The Biggest Link Building Challenges of 2018

Link building has changed dramatically over the past few years. Old-school tactics such as directory submissions, blog and forum comments, and other tactics that were widely adopted once upon a time, now only create low-value links from a search engine perspective. In today’s content-driven online landscape, what are the biggest link building challenges, and more importantly, what can we do to overcome them?

 

 

  1. Choose Quality Over Quantity for Your Backlinks

 

Building a strong backlink portfolio is one of the key ways to succeed with your website’s search engine optimisation, which has led to many people trying to hack the system and get as many backlinks to their websites as possible in the shortest period of time.

 

If you buy links, or get a high volume of low quality links, Google is likely to penalize you. Working at getting consistently high quality backlinks is a slower process but your website will benefit hugely in the longer term.

 

Doing a backlink audit will help you to carefully assess all of your current backlinks so you can make sure that they are relevant. If you have backlinks from link farms or exchange groups, or anything in the gambling or porn industries, you will want to disavow them straight away as it could have an impact on your website’s reputation with Google.

 

Tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs will help you analyse links and assess whether they need to be disavowed. If a site isn’t indexed by Google, avoid it (you can check this using the site: command in Google).

 

Link Building for 2018

 

  1. Guest Posting Is Harder Now Than It Was in 2008

 

It’s much harder to guest post on websites now than it was a decade ago. Many websites are closed to the idea, or are much harder to win over. If you want to be successful, you need to be methodical and structured to optimize your chances of a pitch being approved.

 

What are some top tips for succeeding with link building through guest posting?

 

  1. Don’t cold-call: generic emails to people you haven’t interacted with yet are not advisable. Have you commented on their blog? Do you follow them on social media? Do you know what they’re all about?
  2. Write a personalized pitch email including the blogger’s name, and make sure all the links and details you include are correct.
  3. Be succinct: big blogs get hundreds of pitches a week – they are much less likely to read your email if it’s long.
  4. Demonstrate your value: be generous with links to their website, share their tweets, and comment on their social media posts.
  5. Use a really great headline
  6. Include specifics about your idea: what is the suggested topic? Has it been covered on their blog before? How will it benefit their website? What keywords will it rank for? Why will their readers be interested in it?
  7. Include a bio that demonstrates your value – where you’re based, what your background is, and why you’re the right person for this post.

 

  1. Building Relationships with Influencers

 

Influencer marketing has seen a huge increase in recent years, with many businesses growing overnight because of careful influencer strategies. The rise of YouTube and Instagram personalities has opened a whole new sector of marketing, and crafting tactful relationships with influencers in your niche can have a powerful impact on your business and your sales.

 

Word of mouth referrals are the most powerful way to build business, as around 92% of people trust recommendations from family and friends (even if they don’t know them personally).

 

When you’re thinking about working with an influencer, you need to ask yourself some key questions:

 

What do you love about their work? Do their values align with yours? Do you find their content exciting? Are they a relevant fit for your business? Does this opportunity fit in with their existing content and audience?

 

Meeting people in real life is a powerful way to build relationships. Are there any industry events where you could meet them? Could you send a piece of “happy mail” or a note to their PO Box?

 

Influencers have often worked very hard for a number of years to gain an engaged following online, so don’t expect them to work for free. Offering them fair compensation for their marketing support is more likely to give influencers a good impression of your brand – after all, free products are great but they don’t pay the mortgage.

 

Link Building for 2018

 

If you need support with your SEO strategy, why not get in touch with us to discuss your needs? Broadplace is an award-winning SEO and PPC agency, and we would love to work with you to help you grow your online presence.

5 Ways to Dominate Local Search After Google’s Hawk Update

Google’s Hawk update on local listings back in August has made appearing in local searches even harder.

 

The update originally existed to make sure a single business couldn’t dominate the results by having multiple listings, effectively booting competitors off the listings. However, what ended up happening in practice, was that the search engine filtered out pages from the local results that are similar to other pages on the web and picked the most relevant and unique ones to give them top rankings.

 

As with all things Google, this update was designed to give users a much better experience when looking for all businesses in the local area matching their search criteria.

 

So what can you do to improve your local SEO ranking post-Hawk?

 

  1. Google My Business Account

If you don’t have a Google My Business Account relating to your website, you need to get one right away, because you won’t appear in the local listings without one. If you do have an account, it needs to be fully populated with the following information:

 

  • Verify the account
  • Update all details including; business name, address, postcode, hours of business, main business category
  • Introduce business photos:
  • Add Videos
  • Add updates to your listing
  • Get and respond to Reviews

 

  1. Check Google’s map position

Your physical address may not be translating correctly on google maps and this can seriously affect your local listing. You can drag Google’s map pinpoint to your exact position on the map within Google My Business. It may take a week or two for the results to show up correctly in Google listings.

 

  1. Get positive Google reviews

Social proof such as reviews, case studies, and testimonials are among the most important ranking signals that you can have, and Google has indicated several times that it pays attention to what your customers say about you to determine rankings.

 

Encourage your customers to give reviews by giving them a direct link to your Google Listing in your marketing and correspondence with them and include a QR code in your literature. 

 

  1. Rich snippets mark up

You will need to implement structured data (rich snippets) if you want to appear high in the local ‘knowledge graph’ of the search results.  Use Google’s Structured Data Markup tool and select ‘Local Business’ making sure you highlight address and phone number from the content on your website.

 

  1. Links

Having good quality links pointing to your website is an important factor for appearing in local listings. Since you are trying to increase local SEO it only makes sense to try to build links locally. Begin with local online directories, partnerships with local businesses and local PR (newspapers, magazines online).

 

If you would like to improve your local search results, speak to one of our local SEO consultants at Broadplace.

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