Everyone wants their site to be visible and attract organic traffic. One way to achieve this is to have a robust SEO strategy on your website. SEO involves two critical aspects: Relevance and Authority.
To be relevant, you need to understand what your audience is looking for and create high-quality and relevant content so Google can rank you on top of search results. However, creating high-quality content and publishing it on your website is not enough to get you the top spot on Google. Google considers many factors before deciding where to rank your pages on search results, including how authoritative your website is. This is where backlinks come into play.
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What are backlinks, and Why Should You Care?
In simple terms, backlinks refer to links that come from another website to yours. In other words, backlinks direct users’ attention from one website to another.
Backlinks form a critical part of off-page SEO strategy. Unfortunately, backlinks are one of the SEO metrics that you don’t have much control over. This is because although you can include some backlinks in your content, you also need other sites to reference your content with a link.
Backlinks are a major contributor to organic traffic on a website. Google views backlinks on websites as a vote of confidence or a recommendation. When publishers link your content on their website, they are telling their readers that you’re a trustworthy source of information that they should check out for themselves.
The kind of endorsement that backlinks give to small businesses or startups cannot be overstated. Moreover, backlinks let search engines understand how your content relates to other pages and websites on the internet. This way, your page can appear on relevant search engine results pages (SERPs) and attract organic traffic from relevant search queries.
Not all backlinks are created equal. That means you need to take your time to ensure you get high-quality backlinks. After all, low-quality backlinks won’t work and may even earn your site a penalty from Google. That said, here are the qualities of high-quality backlinks:
Don’t use back-hat link-building techniques to get multiple low-quality backlinks. Get better backlinks using the following tips:
Guest posting is one of the ways to earn quality backlinks. Although it may sound like you’re helping another site generate more views, guest posting is an excellent way to introduce your website to a new audience.
Unlike ghostwriting, when you guest post on another website, you get credited for your work and get backlinks to your website. Guest posting offers a great opportunity to get your name out there, reach out to a new audience, and earn increased online visibility. It offers an excellent way to build a reputation in your industry.
Getting guest post opportunities can sometimes be overwhelming. One way to identify these opportunities is to look for the “write for us” page on a website where you want to publish your content and send a good pitch. You can also get relevant opportunities via Twitter—use the search function to find authoritative sites looking for regular guest post contributors. With a good strategy, you’ll get many quality backlinks that will help improve your rankings on search results.
Resource Link Building
Another sure way to get quality backlinks is to get included on resource pages. To be successful with this tactic, you need to have useful and high-quality content that other businesses will want to share. After that, you need to identify businesses that can add value to your audience.
Having high-quality content alongside high-value links will help increase website traffic and improve organic rankings. The catch is to ensure that you link to other relevant pages relevant to your audience. That means if you run a CBD business, you need to feature on resource pages for cannabis websites to remain relevant to the users.
Reclaim Unlinked Mentions
The truth is you’re losing out on potential backlink opportunities each time your site is mentioned on another site, but they don’t link back to you.
That’s why you need to keep an eye on who mentions your brand on blogs and news. One way to achieve this is through Google alerts. You can also use tools like Ahrefs content explorer, BuzzSumo, etc., to get more insight into your mentions, including the number of shares and the domain authority of the site that mentions your brand, product, or service.
When you discover mentions from an authoritative site, send them a message asking for a proper link attribution. The best part is that since these people already know who you are, it won’t be challenging to convince them to add a link to the specific mention. You just need to draft a nice message asking for proper attribution, and you are good to go.
Reclaim Unlinked Images
Like reclaiming unlinked mentions, you can get many potential backlinks by reclaiming unlinked images. This is especially useful if you have unique and original images that have been used on other websites.
Conduct an online image search and then reach out to websites where your images are used. Of course, you need to approach them nicely; otherwise, they might feel guilty and delete the images. Be nice and ask them to link back to your site. In most cases, the website using your images will be happy to link to your site
Create Ultimate Guides
An ultimate is a resource piece of content that covers a topic in its entirety. In other words, it is a comprehensive resource on a specific topic.
Bloggers and publishers like to link back to articles that are definitive guides when creating their blog posts. That means you’ll increase your chances of getting quality backlinks if you create high-quality ultimate guides in your industry.
The main reason ultimate guides offer an excellent backlinking opportunity is that they help bloggers reference an idea they mention. For example, when someone is writing an article about off-page SEO techniques, they can mention a few tips without much detail and then link to an off-page SEO resource guide where readers can get more information about the topic.
If you’re looking for more backlinking opportunities, create lengthy and detailed articles that are link-worthy. Of course, you still need to ensure that your content is relevant, unique, and easy to read.
Conduct Competitor Research
Another way to get quality backlinks is to spy on your competitors to get an idea of where they get their backlinks, the type of content they publish, and their organic strategy.
When looking at your competitor’s sources of backlinks, pay much attention to their top-performing content, organic keywords, social media activities, etc. Tools such as SEMrush and Ahrefs can help look for backlinks by providing a complete backlink profile for different websites.
Use the information you get to create a backlink strategy for your website. For instance, you can publish content on websites that your competitors have a guest post. You can also sign up for your competitors’ email newsletters to get notification alerts anytime they publish new content.
Find Broken Links
The broken link-building strategy is an excellent way to get backlinks. When conducting competitor research, pay attention to broken links as well.
Broken links are links to pages that no longer exist or are out of date, meaning they add no value to a blogger or website owner. It can be due to 404 errors (where a website source has removed the links), improper URL, or domain change.
Broken links present a good opportunity to get a backlink for your website. Just find the broken links and pitch your site as a replacement to the link. This will benefit both you and their website—you’ll get the new backlink, and they’ll get a link that works and is more relevant. It’s a win-win.
The Skyscraper Technique
The skyscraper technique was introduced to the SEO community by Brain Dean of Backlinko. This technique involves a simple process that includes:
- Finding ranking content that has earned many links
- Improving the content
- Promoting the content to websites that linked to the original content
There are different ways you can improve existing content, including making it longer, adding related videos, adding more statistics, updating the content, among others.
This technique works because you’re building upon a foundation that is proved to be successful—you’re removing the guesswork. However, you shouldn’t just rewrite the existing content. Present the information in a new, better way, and add more facts to ensure your curated content will serve as a foundation, not a framework. Your content will become more popular and earn more backlinks.
Take Advantage of Local Directory Submissions
Directories can help improve local SEO and make your business more visible to customers. The best part is that you can submit a website link to a local directory which they’ll display publicly on your business page.
Of course, we’re not referring to spammy directories, which are likely to harm your SEO performance. We’re talking about valuable directories like Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc., that can help improve your rankings and traffic.
Fortunately, creating directory backlinks isn’t complicated. The best part is that they can help customers find your business, what it entails, and your contact information. The more links you have from quality sites, the better you will rank on Google.
Almost every company would want to showcase testimonials they have received from their clients. In fact, most companies will place a few select testimonials on their homepage, while others have a whole page dedicated to customer reviews with a link to the homepage.
If you don’t know, you can turn this into an excellent opportunity to earn backlinks. What you need to do is identify the products or services that you have used recently. After that, identify sites with a testimonial page and write short positive reviews about your experience using their product or service. Reach out to them with good testimonials in exchange for getting a backlink to your website.
Most companies will want to include testimonials on their homepage for social proof, which offers a great exposure opportunity for your business.
Use infographics to Earn Backlinks
Infographics also provide a great way to earn backlinks. Infographics involve representing data and information using graphics, charts, and images. They help break up content into a clear and easy-to-read way. In other words, infographics break down complex concepts into simple visuals that are easily understandable.
When you have helpful infographics, other creators might use your creation in their blogs, which will provide a backlinking opportunity.
The most challenging part of getting quality backlinks is convincing someone to link back to your site. That’s why you shouldn’t sit on an opportunity to get a backlink from people who already know you. This is especially the case if you’ve partnered with an e-commerce site to sell their products or services.
If you’re keen, you’ve noticed the “where to buy” or “stockist” pages on manufacturer or supplier websites. Ideally, manufacturers use these pages to point customers where they can buy their products or services. If you sell a manufacturer’s products, then you need to be listed and linked.
Look at the pages that list stockists on your supplier website and identify the pages where you are not listed. Reach out to the right person and ask them how you can get your website listed and linked. In most cases, your manufacturers and suppliers will be happy to add to the stockist list and link your website.
Build Free Tools
You can also earn backlinks by creating free tools like template generators or calculators. Such tools are good since people will keep using them and share them on different but relevant blogs and websites.
Here’s how to build free tools:
- Conduct keyword research. Use terms such as tools, templates, or generator to see what comes in your industry
- Identify the tools that appear in the Top 10 results for those keywords
- Identify the tool or generator that receives most backlinks
- Build a similar tool but improve it—make it more customizable, have a better design, etc.
As earlier stated, when you give people a free tool to use, they will share it with other people and come back again and again. This will help improve traffic on your site and present a good opportunity for backlinks.
Use Intersect Tools
You likely have loyal fans who will link to everything you post and new products, right? The same applies to your competitors. Link intersect tools can help you find who is linking to your competitors. After all, if they link to similar websites to yours, they are likely to link to yours as well.
Once you identify these sites, reach out to them to see if they will be willing to link back your website as well.
Create Informative Case Studies
Case studies are used in different disciplines and are known to have great value in the SEO industry. In fact, high-quality case studies can help earn many natural backlinks for your site.
By creating informative case studies, people will view you as an expert in your industry. Of course, you need to ensure to use up-to-date statistics and ensure that your information is relevant to what people are searching online. You can then approach publishers who have written similar topics in the past with more up-to-date case studies and ask them to add your link to help add more value to their readers.
Listicle Link Building
Listicles are another important source of backlinks. Listicles do more than improve your search rankings; it puts your products or services in front of your audience for better sales.
To get started, identify popular listicles in your industry that reference your competitors but don’t include your site. Google search operators will help in this process. Good examples of listicles are articles that cover ten best…, or top 10…, etc.
Reach out to the blogger and tell them why you stand a better chance to be on that list. If you can demonstrate how your product or service is valuable to users, the blogger or journalist will be happy to include you on the list.
Sign up to HARO
If you are yet to sign up to HARO (Help a Reporter Out), you are missing out on a great link-building opportunity from the press. HARO involves helping journalists who need help to create their stories with an opportunity to get a link back to your site as credit.
Many journalists (no matter the industry) are looking for quotes to include in their articles. Look for opportunities that match your expertise and provide a comprehensive quote on the topic. The best way is to sign up to HARO, and they will send relevant requests your way. You can then pitch your idea to topics that interest you, and interested journalists will get back to you. When done right, HARO can be a great way to get tons of backlinks.
Participate in Interviews
You can also get backlinks by taking part in interviews. One way to land an interview is by searching for sites that conduct interviews regularly on the web. You can also land an interview through HARO by looking for queries relevant to your industry and asking for an interview.
One of the best ways to be interviewed today is to get guest post appearances on podcasts. Some of the great platforms to find relevant podcasts include Google Play, iTunes, Spotify, etc.
When pitching a podcast, remember to include your qualifications and experience and explain how it would benefit the listeners. As expected, you will start to receive offers and invitations to podcasts when you become popular, meaning you won’t need to spend a lot of your time looking for podcast opportunities.
Consider Sponsoring an Event
Sponsoring an event (whether online or local) also provides an opportunity to earn tons of backlinks. Of course, sponsoring an event means giving out something valuable (money or products), but you will get mentions on the event website and social media. This will help you earn backlinks and improve your visibility.
The best way around this is only to sponsor relevant events. That way, you will benefit from the link and get more people willing to learn more about your business and drive relevant traffic.
Last but not least, you can build quality links through digital PR. Digital PR can help get quality backlinks from the most popular publications in your industry. When you get these links, people will view you as an authority in your industry and increase your chances of getting targeted referral traffic.
To succeed in this strategy, you need to provide link-worthy assets and use proven PR tactics to promote them to journalists.
As you can see, there are different ways to get better backlinks. Having quality backlinks on your website acts as “votes” for your page. In fact, there is a close relationship between backlinks and organic search engine rankings. The catch is to ensure that you get your links the natural way. Always produce high-quality content that can earn backlinks. Include high-quality images, infographics, up-to-date statistics, videos, etc., and you will be good to go.