In our last couple articles on this topic, we took you through an introduction to link building, and then walked through how link building can influence SEO. So if you read those articles, you should know exactly what link building is and why it’s important. But now it’s time to focus on the how.

How to Build Links

Today we’ll get into the meat and potatoes of how link building actually works. After all, if you’re going to put this practice into action, you’ll probably need some help getting the ball rolling. We’re here to help!

When trying to build a network of links, it can be tempting to resort to spam tactics to bring traffic to your website. This is a big “no-no!” Real link building takes time and effort—so don’t stress over short-term results!

If you create good content and show it to the right people, they will share it. This much is certain.

But who are the right people? And how can you reach them? These questions are harder to answer because there is no one-size-fits-all solution. You will have to be thoughtful and creative! But together those creative juices flowing, we put together a list of 10 tactics to begin building good, meaningful links.

  1. Hit it hard with blogging!

Maintaining a blog full of great content is always a good idea! It’s a flexible, dynamic platform, and it will continuously be working to index additional pages with Google (this is good for your SEO).

Remember that blogging is supposed to be social, so linking to other relevant blogs is good! Maybe you could even start doing guest posts, either on your own blog or on somebody else’s blog. The more you can get involved with the online community around you, the better.

  1. Give your site easy-to-find, sharable social media widgets

If somebody out there feels compelled to share your content, don’t make them spend more time trying to figure out how then is absolutely necessary. If they have the impulse to press “share,” that’s something that you should enable!

  1. Get involved in your community

We’re not just talking about the online community (although, that’s also important). We’re talking about the “real world” community that you are a part of. Sponsor an event! Maybe you could even have somebody on your team speak at a relevant event. Partner with a local non-profit that you like! If you see an opportunity to tie yourself into your community, you should do it! It can garner more word-of-mouth marketing than you ever could have paid for.

  1. Create free tools

Obviously, this is not applicable for every business out there, but if you can create some sort of relevant, useful, free, web-based tool, people are going to use it. If they like it, then they’ll show their friends. If you can create something like this, it won’t be long before you see a huge uptick in traffic.

This could be anything from an app, to an infographic, to a template. People love that stuff! Whatever the case, if it’s useful enough, people will share it.

  1. Get your products/services reviewed

Whether you’re asking industry experts, or your actual users, product reviews build links, and positive product reviews help you build a reputation for trustworthiness. This, in turn, should help you establish even more links!

To start this process, you might want to focus your efforts on platforms like Yelp, Amazon Customer Reviews, Angie’s List, Glassdoor, or Trip Advisor.

  1. Don’t shy away from being funny

Poise and professionalism are important, but not at the expense of personality. It’s okay to be funny—in fact, it’s encouraged! Especially if you’re trying to build a social media following. In today’s marketplace, personality is, in fact, a marketing edge. So let your freak flag fly!

A great case study for this point is the complicated relationship between Wendy’s and Burger King. These two competitors keep their social media game strong, and the world has taken notice. So, now, every time the two of them get into a little kerfuffle on social media, dozens of humorous articles are written chronicling their hilarious banter (like this one).

And now WE’RE writing about it. Which means yet another link for each of them.     

  1. Embrace co-marketing

In the world of business, partnerships are important. And you can make sure that you are getting the most out of your partnerships by (if possible) publicizing them. By embracing the idea of “co-marketing,” even releasing joint press-releases, each of you can benefit from the other’s consumer base and exchange links in the process.  

  1. Watch vigilantly for mentions of your brand

You should be spending a lot of time trying to create shareable content and build your brand. So don’t let those efforts go to waste by failing to recognize your successes! You should be vigilantly monitoring the web for mentions of your brand.

If somebody mentions your company, reach out to them! Engage with them! Make them feel noticed and valued! And if their mention of your brand is shareable (perhaps you were featured in a list or a recommendation), share it on your own social media to show everybody how awesome you are.

  1. If you have big news, do some outreach!

Do you have a big announcement on the horizon? Maybe you’re releasing a new product soon or holding a major event. Whatever the case, announcements are PR opportunities. So, in the weeks and days leading up to your big announcement, it’s a good practice to do some outreach to people and organizations that are influencers relevant to your brand. If you’re in the financial sector, talk to the Business Journal! If you’re in the music business, be interacting with music bloggers and publications. Be tactful and try to create some buzz!

  1. Take note of what works for your competitors

You’re probably acutely aware of who your competitors are and how you measure up. There’s no shame in learning from them! If they are doing a great job with their link building, try to learn their tricks! That’s a treasure trove of new ideas for you, just waiting!