- Jan 28, 2019
- by Brad Litwin
Search engines consider a lot of factors when it comes to determining your website’s ranking in relevant results pages. However, one of the most important criteria is how many links point towards your website. The problem is that link building can take a lot of effort for new sites, so you need to be creative if you want to improve your rankings.
By being creative, we don’t mean trying to ‘game the system’. Rather, we’re talking about the importance of thinking outside the box. For example, some people will recommend emailing other website owners to ask for links, but that isn’t very efficient. Instead, you might focus on creating infographics that other people would want to share, and including links back to your site.
In this article, we’re going to talk more about what link building is and why it’s important. Then we’ll go over some creative link building techniques to improve your site’s ranking. Let’s get to it!
What Link Building Is (And Why It Matters)
Almost every page you visit includes links to other websites. If a link points towards your own website, it’s called a ‘backlink’. How many backlinks for your site on the web is one of the primary criteria search engines take into consideration when ranking results.
This is because the more websites link to your content, the better it’s assumed to be. That’s why accruing backlinks is one of the most effective things you can do to improve your site’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This process is often called ‘link building’.
Keep in mind that having a lot of backlinks isn’t enough to rise to the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). To get there, you still need to publish interesting content, target the right keywords, and so on. SEO involves some ongoing work, but can bring in massive amounts of traffic in return.
3 Modern Link Building Techniques to Help You Maximize Engagement
When it comes to link building, a lot of people recommend the same tactics over and over. You’ll hear about guest blogging, emailing other site owners directly, and similar strategies.
Those can work, but they’re so prevalent that thinking outside the box can help you get an edge over your competitors. With that in mind, let’s look at some lesser-known but just as effective link building techniques!
1. Create Content for the Current Year
There are billions of pages on the web, and a lot of them contain outdated content. Imagine, for example, that you’re looking for a roundup of the best smartphones to help you decide which one to buy. Naturally, you’d rather read an article from the most recent year:
If you run the type of website that publishes roundups or reviews, you can take advantage of this phenomenon by updating your content to the latest year. By that, however, we don’t mean merely tweaking the titles. Instead, you’ll want to make sure your articles contain the most up-to-date information on whichever subject you’re covering.
At the time of this writing, we’re nearing 2019. Therefore, now would be the perfect time to publish new posts covering the best of 2018, as well as the most exciting upcoming developments of 2019. A lot of other websites will be doing the same, and you’ll want to be among the first wave for best results.
2. Design Infographics
Infographics are a fantastic way to break down complex topics and make them easier to digest. For an example, check out this infographic full of information about the Beatles:
Compiling all of that information into a single article would be a stretch, and might lead to a dense and fairly dull piece. On the other hand, infographics provide a fun way to showcase lots of data. Plus, they also tend to get shared around a lot, which makes them perfect for link building.
If you create an infographic that people end up sharing, many of them will even do you the courtesy of linking back to your website. To account for those who don’t, you can always add your site’s URL somewhere within the infographic itself. This will ensure that it leads new interested parties back to your site.
Of course, designing a stunning infographic isn’t something you can do in five minutes. There are some free tools such as Canva that can help, by enabling you to create attractive infographics even if you don’t have a design background. However, in many cases, you’ll want to either have some experience in web design or hire someone who does, if you want to end up with an infographic worth sharing.
3. Use the ‘Skyscraper Technique’
Every time someone uses a search engine to find information, they’ll need to make a judgment call to determine which website is the best source. You’ll probably check out several results, giving them a quick look to see which site is the most thorough.
The Skyscraper Technique was created to take advantage of this phenomenon. To put it into action, you’ll need to choose a topic or a keyword and look at the top search results to see what pages are ranking well for it:
Your goal now is to build a ‘skyscraper’, which is a post or page that packs in more (and better) information than any of the top results. The idea is that by creating the ultimate resource on a given topic, you should be able to beat the competition and rank highly.
The Skyscraper Technique is particularly well-suited to content such as roundups, reviews, and list-based articles. Usually, it involves a lot of research, since you have to create something that’s more engaging and better sourced than other articles on the same topic. The upside is that all this effort usually translates into plenty of backlinks, since people will be more inclined to link to a very high-quality and informative post.
Over time, your website should accumulate backlinks organically, especially if your content is engaging and you have a broad library. However, that process can take a long time if you’re not proactive about link building. This can mean you’ll miss out on a lot of potential traffic and revenue, due to a lack of backlinks.
As we’ve discussed, a few of the best and most creative ways to build backlinks to your site include:
- Create content targeting the current year.
- Design infographics that other people will want to share.
- Use the Skyscraper Technique to write high-quality posts.
Image credit: Pixabay.