Learn the top link building techniques of the best SEOs on the planet.
As businesses and marketers move into 2020, there is one resolution that should be on their list: using link building in their SEO strategy.
Sure, you’ve taken all the steps needed to have an optimized website and a blog that is allowing you to rank with some niche keywords.
What will effectively bring you to the top of the search engine results while giving your business increased credibility across a variety of sites? Backlinks. Keep reading to learn the basics that will help launch your business in 2020.
What Are Backlinks and Link Building?
Link building is a manual technique used as a cornerstone in the search engine optimization (SEO) of websites. By increasing a site’s SEO, readers can more easily find your webpage, including blogs and articles across a wide variety of content available on the internet. This helps drive traffic to a site, increasing a brand’s presence online.
Essentially, to have a backlink, you need another page to link back to your chosen webpage. This not only can drive traffic but also can make your site rank higher on search engines.
Backlinks are incredibly user-friendly as they only see part of a link or only see it as underlined text. Meanwhile, the search engines will see the entire hyperlink and can extract data from it.
For example, the user will see “marketing experts are predicting increased use of social media to promote brands.”
However, the search engine will see the hyperlink that will lead it to the site (In this case, http://mybusinessblogpost.com/increased-social-media-use-for-brand-promotion).
The quality of the text used by the linking page to describe your content. Therefore, you don’t want them to use your business name as the linking anchor text. If they use keywords, you can enjoy an increased ranking advantage
One of the most essential things in creating your link building strategy is to remember the value to the target website owner and your site that is receiving the link. This will ensure higher quality backlinks without resorting to clickbait.
Why Are Backlinks Important?
By having a high quality and efficient link building strategy, you can improve the credibility of your website and create a way for people to find you across many web pages.
Backlinks help to boost organic traffic numbers for your website and will also provide higher visibility of your blog in search results.
Relationship building is critical in almost any business, and having a clear backlink strategy will help with that. It forces you to reach out to relevant websites and blogs in your niche. If done correctly and professionally, you can help to establish yourself as a trustworthy authority quickly.
Finally, link building helps to expedite the time it takes to get your site indexed to appear in the search results.
How to Create a Link Building Strategy
A key to creating a link building strategy is to build quality links that offer a high return on investment.
Guest posting is one of the best ways to secure a backlink to your website. You get to not only appear as an authority by creating content for other sites, but you can also usually control the number of backlinks to your chosen pages.
Also, you will foster critical relationships with influencers and bloggers that have a comprehensive outreach with your targeted audience.
So, how do you land a guest post? Sometimes, the hosting blog or site will request pitches for guest posts or simply has a “write for us” page somewhere on their website.
Using a search engine to find “write for us” pages in your given industry is a great way to start! For example, if your company supplies hiking gear, you can search for “Hiking blog” and “write for us.”
This will instantly lead you to many websites searching for guest posts.
Once you’ve found a site you are interested in guest posting to, it is time to send your pitch. Usually, sites will have an email or a web form for you to fill out. Include examples of previous posts you have written and list why having you or your company will be a good fit for their site.
Some sites may not currently allow guest posts but are open for co-authoring a piece. This can work just as effectively as you can suggest the backlinks during the content creation process.
Niche edits, sometimes referred to as contextual links, are specially curated links. These links are inserted into quality aged blog posts or pages that have already been indexed by the search engines.
This is seen as highly valuable as these pages are already ranked by the search engine.
Why is this important in a link building strategy? By already ranking on a search engine, the site already comes with authority. Therefore, traffic is already being driven to it!
Of course, you can just go requesting a niche edit on any site! You need to keep up with your due diligence.
Be sure to ensure that the post is relevant to your business, that the page truly has authority, and you should also evaluate the number of links already on the page.
Niche edits are generally more accessible than guest posting but have similar power when it comes to SEO.
You may be wondering how to acquire a niche edit. It is very similar to finding a guest post. Search for blogs in your industry and find a way to contact the blogger. Reach out to them and ask if they’d be willing to link to your site or article.
Give them the link to their post and where you want the link inserted, along with the link you are wanting to be added.
While this may not have the highest conversion rate at first, relationship building will go a long way in securing long term success.
Before discussing web 2.0, a word of warning. Added value is critical when utilizing these backlinks. If the search engines suspect that the backlinks are excessive or hurt the user experience, the site can be penalized.
To get started on a web 2.0 strategy, you will first need to create a complete and authoritative footprint. Create full and consistent profiles on all the major social media networks, including Yelp, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and TripAdvisor (if applicable to your niche).
Be sure to include a clear description of your business and why customers should choose you. Include keywords to help the network’s internal search engine find you!
Once the profiles are set up, continue to post quality content there at least once or twice a week for several months. This helps rank your social media sites for proper keyword use.
Also, influencers in your industry can easily find and interact with your brand, possibly resulting in increased visibility.
Community pages with a branding connection help provide what looks like a third-party site, even though it is affiliated with your website.
Creating community pages can be a little tricky as you must restrain yourself from obvious selling and excessive keyword density.
Examples of these include a Facebook fan page, Instagram account, Blogs on WordPress and Blogger, and Youtube channels.
OK, that’s done! Now, what kind of content should we post? Choose anything your customers would be interested in. Let’s go back to our example of a hiking apparel site.
They can post a video about the best hikes in Colorado, and you can feature your apparel on the hikers. On Instagram, you can post photos of hikers and views from the top of famous mountains. Then, you can also create a blog about tips on training for hikes.
A tip for community pages is to include a profile link to your site or include site links in anchor text to the appropriate landing page(s). Also, be sure your content is posted consistently, remains relevant to your audience, and is of high quality.
This helps prevent potential penalization of the affiliation because the material stands on its own merit.
Google Property Stacks
Google Property Stacks is a way to use Google’s own property to achieve high ranks in search results.
What does this mean? Mainly, you would use services such as Google Docs and Google Sheets to create documents that will be found by search engines. You can then insert links to the material on the Google Property on your site. Likewise, you can link back to the site using anchor text within your document.
By creating this public document, you can insert links back to your article or products. Just remember to keep these documents of high quality, relevant to your industry or niche, and to make them public.
However, it is recommended that you create a Google site as a buffer between the Google Property documents and your own domain. This can provide a layer of protection should Google decide to penalize using this method.
One of the benefits of using Google Property Stacks is that you can reduce the time you would spend on finding a host for a guest post or a niche edit.
You can publish the documents on your own time and have ultimate control of the quality of the links.
Tiered Link Building
Tiered Link Building is the process of building backlinks from a variety of sources and link these backlinks together in layers. The result is more power and relevant link juice fueling your pages, without overdoing it and raising a red flag to Google that could cost you rankings. When done correctly, tiered link building is more powerful than traditional 1 tier linking; ie. it takes less links to rank using a tiered execution.
To have a tiered link building strategy, you essentially need to have a variety of sites. In your first tier, it will link directly to your site where these are generally the highest quality links. Then, in tier two, it will point to your tier one pages. Finally, in tier three? You guessed it! You’ll link to your tier two sites.
Not all links are created equal, so authority is a primary factor in grading the link. By having a quality third-tier site point to a second tier, the quality of the second-tier site is increased. As a result, the backlink from two to one is seen as more powerful.
What sites belong in each tier? In tier one, you should use your web 2.0 sites along with backlinks from sites on an edu or gov domain. The second tier can come from blog posts on your own websites or guest posts, wikis, or articles.
Finally, tier three is more direct and aggressive as they are driven from comments on blogs, image comments, and similar postings.
Why High Quality Over High Volume Backlinks Matter
In the early days of SEO and link building, quantity was king. Now, the importance has shifted over to the quality of backlinks.
How important is it? Google has posted, “In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.”
The quality of the pages where you gather links plays a crucial role in how search engines will rank you. The higher their quality, the more they are seen as an authority.
Wouldn’t you rather be linked from a prominent blogger with a dedicated following instead of a site known for click-baiting or poor content?
The same goes for the quality of your content. To get the best backlinks, you need to be producing high-quality content. Many sites don’t want to link to something of low quality as it poorly reflects on them.
A Step in the Right Direction
Remember that a quality link building tools should be directed at an individual blog post or product listing on your website. If you point the link to your home page, this can make it more difficult for the individual pages to rank.
Just be sure to keep monitoring your backlinks to make sure that the pages remain active and that the links don’t become broken.
When moving into 2020 and developing your business’ SEO strategy, remember to create a comprehensive link building strategy. Not only will you organically grow your web presence and authority, but you will also foster key relationships within your niche.
You can also avoid penalties from search engines by limiting the number of purchased or sponsored links.
If you are looking for professional help with your link building tools, contact us today for information on how we can work.