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Link building is an indispensable part of search engine optimization (SEO) in the modern era. In case you aren’t familiar, link building is the practice of establishing links pointing to your domain on external websites, usually publishers. Each link you build to your domain is going to pass some “authority” to that domain. Over time, you’ll end up with a far greater number of links from far better publishers and your trustworthiness, at least in Google’s eyes, will begin to grow.
A good link building strategy can be the anchor for a highly effective SEO campaign. But if your strategy becomes stale and unchanging, the benefits are going to drop off.
What can you do to shake up a stale SEO strategy and start seeing the best benefits of this tactic once again?
The problems with a stale link building strategy
If you continue to rank highly and see lots of organic traffic, you may see nothing wrong with consulting the same sources and building the same types of links over and over again. After all, the approach has gotten you this far. But there are several disadvantages to following a stale campaign:
- Diminishing returns. There are some advantages to building several links on the same domain. You’ll instantly get more exposure for your brand and opportunities for more referral traffic. However, each successive link you build on a domain is going to pass less authority to your domain. In other words, each new link on the same source will have diminishing returns. It’s important to seek out new publishers and new link sources on a regular basis to combat this effect.
- Lack of vertical growth. Most people know that it’s important to reach new publishers if you want your link building strategy to succeed. But in addition to growing horizontally, you should start growing vertically, reaching bigger and more prominent publishers as you climb the ladder. The only way to reach those bigger and better publishers is to create better content and push the boundaries of what you can achieve.
- Opportunities for competitors. Letting your campaign get stale also provides competitors with an easy opportunity to outrank you. Once you drop your guard and stop investing in ongoing improvements, all your competitors will have a critical chance to exploit your lack of diligence.
- Neglect of new publishers. If you want to stay on the cutting edge of your industry and stay relevant with your audience at the same time, you have to constantly scout for new publishers. Otherwise, you might miss a newcomer in your industry. Challenging yourself and allowing your strategy to continuously evolve will help you discover and take advantage of a multitude of new sources.
- Personal boredom and quality drops. Another problem associated with “stale” link building campaigns is personal boredom, complacency and drops in quality. If you’re used to building links a certain way or writing a certain type of content, you might get bored or frustrated with the process over time. This, in turn, leads to a drop in the quality of the material you produce. Of course, boredom can also be a great motivator, so this could help inspire you to create something new for your campaign.
Ideas to shake things up
If you find yourself in the middle of a stale link building campaign, try these tactics to shake things up:
- Collaborate with other writers. Working alone can be daunting, so consider joining efforts with another writer, link builder or publisher you haven’t worked with in the past. You might be able to generate entirely new types of content or pursue avenues of development that were previously inaccessible to you.
- Mimic a competitor’s publishing strategy. Pay attention to what your competitors are doing. What type of content are they writing? Where are they publishing? What are their links like? You might come up with a totally new idea — or you might try to capitalize on their best tactics.
- Ask editors for new ideas. Talk to your current editors and any publishers you’re close with. They might have connections with other publishers or new ideas for how to revitalize your content writing.
- Build a totally new type of link. There are many different ways to build high-quality, natural links online, so consider branching out. Helping a reporter with a story, donating to a charity, or networking with local organizations could all be massively beneficial.
- Outsource your strategy. It’s also worth considering outsourcing your link building strategy entirely. Let someone else come up with creative ideas!
Your link building strategy doesn’t have to be completely novel or constantly evolving to provide your domain with benefits. However, if you want to reach your full potential, you’ll need to evaluate your efforts and adapt them on a regular basis. Preventing your campaign from going stale is one of the best moves you can make for long-term success.
Originally appeared in Entrepreneur