Link Building Strategies for Building High-Quality Backlinks

Before we dive into link building strategies and look at ways to get high-quality backlinks, let’s start by discussing the importance of right backlinks. In my opinion, it’s always good to learn the basics which will help you understand the details. What are backlinks? They are incoming links to your website or a web page. In other words, it’s a link to your site page that is displayed on a different page. Backlinks are incoming links which are a crucial factor when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In fact, it’s a vote from another site, telling search engines that this content is noteworthy and useful enough that others may want to link to it, which in turn increases your website’s credibility. Often many website owners struggle to rank well and get search engine traffic simply because they do not understand the importance of quality backlinks. How are backlinks important for SEO? Backlinks are especially valuable for SEO service because they represent a vote of confidence from one site to another. In other words, a backlink is an endorsement and a vouch from another entity which could be a person, a group, an organization, a company, or a website and is into online or offline promotion and publicity. A high-quality link essentially helps the site it is promoting improve its search engine traffic, so this act of promotion can be done simply to improve the general outline in the Search Engine Results Pages. Finally, backlinks are crucial as a result of their object, a decent backlink will guide to an increase in visitors to your site which in turn will land the site in a higher position on the search engine result pages. Although the position of a site is determined by diverse things, the number of quality backlinks to a site is a leading factor.

Importance of Backlinks in SEO

Earned backlinks through high-quality content, outreach and influencer partnerships could be the most effective in building your brand’s image and optimizing your site for search engines. This is because search engine algorithms place a huge value on relevant and authoritative backlinks. An increase in rankings, traffic and conversions from backlink efforts proves the same. It is the best way to replicate organic growth. A study from Caphyon correlated referring domains to website traffic and found that 91% of websites with high search traffic had over 30 referring domains, showing that a larger volume of high-quality backlinks leads to higher search traffic. Unfortunately, this can also be the most difficult method as it requires understanding what types of content your site is able to produce and how this content can be useful and link-worthy to other developers in the field.

Backlinks are the fundamental structure of the internet and are critical to search engine optimization. Backlinks are valuable to search engines because they represent a “vote of confidence” from one site to another. In essence, backlinks to your website are a signal to search engines that others vouch for your content. If many sites link to the same webpage or website, search engines can infer that the content is worth linking to, and therefore also worth surfacing on a SERP. So, earning these backlinks can have a positive effect on a site’s ranking position or search visibility.

Benefits of High-Quality Backlinks

In an effort to improve their sites’ performance on search engine results pages (SERPs), website owners adopted the rudimentary first generation search engine optimization practice of high keyword density within web content to attain top rankings. This is incredibly important because rank features heavily in potential search engine rankings. Until the mid-2000s, this was still the primary method used. Today, search engine algorithms have become much more sophisticated; in an effort to provide searchers with the most relevant results, engines are now capable of detecting unnatural keyword usage. Because of this, a new practice known as link building was created to develop a more sophisticated method of achieving high search engine placement. Link building is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of inbound links to a webpage, which will increase the chance that the page will rank well in the search results and consequently increase the traffic and revenue the site generates. Today, link building is considered the most important practice in the SEO process and is widely used by internet marketing firms.

Types of Backlinks

The value and insightfulness of getting backlinks from authoritative locations external sites occurs in all types of backlink building – but how you go about it varies greatly. There are three general categories of backlinks, defined by how they were obtained: natural links, manually built links, or self-created links. Natural links are editorially given without any action on the part of a page owner. Think of when you visit a textbook site and see links referring to other sources and studies. Those are mentions from an external source and if you own the quality site, these are the easiest links to get. You should try to get your backlinks from the same sources as they were given to the earlier site, assuming they are of high quality. Easier said than done, but are the most feasible and gratifying when they do follow through. Step one is to actually have the content on your site that is worth linking to, and an authoritative site on the subject will do the rest. Let’s use an example from a consumer electronics blog where Sony just so happens to announce a new addition to their line of DSLR cameras. Assuming the blog has a huge DSLR fanatic readership, a camera review or gallery entry would be a great article for the blog to offer, which possibly will often be linked to by Sony. This is the holy grail to SEOs as these are high-quality links that will pass a great deal of link juice. However, this strategy often takes a long time to see any fruition as you are basically waiting for things to happen. Often times a little push is required, a topic next time. Next are manually built links. This is self-explanatory, but any link where you have contributed content in any form or have had to go through the process of contacting another site owner on your own agenda. The age-old tool of trading links wherein you place a link to a site on yours, in return for them doing the same, is a mild example of this. Given that link exchanges offer little to no benefit, this should not really be considered the linear tactic. A far better method is to find online communities or content hosting sites that are relevant to your content that will let you become a contributing member or guest post. Offering to guest write an article and submit it to an existing blog is a good method at this. An identical to the Sony example would be offering a post to the Sony DSLR newest details and a site with a link in the post directing back to the mentioned blog. This task requires a lot of research, organization, and networking. The downside is your hard work is not always guaranteed to come to fruition and far too often you end up treading in a territory color to. Finally, self-created links are easy to spot. They are links that were acquired by intentionally placing another site’s link on your own page. This can be done in a number of ways like site-wide link in the footer on a blog role like list, a simple hyperlink/URL being left as a comment on another page, and paid link advertisements. Often poorly viewed by other webmasters and the most likely to be scrutinized over by Google Japan thanks to GoogleBow, these should generally be avoided if one is concerned with linking to maintain their pride and site dignity like. It could be said that certain forum or blog comment-based links are okay, but even those can be a deep dark abyss of hidden “no follow” attributes and skeptical levels of administrative integrity. See you Space Cowboy.

Natural Backlinks

It is inevitable that a website will receive some unsolicited backlinks. Sometimes it can happen that a website links to yours without you even realizing. In some cases, you may no longer deem the site a good link. In this scenario, I recommend contacting the webmaster asking for the link to be removed. If it is not possible to remove the link, using the disavow tool.

The best method of obtaining a natural backlink is to not actually try to obtain a backlink. Market your website in the real world. Spending large amounts of money on advertising should increase your traffic. Greater traffic will result in obtaining far more backlinks. A great way to obtain a natural link is to donate an old site to charity. Realizing that the site is a great resource to themselves, the charity will be likely to link back to your site. Offering a service such as web design in exchange for a link is also an effective strategy.

Adding natural backlinks is one of the most difficult tasks facing any website owner. The first and foremost thing to do is to write a link-worthy article. Take the time to write a great article that people will want to link to and then approach relevant sites and blogs asking if they would be willing to link to it. Many people are so keen on obtaining as many backlinks as possible that they neglect the fact that not all links are beneficial. Acquiring links from low-quality sites is very damaging to your website.

Outreach Backlinks

– Showcasing your expertise: If you are an expert in your field of work, using your knowledge to help others can lead to many opportunities. Take a look at HARO (Help A Reporter Out). This is a site where journalists and experts come together. The journalists post up questions on a whole range of topics, and if you are chosen to answer a question you can get a link back to your site in return. This can easily be done by setting up Google Alerts for keywords in your industry and then contacting any bloggers or journalists in need of help on the topic.

– Creating a newsworthy article or blog post: This could be anything from creating an interesting infographic, to writing a controversial opinion on a known figure in your industry. Your goal is to create a buzz with your article and get it shared and linked to by as many people as possible.

Outreach link building is the process of where you produce content and then go out to specifically look for a link. This method can be both done by unscrupulous, spammy techniques, or by creating excellent quality content and building relationships with bloggers in your niche. In general, outreach link building is focused around producing great content and PR for your site. The idea is that if you produce great content, then people will be willing to link to it. There are many different ways you can build link via outreach. Here are some of the many tactics:

Guest Posting Backlinks

This type of goal is high-quality, and guest posts are often utilized as a method to create effective backlinks. Guest posts usually tend to be more reputable compared to others purely for the fact that you’d never post them unless your content is good, and it can be difficult to write a guest post purely for the sake of a backlink. The result here is high-quality content which has earned a high-quality backlink. This is a double win. Writing a guest post can be time consuming with no guarantee of success, but it can be generally considered an effective use of time for the reasons mentioned earlier. An alternate to writing your own guest post is to hire a professional to create it for you. Whether it’s an established professional with a good reputation, it can damage an individual’s SEO if word gets out that your post was a type that did involve any form of financial incentive. Lastly, I am well aware of guest post services and while this is not something I am interested in using, due to the general low quality and risks involved, it would be good to know people’s opinions on the effectiveness of these services.

Effective Link Building Techniques

Building relationships with influencers In every niche, certain individuals have a strong influence on the general community. Whether it be potential customers or someone citing information, they are the ones with the followers. Building a relationship with these people is almost guaranteed to help you in the long run. Take great care not to annoy these people as they receive requests from people trying to get them to link to their site on a daily basis. The key here is to find common ground and express a genuine interest. YouTube tutorials and interviews can be a great way to let them see your personality and directly communicate with them. With any luck, they will start linking to your site in the future.

Utilizing social media platforms Social media platforms are a great way to promote your site and up your site’s visibility. When you are first starting off, it is important to use sites that are popular and have a high Google Page Rank. The key to effective utilization of social media is participation. If you are not using the sites in an engaging manner, it is better not to use them at all. It is also important not to stray too far from your niche when using social media – this can confuse and even alienate your current or potential customers.

Creating engaging content The first step to creating engaging content is understanding that your content is competing with other high-quality contents in the same niche. For that reason, your content must be interesting and creative enough to stand out. Some examples of content that have been successful in the past include infographics, quizzes, and unique articles. Keep in mind that the content must be shareable – if people do not see any value or an entertaining element, they will not share it. As with all content, the better it is, the more likely it will be that someone will feel compelled to link to it and share it with others.

Creating Engaging Content

Another more risky way to create engaging content is by having a personality. This can be varied on how it’s done but often it involves humor, sarcasm, or strong opinions. When you create content with a personality, you’re trying to get an emotional response from the reader. If this works, they are more likely to remember your content and even show it to their friends. A strategy of this nature can be a hit or a miss. Often people are afraid to use it in fear that it will hurt the image of their brand. That said, sometimes it’s best to take a chance and do something outside of the box.

One can create engaging content simply by venue of creative thought. A new idea can change the way we think and thus change the way we do something. Another way to create content is by providing a resource. People are always looking for information to further their knowledge or make their job a little bit easier. By providing a resource in your content you are essentially creating something that is link-worthy. Tutorials and top ten lists are great examples of easy to digest resources that can be both entertaining and informative.

Engaging content is something that is written well and it stays on the reader’s mind for a long time. Engaging content is the first key to acquiring backlinks. If your content is good enough, people will be willing to reference and use your website as a resource.

Utilizing Social Media Platforms

Social media is a great platform for building links. More and more search engines are utilizing social media links on their SERPs, so you should not underestimate the power of social media. Just by posting content and including a link, you can get lots of links. Moreover, content that is share-worthy can build hundreds of links. For example, infographics are the best tool for link building through social media. We have discussed the creation of engaging content before. If you successfully create engaging content, you can get social media traffic for this content. If you have enabled social media sharing buttons on your site, there are chances that your content will get shared on social media. If people like the content, they may write about it and link to it. So social media traffic can be good for linkbait. Nowadays, most online businesses are using social media sites like Facebook, Orkut, Twitter, etc. for marketing. You can leverage this and do a joint venture with a business owner, providing them free promotion on your site. In return, ask if they can provide a link. You can also do link exchanges with these businesses. Provide them with a badge containing your site name and a link, and ask them to do the same. Do not make links come rapidly. Do it slowly or it will look like a link scheme. This way, you can get plenty of links and build relationships with people in the same niche. Last but not least, use social bookmarking sites like Digg and StumbleUpon. If you get on the front page of these sites, you can get heavy traffic and links. But it’s not easy to get on the front page.

Building Relationships with Influencers

Influencers are individuals who have the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of their (real or perceived) authority, knowledge, position, or relationship. Building a relationship with an influencer in a specific niche can be beneficial to all parties involved, and in many cases, it can help with link opportunities. Influencers have their own community and are often tied to a larger website or company. The idea behind this method is similar to before where you will be providing a resource on your site for the influencer and their community. Influencers often have larger followings, so a link from an influencer more often than not is more valuable than a standard guest post. As well as thoroughly detailed content, you can help the influencer with their content on their site. This could be data, case studies, or infographics. Pick a piece of content that is simple for you to replicate and is also valuable for your niche, and then propose the idea to the influencer. If they like what you’re suggesting, they may look into providing you with a mention as the data source and possibly a link. An alternative method is to provide interviews. If you get an interview with someone who is an influencer in your niche, and then they provide this interview content on their site, this can then give you a link and some traffic.

Directory Submission

Considering the number of directories available, the main question webmasters are faced with is evaluating the quality of a directory. There is no definitive answer, but the following pointers should give a clear idea. First, checking the PageRank of a directory’s main page will give an indication of its authority. Leading on from this, if deep links are available they should have a decent PageRank to pass authority to linked pages. Use common sense and avoid any directories that are irrelevant to your website’s niche. An easy way to find relevant directories is by searching “(your niche) directories” in a search engine. Directories should have a human edited feel to them and should not accept every website. Upon viewing a directory, if it feels disorganized and has a lot of broken links then it’s best to avoid. Lastly, if possible find out if the directory is powered by a script that automatically accepts all submissions. These directories are usually low quality.

When I finally get around to finishing the detailed guide for taking a website to the front page, I will include information on using directories. Directory links are good for link diversity and a fewer number of deep links into internal pages. I would advise assigning around 20% of deep link anchor text to internal pages. Be careful though, as using cheap directory services can be quite dangerous to your link profile. Stick with high quality directories and niche directories. Avoid anything that looks low budget and has a spam feel to it.

Monitoring and Measuring Backlink Success

In order to build a successful link building campaign, it is crucial to monitor the backlinks. The first step to monitoring the links is using a variety of tools. Some tools are more complex than others. The main tool any link tracker should have is the ability to track the backlinks to the site. This is the basic function of link tracking and is vital to backlink management. One key function of any link manager is the ability to manage the links to ensure the backlinks are still live on the website. There are occasions where a webmaster may remove the link to your site (normally happens with reciprocal links). This link breakage can be disastrous to your link building strategy, and it is therefore extremely important that any broken links are managed and corrected. Step 1 of the backlink management process should be to import the links into the tool. This can normally be done by entering the URL of the page with the backlink, and the tool will then locate the page and extract the link to your site. Once the links are in the system, the link status should be checked. This will show whether the link is still active on the page. To have fully comprehensive management, it is preferable to have .CSV import/export functionality. This will enable you to quickly import a large amount of links and data. Backlinks are not permanent, and it is possible for a link to your site to be removed. Because of this, it is important to have regular reports on the status of the links. The reports should show a list of links and the status of each, e.g. active and not found. This can then be compared against a previous report to identify any changes and broken links. The ability to receive email notifications can save time and will alert you if a link status change is detected.

Tracking Backlink Performance

It is important to regularly check backlinks to ensure they are not accumulating too quickly and being posted on spammy websites. If this is the case, you may need to use Google’s disavow tool. This can help to prevent a future Google penalty and ensure that only quality links are helping to improve your rankings.

– Identify which links are bringing in the most benefit – Locate dead links which are not redirecting users to the correct content – Understand the anchor text which is being used on each link – Find out where the link is located on the page – Assess the overall quality of the link in terms of link location and link influence

In order to track the performance of the backlinks that you have created, it is important to use a tool specifically for this purpose. There are a number of SEO tools available to monitor backlinks, such as LinkPatrol, URL Profiler, and CognitiveSEO. A good backlink tool will allow you to:

Analyzing Referral Traffic

Using Google Analytics campaign tracking URL would provide a good insight into the traffic. He states that it’s a good step to see the referral traffic backlinks. Campaign URL usually consists of the source and the medium of the link. Source is the place where the link was placed, and the medium is the type of link. This could be used to confirm the backlink which is sometimes not really sure of the place of the backlink. The manual reports from the URL could be compared with the visitor log later. But sadly, the reports of referral traffic from Google Analytics are not 100% accurate. Yuzz states that he’s comparing the reports from analytics with the visitor log to make sure the accuracy of the traffic.

He states that to start analyzing referral traffic from backlinks, you could differentiate or separate traffic from referral backlinks and organic traffic from search engines by looking at the keywords in the visitor log. Usually, referring traffic keywords from backlinks are varied from the organic search. Then you could take a look at the content or the landing page that the traffic is coming at. Sometimes the visitor is coming from the specific page, so it’s better to optimize the page. If the traffic is coming from specific content, then it’s better to take a look at the content and make similar content in the future. Then the last step is to build campaign tracking URL at Google Analytics to get a better overview of the traffic.

Analyzing referral traffic from any backlink is really important to understand the website’s insights. A good backlink can only be considered better if it’s sending traffic to the website.

Monitoring Competitor Backlinks

One method of checking backlinks is to use a tool that does all the hard work for you. There are a number of great tools out there, and many of them offer a free version. One such tool is the SEOmoz tool. This will provide you with information on the domain, page authority, and the number of links to the site. If you register the free version, you can also use the compare link metrics. This allows you to put in up to 5 URLs and compare the various metrics. This can be very useful if you are researching competitors, doing link prospect analysis, or working with a webmaster to exchange links.

While it’s important to focus on your own development of backlinks, it can also be very helpful to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing – and even replicate their efforts. Running the Yahoo backlink command on your competitor’s site will allow you to see who is linking to them. You can also check out how many backlinks they have and what anchor text is being used. This can give you a very comprehensive idea of what they are doing in terms of link building. You may not have the resources to replicate every link they have, but it can present some viable targets.

Latest Articles