If you’ve been in the world of SEO for longer than a minute, you understand that link building is one of the most important aspects of SEO but also one of the most challenging.
Website owners and content creators are always trying to find new and creative ways to build more links.
That said, editorial links are one of the foundational types of backlinks that everyone should understand.
In this guide, we’re going to discuss what these are, the benefits of them, and how to earn more editorial links.
What is an Editorial Link?
Editorial links are links that you’ve acquired naturally from other websites. The best way to describe an editorial link is:
“A link that you didn’t have to ask for.”
These links come naturally when you create valuable content that builds links without you having to go out and ask for them.
This is the difference between editorial links and acquired links. If you publish high quality content, it will automatically generate inbound links but we’ll talk a little more about that later on in the guide.
Examples of Editorial Link Building
One common example of an editorial link is when your website is referenced on online publications because it was used as a source of information.
In this example, the article about interest rates for home mortgages uses another article on student loans as a reference.
You can earn editorial links by ensuring that you provide value-packed information with a lot of data in your content. If the content ranks well and has a lot of accurate data, your article could be used as a source thus earning you an editorial link.
Another great way to earn editorial links is with a link to your company or business pages in an authority roundup article. In the example above, the article is reviewing solar companies and provides links to all the companies discussed in the article.
Chances are, these companies did not ask to be in the roundup but they were simply put there because they provide a good service and naturally earned an editorial link as a result of that.
Another popular editorial link is a link earned as a result of an interview or guest appearance on a podcast. You provided something of value so the other person naturally provides something of value in both exposure and link juice.
The main takeaway to understand about editorial links is that they occur naturally within the content. Keep in mind that these types of links can still be purchased or acquired through manual outreach as long as you’re building meaningful relationships and doing link building in a way that provides value and isn’t spammy or forced.
The Benefits of Editorial Links
So, the question is… what are the benefits of editorial links over other types of link building?
Helps You Build Authority
When a well established website provides you a link, it builds authority and helps you appear as more respected to both Google and people on the internet.
Of course, the domain authority of the website that gives you the editorial link is a factor but any link can pass link juice onto you and make you look better in the eyes of Google.
The goal is to focus on high domain authority websites whenever possible. Getting editorial links from an authoritative site will boost your rankings, increase your traffic, and help you earn more links down the road.
Increase Your Rankings in the Search Engines
One of the biggest benefits of editorial links is that they pass SEO value onto your website. It’s important to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to link building because you want the acquired links to be from well respected and high authority websites.
This benefits you in a couple of ways.
First, it helps you rank higher on Google because links are one of Google’s primary ranking factors. The more links you have, the higher chances you have of outranking your competition.
Another benefit is that more editorial links will help you build a stronger link profile which in turn, can generate more editorial links because your content is naturally ranking higher on Google. This means more people will find your content which can create a snowball effect resulting in more links.
Editorial Links Generate More Traffic
Higher rankings and more traffic go hand in hand with editorial links because as you increase your rankings in the search engines you’ll also increase your traffic.
If you’re creating valuable content that targets a specific audience the people who are seeing your content will learn more about you and this results in added brand awareness as well.
Everything runs full circle when it comes to link building and that’s what makes it so powerful.
Keep in mind that as you generate more traffic, it means that more people are seeing your content. If more people are seeing your content it increases the chances that they’ll link to you on their website too.
Helps You Build Better Relationships
It’s important to understand that developing a link building strategy and acquiring high quality editorial links is all about communication, networking, and relationships. While you might just be a website in the search engines, it’s important that people know the face behind the screen.
For example, if you find a place where you were referenced and given an editorial link, don’t be afraid to reach out to that person via email and thank them for giving you the link. This can open the door to additional link building opportunities and it’s good business overall.
When you’re doing manual outreach to acquire editorial backlinks it’s all about relationship building as well. The benefits of editorial links is that they require you to step outside the computer and actually communicate with people.
Much of the time, getting a link is as simple as reaching out and asking for one. This helps you build relationships with other website owners and increase your brand awareness.
How to Get High Quality Editorial Links: 5 Ways
Building editorial links requires some effort on your part. For anything good to happen in the world of link building, you’ll need to put in the work and don’t expect there to be any shortcuts.
That said, there are a number of ways to build editorial links so it opens the doors to a few good opportunities.
1. Create Valuable Content
While many SEOs will cringe when I say this but, content is king. All good link building starts with great content and if you don’t have amazing content, don’t expect to earn editorial links.
The key to publishing high quality content is creating something that is unique, interesting, and valuable to whoever is reading it.
We live in a world where content is constantly regurgitated and spat back out onto a page without any real intention or motivation. This type of content will not earn links.
If you can prove to both Google and the people of the internet that you’re an authoritative site publishing awesome and actionable content then you’re bound to earn editorial backlinks.
The simplest way to create valuable content is by having a target audience and providing more value that the rest of the top ranking articles on the page for that query.
For example, let’s say you run a DIY or home improvement website and you want to write an article about cleaning hardwood floors.
The simplest way to build the most valuable article on the internet is to see what other people are doing and do it better.
Take a look at the top ranking pieces of content. These are all authoritative websites because they are major brands and they’re well established.
Put together the best information from all of the pieces and leave no stone unturned. Cover everything you can think of and really create a comprehensive guide so no one has to go anywhere else.
If you can do that, you’ll not only earn editorial links but you’ll stand a chance at outranking content from sites with a much higher DR than you.
2. Develop Link-Worthy Content
What makes a piece of content “link-worthy”?
These are all examples of what would make your content “link-worthy.” If you can add these elements to various pieces of content on your website, you’ll increase your chances of earning editorial backlinks.
It goes back to what I said early. Most of the content on the internet is regurgitated – meaning that people don’t want to do their own research and studies so they’ll happily take your data and research and reference back to your site with an editorial link.
It saves them time and it gets you a link.
3. Create Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is content that never goes out of style.
How to lose weight and keep it off is an example of evergreen content. The methods of losing weight might change with trends but all-in-all, losing weight will never be a topic that goes out of style and the methods of losing weight won’t change much from year to year.
That means that this piece of content can rank for a long time without experiencing very many fluctuations because the content will be relevant forever.
As a result, evergreen content can continue to earn links for years and years.
Does that mean that non-evergreen content can’t earn editorial backlinks?
This is an example of a piece of content that is non-evergreen but certainly checks the boxes for link-worthy content. It compiles a lot of data into one authority article.
This type of content earns a ton of editorial links. The key is to keep it updated and relevant. No one wants to link to content with data from 2015.
So, if you’re creating this type of content you need to revisit it frequently and make sure that the data is up to date and relevant.
4. Reference Other Companies
What better way to earn an editorial link than by providing someone else with one and letting them know that you did so?
Whenever you mention another company whether it’s on social media or on your website, shoot them an email and let them know that you referenced them and thank them for whatever information they provided.
If you have an authoritative website and at least a little clout in your industry, they should happily reply and they might even share the article or social media post with their audience.
This might not always provide you with editorial links right off the bat, but it’s great for brand awareness.
5. Connect With Journalists on HARO
HARO link building is a powerful way to build editorial links without having to create content and hope a piece earns a bunch of links over time.
HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out and it’s a free service that helps connect journalists with sources of information on a number of different subjects.
This is a popular strategy for editorial backlinks because there are a ton of large publications that don’t necessarily care about whether or not you have an authoritative website. They only care about your experience and whether or not you can be treated as a quality resource.
Link building with HARO can help you earn editorial links on sites like Forbes, Inc, and more. In some cases, you might even be able to develop guest blog posts for these companies and become a regular contributor to their authoritative website.
Keep in mind, you can also hire a link building agency to handle all of this for you.
The key to having success on HARO is avoiding low quality links, replying as soon as possible to contributor opportunities, and being certain that you follow all the requirements.
Acquiring editorial links doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you’re publishing awesome editorial content and providing value to your readers.
If you create niche sites and you’re struggling to build links, consider reaching out to us. We help SEOs and content creators build their link profile through paid linking, outreach, and link building strategy. Contact us today!