elect to create your own content or hire professionals to write relevant content for you. Either way, it’s imperative to post regularly, optimize your content, promote it via social media and advertising, and track and analyze results. Don’t forget that part of the promotional process includes shopping it around to interested parties. See if pundits, bloggers, and contemporaries might be willing to post links to your content if it is relevant to their own audiences.
Building a Network of Legitimate Links
If you want to comply with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, you have to make sure that you get natural and legitimate backlinks from reputable sources. In other words, no black hat tactics. How can you accomplish this seemingly insurmountable goal in 2016, when it’s getting harder and harder to meet such high standards?
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to reach your goals. You’re just going to have to work a little harder to achieve success. Joining online communities is a great way to start. Build relationships with colleagues, bloggers, and social influencers in your industry or adjacent fields to grow your digital network. This strategy will help you gain the attention of those who can provide you with quality, natural links.
It does you no good to approach complete strangers with your hand out asking for something. At the least they’ll ignore you and at worst you’ll develop a bad reputation. There’s no harm in offering free content in exchange for links, especially if the content is top shelf, but don’t push your luck if others aren’t interested.
It takes time to build professional relationships to the point where you can ask for favors. If you have something to barter with, however, you may be able to speed up the process. Figure out what others need and if you can provide it in the course of meeting your own goals.
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