Link building is often said to be the hardest part of an search engine marketing campaign by many industry leading experts – but it doesn’t necessarily have to be so difficult. If you’re working on an SEO campaign for a client, or are a business owner looking to improve the number of back links you have, it may be better to focus your efforts closer to home, as opposed to actively hunting for links. The links you attract naturally are often the most high quality, and can help improve your search engine rankings more so than other link building techniques.

Here are some tips to make your website naturally “linkable”:

Great Content is Delicious!

Although “content is king” is an adage that is so overused in the SEO industry it is beginning to lose it’s true meaning – it is actually still completely true. Creating good quality, relevant and engaging content is much more likely to attract visitors, links, and much more importantly, readers. Attracting actual readers is the key to attracting natural links, as these are the people who are most likely to get involved in the conversation and share your content on their own blogs and websites.

UGC (User Generated Content)

Following along the lines of “content is king” – user generated content is the perfect way for people to do the content creation for you – for free! If you own an e-commerce website, allow people to post reviews and add their own custom tags to products. If you own a blog, allow people to add their own comments and even articles. You get the picture…

Time-Invested Research Papers, Infographics or Data Visualisation

People love data – especially percentage breakdowns, usage figures and other similar research. Taking the time to create one great article that has been thoroughly researched, proof read, and contains data that no other blog has taken the time to think about is going to be a gold mine for link acquisition, and will be much more valuable than spending a similar amount of time creating a series of low-quality articles. Run a questionnaire and visualise the results on your blog, create an infographic using data somebody else has already made publicly available, or simply release some statistics that are particularly interesting – you’ll be sure to acquire natural links.

Being Controversial

It’s controversial to even mention being controversial, but saying something that goes against the norm, or sparking a debate about something is often the best way to get people talking about you, and to ultimately link to you. Steve Rubel recently published an article about how Google Instant makes SEO irrelevant, which attracted 2022 ReTweets, 390 Facebook “Likes”, 207 comments and tonnes of links – including highly authoritative websites such as BBC News (note: I’m not going to link to it here). Try being controversial (in a good way), without being over the top, and see how your rankings improve with a boost to your link profile.

Are You Linking Building Smartly?

Link building doesn’t have to be about submitting directories, asking for links and other forced efforts. Try looking at the assets you already own, and improve them where necessary. Publish great content regularly, and get your visitors involved and talking to you on a regular basis. Most of all, don’t take any short cuts or underhand tactics – stay away from copying other people’s content, acquiring spammy links or attempting to trick the search engines; they are smarter than you think.

This guest post was courtesy of business VoIP provider PackNet. PackNet specialise in IP telephony, and offer a VoIP reseller service to businesses throughout the UK. Recently, PackNet have been improving the content throughout their website to attract great links – and are soon to roll out a new “articles” section on the blog, with insight and research into the telephony sector.