A Profitable Hyperlink Constructing Technique in 6 Steps • Yoast

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Marieke van de Rakt

Marieke van de Rakt is the CEO of Yoast. Her main focus is on growing the company. She attaches great importance to maintaining an open and friendly corporate culture. Marieke is also heavily involved in the marketing of Yoast and with the Yoast SEO Academy, the online course platform.

Links are important for SEO. Therefore, link building should definitely be part of your SEO strategy. But more importantly, link building should be part of your growth strategy. As it can help you generate more traffic and attract new audiences to your website. Stay away from bad practices. As tempting as these are, they will only hurt your ranking. In this post, we’ll discuss the 6 steps to creating a successful link building strategy. A strategy that will get you the right links and the right audience to your website.

Essentially, link building boils down to getting other websites to link to your page. When done right, and from a holistic SEO perspective, these links can help your pages rank higher in Google search results. However, that’s not the only thing these links do:

A good link primarily leads to traffic to your website.

Good links help to drive more (referral) traffic to your website. As you develop your link building strategy, keep in mind that links were invented to direct readers from the page they are viewing to other pages they may also like. This is why you should use link building as a strategy to reach the right audience and focus on getting links from websites that are actually generating traffic to your own website.

1. Get to know your audience

If you want to attract more people to your website, you need to know two things: who your target group is right now and what your ideal target group looks like. This will help you keep and expand your current audience and reach new audiences who are interested in your offerings. Do research to get to know your audience. Not only will this help you understand them better, but it will also allow you to determine who your desired target audience is and whether you are reaching them.

To take an example, at Yoast we started with an audience that was mostly web developers. However, we wanted to expand our audience to a more general group of WordPress users (while keeping our original audience). That is why we have adapted our content to this broader group of people. But in order to reach our new audience, we also had to get links from other websites that featured these WordPress users.

2. Make a list of websites that appeal to your audience

Once you know who your desired audience is, it is time to make a list of websites that can help you reach them. Find the websites that are already engaging that audience. Links from these websites will allow you to reach people who may be interested in your website but do not yet know about it.

Note that you don’t want a link from every website that is out there. A link from a spam website or a website that has absolutely nothing to do with your niche is not valuable at all. In some cases, it can even backfire and affect your ranking. Stay away from spam websites, pay for your links and other DON’Ts to link building. Link building is not just a trick. Getting these links should feel like a regular marketing effort and should be part of a holistic SEO approach.

3. Write great content

In order for other websites to link to your content, you need to have content that actually gets them to link to your page. That means you need to create quality content. I know easier said than done. But think about what speaks to your audience, what they want to know, and what unique point of view you offer. When you’re selling a product or service, don’t just write about why it’s great and that they should absolutely buy it. Create content that answers a question from your audience or solves a problem they are facing. Give them the information they are looking for and not only will you build trust but also get more links to your page as other sites will see the value of your content.

In addition, you need to consider the readability of your content. Make sure your pages and articles are well structured and nicely written. If you need more guidance on creating great content, we have plenty of content SEO blog posts and even an SEO copywriter training course.

4. Match content with websites

When you’re happy with the content you’ve authored, it’s time to dive into the list of websites you created in step two. Which websites are likely to link to the content you create? You may feel the urge to just send everything you’ve created to every site on your list, but doing so will likely reduce your chances of someone linking to your content. People don’t have time to read 5 blog posts and decide which one they like and you may appear as spam.

Choose wisely and make an effort to find the websites that fit the specific topic of your blog post or page. These websites are likely to be more willing to link as your blog post matches their content. More importantly, visitors who come to your website through this link are genuinely interested in your content (which means that the chances of conversion and returning visits are much higher). Also good to know: if you take a long-tail keyword approach (writing on small and niche topics), the number of sites that will fit well will be few. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as very specific content can also make those few websites more willing to link to your content.

5. Get it

Now that you’ve decided which website (s) to contact, it’s time to contact them. You can send an email, but social media like Twitter is also a great way to connect with people. To increase your chances of getting a backlink, you should know the website and audience they are targeting. This will help you achieve what you want to do in a personal way. Never send automated emails or direct messages. Send them a polite email letting them know about your content and asking them to post a link to your content. Please note that you will often not receive an answer at all.

To improve your chances of getting a link on your page, you need to explain why your content is unique. Trying to get a link for a blog post that is very simple and could have been written by anyone is less successful than providing unique content. Content that can only be found on your website. However, don’t make your email too long as this will result in people not reading it at all.

6. Use social media!

Contacting specific people or websites is one way of getting links to your content. Another great way to get links and reach new audiences at the same time is by using social media. Make sure to share your new content through social platforms like Twitter. You might even send some tweets to specific people who like your article. Facebook is also a great way to get known for your articles, it also gives you a chance to promote your content and reach new people. If people like, share, and talk about your content on social media, they are sure to get some more links too.

If you have an ecommerce site, link building comes with its own set of challenges. Most websites aren’t that keen on linking to a page that sells products. Because of this, you need to create content that doesn’t focus on selling your product. Focus your content on helping your audience with everything related to your product. Answer their questions, show your expertise on the subject, and create content that is really interesting to your audience.

If you sell lawn mowers, write articles on a topic like “How to Get Your Garden Ready for Summer” that discuss a lot more than just mowing the lawn. Or, if you sell furniture, write an article on the latest interior design trends. This type of content is much easier to share with others outside of your company. This increases your chances of getting relevant links.

Reach your network

An easy way to get some backlinks to your website is to contact your business partners. Maybe one of your blogs is interesting for them to link to. Or maybe you can even write a guest blog for their website. It can be easier to contact people you do business with. Just make sure the backlink is relevant and doesn’t feel enforced. As mentioned before, link building should always feel natural.

Link building for bloggers can be tricky. Especially if you are just starting out. But it can help you grow your following and meet other bloggers who can help you. Instead of emailing someone and asking for a link, you can join a group on Facebook or start guest blogging.

Facebook groups

Do your hands sweat at the thought of emailing others asking for links? No fear! Fortunately, there are plenty of Facebook groups where you can meet and reach out to other bloggers. Look for groups on anything you write about, from SEO and digital marketing to bullet journals. Join some that seem interesting to you. You can join the conversation and share your link where appropriate. Just make sure you don’t come off as spam. And if another blogger writes in a blog post that he is currently writing, you can include your link in the comments. With a bit of luck, you will be featured in your blog post.

Guest blogging

Another way to get links to your website is through guest blogging. Often enough, blogs look for input from other bloggers and, in return, have them linked to your own content. You don’t just get a link to your page from a relevant website. You will also introduce yourself to the readers of this particular blog. Visit your favorite blogs or blogs similar to yours and see if they are open to guest posting. They will usually mention this on their contact or cooperation page.

A successful link building strategy should always aim to bring a new, up-and-coming audience to your website. A (welcome) side effect is then a higher ranking on Google. As long as you view link building as a way to reach other sites in order to get more traffic from that site, you are doing it “right”. If you want to learn more about link building strategies and other important SEO skills, check out our all-round SEO training.

Read More: 15 Advanced Link Building Tactics »

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