Guide: How to Optimize Your Reddit Link Building Strategy for the Best SEO

How to Optimize Your Reddit Link Building SEO Strategy

Getting traffic from Reddit to your site is considered to be one of the holy grails in marketing and SEO circles. Why? Redditors are so passionate about the topics they read on the site, Reddit link building tends to drive up traffic up like crazy when they become popular. It’s also considered to be “the front page of the internet” and posts users make there can even appear on Google news.

This is a small guide to optimizing your link building strategy around Reddit and getting the most out of your efforts. We’ll present the basics of Reddit, how to choose the right communities (or “subreddits” to target your SEO and end with link building ideas to help bolster your strategies.

A Quick Tutorial on How Reddit Link Building Works

Reddit started in 2005 as a social news aggregation site and pioneered the whole voting system for comment threads. People join reddit and become “redditors” and follow their favorite topics, centered around “subreddits” found on the site, usually stylized as /r/subreddit-name.

While some subreddits are more popular than others, when the community is active, it draws in millions of viewers each day as people submit posts and article links and those submissions get upvoted (similar to a “like” on Facebook or a “+1” on Google Plus), or downvoted. Naturally, like in capitalism, the best ideas tend to rise to the top, while the best ones turn viral and get shared around on other social networks.

The passionate nature of Reddit users tends to make subreddits hostile to self-promotion. In other words, if your SEO strategy for Reddit to plan on posting a link to your product and say, “Hey, buy my awesome product!” you will likely get downvoted or even “shadowbanned” (banned from using the platform but not being alerting that you were).

Though links you post on Reddit won’t help your Google PageRank because they always include a “nofollow” in the URL, they will help with RankBrain’s algorithms, improving how Google views your content.

Here’s another guide on the basics of using Reddit from Mashable.

Now, let’s get in to how to get started with using Reddit the right way in building your SEO content marketing strategy and getting that passionate Reddit crowd generating traffic to your website.

 

Step 1: Become a Redditor (the Right Way)

First, in order to submit to Reddit, you’ll need an account. It’s free and easy to sign up. There’s a huge consideration when doing so, however. What will your username be? Generally, the worst name you could use is your business name. That’s because Reddit is a community of users, not businesses.

When people post to Reddit, they expect to see individuals do so. So if your company is Acme Corp, we recommend against “acmecorp” or “acme” as your username. Instead, a marketing idea is to  use your real name, or a combination of your name and your company name, such as “tony-acme” or “tony-acmecorp.” The transparency in your username will go a long ways on Reddit in the steps to come.

Step 2: Identify the Right Subreddits to Target for Reddit Link Building

There’s a ton of subreddits out there. Many of them are low-quality, low-traffic ones that people create (because anyone can start a subreddit!). The best way to find popular subreddits for your topic is just to search on Reddit itself. For example, if Acme Corp makes fireworks, they could search “rockets” in the Reddit sidebar and see which subreddits come up. In this case, “Firecrackers, Cakes, Mortars and More!” seems to be a popular subreddit with 1,123 subscribers and a history of 6 years.

Step 3: Read Content for a While Before Contributing

This is known as “lurking,” although marketing researchers would call it “listening.” Go in to your subreddits you chose to follow and see what kinds of posts and topics rise to the top. Are they posted by vendors asking for customers? Probably not. The best content is organic, interesting, and applicable to the subreddit. After a week or two of checking in on your subreddits each day, you’ll get a great idea of what you can post.

Step 4: Submit Your Post for Reddit Link Building

On Reddit you can only submit one of two types of content:

  1. A text post, such as a rant, a question, or a story
  2. A link

You can use both or a combination of both in your link building strategy. You can start by posting a link to your blog post, asking people for feedback on your blog post, or following up on someone’s comment that your blog post helps to answer.

Step 5: Help with Upvoting (and How it Helps Your Reddit Link Building)

Make sure to submit your link to Reddit with the UTM code from your Google Analytics account so you can then track the traffic coming to your site from your Reddit post. You want a unique code each time you post a different link so you can differentiate between the links as you view your Google Analytics metrics. You can generate UTM codes on the fly using Google’s free tool here.

The better your post or submission ranks on Google, the more likely it is to get more upvotes on Reddit, and vice versa. As you share your Reddit post on other social networks, such as Twitter or Google Plus, and as those get retweeted and +1’ed, you will eventually drive more and more traffic to your Reddit post.

One last piece of advice here for your Reddit link building strategy: Don’t ask for upvotes! This is known as the “cardinal rule” of Reddit. The more you ask for upvotes, the more you get downvoted.

Reddit Link Building & Content Marketing Ideas

Here’s a short list of ideas to get started on your link building using Reddit:

  • Submit links to your blog posts as you post them
  • Use Google Analytics tracking codes to monitor your traffic coming to your site from Reddit
  • Submit posts to relevant subreddits asking for feedback on your blog posts
  • Answer other Redditor’s comments and include a link to your post (if it’s applicable)

That’s it! We hope this SEO guide for using Reddit will result in plenty of upvotes, traffic, and customers for you. Let us know in the comments below how your Reddit marketing campaigns work out after following this guide. Please feel free to ask us questions, and don’t forget to subscribe to our Utah SEO Class blog.

Link Building for SEO

Build Links to Improve Rankings

You’ve invested considerable time in creating a website, developing amazing content, and are ready to relax while the traffic rushes in. Well, not quite. To rise in the search rankings and boost your site’s performance, there may be a missing link, or rather – links! Link building is the practice of marketing your site to acquire links from other sites, and it is a critical piece of the SEO puzzle.

Search engines use links to crawl and index the web, navigating between pages using their interconnected links. As part of this process, pages are evaluated for how well they should rank for relevant keywords in the search engine results. It’s not just a page’s content that matters; according to The Art of SEO, “links remain the single largest factor in determining search rankings.”

Understanding Backlinks

Links to your page act as a digital endorsement from other websites – they demonstrate your site has a level of trustworthiness and relevance. Additionally, these inbound links, or backlinks, determine how often and how deep search engines crawl the site. The more external links you have directed to your page, the higher your chances of ranking well in the results. However, not all links are created equally. Link value is determined by several factors. These include a site’s PageRank, anchor text, relevance, authority, and trust. Unsurprisingly, a backlink is more meaningful and valuable when it comes from a high-quality website.

Link Equity a.k.a. Link Juice

The value that is passed between links from one webpage to another is called link equity – also commonly known as link juice. This link juice is a signal used by search engines to rank pages. Assuming it is relevant and high quality, the more link juice flowing to your website, the better. Let’s consider an example with your website along with your top competitor’s website.  Your website has backlinks from five external sources and your competitor’s site has backlinks from three sources. All else equal, your site will rank higher due to the link juice it’s receiving from more external sites. Link Juice

Scenario 1: You win!

Still, it’s important to note that link juice is a finite resource. If those five websites that link to your site also link to other websites, you receive a reduced percentage of those sites’ link juice. In this case, if the three websites linking to your competitor’s page don’t link anywhere else, your competitor may rank higher due to the percentage of link juice it’s receiving.

Link Juice

 

Scenario 2: Better luck next time…

 

How to Develop a Link Building Campaign

You may be wondering how to start building links for SEO. Here are five steps for developing a link building campaign:

  1. RESEARCH & EVALUATION The first step in a link building campaign is to research and evaluate potential websites that may link to your page. Identify the different types of sites that might link to your site – media outlets, blogs, universities and colleges, related interest sites, and even sites that currently link to your competitors. While you won’t have access to these sites’ analytics, you can still generally assess the value these links may provide. To do this, review the homepage’s PageRank, perceived authority, relevance to your website, and existing number of outbound links on the linking page. Target the most valuable sites that are likely to be interested in you as well as link to your site. Don’t forget to leverage existing business relationships for links as well. Get listed as a preferred/recommended vendor, be referenced in case studies, and engage on social media.
  2. COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS Use online SEO tools to generate a list of sites that link to your competitors’ pages. Once you have this information, look at their most valuable links to better understand their link building strategy and to find opportunities for your page. Perhaps they’ve found success partnering with bloggers, received media attention for their products/services, or received links from authoritative and trustworthy government sites. While these ideas can provide inspiration, avoid replicating your competitors’ tactics exactly. Do not build all your links from the exact same sources. Rather than sharing link juice, explore ways to differentiate yourself using their tactics as a frame of reference. Be sure to update your list of potential sites to receive backlinks from.
  3. REVIEW DIGITAL ASSETS Now it’s time for some self-reflection. Evaluate the existing content on your website and map out what new content you could create – especially with your wish list of sites to build high value backlinks from in mind. Again, the key is differentiation. To stand out and attract high quality links, you’ll need to create unique and engaging content that is relevant to your audience. Write a blog or article or create compelling images, infographics, and/or videos. Try to offer valuable references or resources, or develop unique widgets or tools. Create sharable and engaging social media content, or earn attention from bloggers and media outlets. Generating relevant, timely, and engaging content can be a challenge on short notice. Keep a running list of content ideas for future development. Also, watch for trends on social media to capitalize on. Always look for inspiration based on what your target audience and potential backlink sources are engaging with.
  4. LINK PROFILE ANALYSIS To effectively build links for SEO purposes, you must know what links you already have. You must also know how you rank for certain keywords compared to competitors. This will help determine what new links you need as well as influence your content development strategy. Moz outlined various types of links to consider. These include links to your homepage, links to deep pages, links containing your brand/company name, and links containing the keywords you’re targeting.
  5. CONTACTING POTENTIAL LINKERS After completing these steps, strategize how to best connect with your target list of potential backlink sources. Direct methods of link marketing include email, social media messaging, blogger networking, and in-person networking events. Indirect methods of link marketing involve presenting exceptional and sharable content that inspires readers to naturally link to your page. These can also be supplemented by public relations, mentions of your company in news feeds, speaking at conferences/events, and running social media campaigns.

Link building for SEO purposes is essential to the success of your website. It should be an ongoing process of evaluation and modification. Now you have the tools to develop and execute a strategy to increase your site’s performance and ranking. Prepare to watch your traffic increase – if you link build it, they will come!

Examples and Explanations of Anchor Text

We’ve all heard rumors and blanketed statements that the golden ticket to ranking well in Google’s search results is based upon link building. This likely holds solid elements of truth. But, the art of SEO is inherently more complex than simply SEO backlinksIn this blog post, we will take a deep dive into anchor text in order to gain a thorough understanding link building and the implications on SEO.

What is anchor text?

The anchor text definition is the clickable links that are visibly apparent on websites that direct viewers to an external site.

Similarly, anchor tags are links to an internal section of a single website, much like bookmarks in Microsoft Word. (For example, quickly jump forward to Anchor Text Best Practices.)

Conversely, backlinks are links included on external sites that provide a web reference to your own site.

Different types of anchors:

Exact match anchors are textual links which precisely spell out a targeted keyword phrase.

“Read on for more about anchor text WordPress tricks and tips”.

Partial match or phrase match is an anchor which includes the keyword phrase for which the author aims to rank.

“This post will provide examples and explanations for anchor text”.

Branded anchors correspond with particular brand names or company names.

“A high authority anchor SEO source is the Ahref blog”.

Naked URL’s (also called HTML anchors) are anchors that are raw. They read just like the reference URL.

“For further reading on anchor text SEO check out: https://www.gotchseo.com/anchor-text/.”

Generic anchors are frequently calls-to-action links like “submit” and “view article” in the original image included below.

Generic Anchor Text Examples
Multiple generic anchor text links are seen on this webpage.

Image links can also be anchors. The alt text of the original image above reads “Generic Anchor Text Examples”.

What are the current anchor text best practices?

Prior to Google’s Penguin 1.0 release in 2012, anchor text SEO practices relied heavily on backlink building, or including links on your site that directly referenced external pages that held relevant backlinks. But, after the first Penguin launch, website backlinks that were deemed to be unauthentic or spammy were not given the same treatment or held in the same regard as quality backlinks.

Memes: The Freshest Google Trend for SEO

Memes : Meme of Leonardo DiCaprio toasting saying, "CHEERS, MEMES FOR EVERYONE"

Memes for Everyone

“Memes, in the way we recognize them, are a popular internet trend, in which an image is paired with a clever phrase, to create a relatable or funny situation,” according to the authors of the book, The Art of SEO. New memes will often be a twist on a popular meme. Brand Managers want to increase website traffic and improve search engine ranking. Memes provide one way in which they may accomplish this.

Why Create a Meme?

There are multiple reasons for businesses, organizations, and bloggers to create memes. The main reason being to provide additional content and enhance ongoing branding.  Additionally, creating memes is easy and practically free, they produce emotions, are easily shareable, and may improve search engine ranking.

Additional Reasons

1)   Easy to create. The actual process to generate a meme is easy. In fact, a meme generator app can create a new meme in seconds.

2)   Practically free to create. The main cost in creating a meme, is time. Therefore, any business can afford it. While there may be a small cost incurred if using a stock photo, this will be minimal. A smart-phone may also be used to take and upload an image directly to a meme generator for creation. This makes using memes especially ideal for small business owners, and bloggers on a tight budget.

3)   Produce emotion. Memes are often humorous, shocking, or thought provoking. Tapping into emotions helps to create a lasting image that is easily recalled. This will greatly improve branding. Funny images tend to be the most popular right now. There are even funny memes about the marketing process and creating memes. However, remember they don’t have to be funny to make an impact.

4)   Sharing  is quick and easy. Memes are easily shared with friends through social media. In the age of smart phones, where everyone is seeking ‘likes’ on Facebook, or ‘pins’ on Pinterest, this provide easy marketing and link building opportunities for companies.

5)   Improve search engine ranking. Additionally, memes are a great way to improve a company’s Google ranking by increasing site traffic. This applies to large corporations, small businesses, whether old or new.

Improve Search Engine Ranking

In the world of target marketing, companies that create iconic memes, have the opportunity to do more than just give their consumers a laugh, in fact, the best ones will create a connection and be shared.  Sharing memes will help create multiple backlinks for a website. Backlinks can improve Google rankings. Jason DeMers, states, “I feel a new trend may ignore length entirely, focusing on providing as much information as possible in the smallest possible space—dense content—to appeal to readers.” Memes provide a way to share content quickly, often in an entertaining and memorable way.

Build Backlinks

As mentioned previously, one goal of creating a meme, should be to increase site traffic and provide link building opportunities. Therefore, it is important that articles and websites allow memes to be easily shared by online influencers of the target market. Make this easy to do by, “visibly including references (and the link) to the appropriate pages on your site within the core components of your meme.” (Art of SEO, 2016)

Moz on Memes and Backlinks:

“Beyond social networks, it is crucial to use traditional outreach, like email and blogs, to build solid backlinks,” according to Takeshi Young of Moz.

Create Valuable, Viral Memes

It isn’t enough to just slap a funny phrase on a famous photo, post it to social media, and then sit back, relax, go on vacation, lay on the beach, and cross one’s fingers and toes in the hopes that the image will go viral. Creating memes that are relevant and add value to a company, is essential.

Just Meme’ing’ around:

Meme of a guy in his mid-thirties smiling, wearing Mickey Mouse Ears. The Text on the image reads, "I JUST MADE A MEME, I'M GOING TO DISNEYLAND"Meme of a woman sunbathing on the beach, facing the ocean, in a bikini, wearing a straw sunhat, below that image is another image of a different woman, smiling, laying sideways on a couch, with a sunhat, made from tinfoil, she's wearing a sweater, holding a clear plastic cup and smiling. The text on the top image reads: "What I think my meme looks like", and the text on the bottom image reads, "What my meme actually looks like"

‘Create a Meme’ Tips:

1)    Identify the target audience. To generate memes that are humorous and attractive to your target audience, first determine the demographics of the audience. Research is imperative for this step.

2)   Stalk the competition. Search to see what memes are trending, not only within the industry, but within the pop culture at large. Consider ways in which to change the most popular memes to fit the product/service of your business, while also appealing to your audience. Memes that are a novel twist on the familiar, will garner more attention, as will those that are increasing in popularity, but haven’t reached their ‘tipping point’ yet. have a better chance of capturing an audience and going viral, when iterated upon.

3)   Try, try and try again. Use a meme creator or tool to generate multiple drafts. Switch up background images and mix up word choice. Keep wording short and to the point. Word choice is crucial to creating humor and staying memorable.

4)   Use video. Memes don’t have to be static images. Gifs are images with movement, that repeat in a never-ending loop. While not all gifs are memes, a meme can be a gif. Searching YouTube, is a great way to find examples of video memes. Back in 2009, Mashable shared a few examples of the most popular video memes to date.

Viral Memes

It is unlikely that a meme will automatically go viral to millions, simply by posting it. However, there are outlets to increase the odds. Social media sites, already being used by the business, are a great place to start. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and LinkedIn are just a few social media networks that an organization could use to share their best memes

Troubleshoot

Lastly, before tossing a meme to the masses, in hopes that it goes viral, test it out on a few individuals closely connected to the business as well as small groups of the target audience. This is a time to fine-tune and trouble shoot. Visual content marketing can be very compelling and memorable. Therefore, if used improperly or if inadvertently offensive, it may lead to negative branding. The last thing a business needs are offensive images going viral.

Meme of Britney Spears, who looks angry as she is about to bash in a car window with a closed green umbrella. The text across the bottom of the image reads: "DON'T MAKE A MEME OF BRITNEY"

Memejacking

Consider copyright laws. Memejacking is taking an already popular meme and twisting it to relate it to something different than it was initially intended. As a result, businesses and Bloggers must take caution. Copyright laws do not directly state that altering a meme is a violation. However, if the meme includes a copyright image, and is being used for commercial purposes, or to turn a profit, this could be an open door for a lawsuit.  Businesses should seek legal advice, because it is difficult to know what is and isn’t legal.  Furthermore, it is advisable to receive written permission from the original meme creator and possibly pay a licensing fee. Paying to legally use stock photos, provides additional protection. Finally, using a meme generator app that offers approved images is another way to be protected from potential lawsuits.

Meme of Jerry McGuire on the phone with the text, "YOU WANT TO USE MY MEME? SHOW ME THE MONEY!"

Backlinks are all about Link Building in SEO

Backlinks in SEO
“The public is a ferocious beast; one must either chain it or flee from it.” – Voltaire

 

Quality backlinks are one of the main ways that search engines establish ranking for a consumer. This is done by identifying the importance of a website by establishing link building and quality back links throughout the websites that the search engine crawls. As a beginner, learning how to establish credible backlink building is essential for a searchable and powerful website.

Backlinks in SEO

Backlinks were one of the initial thoughts for the Google search team on how to identify and capture top results for searches that were reputable and trustworthy. The logic evolved around credible link building websites where good websites linked to good websites, which linked to good websites in turn, gave good websites.

Since the late 1990’s the ‘good links’ have been used as votes in evaluating the best websites on the web. Because of this premise, a websites credibility is based largely on quality back links. Although back links in SEO are not everything to website development, it is a very viable way to establish your website for search engine results. In 2011-2012 a large rise in social media sharing through the use of Google +, twitter, and Facebook had drastic effects on search engine results.  Because of this Google began to add social signals into its search results. This was shown through personalized results tailored to logged-in users that included searcher’s social circle.

Although these results might not always appear as the front-runner they were promoted due to social influence. Even though social shares are not links, there is evidence that suggest social shares can affect ranking. In turn as backlink monitoring algorithms continue to improve social media could potentially be a larger player.

Good Backlinks in SEO

In the beginning stages of website development all backlinks in SEO need to have an SEO link building strategy. In order to determine what will be the best SEO link building strategy we must look at important link signals that will be identified by search engines. Moz considers the following to be important link signals based on experience, which include global popularity, local/topic-specific popularity, anchor text, link neighborhood, freshness, and social sharing. Although each one of these factors is important to link building the foundational link signal for a beginner is anchor text.

Anchor Text

Anchor text is the basis for creating backlinks for SEO. It is one of the strongest signals used by search engines. If many links point to a page with all the correct keywords it is highly likely that the page will rank well for what is found in the anchor text. Anchor text is the visible characters and words that hyperlinks display when linking to another document or location on the web. For example if a consumer is searching the web for dog training techniques I can name a webpage http://www.dogtrainingtechniques.com/Dog-Training-Techniques with the bolded portion being the key anchor text. This factor is one of those things that enables control within a website. By naming web pages in accordance with the desired anchor text, the power to buy high pr backlinks is in the website owner’s hands and is a simple way to capture relevant terms. Some important points to remember when deciding on the type of anchor text to use is that it is succinct, relevant to the linked page, not overly keyword heavy, and not generic.

Competitor Analysis

Competitor link analysis is another great way to identify how to get a website on top. This provides a simple way to dive into the market that the website is being built for and find keywords to provide a website with traffic. This also provides a beginning website the ability to see what it is up against. By analyzing what a competitor has, it better allows for identification of strategies that are used to acquire links and identify resources that didn’t acquire many links.

Bad Backlinks in SEO

In the past there have been many ways that website developers have tried to scam search engines. Over time search engines have developed more complex ways to identify spamming backlink generators. Although it is impossible for search engines to identify those who buy links they strive to search these out. Websites that are caught buying links risk adverse penalties and typically, the ability to buy high quality backlinks is virtually impossible. Typically backlink buyers get their sites scoured with backlinks on extremely poor websites. It is also important to insure that backlinks stay away from low quality websites. This can be avoided by using a backlink finder such as Majestic. Websites like Majestic allow for an SEO backlink checker and provide trust flow as well as other dependable statistics.

Backlinks in SEO Final Word

There are good ways to start a website and there are bad ways to start a website. From a beginner to a beginner there are simple ways to optimize websites that can allow a website to overcome many of the growing pains. Whether it is having the best-looking website to the most user friendly, if a search engine can’t find it what’s the point?