6 Tips for Organic Link Building

Posted on June 3, 2013 in

Organic link building is a much sought-after goal for most inbound and SEO professionals. Unfortunately, many content writers are misusing and abusing link building techniques (often unknowingly) and actually demoting their content on Google. Many SEO professionals toe the line between quality content and spam. The truth is, there is no “quick fix” for organic link building. It takes time and a little bit of effort; but it can be done by even the most novice SEO writers and producers. These tips are fundamental to building organic links and creating better, more readable content for your customers.

Even Yoda knows organic link building takes work.

1. Create Natural Anchor Text

The best natural anchor text is related specifically to the brand name and the website URL. When writing your copy, avoid over-optimizing your anchor text with excessive keyword usage. Over-utilizing keywords when creating links tends to look like spam to both the Google algorithm and your readers. You should also avoid words like “click here” and “sign up now”. These types of phrases look like spam and make the reader feel like they are being sold. Neither of these things are conducive to organic link building and will not generate quality leads. At least 50% of your anchor text should consist of variations of your company name and page URL for the most natural links.

2. Don’t Buy Backlinks

Okay, so buying backlinks may seem like a good idea: it’s quick, cheap, easy, and will build organic links, right? Wrong. Buying backlinks may be a cheap, quick fix, but people who visit your site do not want to see this kind of spam. Plus, Google’s PageRank model will penalize you for trying to buy influence, rather than obtain it naturally with quality content. Note that buying backlinks is not the same as paying for attribution, (badges, banners, display ads) which can be helpful in some cases; but even this isn’t always a quick fix. The only way to really build quality links is to earn them. Write quality content that your readers are interested in; doing so will help create a loyal following of people that share and distribute your links without you having to ask or pay for it.

3. Link to Relevant Content Within Your Site

Creating internal links can be very beneficial to organic link building; bearing in mind a few guidelines. First of all, make sure you’re linking to relevant content. Don’t create links just for the heck of it. It really doesn’t help your page rank much and it just makes your site more difficult to read. Secondly, create links that lead to unique content. These types of links tend to rank higher than navigation links alone, and can help boost your authority in the eyes of the algorithm.

 4. Link to Diverse Content Beyond Your Site

Referencing external links that relate to what you’re talking about can help boost your credibility and authority, especially if that page is already ranking well organically. However, many SEOs are guilty of making this linking faux pas: creating redundant links. Linking to the same page or same site over and over again does not create good outbound links; it looks like you were too lazy to find an additional source. Incorporating new and different external links shows Google that your content is reputable and gives your audience a broader frame of reference; which leads to a larger following and a greater likelihood of organic link building.

5. Make Good Use of Social Media

Facebook and Twitter are not just for posting pictures and going on political rants. Social Media needs to become a part of your SEO strategy. Sharing the content you create can have a big impact on organic link building. Not only does it create additional, quantifiable links, but it also exposes your content to an innumerable amount of people (some of whom might have more influence than you) who may also want to read and share your content. Using social platforms can also boost the validity and reliability of your content in the algorithm. Google+ Authorship enables you to link your Google+ profile with the content you create; which influences search rankings by establishing a valid association between page and author. And the more followers you have, the better your page will build organic links.

6. Devote More Time to Creating Quality Content

One of the key components of organic link building is creating share-worthy content. Frankly, actively building links should be one of the last things on your mind. I realize that this seems counter intuitive, but links without good content are useless. Your focus should be on writing a copy full of helpful, relevant and interesting information that real people actually want to read. In doing this, links will actually build themselves, because people will want to look at and share your content. This is an issue of quality over quantity. In this case, valuable material wins out over number of links inserted into a text.

By Kelcey Piper

Kelcey Piper studies Marketing and French at Baylor University. She has a passion for SEO and inbound marketing, and is the SEO strategy intern at RankHammer. Kelcey loves snow skiing, cycling, and cooking. Check out her personal food blog: www.kelceyskitchen.com