Why Link Building Just Doesn’t Cut It Anymore

Analyst evaluating the impact of their link building and outreach efforts

A decade ago, when SEO and digital marketing were still fairly new concepts, many marketers took the approach of link building to redirect traffic to their websites. As SEO and web crawlers evolve, however, those old tactics don’t always work. While links still have value in online content, the “link stuffing” ways of the past won’t bring you results. Here are a few reasons to consider a new approach to your link building strategies.

1) Quality Beats Quantity

Rather than just slapping content online with the hope that the web crawlers will pick it up and drive SEO automatically, today’s marketers have to be judicious and strategic with their content. The best content is written with the reader in mind—not SEO. Engaging content will always rise to the top and produce the result you desire over gratuitous link building SEO shortcuts.

2) Be an Open Book

Marketing officer reading the print version of a value base blog post to determine if quality improvements are required

While it’s tempting to gate every piece of content you write behind a form, that tactic won’t help increase your SEO rankings. Your audience is more likely to consume and share open content. True, you won’t get the same intel for your lead generation team, but by earning the trust of your audience with “free” content, you’ll be more likely to secure a lead from an engaged prospect when you do decide to ask for information in the future.

3) Those Who Can, Teach

These days, everyone is searching for an “edge.” Educational resources create the most buzz on the internet. Don’t be afraid to share your expertise on a subject. It will earn the respect and attention of your reader and, increase the reach and recognition of your brand (both personal and professional).

4) Make a List

Attention spans are getting shorter, and we’re all competing to be noticed online. By making a list in your digital content, you’ll convey the appearance of brevity, and easily-digested content. Your audience will be more likely to open a piece of content that they perceive will be a quick, consumable read.

5) Blog Your Heart Out

Conversely, to the point made above, there is a time and a place for long-form content. If you have a complex subject or an in-depth research study, for example, take the time to flesh out the content and don’t worry if you exceed 2,500 words or more. As long as your content is valuable, your links are sure to be shared by the parties who took the time to read your work.

6) Be Relevant

Contrary to self-promoting link building posts is the idea of writing to a specific audience. Don’t link back to content that has nothing to do with your subject matter. It will only serve to frustrate and alienate your readers.

7) Be Visual

Marketing manager working on his iMac reviewing recent link building reports looking for links that display toxic indicators

Content with imagery and high-quality graphics are much more likely to draw in a reader than those that are an endless sea of text. You can also link your graphics and images for an extra SEO boost—just be sure that the links take readers to something relevant to the content in your post.

8) Give Yourself a Promotion

Don’t be afraid to reach out to the influencers in your circle to ask them to promote your content. By tapping into their reader pool, you’ll gain much more traction than you would with simple link building tactics. It’s also smart to share your content on several different platforms and to use relevant hashtags to make the content searchable (and findable!).

Final Thoughts

By making a few simple shifts to traditional link building efforts, you’ll naturally increase SEO and brand recognition. Always keep the reader in mind and never sacrifice the quality of your content, and the rewards will come naturally.

The Perfect Guide for Building Backlinks to Your Website

Avatar for Eric Melillo

Eric Melillo

Eric Melillo is the Founder & CEO of COFORGE | A Growth Agency | HubSpot Silver Partner | Helping SMBs Grow Better using Inbound & HubSpot. Eric is also a lover of family, friends, and life. He enjoys good health, Tae Kwon-Do and discovering the most influential marketing trends.


Avatar for Eric Melillo

Eric Melillo

Eric Melillo is the Founder & CEO of COFORGE | A Growth Agency | HubSpot Silver Partner | Helping SMBs Grow Better using Inbound & HubSpot. Eric is also a lover of family, friends, and life. He enjoys good health, Tae Kwon-Do and discovering the most influential marketing trends.