As a brand that is trying to get its website as high as possible in the SERPS, link earning may be a term that has come up. Link earning should be part of your SEO strategy if it isn’t already.
Before you get started, though, it is imperative to know the difference between link building and link earning and how to earn links to achieve increased brand awareness and more quality traffic.
What is Link Earning?
Link earning is about as simple as the term: you are earning a link from another website that felt something you had to share was worthy of sharing with their audience.
These earned links help you get listed higher in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
Now, you may be more familiar with the term of link building, and there is a slight difference between link building and link earning, which is defined below.
Link Building vs. Link Earning
Essentially, the goal of both link building and link earning is the same. Years ago, the term link building was widely used—until it wasn’t.
Link building became a tactic that was no longer allowed by Google and other search engines as a result of its association with spam emails, questionable article directories, and robot-run websites.
This is also when link farms became a thing.
Ultimately, the process of link building was designed to be good, but then people started using bad practices that led to the internet being filled with low-quality links that offered little to no value to their readers.
Link building focused more on creating your own backlinks as opposed to having other reputable websites link to you, which helps to improve your content value and credibility. As a result, link building gained a bad reputation.
Now, this is when link earning gained some footing. Ultimately, with link earning, others will link to your content in the event that your content is considered good enough.
This helped turn the internet around with higher-quality links within cyberspace. Google was the top search engine, and they took charge.
They encouraged the use of natural links, which led to websites “earning” links from legitimate and reputable sources.
Google algorithms were born, and more and more of them were created with each update (Florida Dance, Vince, Penguin, and Panda). Those who had engaged in naughty link building practices lost their top search rankings.
Link building was all about saturating the web with links that really didn’t matter, whereas link earning is all about creating high-quality content that offers valuable information to readers that other websites will want to link to and associate themselves with.
What are the Benefits of Earning Links?
You may be wondering why you want to earn links—what are the benefits of doing so? Are links really that valuable to the success of your brand?
Here are a few of the many benefits of earning links.
Build Brand Awareness
With earned links, you gain more exposure for your brand. Regardless of whether a small blog is linking to you or it is the New York Times, you are gaining access to a brand-new audience that likely didn’t know of your existence until that earned link was created.
Increase Website Traffic
When another website links to your website, you are automatically going to receive more website traffic. This traffic is organic since you didn’t pay for it.
Now, keep in mind that these earned links never guarantee a conversion, so you want to ensure the content on your site is able to do its job.
Get in the Good Graces of Google
Earned links, especially if it is from a legitimate and reputable site, will increase authority, value, and trust in your brand.
Therefore, when trustworthy sites link to your website, you can expect Google and other search engines to reward you for this by boosting your relevance in the SERPs.
7 Tips for Earning Links
There are numerous steps you can take to earn backlinks. You can do one or two of these or a combination of them all.
Tip #1: Create Content Worthy of Backlinks
You will never get the number of backlinks that you want if you aren’t creating content that is worthy of being linked to.
Therefore, you need to start with a solid content strategy that promotes the creation of high-quality, appealing content that others will want to reference.
As a general rule, there are four types of link-worthy content: educational, entertaining, informational, or inspirational. In addition to focusing on one of these categories, you also need to ensure that you are creating original content.
Original, appealing content can easily be created with sufficient research, expert interviews, and infographics.
Tip #2: Work Side-by-Side with Influencers
If you are familiar with influencers who have large audiences and have found success through the link building process, you may want to start here. You can work with them to create quality content that you can both use with your audiences.
In doing this, you gain access to their large audience. So, not only will you earn a link from them, but you are likely to get a considerably higher amount of traffic to your site, increasing the potential for conversions.
A similar process can be used with bloggers. Often, when reaching out to bloggers, you will want to make sure they have a similar audience and then offer to curate a guest blog post.
This takes a day of work off their shoulders while providing you with the opportunity to reach a new audience and earn some links.
Ultimately, the reasoning behind doing this is because it is a quicker way to earn the links back to your site that you want, as opposed to waiting for it to happen naturally.
Tip #3: Work in Reverse with Reviews/Endorsements
Rather than trying to get influencers, bloggers, and others to feature your brand on their blog or website, consider featuring them on your blog or website.
You can do an informational piece on the founder of a company, or you could endorse their products/services in a blog post.
Most brands have it set up so they’re alerted when they are mentioned somewhere on the web. More often than not, they will return the favor with an endorsement of your company because it is simply considered smart business practice to do so.
Therefore, with a brand endorsement or review on your website or blog, you are essentially encouraging them to provide you with an earned backlink without ever having to reach out and potentially coming off as pushy.
Tip #4: Actively Comment on Posts
Visibility is key in the digital marketing world. In order to earn backlinks from reputable brands, bloggers, influencers, and the like, you will want to ensure you are known to the world.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to do this is to engage with their brands online. From commenting on a blog post or interacting on a social media post, engagement is crucial.
Start off simple by mentioning you like the post or focusing on a specific part of the piece that you found useful.
As time passes and you’ve earned some respect, you can begin to reference your own relevant posts, which encourages backlinking.
Tip #5: Focus on Quality Over Quantity
In many instances, the more information (content) that you are able to develop and push out, the better off your campaign will be.
When it comes to earning links, you will fare better with more content. However, you will find that if you focus on the quality of the content being pushed out, you will earn more links even with fewer content pieces.
For instance, if you spend the same amount of time on one piece to make it the highest possible quality as you do on five pieces of mediocre content, you can expect that one piece of high-quality content to bring in more earned links than the other five mediocre pieces combined.
Therefore, you should always place an emphasis on creating quality content instead of quantity. It really matters more than you think.
Tip #6: Craft Press Releases
Press releases are a great way to earn some high-ranking links. The great thing about press release submission services, such as PR Newswire, is that they are affordable and cost-effective.
However, you must keep in mind that quality over quantity is imperative here. Further, your posts are only going to be published by some of the major outlets if the content is actually newsworthy.
Therefore, you want to ensure that your company has done something significant that you can write a news piece on. This piece needs to be as detailed as possible, and when the opportunity arises, push the content to as many possible outlets as you can.
If you have trouble crafting unique content, press releases can be a great alternative since you are writing strictly about your company.
Tip #7: Always Be Original
Although you are probably well aware by this point in this post, original content is an absolute must. If you are not creating original content, your website will either get dinged or people won’t want to read it.
You most definitely are not going to get authoritative sites to provide you with earned links.
In order to increase your success in being seen and earning links, take the time to conduct research. Take the information you find in your research and compile it into a piece of content that is written in your own words.
Ideally, whenever possible, you should focus on a topic that can’t be found anywhere else—a new idea, so to speak.
This will provide new information on the web, and if you’re the only source, there is a higher chance of earning links back to that content.
Earning links will take some time and effort on your part, but it is a proven tactic to bring more awareness, visibility, and credibility to your brand.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to increase your SEO visibility outside of earning links, check out this post.