Undoubtedly, link building is one of the essential SEO strategies.
In fact, Google recently made it clear that link building is among its top three ranking factors.
So, if Google takes link building seriously, you should. In 2018, Backlinko analyzed one million search results on Google and discovered that links had an impact on rankings more than other factors.
What is Link Building?
Link building is getting hyperlinks from other sites to your site. Users use hyperlinks (usually just called links) to navigate from one page to another.
Search engines crawl the internet using these links. They crawl links between your website’s pages. They also crawl links between entire sites.
SEOs use many techniques to build links, and the difficulty of those techniques varies. Most SEO experts spend tons of time trying to do it well. Thus, if you master the process of building high-quality links, you will be leaps and bounds ahead of both your competition and other SEOs.
The Quality of Links
Not all links are the same. In link building we have two types of links:
- High-quality links
- Low-quality links
When you get high-quality links back to your website, you should sit back as you watch your website move to the first page of Google. On the other hand, if you build low-quality links, you should sit as you watch your site disappear from search engine results because Google penalized it.
For example, if use black hat SEO strategies to get 5000 automatic links in a day pointing back to your site, it may look like a huge achievement until Google disapproves it and starts penalizing your site.
So, as you can see, the only links that matter are high-quality links. But how do you find such links?
How to Find High-Quality Links – 6 Effective Ways
Here are highly effective ways you can use to find high-quality links that search engines love:
1. Page Authority
You should look at the PageRank of the page linking to your site because it will significantly impact your rankings. A link from an authoritative page will pass more authority to your website.
While Google doesn’t reveal Page Rank details openly, it’s still one of their ranking factors. You can use Ahrefs to check the “Page Rating”; just a paste a URL on Ahrefs and look at the URL Rating (UR) metric of the page.
2. Site Authority
A domain’s sitewide authority also determines the quality of a link. Generally, a link from a site such as CNN.com or CBC.com can have a more significant impact than one from newbie blogger. Although such links are challenging to get, they are worth it.
To know a site’s site rating, paste the site’s URL into the tool and look at the “Domain Rating” (DR).
You can also Moz’s reputed Domain Authority (DA) tool. If you don’t want to keep logging into Moz to check a site’s DA, you can install the MozBar Chrome extension, which automatically gives you the Page Authority and Domain Authority of any website you open. Just be sure to create an account (free) on Moz first.
3. Site Relevancy
When building links, the relevance of a site matters a lot. For example, if you run a site about weight loss and you get a backlink from a high-authority website about computer gaming. Will the link have a positive impact on your site’s SEO?
Well, in the words of an Ex-Googler, the link won’t have an impact because Google considers the relevance of the other website’s in relation to yours. Relevance is Google’s new Page Rank.
4. The Position of the Link on the Page
A link’s position on a web page can determine whether it’s a high-quality link or not. According to Google, links placed on sidebars and footers aren’t so weighty.
Takeaway: ensure the links appears right in the middle of a site’s web page.
5. Anchor Text
Anchor text refers to the link’s clickable phrase. Google considers an anchor text when it comes to ranking. For instance, if you receive a link to your website whose anchor text reads “weight loss methods,” then that tells Google that the page linked to is related to weight loss.
Well, most people are misusing the concept of keyword-rich anchor texts. It’s worth noting that it’s spammy to build many links with exact match anchor text. It’s recommended you don’t build links to your website with lots of keyword-rich anchor text. However, getting a link whose anchor text contains your keyword is a reason to do a happy dance!
6. Use “Dofollow” Links
In link building, there are two types of links: “nofollow” and “dofollow.” A dofollow link allows a search engine bot to follow it, and it passes on link juice. In other words, it adds quality to the link. But, a “nofollow” link doesn’t allow bots from search engines to follow it, and thus, it doesn’t pass on link juice.
Therefore, when building links, ensure they are from sites that provide “dofollow” links only as such links are regarded as quality links.
The Importance of Link Building to Your Business
1. Ranking in Search Results
As mentioned above, Google uses backlinks to determine the position of a website in search results. So, depending on the number of quality backlinks to your site, you can rank higher than other sites in your niche. And when your site ranks on Google’s first page, it puts your brand, products, and services before many potential customers. The benefits include more traffic, leads, and ultimately sales to your business.
2. Tons of Referral Traffic
We’ve mentioned how links impact your rankings, but that’s not all. Links bring in referral traffic as well. If a highly-visited website links to you, you will receive increased traffic. If the site is relevant to yours, then the traffic from it could skyrocket your sales as well.
Again, in this case, the value of the backlink matters; it’s not only about SEO, but also about customers. There’s a huge difference between getting a link from a site with an enormous audience and getting a link from another website with a comparatively smaller (though still huge) audience that’s ridiculously passionate.
In other words, the engagement level of a site’s traffic and the relevance of the site’s audience to yours play an essential role if you want to receive traffic to your website that will lead to sales.
3. Building Profitable Relationships
Link building often involves outreach to other blogs and websites in your niche. The outreach typically entails promoting something you’ve created like an infographic or blog post. An outreach’s common goal is to acquire a link, but there’s a lot more to it.
Through outreach, you can build long-lasting relationships with influencers in your niche. Such relationships may mean boosting trust in your business. When industry influencers begin to endorse your website or offers, it can boost sales.
4. Brand Building
Getting quality links from other sites cannot only help you to build a brand; it can also help you become an authority in the industry. Link building techniques such as content creation may show people your company’s expertise. The outcome is brand exposure, which is a springboard for more leads.
When you reach out to others in your niche, asking them to link to your content, you are portraying your expertise and requesting those in the industry to spread the word so others can know it too.
How to Build Backlinks
Now that you know the importance of link building, here are the most effective link building strategies:
1. Use HARO (Help a Reporter Out)
HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out. It’s a service that links journalists with tons of sources and gives you a platform to get vital media coverage for your brand.
Unlike most link building techniques that require you to do outreach, HARO brings journalists to you. What’s more, big media outlets like Mashable, Fox News, New York Times, CBC, and Wall Street Journal use the service.
How do you use HARO to get backlinks from high-authority sites?
- Sign Up
Sign up as a source and subscribe to a plan of your choice. There are four plans: free, standard, advanced, and premium.
- Find Opportunities
After signing up, HARO will email you three times a day between Monday and Friday. The emails have queries grouped into various categories like technology, business, healthcare, and more.
You need to monitor the queries to find one that suits your expertise and business. Remember to go for the best leads and research more on a media outlet’s relevance and credibility before responding to a query. The best approach would be to choose publications your potential clients would have an interest in.
- Make a Pitch
Journalists receive a high volume of pitches so, to stand out, keep yours short and sweet, but don’t compromise on completeness and quality. Remember to provide all the details provided in the query.
In your query replies, remember to include an author bio as a link to your site. Once the article goes live, you’ll be informed, and you can check it out.
2. Use Resource Pages
Resources pages refer to pages that link to valuable content on a particular topic. These pages exist for the purpose of linking to useful resources, and that makes them the best target for link building. Here are the steps to follow:
- Search for the resource pages by using the following search queries:
“Keyword” + “useful links”
“Keyword” + “helpful resources”
“Keyword” + inurl:links
“Keyword” + “useful resources”
Check the site’s authority level: Use Ahrefs or Moz tool to find out the URL Rating and Domain Rating of the page. You want to get a link from a high-authority site, so ensure these metrics are pretty good.
- Identify Suitable Content to Link To
You might have awesome content on your site, but does it resonate with the resource page? So, go through the pages on your site to find content that’ll be the best fit for the resource page.
- Send a personalized email to the website owner
First, start by pointing out that you read the resource page and benefited from it. Conclude by suggesting you have some valuable content that could make a fantastic addition to the resource and provide a link to that content. If you make the email more personal, you are likely to receive a reply and a link to your site.
3. Broken Link building
Even high-authority, well-maintained sites have broken links, which initially linked to other web pages. When users click on such links, they receive a 404 error that tells them the content is no longer available.
This provides terrible user experience and also makes it difficult for a search engine to crawl and index the website. Luckily, broken link building can fix this, and is a powerful way to build quality links.
So, how do you go about this process?
- Install LinkMiner or Check My Links (Chrome Extensions)
- Search for Resource Guides on Google
You want to find those pages that contain tons of outbound links, and resource guides are good for this. See the second link building technique in this guide on how to search for and find resource guides in your niche.
- Identify Broken Links
Run one of the Chrome extensions listed in our first step to help you identify broken links on the page.
- Find Out the Original Content on the Broken Link
Remember, the goal is to contact the site owner to replace the broken link with one that points to your own content. So, you need to know the content that was originally on the page whose link is broken.
To achieve this, visit Internet Archive and paste in the broken URL. Once you get the page, you can read it and write something better, more detailed, and useful than the original version. After writing the post, publish it on your blog.
- Contact the Site Owner
Now that you have a solution to the broken link problem, you can confidently reach out to the owner. The message should read something like this:
Do you still update your website?
In the process of researching information on (topic), I bumped into your valuable page (page URL or title).
But, I realized one of the links no longer seem to work. (Include the broken link here)
Recently, I wrote a post that would fit well with the broken link (paste the URL of your newly published content here)
Either way, I trust you found this helpful.
Link building is an efficient SEO strategy. It helps you to rank better and get more traffic that’s accurately targeted.
As black hat methods become harmful and useless, only white hat link building techniques remain relevant in 2019 and beyond. If you are looking at skyrocketing your website’s traffic with backlinks from real sites with traffic, contact us today, and get a free quote.