The online marketing industry, specifically search engine optimization, has gone through major ups and downs over the last decade. Strategies and tactics that were once useful and efficient are now considered as spam or black hat methods. Thousands of websites benefitted from these illicit practices until Google revamped its search algorithms and changed the course of SEO history!
From filling web pages with keyword stuffed and plagiarized content to buying irrelevant and low-quality backlinks in bulk, the black hat SEO practitioners used all sorts of spammy methods to fool the search engines. However, as Google started hammering down on these websites, these tactics backfired in getting the sites penalized or de-indexed.
To recover from the penalties or to cope with the onslaught of algorithm updates, smart marketers came up with solutions such as organic manual outreach, online PR, relationship building, and white hat link building strategies.
The typical definition of white hat SEO may tell you volumes about this strategy. At the first point, the two primary things most marketers realized are:
- White hat SEO means tons of real work. There are no short-cuts to success.
- White hat SEO not only works well, but it is also sustainable.
If you want to revive your online marketing efforts through white hat SEO practices such as high-quality link building, here are a few proven tips that you can try.
- Blog commenting is a mighty approach
Blog comments are proven to be an ideal way to promote content. You should try to diversify the anchor text and construct a natural link profile. However, it is counted as a black hat practice when you outsource or automate commenting. It is also bad if you comment on spammy sites or try to jam keywords in the text.
To do it right:
– Step 1: Find a quality blog
It is only of value when you comment on a high-quality blog which is relevant to your niche. You can use Google blog search and other advanced search options to find topic-specific blogs. For example, if you want to promote content for an online store selling shoes, the ideal search text to use would be:
- Winter fashion trends “comment.”
- Summer shoe trends “leave a comment.”
- Seasonal Sneaker trends “submit a comment.”
- Autumn sneaker trends “reply.”
- Winter footwear trends “leave a reply.”
– Step 2: Get the comments approved
Authentic blogs may send the comments first to the moderator for approval. As you are dropping a custom link, it is crucial that you follow the rules that the particular blog has imposed regarding commenting. Enter name field, email ID field, website URL, and comment field appropriately. A good comment can set off a chain reaction of many events, some of which include:
- More traffic to your site.
- Social media sharing of your content.
- Increased number of social media followers.
- Get the press linked to you
Just maintaining a PR submission routine is not enough. You need the exposure of getting your press releases published on poplar news sites. Instead of forcing your business to the journalists, your approach should be to try and adapt their columns to your business. You can try the following steps to make it happen.
– Step 1: Find opportunities
Search locally to find the best and easiest opportunities for you to do white hat link building. Also, search based on your niche to find the best columns featuring your products or industry. You should also know the popular publications. You can use Google search effectively for this too. The variety of keywords that you can use are:
- sitename.com business events
- sitename.com business networking
- sitename.com local business features
You can combine the search operators as “intitle:,” “inurl:” and such to get more precise results. For example:
- inurl: Miami business events
- intitle: local fashion business spotlight
– Step 2: Align content
Once you find good opportunities, you need to fit into their column. For this, you have to align your content with theirs. Here is a sample pitch that you can try for your clients.
- Local Bar— Say you came across a journalist covering some fresh business ideas, and you made a deal by offering 5% off on their bills if someone Instagrams an image of their favorite drink by tagging the bar’s location.
– Step 3: Reach out
Some site may provide email ID, but it is usually not the case. You need to track these sites down on LinkedIn or so. You can also run a simple Google search by inserting “Author Name + LinkedIn + News Publication.” Once you get it, try to connect before you start messaging. When they accept, send a brief message first and wait for a response.
If you are not sure about how you should approach them, here is a prototype that you can take inspiration from:
I have been following your publication, sitename.com for some time now. If you are interested, I have a small tip on local businesses which will ideally fit into your column. Awaiting your reply!”
Winning a quality link through such correspondence is quite a lot of work, but it is worth it if you succeed. Soon after getting approval from such a blog, you may start receiving more visitors and leads.
- Other link building strategies
– Broken link building
Finding sites with broken links and mailing them to provide them an alternate link with similar content. For example, if you send 580 emails and replace 25 links, the success rate will be 4%.
– Content updating and link building
Checking for sites with similar outdated content and mailing them to offer a link with relevant updated content to replace the old ones. For example, if you send 950 requests and get at least 15 responses, you will have a 1.5% success rate.
Finding a broken link or outdated content link may not immediately qualify you to replace it with yours. When it comes to earning backlinks, you must approach a website that is relevant, of high quality and is trusted. Websites only tend to link to sites they know and trust. That is where networking plays vital. Ideal networking targets real people behind the content. Social media is the right way to connect, and it may ensure about 60-70% effective white hat link building.