White Hat Link Building 101: Build Links Without the Penalty
12th October 2018
How is your SEO strategy performing? If you’re not hitting the right numbers, it could be due to a faulty link building plan.
Don’t get us wrong – link building is an important part of any SEO strategy, but it comes with risks. Doing it wrong, which we call black hat, will get you penalized. However, doing it right comes with a lot of benefits.
Links are one of the strongest factors in Google’s ranking algorithms. If you’re serious about ranking high, you’ll need a lot of backlinks from high-authority websites.
If you’re launching your white hat link building strategy or if your current one is not working, read the tips below and see which are you might be doing wrong.
Link building includes reaching out to website owners and asking them to link back to your website or webpage, but first, let’s talk about which websites you’re looking for and how to look for them.
The websites you’re targeting should be relevant to your niche. This is important because the link you’ll provide should be relevant to their content. It’s preferable if they have a high authority, which will increase the value of the backlink.
As for looking for such websites, the best way to go about it is to go on Google and create a list. If you have a gardening blog, for example, look for “garden blogs.”
However, there’s a better way to do it: search for lists of garden blogs instead. Your search term would then be “list of garden blogs” or so. You’ll get search results with the top blogs in the industry, and it saves you an extra step.
Emailing Web Owners
You’ll then send an email to the owners of your target websites, but what are you emailing about? The reason can be one of the 2 things below:
You want to request them to replace a dead link in their website with yours
You want to request them to add a link to a web page relevant to their content
There are other reasons why you’d email an owner for link building uses, which we’ll discuss below. Now, let’s go back to the subject of requesting the website owner to link back to you.
Dead links are those that lead to a 404 page, which happens if the website has taken it down. Another reason might be that the website no longer exists. This is bad for the SEO of your target website, and it’s an opportunity for you to claim that spot.
Send an email informing them of the dead link, they’ll be thankful for that. Then, add a request to link to a content of yours instead. Make sure that the page you’re suggesting is relevant and is about the same as the one that’s now dead.
If you believe that a page on your website will prove to be useful as an additional resource or reading material, then shoot the web owner an email telling so. Send them an individualized message; if your email feels like a template, it might only end up in the trash.
You don’t want to suggest any content, though. It must be relevant, and it must add actual value to the website’s readers. If not, no website owner will want to add that link in their website.
Now, let’s talk about the actual content you’ll promote in your emails. You need it to be original and well-written. Make sure it’s not a simple upgrade of an article you found on the internet.
Your main goal should be to inform the readers without making them bored. Doing this, you have a higher chance of other website owners finding it informative and worthy to link to.
About 65% of the population are visual learners. One way to apply this information is to add relevant pictures to your content. An even better idea is to create infographics, which will increase the shareability of your post.
Guest posting is another white hat link building tactic that involves creating content. However, this involves posting it on another website. The right websites for this are the ones with a high authority, too.
You’ll also have to create an email, indicating your desire to guest post and then your pitches. These should be relevant to the audience of the website, and it should be original as well. Create something that’s exclusive to the website and that you won’t post anywhere else, even on your own website.
Other Link Building Tips
There are other white hat link building SEO tips that you can do apart from emailing and creating content. These are not as difficult, but they require effort, nonetheless.
Blog comments are pretty useful, but make sure to do it right. Provide some insight on the piece you’re commenting on, and then encourage the readers to follow the link to learn more. That means you have to comment on relevant posts for this to be a white hat tactic.
Updating the Directories
Website directories can give quality backlinks, too. Check the Page Authority and Domain Authority of the directory first, though, because a low score might be harmful.
Finding Unlinked Mentions
A blog may have mentioned your name or brand without linking to your website. Locate a website that does, and then email the owner to thank them and to ask them to drop a link to your website.
Using Internal Links
Internal links are great for link building, too. Make sure to add links to another page of your website, which will help boost your SEO efforts.
Will White Hat Link Building Work for You?
These tips would work for anyone but only if you paid attention to the other aspects of SEO on your website. Did you optimize your website? Is your content valuable and error-free?
If you said no to one or both, then link building might not be the strategy to focus on right now. Perform an on-site audit and work on your website first before you start on your white hat link building campaign.
If you need more help in website SEO, contact us for a free website analysis.
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