How to Get SEO Traffic WITHOUT Link Building

By Daclaud Lee, Project Manager / SEO Consultant at Archmore Business Web

As an SEO professional, I personally I hate link building. For me it's like pulling teeth. I simply don't enjoy soliciting other web masters for backlinks, so I don't do it. There are many ways to get your website ranked high in the search engines without having to ask for a single backlink. The old saying goes: "content is king", which is why I always focus primarily on content and on page SEO.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not telling you not to do outreach or link building. I just personally know through experience that it is not necessary. As an SEO professional who doesn't solicit other webmasters for backlinks, I have always been able to rank websites and web pages for keywords without asking for a single banklink. The way I do is by producing high quality content and making sure my on page SEO is on point.

Unsolicited Spam Messages are Just Annoying

Email spam is almost the equivalent of "door to door sales of the digital age". If you have to go out knocking on doors, then people don't want it. I'm sure I am not alone when I say this, but having unsolicited messages in my inbox that have absolutely NO VALUE to me, is just plain annoying.

Soliciters who just ask you for something without giving you anything in return tend to piss most people off and your message will usually just marked as spam and your email will just get blocked. Sometimes you might get lucky and get a backlink to your article, but it doesn't happen often.

Make Sure Your Content is Good!

When you want to get that top spot for your keywords, you need more than just back-links. You need on page optimization to ensure the search engines notice them and a good website structure. On page SEO is an essential factor that can directly impact how fast you get your keywords ranked. The more on page optimization you do, the faster you get ranked and more traffic will be driven to your website.

Artificial Backlinks are Low Quality

Artificial backlink building is mostly a waste of time. Don’t bother asking for them, and don’t worry about getting them. It’s far more effective to focus your efforts on the three components that matter most: the content, the content, and the content. Search engines are now better at detecting and ignoring unnatural links, so don't waste your time asking for backlinks. Instead, focus on crafting relevant and quality content.

Be The Topical Authority in Your Industry

Being an authority on a specific topic will get you natural backlinks to your website. This is a great way to increase your Google search ranking and bring in more traffic. Other blogs and websites want to provide quality content for their readers, so there are high chances of getting your website mentioned on a relevant website if you have quality content on your site.

Leverage Social Media

If you are the topical authority, or if people agree with your opinion, then your content is bound to be shared.

Certain Websites Will Only Link Certain Content

What makes a piece of content high quality is often considered a subject matter. Not even doctors or lawyers agree with each other in the realm of their own practices, but if they do agree with you, then you can rest assured that they will refer you. The same goes with government and education professionals. They don't all agree with each other, but if you have content that they do agree with or is beneficial to their research, then you may get a backlink on a .edu or .gov website. 

High Quality Content is Both Subjective and Objective

If you want to get a link on a ,edu or a .gov website, then you have to have what they want. The information usually has to come from a place of authority. Even if they are linking to a fictional piece of work, the content must be authoritative and originally sourced. One time I was able to get an article linked to a .edu website just because it had the information a researcher used to cite her thesis. The thesis was published on the university's website, which included the website I wrote the content for.  It helps if you are an expert in the field you are producing content for; high quality content is always content that has topical authority. 

High Quality Content Gets You Natural Links

Natural links are the result of people finding value on your website and linking to it (not having some person use software to generate an automated email to solicit a backlink). Besides getting them, the other thing you can do is go out and try to get them yourself. Links are built when other websites see value in linking to your content. So the quality of your page is going to be more important than ever, since it’s a signal that others use when deciding which resources to go to.

No One Will Link To Low Quality Content

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a link-builder looking to increase their site's authority and rankings must be in want of high-quality content. Links will come naturally to you when you produce the kind of content that people actually want to share, as your content will be useful, entertaining or both! This also applies if you are not producing content for the express purpose of getting links. If people are sharing your content, then you know you have good content!

  • Directories only link to your home page and not a specific page or post.
  • Outreach can work, but you are better off producing content rather than asking other web masters

Related Article: Off Page SEO To Drive Traffic To Your Website

Earn Your Backlinks, Don't Ask for Them

If you’re trying to build backlinks by asking for them, you’re going about it all wrong. Asking for backlinks is usually a waste of effort unless you have high quality content (high quality content is not determined by you, but by the search engines and other people). Earn the respect and loyalty of your audience by confidently presenting yourself as an authority on a specific topic. Gain natural organic links back to your website as other professionals reference what you have to say. Other content creators will link back to your website if you have amazing content. Google’s algorithm ensures that good websites are rewarded by ranking them higher in the search results.

High Quality Content Doesn't Need Solicitation

Do you think a celebrity chef like Gordon Ramsay has to ask for a single backlink to one of his restaurant's websites? No, he doesn't have to ask to have his restaruant backlinked in an article about "Top 10 Restaurants" because he has a high quality food and he can get a backlink naturally. If (hypothetically speaking) Bob's Burger's (from the cartoon of the same name) asked to have a backlink from a Michelin Star website, then guess what's going to happen? They are just going to laugh at him and delete his email. That's why you shouldn't waste your time asking for backlinks.

Believe it or not, but we get Solicited by Other Digital Marketing Agencies...

The same thing happens with us. We get solicited by other digital marketing agencies who want a backlink from us. Well guess what guys? It's NOT gonna happen. Why would we backlink back to your website? It makes absolutely no sense why we would want to do this. We don't even know each other and we are in the same industry, competing for the same type of business. If the role was reversed and I did the same thing, then I would probably expect the same answer; no. It seems like these companies use some kind of software that sends spammy messages out to us, not realizing they are doing things wrong.

Start with Low Hanging Fruit

There are an unlimted amount of keywords that you can rank for. Some keywords are easier to rank for than others, which is why you have to go for the low hanging fruit first. Low hanging fruit pertains to picking the easiest keywords to rank for in search engine results. If you want to get a website ranked quickly, focus on picking low hanging fruit by targeting keywords with a high search volume and lower competition. These types of are called long tail keywords.

The opposite of a long tailed keyword is a short tailed keyword. A short tailed keyword is usually something very common, like "tea". For example, if you just opened up a brand new online tea company and just created a brand new website, then I can guarantee that you will NOT rank in organic search for the keyword "tea". Maybe one day you will, but I can already say it won't be any time soon.

Optimize for Long Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are more targeted and specific. This is considered the low hanging fruit of SEO. These keywords are usually used by searchers who have a specific need or question to solve, so competition is typically less fierce than for broader keywords. Which is why getting your website ranked for "Assam Ginger Peach Black Tea 1lb bag" is a lot easier than getting ranked for "Tazo White Peony Tea", but that keyword is also easier to rank than just plain old "Tea". This is why getting ranked for long tail keywords is a lot easier and you can definitely do it without obtaining a single backlink!

Related Article: The Difference Between Long Tail and Short Tail Keywords

Optimize for Local Search

Getting ranked for a keyword on the local search level is a lot easier than getting ranked nationwide, (and getting ranked nationwide is a lot easier than getting ranked internationally). Once again, the same SEO strategy of the long tail keyword applies to this scenario. Instead of getting ranked for "Tea" or even "Buy Tea", you can go for local SEO and get ranked for keywords such as "Buy Tea in Seattle Washington".

Daclaud Lee Dublin Ohio

By Daclaud Lee,
Project Manager and SEO Consultant at Archmore Business Web

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