SEO Andy isn't like most blogs or websites when it comes to link building. We don't go out of our way to comment on every blog, write articles for every tom, dick & harry and we don't ask for link exchanges. These are not methods we believe to be scalable, nor long term, nor productive and nor are they worthy of mentions beyond this paragraph in this blog. They are indeed for the weak willed wishing for short term achievements and not those looking at the bigger picture for the long term. Today I want to discuss 5 simple techniques on how you can organically build links to your website or blog, and it doesn't involve begging, borrowing or stealing links from an unwitting website.
1. Write Great Content for YOUR Website
My number one tip for link building, is to build amazing content on your website and blog. I am not a believer that guest blogging will bring you fame, it may bring you a few "ok" links but never anything more (though there are a 1 or 2 blogs in each niche where it would be worthwhile guest blogging should you get a chance, such as on SEOMoz YouMoz Blog).
If you build great content your audience will find you, usually through search or social media. Once they find you, if you have built great content, they will share it and they will link to it sometimes from their own site (a true recommendation). These are what I define as "earned links", you earned them through great content and not writing a few hundred words which mean not much but you got a link from the byline ("unearned links"), Google knows the difference.
2. Use Social Media
As mentioned above, great content is the key to link building, but using social media is how you will be found - again and again.
Use of social media correctly, through conversations and not just blind tweeting will earn you respect, followers, visitors and subsequently links. Again these are "earned links" - even if it's just someone retweeting or sharing a post.
Using a great Social Media strategy in todays world is the quickest way to be found and instantly get recognized for a great piece of content.
3. Use Rich Media for Your Content
In my first point I mention building great content for your own website, but this doesn't mean it needs to "live" on your website. Far from it. For example if you build amazing instructional videos (how to's or answering questions) and host them on YouTube you too can gain greatly from them. Embed them in your site and build more textual content around them, but care for the social media community also on YouTube itself - watch the comments and be interactive with them. If a question becomes common place from your video, why no create another video answering it - 2 bangs for 1 buck.
Rich Media seduces the audience, it has the same effect as amazing photography does on a business website or blog.
4. Don't Be Afraid to Link Out!
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Again and again I talk to website owners who don't want to link out for fear it will reflect badly on them somehow. This almost never happens, but what does happen is that if you link out then people will link to you. People will not look at linking to you if you are a SEO cul-de-sac, dead ends and SEO holes are useless and so many website owners and keepers won't link to a site that doesn't link out.
Linking out is nothing to be afraid of, so go on - link out.
5. Write About the Latest News and Write in Lists
The latest news can earn you instant links and social media juice. Write about something, jump on the band waggon of the latest tech craze, see if you can jump on before the exponential curve explodes and ride the wave to the top of the link building charts.
Writing in lists, is a great way to get attention. It's like saying "here is a gift" or in the case of this post 5 gifts. 90% of my traffic at SEOAndy is to posts which are lists of tips or services or ideas. It's a amazing way to gain traffic and people will link to them again and again, my most popular list is a list of 18 trends which will change seo in 2012, each month a huge number of people visit that post through links gained just by using social media to promote the post, oh and of course other lists which link to it in turn get linked too. It's almost a circle of SEO link building.
Conclusion to Organic Link Building
Organic link building is easy in theory but hard to pull off in practice. The rewards you can gain through hard work of building great content for your website, through rich media or otherwise, can be huge. Links and links will pour down on those who can mix the 5 techniques above in perfect synchronicity - bare in mind no two website are built equal and so no two websites will use the same formula for success.