Asking or paying for backlinks and earning editorial links are two different things. The majority of companies are improving their SEO and link building efforts through guest posting on various blogs in their niche, and although it isn’t always easy, this is something that is incredibly effective. However, guest posting isn’t often considered an editorial link because you’re asking for the link. If the link appears in an author bio box, you’ve likely offered the guest post so that you could earn that link. An editorial link is a link you earn naturally.

Earning editorial links is even more difficult than guest posting, but on that same token, even more effective. Striving to gain these types of backlinks, or natural backlinks from authoritative sources, is something that more businesses need to incorporate in their SEO strategy. Guest posting is wonderful, but don’t assume that editorial links aren’t possible.

Top 7 Ways to Earn Editorial Links With Ease

To get ultra specific, an editorial link could be a link you asked for through email or otherwise. However, it’s important that this link appears within the text and not within an author bio box. In most cases, people think of editorial links as links that were earned in an article that your company didn’t necessarily write (making guest posting a bit blurry).

In either case, there are a few tricks you can use to help gain these valuable backlinks and send your SEO results straight to the top:

  1. Mention Another Company. Many companies will be eager to link to one of your articles if you have mentioned their company in the article. This is great publicity for them, so they will want that content spread out as much as possible, even if it means giving you a backlink. You do want to be careful, however, that putting another link in your article is doing two things: First, it has to be there because it adds value to the reader and not just because you want a reciprocal link. Second, you don’t want to do this too often with your competition because then the links essentially cancel each other out. Go for more complimentary companies and you should see a positive response.
  2. Work With PR Professionals. This is something that more and more SEOs are beginning to take seriously, and for good reason. PR professionals specialize in talking with very authoritative news sites and publications both on and offline. They often have great relationships with powerful editors, and they know what type of content is newsworthy. Pick their brains and learn what they know, and then see if they can help talk to an editor and get your company a backlink. You can learn more about this on our blog in my post How Public Relations Can Help SEO that I wrote just last week.
  3. Create Newsworthy Content. Simply regurgitating content that was already written by a very established source won’t get you an editorial link. What you really want is breaking news that only your company can report. If your company has done a study or any type of data collection, write an article about it. Then, contact bigger publications and let them know your findings and ask if they will link back to the original source. You will be surprised to hear “yes” in many of these situations.
  4. Analyze Your Competition. Earning editorial links is no different than many other aspects of business—you should analyze your competition. Consider using Bing or Google Webmaster Tools to determine what external sources are linking out to your competition. Once you have a few good names in mind, go to that site and become active. Submit guest posts, write comments, engage with editors, and see if an editorial link would be possible. In many cases, you won’t even have to ask. After all, these websites are already comfortable linking out to those in your niche.
  5. Offer Content Updates. If you’ve written something that is worthy of an update, publish an update on your site and then let any website that has published on a similar story (or linked to your story) know that you have updated the information. Any company would appreciate this, so an editorial backlink should be easy.
  6. Take Advantage of Curators. Curating content, or rounding up links of some of the best content around, is becoming more and more popular. It’s relevant to readers, and easy to create, so websites want this on their site. Furthermore, Google sees these links as natural, editorial links. Getting to know different content curators is important because you can send them articles that you feel are exceptional, and they’ll likely add it to the list. What’s one more, right?
  7. Use Interviews. Interviews are some of the most linked-to content on the web. Seek out ways to get interviewed and be interviewed, and then create content. You’re sure to have at least one outside source linking back to the article, and sometimes that’s all it takes for Google to notice.

It is also important to understand that earning editorial links is the most difficult at the start (as are most things in business). Once a company has you on their radar, you are bound to get linked to over and over again. Use some of these tips to help you get to the point where you’re getting so many links you can’t even keep track of them all.