The guidance on how to get your content to rank high in search results has changed over the years. The focus is always on Google, which is the world’s leading search engine, and it often makes changes to its algorithms that require content marketers to adapt their strategies.
The algorithm updates that Google makes can often make or break sites. If it significantly changes ranking signals, some sites can end up losing a big chunk of their traffic overnight, and getting it back seems almost impossible.
However, there’s one SEO best practice that has stood the test of time and that’s link building. It has been used since the very early days of the online search engine. Quality inbound links are viewed as a positive ranking factor by Google and other search engines.
Unfortunately, a lot of people try to take shortcuts when it comes to link building by employing methods that are frowned upon. Blackhat link-building strategies are most certainly going to get your site penalized and so is buying copious amounts of backlinks from spammy websites. The 2022 link-building strategies don’t include any of that.
Link building is the name of the process through which a landing page on your website is given a hyperlink on another website. When someone clicks on that link on the other website, they’ll be taken to your landing page. The aim here is to improve search engine visibility.
These backlinks can be obtained through a variety of ways. For example, a website might organically link to your homepage or a post on your blog just because they found your content to be interesting. You can also develop and execute well thought out strategies to reach out to relevant websites in your niche to gain new backlinks.
To understand this, it’s important to realize how Google changed online search as we know it. Back in the day the outdated search engines like Alta Vista were ranking websites based entirely on the webpage’s content. Google switched things up with its PageRank Algorithm that also ranked how many people were linking to a particular page.
Google views inbound links as a measure of the content’s quality. The assumption here is that if a lot of people are linking to the content, chances are that they find it to be relevant. So others who search for a similar query will likely be shown the results that have a greater number of backlinks.
Over the years, Google has refined this further so that it’s not about the quantity of the backlinks but the quality. Even if you have a million inbound links from spammy websites with low domain authority scores it won’t help improve your rankings. On the other hand, even a few links from high-quality websites that are relevant to your niche can help push your content further up the rankings.
- Create helpful visual assets
Providing value through your content is a great way to gain inbound links. People who come across your content and find it useful will likely link back to it, particularly if it’s going to be useful for their audience.
Infographics, charts, diagrams and other visual assets tend to do very well online. They enable people to get the gist of what they’re looking for far more easily than a lengthy blog post. This strategy effectively doubles the exposure since not only will they link back to your website but likely also share the visual assets you have created on theirs.
- Post guest blogs on relevant websites
This is one of the oldest yet among the most successful link-building strategies, but in 2022 it doesn’t quite work in the same way that it used to. Large scale link-building campaigns through copy/paste guest blog content is usually picked up by Google and your website can end up getting penalized for it.
What you need to do instead is reach out to websites that you can provide real value to through your content. If they agree to take on your guest post, create high-quality content that will remain unique to that site. This way, a link that’s naturally placed in that post has a much higher chance of achieving the objective.
- Don’t forget about internal link building
A lot of people seem to forget that link building efforts shouldn’t just be focused on inbound links. Internal linking, that is when you link to your own content, is equally as important for SEO. The great thing about it is that internal linking is entirely within your control, so you can maximize its potential.
Internal links are a great way to help Google understand your content so that it can be ranked appropriately. They enable the algorithm to find new high-quality content and can also be used to direct traffic to the most important pages on your website.
- Leverage Reddit for inbound links
There’s just about something for everyone on Reddit and chances are that whatever your niche is, it already has a subreddit and community on Reddit. This presents you with a great opportunity to expand the reach of your inbound link-building efforts.
It’s important to note that Reddit users won’t likely appreciate you spamming their subreddits with links aggressively. The idea should always be to add value to that subreddit through content and build a good reputation over time so when you do ultimately share links, they will be well received.
- Write testimonials and reviews
If you’re considered to be a leading authority in your niche, you can take advantage of the opportunity and gain some valuable links for your website. You’re likely working with partners and organizations that provide services crucial for your brand.
Reach out to them and ask if they would like to have a testimonial or review of their product from you. Given your position as a leader, it’s likely that they’ll want to have that on their website to attract more customers. The testimonial or review you create for them can include a backlink to your site.
It’s easy to give up on this process since it tends to be tedious and isn’t nearly as easy as it used to be before. However, there’s still incredible value to be unlocked from a well thought out link-building campaign.
Create one with diligence and eventually you’ll start to see results. As the links keep rolling in, you’ll see how your content rankings begin to improve in search results.