If you aren’t as knowledgeable about backlinks as you’d like to be, read What is Link Building for SEO and then come back to this post.
Back in 1996, Microsoft founder Bill Gates wrote an essay about the future of the internet as a marketplace for content. He used the expression “Content is King” and because the success of websites depends on quality content, his words have been used frequently ever since.
But creating content and publishing it on your site isn’t going to automatically entice other organizations to link to your site from theirs and boost your ranking on search engines. Obtaining quality external links – backlinks – takes the right tactics and the right resources. Oh, and time. Lots of time.
Here are five effective B2B link building strategies that can be applied to nearly all business types and industries.
5 Proven B2B Link Building Strategies
1. Content-Related Link-Building
A content-based link building strategy is when you create content assets that can be used to entice companies to link their websites to your content. These content assets include:
- Data visualization (the graphic representation of data)
- How-to guides
- Image galleries
- Tip sheets
You can develop these content assets with the intention of earning links from organizations and people who find your content authentic, engaging, relevant, and valuable to their audience. Then, once they link to content on your site, you can get in touch to discuss a long-term link-building plan where you don’t need to ask for each link. Be prepared—this strategy is time-intensive and demands patience.
2. Guest Blogging
Guest blogging involves approaching authority websites to ask if they will publish content that you will write for their blog. While this is an effective strategy to build links, Google has recently warned marketers who are abusing this method by publishing poor-quality content and over-optimized anchor text. They have become increasingly efficient at spotting such content and blacklisting it.
But properly executed, guest blogging helps others see you as an expert and that builds trust. Buffer, a social media management tool, acquired about 100,000 users within the first 9 months of launching the app due to guest blogging. Here is the co-founder’s guest-blogging story.
3. Broken Link Strategy
The internet is home to lots of broken links. You’ve undoubtedly seen your share. The good news is that most of these links can be found (surprisingly) on high-value, authority pages.
The broken link building technique involves helping webmasters fix broken links on their web pages by providing better linking alternatives. Here's the process:
- Find broken links
- Create relevant content to replace the broken links
- Connect with the webmaster
When you reach out to the webmaster, simply point out the broken links and suggest your latest resource as an alternative. The webmaster then fixes their broken link by linking to your resource on your website. You can repeat this process to build a network of good-quality links.
4. Ego Bait Link Building
We all like a little ego boost now and then. And that’s why this approach – creating content that positively features influencers in your niche and entices them to return the favor with a link or through social media – can be effective.
The ego bait link building method centers on content that leverages on the egos of people you feature in your content. This act provides the ‘feel-good factor’ and may push them to share your content. The process involves four steps:
- Create a concept and find targets
- Develop the content
- Connect with your targets
Here's an example. Imagine writing a post that includes an article on another website. You then contact the writer of that article to say that you loved the article so much you linked to it from your post. And you include a short P.S. to say you'd appreciate if they promoted your post, too.
This approach is designed to help you build a relationship with someone who could ultimately be an important influencer for you. You're familiar with the "give and get" concept in business, right? The reason this approach can work is that you are "giving" before you are asking to "get."
There are other approaches to consider, too. One is to include quotes from influencers in your articles. Another is to create a list that features top influencers for the subject -- e.g., Strategies for Growing Your Business from 10 Successful Entrepreneurs. And if you can connect with influencers, interview them on a trending topic and work the comments into an article or guide.
5. Take Advantage of Directory Listings
Have you spent the time to get your business name, address and phone number listed on online business listing sites and citation sites? This will help with visibility and backlinks from these sites will have an SEO benefit. There are location-specific as well as industry-specific business listing sites where you can submit your data. Learn more in this blog post.
Ready to get started with B2B link building? We can help. Contact us today!