Link building has been around and will continue to be around for a very long time as an important search engine optimization (SEO) strategy for online marketers.
Think of it like a pair of denim pants. While you may go through dozens of different shorts, slacks, or boxers in a decade or so, that pair of denim pants will still be in your wardrobe for years.
And in the link-building world, there’s one powerful weapon many marketers rely heavily on to boost search engine rankings: editorial links.
What are editorial links?
According to WordStream, editorial links are links that are the result of good content writing and marketing practices. And they’re the most desired type of links of them all.
There is a clear advantage to using organic editorial links. They come with minimal or no risk of being penalized by Google, but only if the content produced is shareable, well-written, and incorporates good SEO techniques.
The chart above by Jason Acidre explains how editorial links work, both in the technical and interpersonal level.
As you can see, quality plays the biggest role in producing organic link-backs from other sites. And they do so because your content is compelling and worth citing as a valuable source – no strings attached.
How to Score Editorial Links That Will Push Your Site to the Top
If you’re starting from scratch, one way to give your website a head start is to buy or register a domain name that includes your keyword.
Statistics show that 63 percent of the top-ranking websites in almost every industry has a keyword-optimized domain name. When your content is ranking on the SERPs, the chances of other site owners citing your content as a resource when they start building their content becomes highly likely — even for authoritative sites.
As long as your entire domain name is not an exact match of your target keyword, adding a keyword to your domain URL is shown to improve your website’s chances of ranking highly in search engines.
Region-specific keywords in certain niches are also an observed trend amongst popular sites.
1. Write a spectacular, data-driven blog post.
This is why as a blogger or marketer, it’s your job to know how to produce good content, and how to recognize it when you see it. Below are common qualities of an extraordinary blog post that make it more likely to be shared or cited as a source:
- Well-researched and friendly writing tone
- Proper attention to grammar and spelling
- Allows social engagement (comments, reviews, social media share buttons)
- Attractive page design
- Skimmable and viewer-friendly blog structure
- Compelling headline
Also, pay attention to the length of your post. Research shows that the longer and more comprehensive the post, the more likely it is to be shared on social media channels.
Refer to the image below from Noah Kagan for more insight into post word count:
Once you become an expert in writing spectacular content, you can then focus on other link-building tactics so that content doesn’t go to waste.
2. Reverse engineer links in your competitor’s related content.
Reverse engineer links in your competitor’s related content. You can start off by doing a Google search for major keywords you’d like to target. Next, save in a separate document, as an excel sheet, the first 20 results that come up for that specific query.
Then you can use a link research tool such as the one from Moz to know which pages are internally linking to competitors.
You can create a separate tab for this. Additionally, you may also want to add other categories to make your competitor analysis more in-depth, such as:
- Publish date of content
- Page’s pagerank
- If the content is editable upon request
- Email address of the webmaster
Next, you can write higher-quality and more comprehensive content and then contact the webmaster of where you found your competitor’s links. Let them know you have something that’s more in-depth that they can link to. This takes away the link from your competitor in the process.
3. Look for popular bloggers who can include your content in a roundup post.
One great way of leveraging on the traffic and authority of other bloggers is to be included in a roundup post. And this may be easier to do than other tactics, since there are plenty of bloggers who routinely write roundup posts. You just need to be mentioned in one of them. Of course, there are different approaches you can try to connect with these bloggers.
Personally, we find that establishing good relations via commenting, social media following, and sharing their content is a good place to start.
After you’ve increased your chances of getting noticed, you can then reach out to them. Let them know you have an awesome piece of content and you’re wondering if it can be included in one of their future roundup posts.
If they agree, make sure you thank them and let them know how you can help them out as well. After all, content marketing is also about online networking.
4. Promote your on-site content with externally-hosted content.
Another effective approach you can take to gain editorial links for your site is to create a main content that’s well-written and packed with value, and then linking back to it through externally-hosted content. If you’re wondering what externally-hosted content are, it’s basically any form of content that you have published in other sites. Examples would be guest posts or free reports.
To execute this properly, do the following:
- Write your main content first, then three to five supporting content (preferably guest posts). Bear in mind that these supporting content must contain an in-body link to your main post.
- Publish your main content, making sure it’s relevant and engaging.
- Optimize your site first to prepare for high volumes of traffic so you don’t waste your effort by discouraging visitors from coming back to your slow-loading site. Use a content delivery network (CDN), or optimize your image sizes to improve page loading time.
- Next, work on pitching your guest posts to other authority sites or blogs.
Once these guest posts are published, not only do you build up nice SEO value for your main contents page, but you also attract relevant traffic.
Now It’s Your Turn
Link building has certainly come a long way since its inception. But experts would agree that it’s something that’s here to stay. Knowing this, there’s really no reason why digital marketers such as yourself shouldn’t take advantage of editorial links to increase your search engine visibility.
Just remember, however, that the first step is always to create quality content. Once you’ve done that, you’re guaranteed that your link-building efforts won’t be put to waste. And in due time, you’ll be enjoying the rewards of all your hard work in the form of a top-ranking site on search engines!