In today’s times where digital marketers prioritize using modern tech like voice search, chatbots, and even modern UI/UX presentation, it’s such a surprise to hear anything related to link building. After all, isn’t link building a very old digital marketing strategy? Is it really a method we can trust to improve our branding? As it turns out, link building can actually be one of the most versatile methods of digital marketing that can help improve your overall branding. And in today’s new decade, there are actually 2020 trends in link building you should definitely take advantage of.
Why link building, though? For a quick recap, it’s important to remember that digital marketing has been on the rise since the popularization of search engines (thanks, Google). And with the current COVID-19 pandemic challenging businesses to adopt more digital practices, digital marketing seems to be in for a rise. This makes sense, considering some of these relevant statistics:
- Google got around 2.3-trillion searches last 2019. And of the results that appear, 67.60-percent of these clicks go to the top five results. This means if your blog post ends up on that top five, or even the first page alone, you have a huge chance of getting a ton of visitors.
- Last 2019, 52-percent of online traffic worldwide came from mobile, with 45-percent on desktop. This means you’ve got to start making sure your content suits your mobile users.
- Mobile queries for “where to buy” and “near be” have grown 200-fold from 2018 to 2019. This means you’ve got to start making your links suited for these kinds of searches.
With that in mind, what modern link building trends should we leverage on? How should your blog take advantage of the above statistics? Here are some of the recent trends you should follow to make sure you stay on top of your link building game:
- Take advantage of multiple link building platforms. When we say link building, we don’t just mean using guest posts and blogs to build links across your network and niche. In fact, modern digital marketing strategies emphasize the effective usage of other content platforms and media to present relevant insights, data, and product offerings. If your brand uses these link building platforms to your advantage, your link building strategies can lead to higher returns and better conversions.
- Use business directories to gain instant links back to your website. These online resources act like digital yellow pages that can help people be more familiar with your business. For instance, Google Business allows you to not just add your business name to Google, but also include a business address, contact information, and even links to your website.
- Use social media to directly reach your audiences. There are currently around 3.5-billion netizens online, meaning social media websites will likely have millions of people subscribed and joining niche groups and communities related to your brand. Posting your links and building your network there can get you a huge readership and may even score you some conversions.
- Repurpose your existing (but not ranking) content to accommodate specific platforms. If you have content that’s not really ranking or getting enough views, you don’t necessarily have to throw it away. Instead, try to find social media websites you think might have audiences interested in your content and repurpose your content to fit that site’s format. For Twitter, try to organize your article into pictures or short content bursts. For Instagram, perhaps an infographic might suffice. Adding the original content’s link in the caption can lead a lot of people back to your original content, and blogs that find your content interesting can even link back to you in their blog.
- Pay close attention to how you optimize your website. At the end of the day, we all come back to your website. This is where all your backlinks will lead, so we might as well focus on this as early as now. One of the most fatal mistakes we fail to consider when thinking about link building is making sure we meet audience satisfaction and provide great user experience. We may have the best link building strategy out there, but it won’t generate great leads and great sales if our website isn’t fit for our strategy anyways. Modern link building trends include fixing broken links, optimizing for mobile, and prioritizing great UX and UI.
- Make sure your website is optimized for mobile users. Considering how a majority of online users today use mobile gadgets and smartphones, having a site or a blog that’s easy to read can make your link building campaigns much easier. Your link building strategies can become so much easier when attractive ads, easy-to-digest blogs, and visually-appealing social media posts lead to a mobile-optimized website. It makes the customer sales journey a much smoother funnel.
- Fixing broken links will remain quite a popular link building trend, particularly because a lot of websites close everyday. This gives you a ton of opportunities to claim broken links in certain websites, and tell their webmasters to point those links to your related content. You should also keep an eye out for broken 404 links on your content, such as anchor texts that don’t have links, misspelled links, and broken links in general. This makes sure your previous link building efforts aren’t in vain.
- Take advantage of modern tech trends and features you can use to improve upon your website. For instance, websites like OrganicLinkBuilders use chat boxes and mobile-optimized website layouts to give readers the impression that the site is built precisely for mobile devices. However, it still has a desktop-friendly layout for PC users. This allows all users to view the website, which is perfect for its audience, which is anyone who wants to avail digital marketing services.
- Google’s BERT means we should do more user-focused optimization. With Google releasing the new BERT algorithm last October 2019, there’s been a renewed focus on user-focused content. This simply means making sure content we release is tailor-made for users and readers, and not just containing anchor texts for our links. Thanks to Google’s more advanced language-processing capabilities, it’s now able to make more advanced assessments to determine the value of things we write. This can have huge implications to our link building processes, as building links with the wrong content may in fact damage our search engine score.
- Aside from keywords, start focusing on meeting user intent as well. Given BERT, it’s getting quite noticeable that search engines are starting to lean away from keywords. And while we still use keywords today, it may be about time to start understanding audience needs and making more content to build links with them. When you look for keywords, try to find out what the actual search terms and queries were, so you can have a better take on content you want to use as guest posts or build links with.
- Start focusing more on the topics and less about the keywords. Instead of paying too much attention with “keywords you want to rank,” try to think of the entire article from a holistic perspective. What exactly do you want to answer, and what would users likely ask next? This means focusing more on finding out who your audiences are and how they search, what’s the underlying reason and intent for those searches, and finding the best way to present answers to them. When you build links, start with a keyword and “expand” from there. Make sure you topic other questions and queries related to your keyword, so you can focus on promoting more content across a variety of topics.
- Take advantage of networking opportunities. One of the best trends to take note of with link building this year would be a growing interest towards networking. Gone are the days when we bombard the emails of websites just to get a post going. Nowadays, brands big and small interact with each other for partnerships, sponsorships, and even link exchanges to make sure they rise alongside their contemporaries. This is also why we see a lot of trending link building strategies that center around concepts such as link exchanges, reverse guest posting, and similar concepts. This is beneficial for a lot of reasons:
- Instead of simply asking other blogs if they can post your work on their site, you can also open up your blog for guest posters. Everyone loves a great guest posting opportunity, which gives you not only free content, but free readership as well. If a big personality or brand decides to write on your blog, you’ll get part of their readership heading your way. Likewise, you can even make agreements that would have the same sites accept content on your end.
- Doing this kind of networking raises your score for search engines, as they’ll see you as a productive member of your niche. This is great, as you spread your links in a way that doesn’t seem “spammy.”
Modern Link Building Strategies: Trends to Live By
With the above tips in mind, it’s important to remember that link building may be a traditional digital marketing strategy – but it’s also one of the most effective tactics any marketer can use. A lot of the trends we’ve mentioned above can be connected to a lot of rising technology today. And this is for good reason, as a lot of modern advancements used in content creation, e-commerce, and even advertisements are made with networking and marketing in mind. As such, link building can theoretically be possible provided we can get creative with using these modern advancements.
If you have more suggestions for us digital marketers, feel free to share your link building insights in the comments. You’re also free to discuss any points we’ve raised, so we can have a healthy discourse on modern link building trends that can be used by both veteran and newbie marketers.
John Gonzales loves two things the most in the world – technology and pizza. As a writer by trade, he spends a lot of time writing about food, travel, and the latest in tech developments. John is your guy when it comes to writing pieces on gadgets and consoles, games, health and medicine, and even marketing. As a techie himself, John wants to make sure his pieces aren’t just informative, but also very personal and tailored to reader needs.