Today we take hyperlinks for a given but the situation was very different just 20 years ago. Indeed, the use of hyperlinks is what helped Google stand out and lead the market for search engines. Yes, users liked Google’s minimalist interface, but they also liked the fact that it returned better search results.
In the late 1990s, Google started ranking websites based not on what they said about themselves (onsite SEO), as the other search engines did at the time, but according to what others said about these websites (offsite SEO).
Google put into practice the concept of web connectivity, laid out already by World Wide Web founder Tim Berners-Lee , with the help of hyperlinks. Although all links initially got identical treatment, over time they received a diversified treatment, as search engines started classifying them according to various metrics.
The building and acquisition of links from authoritative and niche websites allows SEO agencies such as IdeaMax to improve their clients’ ranking in Google.
The easier ways to build links quickly fell prey to overuse. Google soon noticed this practice and, as could be expected, started developing a more complex set of algorithms for the classification of links and their value to neutralize automated spam techniques. Its efforts proved successful and, in 2012, brought about an update to the search engine’s algorithms codenamed Google Penguin, which classifies links according to a wide array of characteristics, including:
• Page: source, beneficiary
• Domain: source, beneficiary
• Anchor text
• Link context
• Link position
Google’s new link classification policies pushed website optimizers to think of new link building tactics. The best among them almost always have one or several of the following traits:
• Extremely difficult
• Very expensive
• Require high-level competences
• Require a volume of processed data
Most businesses will likely stay away from these link building strategies on the grounds that their realization and coordination require investments they can’t afford. At the same time, it is precisely the use of such strategies with regards to online marketing and SEO that signals which businesses are going to be on the market 10 years from now and which businesses will long have shut down.
Today we present to you 5 creative link building strategies that will have a positive impact on your business online 99.99% of the time. Of course, a 100% success rate is a utopia in SEO due to the simple fact that we work on a third-party platform, namely Google.
1. Press infographics, or how to make others work for you for free
Press releases are among the most common types of content used by big businesses. In the area of SEO services, press releases represent a link building technique you can use to inform the public about your business and, specifically, about what distinguishes it from other businesses. The best press release writers take into consideration the latest updates to Google’s algorithms.
Мain elements for each infographic are:
• Objectivity of interpretations
• Data relevance
• Modern look
• Niche relevance
• Curious information
To use press infographics effectively, follow the three-stage process described below.
Stage 1: Create the infographic
The best thing about infographics is that they are a lazy and quick way of putting together numbers and ideas about a specific topic. Infographics bring benefits to readers as well because they present a lot of information in a digestible format with a coherent structure and helpful visual elements.
Invest enough money in the creation of infographics to ensure that they offer valuable information that can draw interest even among the largest media organizations. There are quite a few examples of infographics that failed to attract attention because their creators put savings before quality.
You don’t have to be a scientist with many years of experience to design a compelling infographic. What you need to do, instead, is collect enough information via Google and other online resources, choose the most interesting bits, and decide where to position them in the final product.
Stage 2: Publish the infographic
Before you send the infographic to the media, you should publish and index it on your website, showing Google which the original source of the infographic is. This is important for you as the infographic starts appearing in other websites because some media may use the content without crediting you – a breach of ethical standards that, sadly, is not uncommon in some parts of the world.
We recommend that you create two versions of the text. They should describe the information that the infographic contains. Don’t just publish the image on your website. Instead, complement it by a summary of the information.
Keep the second, more informative version of the text for the time after the media start publishing the first version on their websites. About 7-10 days later, it’s time for you to play your trump card by adding the second part of the detailed version of the text to the first version, which you have already published on your website. In this way, even if somebody has stolen your content, you will enrich your text, making it both more valuable and, even more important, different from the version circulating in the media.
Stage 3: Distribute the infographic
Use a diversified strategy for the dissemination of your press materials. The media are bombarded with such materials, so you’ll have to work hard to ensure that your infographic stand out from the information in ‘the PR spam cellar’. This strategy may include, among other elements:
• A personal approach and attitude
• Distribution tailored to the needs and expectations of individual media outlets
• Niche hooks – niche arguments presented as rationales for publication
Keep in mind that if you do what others do, you’ll probably get what they get – both good and bad.
BONUS TRICK FROM SEO AGENCY IDEAMAX: Send a password-protected PDF file along with the infographic with a ban on copying and exporting the text as a summary (anti-copy tools don’t help). In this way, every website that wants to publish your content will have to add at least a short description to your infographic, benefiting you in the form of Media Generated Content (MGC) whereby a journalist writes the text instead of you.
2. HR resources
One technique that low- and middle-class SEO agencies tend to neglect is using one problem to find two solutions or, as the saying goes, to kill two birds with one stone.
Here’s an example. When you post vacancy notices in job search websites, you have the chance to create a profile for your business. This makes perfect sense for at least two reasons. On the one hand, people want to learn more about your company. On the other hand, they generate traffic to your website, increasing the relevance coefficient of your link.
If you add several vacancy notices, you improve the internal connectivity of your corporate website in the respective job search portal because most of these platforms maintain individual company pages with links to all their job vacancies. This adds to your SEO potential and link mass on the page dedicated to your company, which contains a link to your website.
You fill all the necessary information in your company’s profile on job search websites
You publish vacancy notices with associative semantics
The more vacancy notices you publish, the more internal links you will have to your page
Consider publishing paid vacancy notices to increase the level of connectedness between the different pages on the website. Of course, before you pay for this service, you should evaluate the expected benefits and costs and decide whether the investment is worth it.
BONUS TRICK FROM SEO AGENCY IDEAMAX: In some job search websites, you can put additional links (redirecting users to websites under your control) as part of the requirements with regards to the personnel’s qualifications. If you use these pages effectively, you can have links from all your vacancy notices there.
3. Websites for employee reviews of companies
At first glance, websites providing information about employers, including employee reviews and work conditions, are neglected by employers themselves. The reason: the entire concept of these platforms is misguided because seemingly objective reviews of employers are based mainly on the opinions of former employees. After all, if you ask your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend if they like you, you’ll rarely get a positive answer, right?
Now, if we look at websites for employee reviews of companies from a marketing perspective, we will see that they can help us improve our website’s SEO optimization through link building which, in turn, will increase its visibility in Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).
Some of these websites maintain pages with detailed information about individual companies that are similar to the corporate pages in job search portals described above. These pages give you the opportunity to optimize your website when people praise you and even when they criticize you.
Here, the use of semantics can again improve a search engine’s understanding of the purpose of a page. The more opinions, the more text. The more text, the better a search engine’s understanding of your business niche and text vectors.
Don’t underestimate forums. Over the years, some forums have turned into employer-evaluation websites. Check this for yourself by searching for an opinion about an employer on Google. Write, for example, the name of a supermarket and you will get opinions from all kinds of forums. Given that users talk about you, these platforms are the perfect place to add a link to your website.
BONUS TRICK FROM SEO AGENCY IDEAMAX: You can use employer-evaluation websites in different countries to acquire links from at least 10 or 20 domains. What's more, some of these websites boast excellent metrics because they accumulate links from numerous forums and blogs."
4. Content conversion
To appear in SERPs, a website has to provide some text that describes the purpose of its existence because, at present, images and multimedia fail to do this well enough. Search engines like Google use your content to classify your website in terms of relevance, topic, and quality.
Can you reuse content from your website? The short answer is yes. You can learn about the long answer below.
How you can minimize your content expenses?
If you agree that content is king, you probably haven’t thought about the queen. In SEO, the queen is distribution.
Distribution lets you realize the full potential of your content. In addition, it reduces considerably the time in which you achieve a return on your investments in online marketing and SEO services.
Use your content in various formats. Reformatting enables you to convert the most popular content from your blog into different kinds of content that you can use once, twice, or 10 times to achieve the goals of your link building campaign.
Here are a few tips you can apply to take advantage of content conversion:
Turn your articles into standard videos or cheaper ones with a voice-over and upload them to video sharing platforms, along with links to the original publications on your website
Convert content from your website into a PDF file and publish it on websites devoted to the sharing of PDF files which offer opportunities for earning backlinks
Turn content from your website into a podcast and publish it on podcast platforms together with a link to the original publication
Create a presentation based on an article of yours and publish it in a presentation-sharing website accompanied by a link to the original publication
This technique can take several more forms. We won’t talk about them here, however, so that you can try to discover them on your own. We will just let you know that if you’ve read this article carefully, you’ve already learned about one option for content conversion.
BONUS TRICK FROM SEO AGENCY IDEAMAX: Find the most read, the most shared, or simply the best content on your website or blog. Prioritize its conversion into other formats. This approach allows you to use your own audience as a focus group and, thus, identify the best starting point in your efforts to achieve as much as possible at the lowest cost – in other words, to achieve an optimal return on investment (ROI).
5 ‘Reverse thrust’
One of the paradoxes related to internal links connecting pages on the same website, especially the ‘About’ page, is that in 95% of the cases we only link to old blog content. How about linking to new content as well?
This technique requires that you regularly link new content to existing content, as well as linking existing content to new content. The good news is that you already have specific information from Google about the performance of an old page as a backlink (the positions and keywords it ranks for). As a result, you can easily decide which old page to link to which new page based on relevance and semantic value.
BONUS TRICK FROM SEO AGENCY IDEAMAX: Use linking old and new pages to manage the traffic on your website effectively and direct users to the pages you want them to see. These are probably the pages you use for monetization. For example, you can link an old piece of content that generates lots of traffic to a new page where you sell a product or a service.
We hope we’ve prompted you to look for unconventional and creative approaches to link building that will help your website rank on page one on Google.