Michael Ryan

Mr SEO Founder

Introduction from Hike – This is a featured article from Michael Ryan, an SEO consultant who has worked both agency-side & in-house before embarking on his own marketing consultancy.

So without further ado, enjoy this post…

Link building has almost become a bit of a dirty word over the last 8 years that I have been working within the SEO industry. When I first started, I remember creating hundreds of links for huge companies in the UK (I am not going to grass on them because everyone was doing it!). The strategy was, let’s create as many links as we can each month. The focus was on quantity rather than quality.

As we move into 2020 those days are pretty much over and the goal is to create natural, relevant & high-quality links.

I am going to take you through different link building tactics you can use to generate natural links that add value to your back-link profile.

What Is Natural Link Building?

Natural link building is essentially the process of attracting links to your domain without asking or trying to generate them yourself – so not through guest posts, paying for them, or general outreach.

It is using the premise that your content on your website is awesome enough so that users will use it as a source to link to.

It is not an easy or quick process but is it 100% worth having a strategy around.

What Are The Benefits of Natural Link Building?

Natural generated links are way better, and you also get a more of a kick out of getting them.

Below are a few reasons I believe natural links to be more beneficial than traditional link building.

Be Viewed as a Specialist 
Generating natural links within the industry press will make your brand stand out as experts within your niche. These websites have actual traffic and a following rather than being sites made for just traditional link building.

Link Growth
It is a bit like a dominie effect, the more natural links you get, the more likely you are to get more.

In most cases natural links are generated from great content, this means they are way more likely to shared social which is fantastic for building your social following & brand awareness. Moz ran a study than supported this idea around the relationship between social shares and links, which you can find here

Helps Build Genuine Relationships
Rather than a relationship that is built on an exchange of money, building natural links is about providing value to publications in the form of your expertise & content. This leads to greater relationships that can open further opportunities for your business.

7 Ways To Build Natural Links

So how do you actually go about building ‘natural links’? Well, you can’t just wait for them to start flying in, you need to make your website worth linking to.

You need to produce fantastic content not only on your website, but also on other platforms so people know who you are as a brand.

Below are 7 methods to help you start building more links:

1. Networking 
Rather than emailing publishers or journalists, why not meet them at networking events? Find out what type of content they are looking for. There is a good chance your business will have data that is valuable to them! Remember the relationship is mutually beneficial.

2. Create Video Content
Video content is on the rise according to smart insights, the issue is, many brands & publications are unable to create video content due to the cost and specialties needed. If you are in a position where you can create video content, it’s likely you’ll pick up links from those looking for videos to use within theirs.

3. Ego Style Content 
Ego Content is essentially stroking the egos of specialist or influencers within your industry. Whether you have created a blog post linking to their opinions or you’re sharing their content via your social channel. You might want to also interview them. The idea is that love sharing content that’s ‘Hey look how awesome I am’.

4. Content Marketing 
With traditional link building becoming less and less effective, content marketing has become a buzzword within the industry. It is essentially creating content that people will want to link to. It might be creating a tool your users would find helpful or creating an infographic with information covering a particular topic.

Building evergreen content should be the basis of your content marketing strategy. If your content ranks high on the SERPs, you are likely to generate more links. 

5. Social Media 
There are some quick wins to be had across social media. Twitter allows you to have a URL in your bio, as does LinkedIn. Although they won’t provide much SEO authority. It’s still a great way to generate traffic to your site.

It is also worth looking at platforms such a Reddit where if your content can add value then link to it. Other users may end up sharing this also.

HARO (Help A Reporter Out) is a platform where reporters look to source information from professionals & brands such as yourself. This is a great quick way of generating some links by adding value to the reporter’s stories and content.

Editors note: If you’re a Hike user then it will track daily HARO requests and even Twitter to discover the best reporter requests based on your industry and keywords! Check it out by signing up today 🙂

Have a read through Hike’s post covering HARO as it goes into more detail on how to use the platform.

7. Downloadable Content 
If you own great images on your site or just in general, you can post these on a different website and make them available to users who reference you as the source (with a link)

If you have a great writing team you could look at creating an in-depth white paper or e-book as a means to generate links as well as position yourself as an industry expert.


Remember not all you link building tactics need to be constantly outreaching day after day. Take time to plan and invest in the right content that will generate your links naturally.

A combination of the two would be the best way to approach this initially. Let me know you go to link building tactics in the comments below!

Author bio: Michael Ryan is an SEO consultant that runs a start-up SEO agency in Essex.

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