In today's search optimization and online marketing scene, relevance equates to PR. While contextual relevancy and on-point links aren't exactly new concepts, their importance are even more highlighted in the advent of aggressive search engine algorithm updates and the rapid evolution of SERP activity. With the devaluation of certain types of links (those that violate Google's webmaster guidelines and best practices), search engines rely on link relevancy in order to determine trust, deliver relevant query results in the correct context, and sort out spammy links. With these facts in mind, it is high time to re-think your link-building strategies and put more weight on free links relevancy as Google does.
One of the major problems that many websites have is the abundance of irrelevant links in their link profiles. This may stem from diverse linking patterns, natural linking activities and behaviors, or from olden strategies that once aimed to fake relevancy. While irrelevant links or free links from irrelevant domains are not entirely bad, trouble arises when the vast majority of the links in your profile come from off-topic domains. To leverage the power of link-building, you can start by cleaning out your link profile, eliminating bad links, and starting fresh with on-topic links that offer domain relevancy. While irrelevant links may still pass authority and trust to your site, relevant, on-topic links carry more weight, helping you raise dominance in your niche.
Here are some helpful tips and tactics to help you gain and build relevant links:
- Earn Your Authority. Authority is earned and the more you prove your worth in your own niche, the more 'votes of confidence' relevant domains will give you. One of the best ways to do this is by generating high-quality and authoritative guides that show your level of expertise on the subject at hand, while balancing its informational content. If you want to establish rapport with a relevant linking-audience, create content that appeals to them, but always anchor your content with the subject and general theme of your website. Another way to increase the likelihood of gaining highly relevant links is by reaching out to authors and similar websites that have already established their authority in the matter. Cite them as resources and give them good reason to link back, which brings us to the next tip:
- Get Linkable Assets. Find out who the most powerful influencers, thought leaders, experts, prominent websites and publications are in your niche and feature them in your blog or write a good feature to stroke their ego. They are about the most valuable linkable assets you can have, as their engagement is worth a hundred free links or more from your linking partners. If you're lucky your link may even be added to your target's about page or featured in their accomplishment list, but you can almost always count on them to drop a note about your feature on their own blog, ergo, big link points and great exposure.
- Create Link-Worthy Infographics. While infographics are much harder to generate and market than other forms of content, the links that they attract are theoretically more valuable and of higher quality. These days, quality is preferred over quantity, which means a single, relevant link still holds more value than handful of low-quality links. The main advantage of infographics is that they naturally target industry-related and highly focused topics, which brings a great level of granularity to the link-building strategy. Another effective approach is including research or data generated by relevant organizations and by co-branding your info-graphic with a relevant site.
- Leverage more aggressive link-building tactics. These tactics may include publishing in-depth reviews of noteworthy products and/or services in your niche (or tangentially related industries), creating free tools, curating content, and building separate microsites that focus on specific topics. You may also join relevant link exchange platforms like Free Relevant Links to receive highly relevant free links from websites that offer great value to your own. Unlike other directories, Free Relevant Links maintains link quality by thoroughly reviewing member sites and sifting out low quality sites. Used correctly, this free links network can help boost your Google rankings and in turn generate bigger traffic shares for your website.