Before the Google Penguin update in 2012, link building was the primary focus for most of the successful websites online. The sites that could build the most backlinks were most commonly at the top of the search engines. Spammy link schemes and automated link building helped sites promote their content, with the material often failing to meet the standards of searchers. As Google started to roll out new algorithm changes, it became far harder for sites with low-quality backlinks to rank.
While backlinks still play a role in SEO, link schemes and mass link building tools are unlikely to provide any long-term results. Now, quality content has become a more critical factor, with a natural flow of relevant links following from publishing and promoting articles, videos, and images. The following method can be used to replace the old way of link building with something fresher and more efficient.
Find Popular Content
You may have an idea of popular articles and videos through paying close attention to your industry. You can, however, uncover favorite content using data to get an accurate picture. Tools like BuzzSumo and Ahrefs will find relevant content and look at the number of social shares it has received. By using these means, it is possible to quickly see the type of material that resonates with the audience you want to attract.
See Who Liked the Content
You could manually look through the accounts who liked or posted each piece of content. However, it is again far easier to use software for the task. The previously mentioned tools, along with various alternatives, will show who promoted the content, while you can also look at the referring domains to see which sites linked out to it. You can use this method to find the influencers who have a relevant following.
Reach Out to Influencers and Websites
If individuals have promoted similar content in the past, it is highly unlikely they will encourage your output too. Reaching out to influencers can be performed manually, but there are also tools that can simplify the task. If you are reaching out to an extensive list of people, the software can help organize the process. Pitchbox and BuzzStream are two of the tools that make outreach simple, automating processes without making them feel impersonal to the influencers.
Repurpose the Content
Repurposing content is key to gaining the maximum level of syndication. An article can be turned into an infographic, video, and podcast, appealing to audiences who prefer to consume content in different ways. You can also appeal to particular platforms, such as making quotable paragraphs that can be posted as snippets on Twitter with the click of a button.
Following a consistent strategy of developing and promoting quality content, backlinks will naturally come. Your backlink profile will be natural, featuring links from relevant sites that use a broad mix of anchor text. For some people involved with SEO, focusing less on backlinks will be a problem. However, for anyone willing to create or invest in content, the chance to produce articles and videos that audiences are eager to consume will be a far more attractive proposition.