Authority SEO – A Guide to Building Strong White Hat Links

A lot of the advice you hear for white hat, or natural link building is “write great content, and the links will come.”  But there’s more to it than that.  As previous podcast guests (such as David McSweeney and Brian Dean) have pointed out, there are more steps to take after writing some great content.  You need to reach out to people–to really put your content out there and get it seen.  With part 1 of my Authority SEO series, I hope to show you how to start getting some natural, powerful links from podcasting.

You create the great content, I’ll show you what to do with it.

Authority SEO

The best SEO:

  • looks natural
  • gets links from diverse sources
  • is subtle

If you want to focus on safe link building practices for your business/website, then you’ll want to find links that are:

  • obtained naturally (by creating content/being active in a community)
  • pointing to many other sites have
  • are a mix of “follow” and “nofollow”
  • are “free” (in that they are not part of a directory or sponsored or purchased directly)

I’m going to update this page over time with increasingly more methods, so it will be an evergreen resource for building strong white hat links. These links are all pretty powerful, and in conjunction with other SEO methods, should really increase your visibility in the search results.

Authority SEO method #1 – Start A Podcast

There are lots of guides to be found online that teach you how to start a podcast to build authority for your brand, and to build your customer base. If that’s what you want, I suggest you check them out (try Pat Flynn’s approach, or this course from PodcastAnswerman.com). Those two sites will also take you through the technical challenges of starting a podcast. I will not be walking you through every aspect of starting a podcast with this guide.

Instead, I’ll be showing you the easiest way to start a podcast in order to reach more of your potential audience, and build some natural links to your site.

How Does Starting A Podcast Help With Link Building?

I started the Visible HQ podcast not for links, but to engage with some super cool people, talking about something I love (SEO), and meeting/helping new people. However, getting links as I continue to podcast is a nice bonus.  As you release more and more episodes, you will continue to grow your audience, position yourself as an authority, and get people talking about and linking to your site.

Even if you only record a five minute episodes, that’s enough time to dive into an important or interesting subject within your niche, and give an interested audience something to look forward to each week.

Yes, this is a great way to get powerful, natural backlinks to your site, but it’s also a great way to attract and engage an audience (and it’s reeeeeally fun).

As you are consistent in your podcast, and produce quality content, you will see sites starting to link to your content naturally.  But specifically for this post, these are the links we are going after:

how to get white hat links

Later in the post, I’m going to show you how to get each one.

Let’s be clear about something, before we go on: you are not going to be getting a home page link passing full PR (or other metrics, for that matter) to your site from ANY of these pages, just in case that’s not clear. These links are to add some authority and some diversity to your backlinks. They are all nofollow, but still very important.

Step 1. Create A Podcast.

For best results, you should try for between 5 and 10 episodes to start. They don’t have to all be hour-long interviews each. Many successful podcasters (such as James Schramko) run very short shows, and many people enjoy taking a quick break by listening to an episode just a minute or two long. Length is entirely up to what you’re comfortable with, I just want to reassure you that recording short podcasts is completely acceptable.

There are several ways to do this.

  • Interview one or several experts and chop the interviews into smaller chunks (by using Audacity or a few Fiverr gigs)
  • Create some interesting topics and just sit down, you and a mic, and record.
  • Find interesting posts/news about your niche, and record yourself discussing these articles.

This is where the guides I linked to above will come in handy, but I’m going to move on as if you’ve got your 5-10 episodes recorded, chopped/edited, and ready to publish.

Step 2. Upload Your Episodes to Libsyn

This is the part of the process that will cost you money. $5/mo., can you swing it? It is possible to skip this step, but you’ll lose the Apple.com and Libsyn.com link.

Go to https://signup.libsyn.com.

  • Fill in the information.
  • Use the promo code sopfree for 1 month free (this is not my code–I do not use affiliate links in my posts a VHQ, this is from another podcaster)
  • Choose the $5 plan

Once you’ve registered and have logged in:

Go to https://four.libsyn.com/settings and give your show a title and a description. Fill in all the information it wants. It should look like this:

how to set up a podcast at libsyn

(Note: I blanked out the “show slug” section. Yours will contain the slug you used when signing up)

 

This is how you get a Libsyn.com link:

It doesn’t matter what you call the show, the description, the tags/keywords, or the email. Make the “default show feed” the Libsyn Classic Feed, as shown. The most important part of this is to fill in the URL of the website you are doing the link building for.

Add a picture that is 1400 x 1400 (it doesn’t have to be fancy, just list the title and a design flourish). Many people get stuck on this step, but just make it clear and simple. This is what iTunes (and other media sites) will display as your podcast artwork).

Click save! And you’re done with this step.

MAKE SURE YOU FILL IN YOUR URL, or you want get a link.

The only thing left to do on Libsyn is to add and publish an episode of your podcast.

Step 3. Grab Your RSS Feed URL from Libsyn

This one is easy. Just look for the “destinations” icon in the Libsyn menu, it will look like this:

How to find libsyn rss feedThen look for the “Libsyn Classic Feed.” It should look something like:

http://[your_slug].libsyn.com/rss

Copy that and save it, as you will need it for iTunes.

Step 4. Submit Your Podcast to iTunes

This is how you get an Apple.com link.

Open iTunes.

Click on “Podcasts” in the iTunes menu.

itunes menu bar

Click on “submit a podcast” in the right side menu.

how to submit podcast to itunes seo

Enter your “Libsyn Classic Feed” URL into this box and click “submit.”

Submit RSS Feed

That’s it. Now you need to wait for Apple to approve your podcast, which usually takes between 12 and 48 hours. Once that’s done, it takes another day or so for the link to show up on Apple.com.

Step 5. Submit Your Feed to Stitcher.

Stitcher is like a radio station for podcasts that works on the web and on mobile devices. It’s easy to get your show uploaded and approved. Stitcher is hungry for content, so unless you just really didn’t try, you can get your podcast up on Stitcher.

Since you have already produced the content of your podcast, the steps become a lot easier. For Stitcher, just go to this page to sign up to submit your show.

Once your show is approved, episodes you publish at Libsyn will automatically show up on your stitcher page (as with iTunes).

How to get your Stitcher link.

Go to http://partners.stitcher.com/home.php and click on “edit,” beneath where it lists your show.

how to add your url to stitcher

Next, add url to the proper input field:

add url stitcherThat’s it. Now you’ve got a link from Stitcher.com

Step 6. Post Your Podcast Episode to Soundcloud

Here’s how you get a link from Soundcloud.

(After you’ve registered for an account), click the “upload” button in the top menu bar.

sound cloud upload

From there, upload your episode, write a brief description, and at the end of your description, put a link to the episode.  Here’s what it looks like for my Visible HQ podcast:

sound cloud link

Do that for each episode you upload to SoundCloud.  There’s one more place to put a link: on your profile page.

Just click the photo/profile icon, and then click “profile:”

soundcloud profile

On the left side of the profile page, you’ll see your user name, and beneath that, an “edit” button.  Click that.

edit soundlcoud profileFinally, there’ll be a form to enter your website address and desired “anchor text” at the bottom of the page:

Add link on Soundcloud

And that’s it for the Soundcloud portion of the guide.

7. Post Your Podcast Episode to Archive.org

This step is very similar to step 6: we’re just going to upload our episode to Archive.org, and add a link to the show notes.

First, make an account at Archive.org.  It’s fast and free.

Next, click “upload” in the upper left menu.

archive upload

This is how you get an Archive.org link:

In the next step, you’ll be able to upload the audio file and provide a description.

In this description, just add a link back to your website or to the show-notes for that episode.

Here’s how it looks for episode 1 of my podcast:

archiveseo

Fill in all the appropriate sections, and then add a link to the description–easy!

Bonus: Video Links

Step 8. Add a Video of Your Episode to Youtube and Vimeo

Using a program like Camtasia or iMovie, upload the audio file and make a few images/powerpoint slides to add for visuals, and then upload your video + your show description (with a link back to the show notes) to Vimeo.com and Youtube.com

As with how to podcast, I’m not going to go into how to create your video/podcast mash-up, but that’s an easy way to get a few more links from giant websites.

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  • S.Garland

    Thanks for this list, I will certainly check them out. Can you suggest a few that are strictly free, but still have some SEO value for your site. http://300editors.com