Quality link-building strategies are key to developing a truly optimized SEO strategy and getting your web pages to the top of search engines. Remember, being at the top of search engine results is how you increase traffic and profit. To have a well-balanced and effective strategy, you need to know how to get quality backlinks and build relationships that yield collaboration. But first, you need to know what a backlink is.
Also referred to as inbound and external links, backlinks are hyperlinks that connect one webpage to another. For example, if you link to another site in your web copy, you’ve given that website a backlink. Likewise, if other websites link to one of your web pages, they’ve given you a backlink.
When people link to your web pages, they give you a vote of confidence. They see your page as reliable and full of quality information, which makes them link to it as a source or a reference. This makes backlinks very effective at getting your web pages to the top of search engine results pages.
How Backlinks Can Boost SEO Value
While you should still prioritize keywords and quality content, those are not the only ways to use SEO. Link building can also offer improved returns on all of your SEO investments. Quality backlink SEO can benefit you by:
- Improving visibility: As we’ve already mentioned, every backlink your website gets is like a vote of confidence, which search engines will use as a ranking factor.
- Increasing authority: If a lot of other websites start to include links to your website, search engines and readers will begin to see you as an authority in your industry. They will see you as a trustworthy source of information, which can only improve your brand authority.
- Increasing referral traffic: Backlinks are meant to point readers toward your webpage. So, if they click on a link to your website, you’ll get referral traffic.
Different Types and Qualities of Backlinks
Not all backlinks are equal. There are two main types of backlinks: A backlink with a “nofollow” tag and a “dofollow backlink.” “Nofollow” tags tell search engines to ignore the link and, as a result, yield no benefit for your site. On the other hand, “dofollow links” from reputable sites are valuable and can generate more traffic.
While “dofollow links ” are the kind of backlinks you want, you also want to ensure that they are high quality. Low-quality backlinks are now recognized by search engines and are ranked lower. To avoid low-quality backlinks, you have to make sure a backlink meets the following criteria:
- The anchor text includes your target keyword.
- The site linking to you is topically related to your industry or content.
- The link is a “dofollow link.”
Basic Link Building Methods
Let’s get started building some links. But where are you supposed to get all these links? Here are a few places to start looking:
- Directories: Many web directories will let you submit your site for free. There are also some paid directory options that can be very beneficial.
- Friends and Partners: Leveraging your business partnerships can be one of the easiest and most beneficial links you get. If you partner with someone in your field or a related field, ask them to link to your website. If you run a business that allows other websites to sell your products or have franchises, you can even require that they link back to your site.
- Buying Links: Purchasing links from link brokers or contacting site owners is another possible way to build links. Many companies offer this service. However, this is definitely the riskiest way to build links, as Google and other search engines are cracking down on websites that buy links.
How to Get Backlinks from Other Sites
Backlinks and link building are an essential part of any quality SEO strategy. But, like many aspects of digital marketing, it is easier said than done. Many SEO experts find link building one of the most challenging aspects of their job because of how difficult it is to get right. It’s not impossible, though. Check out this case study where Nu Skin was able to get 500 new backlinks.
Have no fear—we’re giving you our favorite tips on building links the right way.
Create Linkable Assets
The easiest way to get other websites to link to you is by creating content worth linking to, otherwise known as linkable assets. That may sound like an oversimplification, but that’s the reality of backlinks—people will only link to you if they want to. If you’re looking for some more direction, lots of digital marketing blogs have great resources on how to create quality content.
Here is a secret for creating good content for link building: before you do anything, research the content or resources that you want your new content to replace. Take the time to look at the high authority websites in your niche that you want to get backlinks from. Then, check each of those websites for broken links or content pieces that can be improved upon. This is a smart approach to take because you’ll understand the competition you are up against and know what you need to create to improve their content.
A linkable asset doesn’t always have to be a great article. Here are some other linkable assets you may consider developing:
- Case Studies
Bottom line: link building becomes extremely easy if you create content that people actually want to engage with and share.
Write Guest Posts
If you’re just getting started with your link-building strategy, writing guest posts on other blogs is an easy way to earn backlinks. Look for brands within your industry that include a lot of guest posts on their blog and reach out to them. Chances are, they will be excited to get new content and will be more than happy to accept what you write.
Find Broken Links on Other Websites
Websites become outdated or broken if they aren’t properly maintained. That leads to many links on web pages not working, which gives you a ripe opportunity to place some backlinks.
Start by finding resource pages within your industry. Find which resources are outdated and create suitable content replacements. Use Google’s Check My Links Chrome Extension to reveal broken links. Reach out to the owner of the resource page, inform them their link is broken, and offer your page as a replacement.
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a resource that journalists and other reporters use to get sources for their news articles. Getting backlinks on news sites is a huge achievement since those are high authority pages.
You need to sign up for HARO, and you’ll get up to three emails a day from reporters looking for sources. Send back your credentials, website, and a quote for them to use in their story, and you’ve got a new backlink.
How to Outreach
Once you know your angle for getting a backlink on someone else’s site, whether it’s via a guest post or another method mentioned, you need to be strategic in how you go about your outreach. It is essential that you:
- Reach out to the right influencers: When link-building, you need to research influencers who would be interested in your content.
- Engage with your influencers first: Influencers will be more willing to work with you if they already know you and see your engagement. You can accomplish this by following them on social media and interacting with their content for a few weeks.
- Do something nice: Follow your top influencers and websites, and look to see what you can do to help them out. If you email someone and begin by saying, “I did this for your website,” they are more likely to hear the rest of your message.
- Think about how you can benefit others: Remember that influencers and websites get hundreds of emails every day asking for linking and collaboration opportunities. You need to think outside the box. Talk about why your link is unique and valuable to them.
- Be authentic and specific in your outreach: Cut the fluff, send personalized emails, get to know them, build the influencer up, and be honest about what you are trying to accomplish with your outreach.
- Don’t rely on email: After following and engaging with influencers on Instagram and Facebook, don’t be afraid to tweet them or send them a Facebook message.
- Maintain your relationships: Write a thank-you email to influencers after linking to you or writing about you. Additionally, you must keep tabs on your influencers after working with them. Continue to like their posts and comment on them.
- If you reference other people, notify them about it: If you do cite someone as a source in your content, you should tell them about it. Briefly introduce yourself, and then tell the source that you’ve included them in a piece of content you created. Invite them to check out the content, tell them they are free to share it, and then close.
Simplify Backlinking with Big Leap
Link building is a tough job to get right. It takes a lot of networking to find the right connections that offer great link–building opportunities, but the more connections you gain, the easier it will be to reach the right customers. If you want to reap the benefits of backlinking without the headache of trying to make those connections, use SEO experts at Big Leap to help lead the way. Get started with Big Leap’s SEO services today.