I come across a lot of people who have heard that they need to be “building links” but they do not know what that means or “who gives links?”.
To answer the first question – “What is link building?”.
Link Building is the active pursuit of getting other websites to link to yours.
The rest of this post we’ll be answer your question “Who gives links?”.
The Answer – People Give Links!
I hope this wasn’t a big secret, if so it’s out of the bag, but people are who control the giving of links on the web.
When People Automate Link Building
If you are reading this, chances you are a person ( or the donkey from Shrek). Either way this means you can build links yourself if you wanted to! One way that people build lots of links themselves is to a website is through a process called “tiered link building” where they use programs to automate link building through comment spam, bookmarking, duplicating and submitting articles to directories.
If You “Control” All Your Links You’re Doing It Wrong
The Problem With Automated Link Building
The problem with tactics like this is that the time, energy, and money invested in creating all of these links adds zero value to the anyone. The sole purpose of the strategy is to create links. I say it’s was a waste of time and money because the value of these links don’t hold over time because Google is getting better at discovering footprints and devaluing links like this. It can even lead to your website being removed from the Google search results.
Build Great Content & Relationships
Another major strategy to get links from PEOPLE is to build great assets and relationships. Once the asset is built go to your connections to see if they would like it. Chances are if you have a relationship they will open the email, and if it is quality they will then link to it.
Assets + Relationships = Links!
What Is A Linkable Asset?
The definition of an asset is “A useful or valuable thing”.
A linkable asset is something that adds value and is useful to your target market!
The first thing I usually tell clients is do not think that every blog post is going to get links! Blog posts are great at getting social shares and traffic from long search terms, but often do not get links!
Finding Your Assets
The first place I look to find a website’s assets is to go to Ahrefs or OSE and drop the domain in and filter by “Top Pages”.
When I looked at LocalStampede.com’s top pages I see that other then the homepage the following two assets received the most links:
Hopefully you can see how these are different from blog posts. They are useful to anyone who is looking to build more citations for their business.
Ahrefs Screenshot – I prefer using Ahrefs. They usually find more backlinks and it shows social shares even if you are not a paid subscriber.
Open Site Explorer Screenshot
How To Create A Great Asset?
In order to create an asset that is linkable it needs to be useful for your target market. When trying to develop a linkable asset for a client I usually start by looking to create one of the following.
Fill in the blanks:
- Ultimate Guide To _____
- Complete List Of _____
- Tool That Solves _____
- Data / Study On _____
Be sure to research and see if other assets have been created and if they did well or not. Even if it is a great resource do people bother linking to it in that particular niche?
Good Asset Checklist
Be sure to ask yourself some questions while creating an asset. If you can’t answer the following questions it probably will not get links.
- Would I bookmark this?
- Would I share it with friends?
- What problem does it solve?
Finding Your Relationships
Depending on the business and the person these relationships could be anywhere. A few places I start looking for relationships are:
- Vendors or Manufacturers
- Industry Magazines, Newsletters, Blogs – Check your backlinks
- Conferences & Events
- Social Followers – use FollowerWonk
- Email list
If you do not have any strong relations then start making them today! Find out where your target market is and start interacting with them!
Learn To Harvest Your Links
I built a Link Building Class that shows you how to use your current content and relationships to harvest links and improve your sites rankings. Check it out!
Do you think that someone can be successful with automated link building long term?
How do you build great assets and relationships?