Link building with free content marketing resources
Link building is one of the most important aspects of successful marketing. In fact, it’s one of the most important content marketing resources in your entire arsenal. Alongside your content keyword strategy, the amount of inbound links your website has from reputable, related websites has a huge impact on your search engine result page (SERP) rank.
What is link building?
So what do we mean by link building and inbound links? Inbound links are clickable html links from an external website to your own website. They allow people to visit your website from somewhere else, and the more high-quality links you have, the better you’ll rank in search engines. Obviously, increasing the number of these links is hugely beneficial to your business content marketing efforts, and the process of increasing them is known as link-building.
Unfortunately, this is also the toughest aspect of SEO to grow sustainably and safely. Many people take the short-term, ‘Black hat’ route, and buy links in bulk from spam website owners. Unfortunately, buying links will only harm your business in the long-term, and finding trustworthy blogs and websites to get links from can be a nightmare. So which content marketing resources can we use to help?
Ahrefs and OpenSiteExplorer
Ahrefs.com and OpenSiteExplorer are free content marketing resources that offer link analysis of any website. As well analyzing our own link-building success, we can use these tools to explore another website’s link network… like your rival, for example. To do this, simply enter your rival’s website or address into the search bar, and press enter. You’ll be presented with a small list of domains that link to your rival’s website. You can get the whole list with a paid membership., but for our underdog content marketing purposes, 10-20 links is more than enough.
Click through these links and explore the linking website. Because these websites obviously share outbound links to websites in your niche, it means you have a great chance of getting your own links up. If the website looks reputable and related to your own industry, great! It’s go time.
There are three tactics you can use to cultivate legitimate inbound links:
1. Get in touch with them about a guest blog post
This approach is by far the best. Simply email the operator of the other website, and inquire about guest blogging. Many websites love posting content from bloggers in their industry, because it boosts their own content marketing resources without any effort. Quite often, you’ll even be able to swap blog posts, receiving some content to use on your own website.
Your guest blog post will be attributed to you, and it will include a link back to your own website. Perfect! You may even be able to squeeze a few more inbound links into the post itself, by including relevant links to material on your site – like related blog posts or free resources.
2. Do some blog commenting
If the website doesn’t accept guest blog posts, don’t worry. It’s still possible to get some inbound links through commenting on their existing blog posts. It’s as simple as finding an interesting blog post, reading it, and sharing your thoughts. Don’t spam, because your comment will be blocked or remove by their spam filters! You can normally add a website link into your comment, so remember to add your domain!
Unfortunately, Google doesn’t favor this approach too highly, and it these inbound links aren’t as valuable as guest blog posts. Your anchor text (the words containing your link) are also likely to be unrelated to your website, as your link will probably be attached to your name. As a result, stick to making these types of posts only once or twice a month.
3. Offer link swapping
The last option is to offer link swapping. By adding a link to their website on your own, they can return the favor. This is something of an outdated tactic though, and more liable to backfire than the others – so stick to guest blogging wherever possible!
They all look spammy!
Finally, if the all of the linking websites look suspicious – don’t worry! You won’t be able to get any decent inbound links from the sites, but your rival didn’t either. They’ll probably suffer Google’s wrath in the coming days, and see their website plummet down the rankings.
Using these two free content marketing resources, you can safely and sustainably build your link network. Best of all, it doesn’t cost a penny – making it perfect for small business content marketing and blog marketing.
If you’re looking for more free content marketing resources, check out our new resource archive! It contains free content marketing eBooks, tips, advice and links to other blog posts just like this one!