10 Tips for Link Building and SEO: Part One • Anna Colibri

(10 Min. Read)

As the top B Corp-certfied San Francisco digital marketing agency, Colibri Digital Marketing answers a lot of questions about link-building resources, and about some of the lesser known avenues for creating strong backlinks. We’ve put together this helpful guide to showcase some of our favorite tips and tricks for generating the backlinks your business needs to get a leg up on the competition. Give it a read, bookmark it for later, share it with a friend — we hope even a seasoned SEO professional will find something new.

Link Basics

If you’ve worked with a digital marketing agency, odds are you have a pretty clear idea about what makes a strong backlink, but here’s a quick rundown. A backlink (a link, from another place, back to your site or content) needs to be relevant, reliable, and responsible. Your site only wants links that clearly relate to your page (so old-school link-farms and cavernous directories are firmly out of the question), it wants links that actively enhance user experience (so don’t bother with cheap clickbait or misdirection), and it needs links from trustworthy sources. Shoddy backlinks are worse than pointless — they’ll actually detract from your site’s Domain Authority, so just don’t bother with them.

Domain authority, or DA, will come up a lot in the rest of this article. It’s basically a measure of your site’s history and it’s reputability. A search engine like Google will take it firmly into consideration when calculating your site’s position in the search engine results pages (usually just “SERPs.”) This business relies on rather a lot of acronyms.

There’s a reason why we include link building as part of our digital marketing services. Here’s our list of some of the best ways your site can start to build a link network, improve SEO, and reach its full potential.

1. Guest Posting

Yep, good old guest posting is first on our list. It’s the single most reliable, but also most well known link building strategy.

For those who aren’t familiar with how it works, guest posting is quite straightforward: you write a piece of content, like a blog post, for another website. The other site runs your content, giving you credit and linking back to your homepage. Maybe you trade blog posts, maybe you give the other site a shout-out on social media, but however you do it, what matters is that both sites have benefitted from the arrangement. Each of you walks away with a stronger link network and a wider audience.

It’s quite common, but it’s worth your time to be choosy about whom you’re guest posting for (or whose content you’re accepting). Make sure you’re only partnering with sites you’d be proud for your clients and customers to visit, and you shouldn’t have any problems.

2. HARO

Help A Reporter Out is an invaluable resource, but it’s also a great way to develop your link network. This is a resource for journalists (who need to find sources) and experts (who would like to be referenced). By posting a quotation or volunteering yourself as a source, you can net yourself a link to your site in any articles that quote you, which often leads to a dramatic increase in readership. This increase is usually relatively short-lived, but your DA will increase all the same as a result of your participation and of the backlink.

3. RSS

RSS feeds have a few advantages over other sorts of content distribution systems, chief among them being that backlinks often build themselves. Let’s say your site, a digital marketing agency, regularly blogs about SEO tips and industry news. Setting up an RSS feed will let your readers subscribe to your content, which is great, but it will also open your site up for another kind of exposure. Imagine another site, which aggregates and redistributes content from digital marketers (e.g. “John’s Weekly Rundown of SEO Industry News” or something). John might save himself some trouble by subscribing to your RSS feed and republishing it on his own feed to his own subscribers. In that case, your site would be guaranteed a regular backlink to all newly published content automatically.

4. Tools

Backlinks happen when content is shared, and typically on the most useful things are passed along (hopefully this blog post among them!). Content is great, but tools and applets are more likely to be shared (since they provide a service rather that a simple reference).

Perhaps your hypothetical San Francisco digital marketing agency creates a web-tool that lets a user run web searches with customizable location data. Your client, a restaurateur, wants to know whether her business is showing up in local searches for “vegan restaurant near me” from locations within the Mission District and Noe Valley. She might use your web tool to perform a search as though she were standing at the corner of Dolores St. and 24th, all from the comfort of her office. She might share a link to your tool with her friend, another business owner, since she had had such a good experience with it. Your useful web tool, since it’s so handy and user friendly, will likely be linked to from a number of sources (like “John’s Top 10 Digital Marketing Tools”) and you will have earned yourself a steady stream of backlinks, all while seriously enhancing user experience on your website. Win-win!

That’s the first half of our 10 Tips for Link Building and SEO. Be sure to keep an eye for Part Two, coming in a couple of days! Check us out on social media, if you’d like to be notified as soon as we release Part Two!

Colibri Digital Marketing

We’re the digital marketing agency for the twenty first century. Based in San Francisco, we’ve got our fingers on the pulse of Silicon Valley, we’ve got an insider perspective on the tech industry, and we get a sneak peak at the future of digital marketing. If you’re ready to work with the best B Corp-certified digital marketing agency in the industry, drop us a line or click below to schedule a free digital marketing strategy session!

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Originally published at colibridigitalmarketing.com on February 9, 2017.

I work to make the web a more beautiful, accessible, and functional place. I use dreams as a form of planning. And I play because it’s fun.