Nothing good comes easy. Search engine optimisation is a long game and how well you perform is not always under your control. Competitor rankings, traffic and conversions outside of your peripheral can increase without you realising it. One thing you can count on for closing the gap between is getting the fundamentals right. And this includes a number of key areas, such as backlinks, and content. As a result your brand can move closer to the top positions in SERPs. Google understands if your online brand is geared up for competing in search results by a quartet of parameters. Make sure your website is technically sound, mobile compatible, publishes content that serves user queries with ease and clarity, and receives inbound links via good neighbourhoods. In this article we will address one of these fundamentals – link building. We will deconstruct the techniques that can be considered as valuable assets for any inbound marketing or content marketing strategy. One of the prime examples of how a link building strategy can be simplified in The Periodic Table of Link Acquisition, which outlines the core components of methods used for obtaining backlinks. If we use this example as a starting point to break down tactics by relevance we can begin to understand the true value these tactics bring. Earning Backlinks Through Collaboration #1. Partnerships In the past you might be advised by an SEO expert to list your business on the testimonial or resources pages of a website you do business with. Times have changed, and so should your tactics. Ask each of your professional partners about current and future marketing activities that your organisation can be a part of and have them reference this collaboration through any promotional material that goes out onsite and through email. #2. Non-profit Non-profit and charity organisations don’t tend to link out like news websites of blogs do. It;s not their agenda, and it makes no sense to do so. However, if a charity or non-profit wants to make an announcement then a press release may go out. If you have in some way helped said charity then your brand name and website url should be involved in the promotional material. Think of how you can help a charity and spark up a relationship today. Try this guide for learning how to connect with non-profit organisations for SEO gain. #3. Bloggers Bloggers are the new-age celebrities of the internet. Brands are shamefully falling over themselves to capitalise on the user engagement and referral traffic they can generate. The value of the backlink channeling these SEO metrics can be dynamite. Bespoke articles and reviews are popular ideas to explore. Be warned, audience relevance and size is key to making your opportunity worthwhile. Don’t forget to read Google’s guidelines on the dos and don’ts of working with bloggers for links. #4. Influencers Anyone with a strong social following or audience can claim to be an influencer on the web. The power is with the people for sure. Chances are you will find them promoting their personal brands through the channels and platforms you want to be seen in. Find out who the big names in your sector are and approach them with a mutually beneficial proposition. Be creative, don’t just offer money for a link. Google frowns upon that! Here’s some helpful advice on how to approach influencers to improve your online visibility. #5. Web mentions If your marketing department is going great guns then people will know your brand name. It may appear in the news or within other websites. These citations are backlink opportunities just waiting to be pounced on. Create a list of instances where your brand is mentioned online and ask yourself if you deserve a link from this website. Contact the author and request for the link to be sanctioned. Some policies vary, so it’s always good to check. Earning Backlinks Through Attraction #6. Social The majority of links embedded from social media platforms are no-follow, but that’s fine. As the focus is not related to a direct SEO metric, it’s the quantity of social engagement that matters. Traffic and user engagement derived from inbound links via social is where you see true value. The added exposure may lead to more people talking about your content, which means more people may link to you. #7. Newsjacking Content that fits in with the agenda of an online journalist, editor or news writer is likely to make the headlines. Getting your story in when a topic is hot is key. Think about what storytelling your brand can be the voice of, and ensure your editorial mouthpiece knows where to link back to. Here’s some sharp advice on how you can exploit newsjacking for links. #8. Authorship Building a personal brand is more about reputation over backlinks. However, the people reading your advice will predictably want to know where you reach you for further information. Help them find you by including a link to your website in your author byline. Check that the policy of the publication you are writing for allows this. Some great advice here on starting your own personal branding strategy for building engagement and backlinks. #9. Interactive Interactive content is a simple way of explaining complex information, which is what Google expects of you. If your content is picked up by the right influencer can drive the high-powered links to your website. This in-turn helps keyword visibility. Ensure the original version of your content piece is available to view on your website so influencers and peers can link out here. Find out how to master interactive content for producing backlinks here. #10. Communities Don’t forget the conversations that happen on popular platforms such as Reddit, Quora and other community based websites. Having your content idea or latest brand proposition referenced within threads in these channels is a handy thing to do. It’s a sure-fire way to send relevant traffic to your website, and reams of it. The backlinks are the by-product of a trusted endorsement.