Building links is one of the most powerful factors in increasing your rankings on search engines such as Google. All of the search engines have tried to move away from links, but it’s the way the internet works and is the most clear and easy way to navigate through the internet and therefore it will be one of the most powerful factors for the foreseeable future.

But how do you build links? Well, I’ve listed a number of ways below:

  1. Guest Posts: You can contact a number of sites in your niche, or potentially around your niche, offering to write a guest post on their website. This will include a link back to your site, either within the content or in the author bio, but make sure this is understood and agreeable before taking the time to write the article. The content needs to be completely unique.
  2. Sponsored Posts: Let’s be honest, if they’ve built a site, they probably understand the value of what they have, therefore you may struggle to get a guest post hosted for free. They may instead negotiate a price to have it featured. The value of the link partly comes down to you, but you could use tools like SEMrush to judge the value of the website on how well they are ranking for important terms and whether they target terms around your niche.
  3. Case Studies: Journalists are constantly looking for case studies to be used within their article. Speak to journalists and ask them what they are working on, if you think you’d be a good match then you can put yourself forward on the basis that they link to your business, 90% of the time they will be happy to.
  4. Powerful Content Pieces: Ask a Google representative how you should be building links and they will say you should ‘earn links’ via in-depth content pieces that really benefit others. It sounds fluffy, but there is a lot of truth behind this, especially in the CBD industry. So many journalists, bloggers and writers are having to reference other sites to add authority to what they’re stating, so if you write an in-depth article around CBD, this could naturally earn you links over time.
  5. Competitor Links: Utilising a tool such as AHREFS, you can find out what links your competitors have earned. You can then reach out to these publications to see if there was an opportunity for you to be featured.
  6. Influencers/Bloggers: I personally review products that are sent to me and I include a link back to the branded site. While there aren’t many CBD bloggers out there (in fact, I think there are only 5 of us at the moment), we’re certainly all approachable and happy to review products. This is the easiest in regards to time commitment, providing you can send stock. Also, if you have multiple products, then these can be individually reviewed.
  7. Press Release: What can you tell a journalist which they haven’t already heard. I’m not telling you to re-invent the wheel, as many old principles still work, but you have to remember journalists receive thousands of press releases every day, so what makes yours stand out. Don’t send one saying ‘5 things you didn’t know about CBD’, as this will probably fall flat. You need to think outside of the box, what is real news. What would it take you to read the papers about a subject you weren’t previously interested in. It needs to have that pull and it also needs a great subject line, to ensure they even click on your email.
  8. Surveys: These can be included in the press releases that were previously mentioned, but you could run a survey to your customer base or to people who are interested in CBD to find out some interesting stats. Creativity is key, as many of these surveys have already taken place, so you need to think what would appeal to a journalist and what would make a good story.
  9. Affiliate Program: Admittedly, these should be ‘no follow’ links, but by building up an affiliate program you can have multiple sites linking through to your site in order to get commission for themselves. So this might not help with your rankings necessarily, but it could help with increasing sales, which is the most important factor at the end of the day. You can also read here about the best CBD affiliate programs.
  10. Infographics: I was hesitant to include this option, as it is very old school, but you might benefit from the fact that there doesn’t appear to be many infographics around CBD, or the other cannabinoids. It’s important not to go text heavy, it’s data visualisation, so it should include plenty of stats and figures in a pleasant manner that’s easy to digest.
  11. Videos: Look at the number of views on some of the CBD videos on YouTube and it’s impressive, but what’s more impressive is that these are recorded in someone’s living room on their laptop, no special graphics or lighting in place. You can then embed the video into a blog post on your site and transcript all the wording to make up the article. Over time, you might find people referencing and linking to the video and blog post. Make sure to include a link to your blog post in the video description, as this can help if people pull through the details from YouTube.
  12. Viral Campaign: Sure, if everyone could go viral, they’d all do it. But most simply don’t understand how to do it. I’ve made a campaign go globally viral probably around 30 times. You could start a flashmob, a new challenge, an incredible dance video or whatever it is that catches on, just make sure it softly links back to your brand and make sure every journalist that covers it includes a link back to you as the originator.
  13. Broken Link Building: I previously mentioned utilising tools like AHREFS, well another benefit to these sites is to find previous links they had that have broken over time. It could be that the page 404’d as they no longer have this resource, or they have removed a product. You can then get in contact and see whether they would be willing to link to your relevant article/product as an alternative.
  14. Brand Mentions: There might already be a number of websites that have spoken about you, whether in a magazine article interviewing the owner, a listicle of the best CBD oils, an affiliate or a competition, but they might not have linked through to your website. You can contact the site to ask for the link to be added and this can often work. I did this for a very powerful client, that got 50 brand mentions per month and it gained between 5-10 links per month. Those were quick and easy links, often on relatively powerful sites and the return on time invested was huge.

It is important to remember link building is only one aspect, you need to make sure your website is in a healthy condition, that you’re targeting the right terms and have optimised the site to do so, that you have schema in place and have a quick page speed load, as well as an easy-to-purchase platform to increase conversion rate. However, I can tell you that the clients that I link build for see huge levels of growth, all of which have gained triple digit growth. Make sure to check out my other CBD marketing articles.

By Tom Bourlet

Being based in Brighton, I have directly witnessed the CBD industry grow and prosper, albeit witnessing the difficulties around legislation and the lack of transparency. I therefore decided to become a neutral viewpoint offering genuine reviews, advice and guidance.

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