In reaction to Matt Cutts, Head of Google’s Webspam Team, announcement about guest blogging not being a good link building strategy, I felt there was a need to discuss link building, and how to deploy positive SEO tactics. Also, recently, Google has made several announcements about poor link building strategies that will begin to affect your rankings, and Digital Marketing Managers and SEO Managers are struggling to find replacement SEO tactics to assist them in ranking high on search engine result pages.
Before we continue, the heart of the matter is that you need awesome content with an authoritative voice in order for any SEO tactic to generate results.
You need to become a thought leader as well as create awesome content that does one of the following:
- Offers a solution to your target audience’s problem
- Answers a question
- Teaches the audience
- Consistently provides valuable information when needed
- Content is shared and liked on social media networks
- Consumed by your audience
Once you become a thought leader with your target audience and create content that meets one or more of the above criteria, you can start deploying SEO tactics to increase your rank on search engine result pages.
One of those SEO tactics will be Earning Links. Per Marcela De Vivo, we need to change the terminology. Instead to referring to Link Building Strategies, we should start using the term Earning Link Strategies.
Now, let’s take a look at different ways to Earn Links and get working on your SEO tactics for 2014:
- Build an Engaged Target Audience on Relevant Social Media Networks – Create a community that possess the characteristics of your target audience, and then, amplify your posts to expand your reach to increase your followers.
- Share your Content on Social Media Networks – Post your content on the Social Media Networks where your brand and target audience are located. Any of your social media followers that Like, Retweet, +1, or shares your content on their pages, will signal Google to give you credit, and these signals will be taken into account in your site’s ranking in search.
- Guest Blogging in Places with your Target Audience – If you find relevant and useful websites whose audience match your target audience, guest blogging/posting is appropriate, and Google will not reprimand you. Google’s new guidelines just restricts guest blogging on websites that aren’t relevant. Therefore, find websites with the same target audience as you, and do some guest blogging/posting with links back to your brand to help increase your exposure, branding, and reach. This will help your audience see you as a thought leader.
- Create Offline Relationships with Industry Influencers, Journalists, and Bloggers – you can host an event or mail a four color post card to introduce them to your brand and content. The event and post card will start conversations about them linking to you and creating partnerships. Also, you can urge industry journalists and bloggers to quote you in their articles to demonstrate your authoritative voice.
- Lastly, if you have awesome content, you will earn links naturally, so it pays to produce great content.
- David Amerland’s 3 Link Building Tips that Still Work from Social Media Today
- Marcela De Vivo’s After Guest Blogging … What’s Left for Safe Link Building? from Search Engine Journal
- Adam Riemer’s Three Ways to Build Quality Backlinks without Guest Posting from Search Engine Journal
- John Rampton’s Matt Cutts Clarifies Guest Blogging for SEO (with Tips) from Search Engine Journal
Additional Resource: I came a across a really great Infographic to help you and your organizations SEO strategies for 2014. Given all of Google’s changes last year, SEO has changed, and this Infographic will help you reorganize your SEO strategies. For each old SEO tactic, the Infographic tells you the new SEO tactic. I highly encourage you to look at this Infographic to help put your SEO worries aside and start deploying on tactics to increase your search ranking. SEO Evolution 2014: Quick Tips on How to Optimize Website in 2014