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SEO Basics Pt. 3: How to get (natural) links


Passion Digital - SEO Basics

Having the correct sort of link profile for your website is critical for your business so that search engines can get an accurate picture of the importance, relevancy and authority of your site.

However, spamming the internet with links to your website is counterproductive and over time it may do serious damage to your website. In the eyes of both search engines and potential customers, low quality links discredit your site.

What needs to be encouraged is the organic creation of links; that is to say letting others do the hard work for you. To do this you need ‘linkable assets’. These are things on your site that people deem to be of such a high quality that they are willing to direct their site visitors towards them via a link.

Although most people really already know this, actually implementing this strategy is easier said than done. As a result, shortcuts are often taken and problems (that may not be immediately apparent) keep on mounting.

In order to foster organic links you have to be imaginative, creative and willing to put a bit of work in first.

You need to create content on your website that is:

  • Evergreen (relevant all of the time) OR seasonal (relevant at regular points every year).
  • Interesting.
  • Useful.
  • Not commercial in nature (for the most part).

To show you what this practically means, let’s imagine that you own a dog biscuit company and that you need to build up a link profile.

Dog standing next to coloured biscuits.

If you had a biscuit company, you could produce some great content. Content marketing is king: get it right and you’ll reap the rewards.

If you just write esoteric content about the various ingredients in your biscuits then you will not get a great amount of interest and associated natural links. However, if you expand your horizons and start writing about all aspects of dog health and ownership then interest in your site will rapidly grow. You could even add in the odd piece of entertaining – but not strictly relevant – dog related content.  Examples of article titles might include:

  • Top ‘Superfoods’ for dogs.
  • Poisonous foods dogs should never eat.
  • How much should I walk my dog?
  • Healthy canine diets for a shiny coat.
  • Is organic food better for my dog?
  • 10 best dog trick videos this month.

So at Passion Digital we would analyse the marketplace, see what other dog biscuit companies were having link success with, suggest new content be created and then nudge that content towards the right places (bloggers, journalists, webmasters). In order to be able to suggest new content we use Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics and keyword research to tell us what people want to read about and our work is heavily influenced by what we find.

Our results could even tell us what form the linkable asset should take; video, infographic, original articles, interviews, ‘how to’ guides or resource pages.

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, recently gave Eric Enge these insights:

“The philosophy that we’ve always had is if you make something that’s compelling then it would be much easier to get people to write about it and to link to it.”

“If you think like a good marketer and think about what will appeal to people, you will find your job… getting links or trying to build your links… easier.”

“Links are still the best way that we’ve found to discover… how relevant or important somebody is to someone else.”

Take these insights on board and act on them!

Matt Cutts

Head of Google Webspam.

Finally, it’s worth noting that you will sometimes have to create your own links. For instance, if you are a plumber in London then you should submit your details to one or two established directories. That’s a sensible move. However, the overall point this article is making is that if you put time and effort into creating the right sort of content then you will reap the rewards in the long run. Content marketing is something you have to get right.

Passion Digital have a dedicated search engine optimisation team. If you’re interested in what we could offer you then please get in touch.