Guest post by Tom Buckland
Link building trends for digital PR are centered around people, according to several SEO experts and link building specialists.
Roger Montti, a 20-year veteran of search marketing and writer for SEO Journal summarizes the year’s trends by saying: “Become the Site You Want a Link From.” He said it makes sense to move in a similar direction as Google’s algorithms that are currently focusing on users, solutions, and niches topics and audiences.
“The link building approach has to shift as well,” Montti added. “I know that ‘focus on people’ sounds like a Kumbaya platitude. But there is a real scientific basis to that approach. The chief reason is that Google’s algorithm is tuned toward pleasing users.”
Christoph C. Cemper, Founder and CEO of LinkResearchTools.com note that links are becoming more important to Google. He explains, “Ranking without links is hard, and why would anyone try to rank without links in the first place? Google cares about links more than anything, and so should you.”
Trend 1: Solving Problems
There is no doubt that you need an effective link building strategy to be on-trend in 2019. This strategy should identify a problem that needs solving and provide content explaining solutions. The key to this is to clearly identify your audience and then create content that solves their problems.
This is what is meant by creating “effective content.” An article, blog, or website should tell a practical story aimed at educating and inspiring. You must present practical tips for your audience which teach them to apply what they have learned.
Create useful content that brings value to your visitors. If you are creating content only to keep up with your editorial calendar or publishing schedule, you are not bringing anything new to the table. As a result, no one will link to your post which will lower its ranking on search engines.
Several experts are warning against creating content only to keep up with a specific schedule. Content marketing trends show that audiences desire personalization and targeted information. Content must bring value and add something new to the table. If it does not, it will cause your page to drop in rankings.
Trend 2: Be Useful
Montti also forecasts that 2019 and beyond will see fewer link building strategies solely focused on evoking emotion and reaction. He describes this as part of “the cult of distraction.”
He explains that the goal is to generate shares by getting people excited about something that matters.
He adds that since link building is about website rankings it should be noted that Google’s algorithms are moving away from quantity-based links to those that provide quality content. “You’re better off focusing on creating useful content that users return to, that users bookmark, that users share and users link to. This is the hallmark of a winning link building strategy,” he states.
Content should also be created based on the user’s perspective. Good content is any website, publication, or social media page’s best asset. It is also essential for good SEO.
Fact: Google loves high-quality content and this will help your site to rank well.
Another key trend in link building in 2019 is a focus on niche directories. Link builders should look at directories which are attached to informative websites in specific niches or industries. Another element to consider is editorial links which are an important aspect in terms of Google’s algorithm. These are links generated through quality content and not through random postings.
Trend 3: People First
Networking has never been more important than it is now.
It can only be beneficial to link up with people who have relevant websites to your product or niche, even if they are considered to be your competition. Building strong relationships with key people in your niche is an essential part of link building. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to find new contacts both online and offline.
Trend 4: Link Begging
While it is not a new strategy, “link begging” continues to be one that can be used to improve the quality of your interactions and create an opportunity for consistently better rankings.
Montti writes on the topic, “That’s significantly different from focusing on keywords, quantity and anchor text. But in my experience, it reflects the proper approach to link building for a search engine that no longer responds to keywords, quantity and anchor text. It’s been my experience that focusing on cultivating natural citations, cultivating word of mouth sharing, social sharing, and top of mind brand-building works for building links, traffic, and sales.”
Some argue that the testimonial link building is a win-win scenario. This allows you as a customer to say something about a company’s products and help them to build brand trust. What do you get? Well, you get a few backlinks and potential traffic to your article, website, or landing page.
Tom Buckland is an SEO consultant and the owner of Ghost Marketing, the #1 link building agency in the United Kingdom. He also owns the SEO blog, SEO Oasis and is an entrepreneur at heart. Connect with him on Twitter.