To make your website rank better on search engines, link building is crucial. Just as people are connected through schools, families, organizations, and relationships, the internet is connected through links. A link is much more than just a clickable text or phrase; it is one of the primary ranking factors used to tell search engines - like Google and Bing - how web pages are connected and which are popular among audiences.
Link building can assist businesses of every size to develop their influencing online presence, entice quality traffic to their website, and boost sales. That’s why it’s crucial for all business owners to have a sound understanding of what links are and how to get them in an accepted, natural manner without investing too much at the business’ starting phase.
For instance, Google loves websites with relevant pages linked to them and as a result, ranks them higher than their competitors’ pages. Link building, or building quality backlinks, is important in surviving Google’s ever-changing updates. As a result, it is crucial to have an organic or natural backlink profile, just to be on the safe side.
Organic or natural backlinks must be earned. This is why your efforts have to be exceptional and so enticing that linking back is accomplished without having to ask or pay someone. Below are 5 ways to earn quality backlinks without investing a penny.
1. Write on Controversial Topics Using Detailed Explanations
Have you ever wondered about the influence of controversy? Nothing is more interesting than new controversies. Controversial topics are fun and help entice the supporters of both opinions. Most of the time, introducing them never fails to achieve their purpose and while using them in your content marketing strategy may be a bit risky, it can easily grab eyeballs more quickly than anything else. You can cover topics that are hot and trending in order to get a large number of backlinks to your website. Introducing controversy is one of the best and most successful ways of getting people to talk about your website and to provide you with backlinks.
The example below shows how a controversial topic can be helpful by offering life-changing opinions and revealing people’s misconceptions.
In August 2013, a man named Swapnil Mathur published a revelatory blog piece with Digit about Flipkart, a leading Indian eCommerce company. Titled “Flipkart Screwed Me Over: Here's How They Could Stick it to You as Well”, the blog detailed the awful experience Swapnil had with Flipkart and how Flipkart actually turned from a ‘broker’ to a ‘seller’ during its early start-up phase. In no time, the blog post went viral and was discussed extensively on Quora and Jeff Bullas
Source: Jeff Bullas
This post was contentious in a good sense because it exposed the internal workings of a large organization as well as how shoppers were easily fooled. The post drew such significant attention that it resulted in Flipkart’s now-former CEO, Sachin Bansal, being forced to issue a public apology.
2. Keep Eyes on Competitors
If you’re serious about building more natural traffic, then staying up-to-date with the tactics being used by your competitors is important. There are many ways in which you can steal your competitors’ links; for example, keeping eyes on their social media accounts, setting Google alerts, using tools (like mention.com) and trying to find their link-building strategies as well as their content marketing strategies.
For my startup, Acquire Live Chat, we built a great number of backlinks by spying on my competitors. We frequently used tools like Ahrefs Site Explorer, Moz’s Open Site Explorer, Majestic.com, and SEOprofiler. This is one of the best and easiest ways to build links without having to pay. Monitoring your competitors’ backlinks is a brilliant way to identify new link-building opportunities and thus, give your SEO a significant boost.
3. Invest your time in engaging with the niche people from the industry on community sites.
In recent years, SEO has changed significantly and following the latest trends is a tedious task for any marketer. Engaging on big sites is not easy because you need to contribute and share your knowledge within these communities. If you wish to boost your website ranking, then you need to be a regular contributor to the top community websites like Reddit, Quora, Ask.fm, Moz, Inbound and others.
Engaging with the niche people from the industry on these community websites helps you to establish your presence among them in the big web world and makes them aware of you and your brand. Just remember, high-authority backlinks act as a vital part of boosting your website rankings in SERP.
If you take a look at this Inbound.org question, “What is most important to you when hiring a content writing service?” you will see that my answer, along with many of the industry’s leading people, have been featured on other posts. Source
4. Press Releases still matter!
Another impressive way to earn free, quality backlinks for your blog or website is by effectively using press release (PR) websites. If done properly, you can receive a lot of high-quality backlinks using this method because they’re delivering content to many lesser-known websites which can then easily get accelerated by news websites resulting in higher exposure and high-quality backlinks.
To make the most out of your PR, you need to ensure that you include an attractive and interesting title; something that will grab the reader’s eye and make them think that your content might be interesting! You must also ensure that you’ve included a link back to your website in the content body.
5. Get Interviewed and Take Interviews
Nowadays, online interviews are trending topics. They are also a great and easy way of earning backlinks. Once you become an expert and well-known in your niche, you will receive many interview invitations. Until then, you need to take the first step in getting on track. Seek out websites that are running interviews. Contact them to inform them that you are interested in participating and let them know what kinds of knowledge and information you can share.
Interviewing someone important in your website’s relevant niche and field and publishing it can also assist you in generating additional opportunities for quality backlinks. Simply send a request to top bloggers asking for an online interview. Once the interview goes live, you can share the link and usually, the interviewed blogger will share the links on their own blog or social networking sites, which works wonderfully.
If you refer to the example here, BloggersIdeas conducts interviews with top start-up companies and successful people. They recently interviewed WittyFeed co-founder, Shashank.
The Bottom Line:
The Bottom Line:
You can build high-quality backlinks to your website using any of the above-mentioned ways. The overall process may be quite time-consuming if you are just getting started, but in the long term, it’s really worth all the effort you put into it. Remember to build only quality backlinks and don’t support the ones that may cause trouble.
The links you build need to be natural, so they don’t hurt your online rankings. To make sure you don’t make a lot of common backlink building mistakes, check out this step-by-step process on how to build backlinks the right way in 2018
Stay tuned and we will address new tactics shortly.
Sawaram Suthar is CMO at Acquire, and also a founder of Jagat Media, a digital marketing agency. A digital marketing consultant, he has experience in things including branding, promotions and page optimization, along with research and strategy. He has an MBA from the University of Pune. Anyone can find him on @sawarams.