Over time, SEO best practices have evolved; however, the importance of inbound linking has remained relatively consistent. If anything, the primary change has been the search engine approach to scoring each link, which combats link-stuffing and suspicious link-building tricks.
If you're a marketing professional trying to optimize your business for search, you likely understand the practice of link-building. Additionally, you probably recognize the importance of avoiding questionable tactics that do more harm than good. But there are other, less-common strategies that leverage emerging marketing trends and attempt to create linking advantages through partnerships and business relationships. Here are three such practices to strengthen your approach to SEO.
1. Strategically Cite Influencers in Your Content
Attract influencers by quoting or citing them within your content. The Content Marketing Institute suggests using influencer search tools to find macro- and micro-influencers who appeal to a relevant consumer audience. These individuals will appreciate being mentioned in your content and might be willing to share that content on their own platforms as a means of promoting their brands.
When you cite an influencer in your content, be sure to let them know. Ask if they're willing to share links to your content on their social accounts, newsletter or blog. These inbound links can prove to be especially valuable to your site's SEO.
2. Target the Sites That Link to Your Competition
Research your competitors' inbound links. This might provide a natural path for building links that help your brand at the expense of your competitors' SEO. Unless your competitors established exclusive linking partnerships with certain publishers, it's safe to assume that those publishers will be interested in linking to your site as well. It's worth reaching out to discover the types of future partnerships that are possible.
3. Prioritize Content Syndication
Syndicating your content across other channels is a simple way to create inbound links back to your content and website. However, make sure syndication won't hurt your search engine rankings. Each syndicated link, for example, requires special HTML tags to communicate that content is being canonized, rather than plagiarized. Syndication needs to occur on sites that are equal to or larger than your own brand's site. Syndication on smaller sites will not impact SEO, according Search Engine Journal. LinkedIn and Medium are two great sources for syndication, but there are plenty of other outlets that might align with your industry and target audience.
It's a common practice to think about link-building in technical terms, but relationships are crucial to a company's inbound linking success as well. As your SEO strategy matures, be on the lookout for relationship opportunities that could be the source of new, valuable inbound links.