A very important part of becoming a search engine optimized site or page is backlinks. It’s not the only thing that makes a site or a page search engine optimized but is nonetheless one of the most important off-page factors that must be considered. So without further ado, let’s get right into various techniques for understanding and building backlinks for SEO.
What are Backlinks? And how are they linked to SEO
These are links that connect and link one website to a page on another website. A high number of backlinks prompt a higher organic search engine traffic. This could be both ways, it could either be your website containing a link from another website or another website showing your page or website as a link.
Backlinks show the search engines that the content of the specific site is full of value and useful. So, the more backlinks you get, the higher your chances of ranking on a search engine. Now that you know the importance that backlinks hold, it would be the right time to say that not all backlinks, as you might have guessed, hold the same amount of credibility and quality. For instance, a single quality backlink from an authority website can be more valuable than more than 1000 low-quality backlinks.
Some of the traits that a lot of quality backlinks for SEO have in common
- Domain authority: As the more authority, a site has, the more value it can provide for you. But as you might have already guessed getting links from authoritative sites is not easy
- They use the target keyword as their hyperlink: hyperlink is the actual text that takes you to the other website’s page when clicked on. The following image shows a picture of a hyperlink/ Anchor text that we used in one of our recent posts
- The linking site is probably topically related to you: This is something that Google also looks into in great depth as your visitor will probably not be interested in data from an unrelated topic.
- The links from authority websites are always a “do-follow” links: This is because search engines like Google ignore the “No follow ” links as links with no follow tag on them are not valuable. Sources that have “No Follow” links are press releases, blog comments, and paid releases
- Getting New links from new sites not from the same site again and again: Getting linked by the same site, again and again, is not effective and has a diminishing effect. For instance, it’s better to get 10 links from 10 different websites than getting 100 links from the same website.
So how do you start building backlinks you ask? Here are some ways
1. Create something worth linking to
This is a very simple but yet a very important practice. This could mean creating effective blogs, videos, software, quizzes and surveys that will actually intrigue people and provide value. So that they are inclined to link to them so that they are able to provide more value. This also might mean bringing something new to the table which no other sources are offering, this will provide some solid base for link building.
2. Building Roundups
So what are link roundups? These are daily, weekly or monthly blog posts that link themselves to some phenomenal content. The very first step to do this you need to find link roundups in your specific field. Here are a few search strings that might work
- Starting off with “keyword”+ “Link Roundup”
- or “keyword”+ “Best of”
- or “keyword”+ “Roundup”
- and lastly “keyword”+ “This week” is also a viable string search
These searches will provide you with some quality link roundups that you can use. And once you find a suitable Roundup, it comes down to “pitching your content”. This could be of the following sort
“Hey (the name of whoever you are addressing),
I have been following your posts for a while now and I have to say they provide a tonne of value and have helped me a lot. Just now, I ran across your new post XY and I myself have published an article that might be a good fit.
Anyways thanks for the amazing content
The above-mentioned script is not pushy and nor does it seem spammy. All you are doing is appreciating the content the other person posts and gently ask of them to include your content which might add further value to their post. Lastly, you will have to send the above-addressed script to the roundup’s owner. And if your post is actually a good fit for their content you are bound to get a link.
3. Using Broken Links
It is one of the easiest and effective link building strategy available out there. This is this because most people asking for links do not do a good job of it as their pitches are generic and do not offer any value. For example, they write something like ” Hey there, this is X, I would really like a link from your site. Thank you.” But with broken link building, you add value to someone’s website and then ask for a link. Here is exactly how it’s actually done: First you add “check my links” which is a free google chrome extension that helps in finding broken links on any page. Then you go onto finding a site that you want to get a link from. This could mean just googling keywords related to your industry and the top-ranking ones that appear are some that you could use a backlink from.
Now after getting the site, you want a backlink from. You check for any broken links by browsing through their various pages run the pages through the check my links extension. Which will show you all the broken links on that page and site?
The Last step
Lastly, all you have to do is to let the site owner know about the broken link and offer your content as a substitute. Do this through writing a personal email like the example we discussed above while appreciating their content and letting them know of the broken links. The more personalized an email you sen the more likely you are to get a link. And after they reply to your message you send them the URL to their broken link and also a link to your post. You can also do in the very first step and not wait for their reply to send them the URLs
4. Using Podcasts
This might not be something that you do but is nonetheless a strategy that can derive traffic to your site and help you get some quality backlinks. Here is a pic to authenticate just that
5. Branded Strategies and Methods
Uniquely naming the strategies that you come up with and write about is another very good way of getting backlinks. This not only sets up an image that this is something that only this guy is talking about also builds you up as an expert in your field. This is something that Brian Dean, the owner of Backlinko gave a shot to and it really worked for him when he named his strategy the “Skyscraper technique”, this lead to him getting around 10000 backlinks and most of the links that were given were due to the unique name
6. Using HARO
It goes without saying that if you want to rank on the first page of Google, as fast as today. You will need to build links from authority news sites and blogs in your industry. This is not as hard as it sounds and is actually quite doable thanks to HARO. Moreover, it is a free site that you can access, which connects bloggers and journalists that need sources to people that want links and press mentions.
You can use HARO to make links from big authority sites. But this strategy does require a lot of work to be put in. But, it is nonetheless one of the best ways to build quality backlinks at scale. The first step to actually do this is registering as a source. Once you are signed up, you will get three emails a day from reporters looking for sources. And when you actually do find a request that seems like a good fit. Just send them your pitch
This basically means promoting your post before even actually posting it. Here is how you go through with this. First, you find already written posts that relate to what you have just written, pitch them the uniqueness of the content and how they will add value to their posts. Then when you are about to upload, email them the link of your new post which will probably lead you to get some good contextual backlinks
8. .edu Research Page Link Building
It’s no secret that links from Edu websites are super powerful. But the main question that you need to answer is how do you get University sites to actually link to you. The answer is “edu resource pages. “How does this work you ask?” Well, most universities have resource pages where they link to diverse and useful content to help their students. For instance, let’s say that you have a website about fitness. First of all, you want to find resource pages. To carry out this step affectively, put any of the following search strings on google
- starting of with site: .edu “Your keyword”
- or site: .edu “Your keyword” + “Resources”
- or site: .edu “Your keyword” + “INURL:links”
- Lastly, site: .edu “Your keyword” +” other sites”
After this look to see if your content will actually be a good fit for those pages and lastly email the person that runs that page a personalized message and don’t forget to mention the value you will provide. But, despite this, do keep in mind that only about 5% of the .edu sites will actually end up adding your link. Which is also very beneficial as even one or two of these links actually coming through have the potential of making a massive difference in your Google rankings
9. Finding Outdated Pages, Resources and Businesses
These could be websites that just got rebranded or recently changed the name. After finding these sites, you will go onto finding sites that link to these outdated resources. And lastly, you will let people know that they are linking to something that’s outdated
10. Using infographics
They might not work as well as they used to but they can still prove quite useful if you use them the right way. And this does not in any way mean just making infographics and hope for the best. You have to go and actually promote it like any other content. The technique to carry this out effectively is called Guestographics which involves five simple steps.
- Posting the infographic on your website
- Then go onto finding sites that are writing about related topics
- Pitch them your infographic and offer them your unique content
- Lastly, you will get some contextual backlinks
11. Testimonials and creating backlinks for SEO
Companies no matter how big or small just love to put customer testimonials. So, if there is a product or service that you use and like, you should let them know how much you appreciate what they do. They will mention to you to show their audience that their product does actually work and then add your link to further authenticate the information. So that the reader would not have any sort of suspicions regarding the data you provide. The best part about this is that they will do all this without you even asking and requesting them to do it
12. Reviews from Bloggers
If you run an eCommerce store and are thinking of launching a new product or service, you can easily get some high-quality backlinks. But how you ask? Well, all you need to do give some of your products to bloggers with a good amount of people following them. I know I know… this sounds a bit sketchy but this does work quite well. All you need to do is find bloggers that focus on your niche and write about it. For instance, if you are thinking of selling a new uniquely designed voice-activated and functioning clock that you just made which have some super unique features that actually stand out, you will go on google and search ” Unique clocks” and see what kind of websites and bloggers have written what kind of content.
You will probably get a mix of blogs and clock eCommerce websites. Then you go onto writing a personalized mail and let them know of the new product, in this case, the watch you are launching and tell them that you would love to sell them a free sample on the house. Now, remember, you don’t have to go and ask them to mention you in their article as that is against Google’s Webmaster guidelines. But rather you let them decide if your product is worth writing about or mentioning
13. Reclaiming Links and creating backlinks for SEO
This is a very simple process. All you need to do is go and find the mentions of your websites that do not link to your website. And send them a friendly reminder to link your site. To do this you can use tools like buzzSumo and Mention.com. They will help you find mentions of your brands online. When you use these tools you will get a heads up whenever something is written about you. Then you go onto see if the person that mentioned you actually linked to your site, it could be your homepage or any other page for that matter. If they have not build a link to your site you just send them a friendly email
14. Sticking to a format that generates links
As we have already discussed infographics and how awesome of a tool it can be for link building. It is also time to say that it is not the only way to format your content as more optimized for link building. A recent study shows that the “why and when posts” get a decent amount of links. Moreover, some more examples of things that help are videos, how-to posts, and list posts
15. The Skyscraper technique and backlinks for SEO
What is the Skyscraper Technique? It is basically a technique that starts by you researching popular topics and trends and that are related to your niche. Then come up with a unique way to present that data. This might mean using a different and a more engaging medium like adding statics, interesting videos and employing designs that stand out After you have done all this you go onto contacting the people that have already linked to sites with similar content and pitch your pice of work. This will put you on their radar and if all goes well hopefully earn you a good link
There are a couple of reasons why this technique actually works
- Already present demand: By researching the content that is already in demand and popular, you know that there is a set marketplace for related content. You also need to examine as to why that specific piece of content is on-demand
- Creating something even better: If you are able to actually go through this you will actually have a chance to excite the specific audience
- Outranking the already set pieces: Google already ranks the pages due to their relativeness, awesome content and the amazing value they provide. So, if you go on and create something that’s even more amazing, Google will surely recognize the effort you put in and will uprank you to all of the previous pages
16. “Using Feeler” emails and creating backlinks
When it comes to email outreach, you can either ask people for links directly on your first email or you could use a feeler email. Both of these techniques actually work. And the feeler emails have actually been found to raising conversions for more than 40%
What are the feeler emails you ask? Well, these are emails that you send without actually asking for a link. You could just ask to share your post with them so that you can get their view on the post
17. Publishing Guides and creating backlinks for SEO
Creating guides that actually provide a tonne of value is a great way of building links. Guides are extensive and are bound to impress people if they provide a good amount of knowledge and value. These guides tend to have up to 5000 to 10,000 words. And as studies have shown again and again that long-form content tends to rank better on google. Here is how you build an ultimate guide:
- You find a topic for your guide: Choose a popular and trendy topic that has not been covered in depth already
- list down the subtopics: Listing them down and discussing them in great depth
- Cover everything related that there is to cover about that topic
18. Using Affiliate programs for Backlinks for SEO
Starting off with explaining what affiliate marketing really is
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is basically promoting other peoples’ products on your site and getting a commission if the product is actually sold through your reference. Moreover, the commission can be up to 75% for some products. So, it is surely something that has potential
How does it work
Well, businesses, as we all know, need and have to promote their products. Whereas, affiliate marketers do a very good job at promoting those products as they are trusted in their specific niches. So, basically they will plant a link with some descriptions on their websites promoting the specified product. Which, when clicked on, will open a new page from where they can actually buy the product.
When people click on the link, a cookie is stored on their device and the cookie contributes two main functions
- It helps the business know from which affiliate this customer come through and who must be rewarded in case of an actual sale
- It has an expiration date, which means people don’t need to buy the product immediately for you to get credit. For example, let’s say, someone clicked through your link to buy a speaker, but they had to run to the grocery store and get some other things done. They get back after a few hours and buy the speaker along with headphones. The affiliate marketer will get compensation for the speaker as well as the headphones. Even though he/she wasn’t even promoting the headphones.
If you want to know more about affiliate marketing we have an article written around just that. “All you need to know about Affiliate marketing“. Give it a click if you are interested.
Now that you know what affiliate marketing is, let’s move onto how it can be used for link building
Affiliate marketing and backlinking
This can prove really effective if you are an eCommerce store that sells products and services. You just get some good affiliates who will not only promote your products and give you a link for search engine optimization but will also help in increasing your revenue. And as we have already explained above, you would have to give them a certain commission for what you sell.
On the other hand if you are an affiliate marketer yourself and write blogs. You could generate backlinks through writing quality reviews which would not only mean getting some good backlinks but would also mean you earning money from commissions as well.
19. Creating a free tool
This does not suit everybody as it can require quite a lot of effort as well as money. But once you develop a good useful free tool people will happily link you to your site. And you might get some quality links. Moreover, this will help increase your traffic on other pages of your website and create awareness for your brand
20. Guest posting
This basically means writing articles about someone else’s blogs and websites and posting them. This can prove to be a great way to connect to newer audiences and get your name out. There are three simple steps to follow through this technique effectively
- Finding websites to pitch your guest post ideas: There are two really easy ways to do this. The first one is to search something like intitle: your topic and then use a phrase match like a guest post. Next, we want to make sure that pitching to these sites will actually be useful as you don’t want to waste time on sites that themselves don’t get much traffic. Moreover, to get an eagle-eye view as to which site will suit you the best, you can choose either of the two following methods.
- Domain rating which is an ahrefs metric that shows the strength of a target website’s backlink profile
- Search traffic of their site, you can also figure this out by using tools like ahrefs
Lastly, you should the sites you pitch based on relevancy and the fact that whether the website has ever linked to you before
2 more steps
- The second step is to find suitable guest post topics to write about. The three ways to do this effectively are as follows
- The Robinhood technique: This basically refers to you finding topic ideas from the rich and popular websites and giving your own unique pitches to the lesser-known sites
- The Splintering Technique: This basically refers to making a big extensive article about a relevant topic and subdividing it into smaller parts that you could than pitch to other blogs
- The respective Technique: This technique is revolving around finding opportunities in lateral niches. For instance, if you are a writer who wants to write an article about marketing tips. Then you should probably look for sites focused on content marketing
- Lastly comes actually writing articles that provide value. You could do this by hiring freelance writers that can write some good search optimized content or write some good content your self. I know, I know, this is hard and requires a lot of time but is the most important step and must be carried with utmost care
21. Creating a sitemap
This is a useful internal linking method that provides good navigation for visitors. Simply put this is basically the list of your website pages that help google and other search engines better understand what type of content you have on your site.
22. Commenting on Blogposts
This technique is not recommended as it can prove detrimental to your image but is nonetheless worth mentioning. Though this might not be one of the best techniques out there but it can work. Moreover, your comment does have a high chance of getting deleted on the get-go. All you need to do is find a website page with a tonne of traffic and link your page that provides some relevant data and answers some questions that might not have been answered on the post so as to provide better value. And if you do it this way the moderator is also might also not delete your comment as you will be boosting relevant discussions as well as helping people.
Conclusion and credibility about backlinks for SEO
Backlinks still remain quite an important factor when it comes to off-page SEO. It is something that requires quite a bit of work. But you should definitely put in the effort that it requires as it will pay off . But some SEO specialists like Jim Harmer and Ricky, the founders of income school, which is a great site, by the way, are somewhat against link building and say that it is not that important an aspect as when your content is good enough people themselves start linking to your site.
On the other hand, Brian Dean, Neil Patel, and many other SEO experts do support backlinks and have even written extensive guides on them. So despite their differences, it is still easy to say that building links yourself or getting them just because your content is that awesome, either way, plays an important role. Hope this article provided some good information and techniques for you to apply and efficiently build backlinks