In this post, I’ll discuss several effective link building SEO strategies that you can use to increase your domain authority and improve your SEO rankings. I’ll also cover some advanced link building tips. Domain authority (DA) is among the most important measurements to determine the power of your blog. The higher your DA, the more likely you are to rank high in SERPs. And while there are many ways to increase your DA, link building is one of the most effective.
Link Building SEO.
Link building is the process of acquiring links from websites to your own.
When other websites link to your web pages, it not only helps increase your domain authority, but also helps improve your SEO rankings.
There are many different ways to build links, and the strategies that work best will vary depending on your industry, website, and link building strategies.
Link Building is Important.
Link building is important because it helps increase your domain authority and improve your SEO rankings.
When other websites link to your web pages, it not only helps increase your domain authority, but it also helps improve your SEO rankings.
Common sense, as a site owner, you know that search engines can help provide greater visibility to your web pages – So it stands to reason that including link building strategies in your SEO strategy is a prudent move.
Link Building Works.
Simply put, when sites linking to your web pages increase, that also helps increase your domain authority.
Link building is a process of acquiring links from other websites to your own – the more backlinks, the better your SEO initiatives come to fruition.
The key is to earn links from other higher (quality) DA sites, using high quality content.
Some of the common content marketing strategies include:
- Using guest post opportunities on high quality sites.
- Asking for relevant links from another external blog post.
- Reclaiming broken links from competitors.
- Using social media as a link building strategy.
- Using effective keyword research to create content that’s linkable.
Not All Links are the Same.
There are several types of links that we need to understand, in order to conduct effective link building strategies.
The Nofollow Link.
A nofollow link is a link that tells search engines not to follow the link.
When a website links to another website using the nofollow attribute, it tells search bots (like Google Bot) not to follow the link or pass any authority to the destination website.
This is useful for preventing spammy links from harming your SEO rankings.
Follow links tells search bots to follow the link and pass authority to the destination website.
When a website links to another website using the follow attribute, it tells those bots to follow the link and pass authority to the destination website.
This is useful for increasing your domain authority and improving your SEO rankings.
Dead Link a.ka. Broken links.
A dead link is a link that leads to a web page that no longer exists.
When you click on a dead link, you’ll see a message that says “404 Page Not Found.”
This means that the page you were looking for can’t be found.
Dead links can harm your SEO rankings because they tell search engines that your website is out-of-date.
Organic links are links that are earned naturally.
When you earn organic links, it means that other sites are linking to your web pages because they like your content and think it’s valuable.
This is the best type of link to have because it means that you’re not doing anything other than creating great quality content, and it also helps improve your domain authority and SEO rankings.
Successful Link Building.
The three most common link building elements you’ll see are:
- Earning links: Creating link-worthy content supported by good keyword research. These are natural links, and help build organic traffic.
- Asking for links: Reaching out to other sites and requesting quality links. This is where you can revive a broken link, which can often become a good link for your blog post.
- Manual links: This is where you add links yourself (commenting, forums, listings, etc.) – These links are often not the best quality, and you should also make sure not to use spammy link building techniques when posting them. For example, only post on relevant sites.
Successful Link Building Strategies.
There are tons of ways to build referral traffic from link building strategies.
It’s important for site owners to engage their link building campaign in a way that will appeal to their target audience.
This way search engine optimization will compliment any web page they post.
Here are some of the more common link building strategies:
Be Sure to Cultivate Your Own Brand.
Building your brand encourages the right people to naturally link to you, as they can better identify with your brand.
In doing this, you’re encouraging organic backlinks (also know as editorial links).
An organic link is a backlink that is not the result of paid advertising or link exchange.
Organic links are the result of people linking to your content because they like it and think it’s valuable.
So… What are some ways you can build your personal brand to encourage backlinks?
- Create valuable content.
- Be active on social media.
- Connect with other bloggers and website owners.
- Monitor what people are saying about your brand and industry.
- Promote your content on social media.
- Encourage people to link to your content.
The point here is that focusing on growing your own brand, helps to attract the people and backlinks that work best for your blog – And helps you stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Create a Guest Post with a clickable link.
Let’s be clear… Traditional guest blogging (as it used to be) is not as effective.
As the practice grew, the quality deteriorated, and in many respects, it can be somewhat spammy.
In fact, SEJ (Search Engine Journal), published a piece where they referenced Google’s input about guest blogging:
…Google’s John Mueller stated on Twitter that Google not only frowns on guest posting for links but has been devaluing them for the past several years.
He also said that Google has years of data for training algorithms to catch and devalue guest post links so that they don’t help a site rank better…
In particular, paying to have a linkable guest post published is a violation of Google’s webmaster guidelines.
So what can we do here?
Much earlier Matt Cutts also addressed the guest blogging issue.
Here’s the video of what he had to say…
So here’s the scoop on how you can benefit from guest blogging:
- Only write original high-quality content.
- Don’t “spin” or publish the same post across other sites.
- Buying links is a no-no (don’t do this) – Buying links, I believe can result in manual action.
- Similarly, if a website expects you to pay (for a backlink post), in my opinion, that’s a red flag.
- Ensure you are well-versed in what your writing guest posts about.
- Only publish that blog post on high quality, reputable websites.
- You’re looking to have more natural links, so don’t keyword stuff the anchor text.
- Don’t create excessive guest posts across sites (that’s not proper link building).
- Don’t do guest blogging for search engine rankings, instead focus on the audience.
Clone Your Competitor’s Link Building Strategies.
Here’s the scoop you want to improve your DA, so it would be helpful to see what your competitors are doing – that works – and refine / improve it for your use.
One solution is to use tools like Ubersuggest (and others).
Using these types of tools, you can get better information to enhance your backlink profile.
These tools will let you see where your competitors are building links, how many links each of their web pages get, where the referral traffic is coming from, and which page those inbound links point to.
The following screenshot shows one example of this.
In the above example, the following competitor page (the “target”) would be:
Receiving a backlink (the “source”) from:
The DA of the domain linking to their page is 99, and the PA (page authority) linking to the SEJ past is 62 – The link is also a dofollow link.
Not only do you see what other websites your competitors gets high quality links from, you’ll also get a sense of the link building strategy while showing you real targets to get quality backlinks from.
Always be Creating High Quality Content.
You’ll want to create blog posts that attract links.
This means creating things that are easy to share, so others can create linking pages to your content (because you’re providing real value).
These can be things like infographics (which will also show up in Google images search), resource pages, videos, etc.
Also, this and other resources you create can be shared across social media channels, to help augment your link building efforts.
The point I’m trying to make is?
This is why it’s so important to keep creating valuable content – Always!
Use Social Media for Link Building.
In many respects, I think using social media to help with link building for SEO is a given, and you should use it as one of your link building tools because:
- It’s an easier strategy to get more backlinks.
- Your social media profiles can all include links pointing to any web page you specify.
- Provides a natural way for site owners to build links in your niche community.
- Can help build referral traffic.
- Often appears in search results.
- Provides a positive impact to search rankings.
- Helps you reach a larger audience (and some of them will share your high quality links).
Social media adds a powerful ability to help spread your message, and foster engagement.
There are a few ways to use social media to get backlinks:
- You can post links to your content on your social media profiles. This will help expose your content to a larger audience and increase the chances of getting natural links from them.
- You can reach out to influencers on social media and ask them to share your content with their followers. Influencers have a large following and can help expose your content to an even larger audience.
- You can use social media advertising to promote your content. This will help drive traffic to your content and increase the chances of getting good links from them.
- You can use social media to build relationships with other bloggers and website owners. These relationships can eventually lead to getting backlinks from them.
You can use social media to monitor what people are saying about your brand and your industry. This can help you identify opportunities to get links from them.
Leverage Broken Link Building.
Here’s how this can benefit your link building strategy, and improve your search engine visibility:
Use link building tools to help you find broken (error 404) links that were going to your competitors.
Remember how I said we should always be creating content?
Now you can use the content you created and make a pitch to the website, that you found a broken link, and have a good link they can add in place of the broken one.
Broken link building is a win-win-win…
Their audience gets a working resource, their website fixes a problem, and you are able to build links back to your pages.
Ahrefs provides a free broken link checker.
Link Building Strategies We Should Bypass.
While there are many great link building strategies that can help your SEO efforts, there are also some you should avoid.
These are generally the more spammy techniques, and can often get your website penalized by Google.
Some of these techniques include things like blog comments, article directories, bookmarking sites, and paid links.
These types of links can often be low quality, and not provide the value you’re looking for.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Google is getting better at detecting spammy links, and can penalize your website if they determine that you’re trying to artificially inflate your search engine rankings.
At the very least you’ll not be included in search results.
Avoid Negative Google Impacts.
So here’s the thing… You want your target audience to be able to find you on Google, but if you’re participating in actions that don’t meet their guidelines, it can result in repercussions, such as manual action.
One of the ones I’ve seen on blogs is when they get a message that unnatural links were detected.
And it can take a long time for your website to recover (months sometimes) from negative impacts to your search ranking.
This is one reason why your link building tactics must have a good link profile.
The general consensus I see online is that manual action is often a result of a bad link profile.
Make sure every backlink you reach out to get, has a good backlink profile.
Avoid the following when building links from other blogs:
Google knows the monetary value of every keyword and the natural usage patterns of every keyword.
If the percentage linking page keywords is unnatural – In that, it is higher than the usual levels for link schemes in your niche (geolocation, language, and so on), that could result in a negative impact on your blog.
Safeguard Your Backlink Profile.
Additionally, link building tactics should encourage:
- Using disavow for toxic links (it might help to be proactive with this).
- Ensure link quality is good (that it is relevant to the topic at hand – natural).
- Sidestep link building schemes (sites that seem to be driven to promote external links, like a link farm).
- Ensure your blog content is well written and engaging. Focus on your audience, not on the “money making” where your link building work creates an inordinate amount of poor value links.
- Avoid link exchange systems – Again, natural links work the best.
- Encourage transparency (with Google), make sure the appropriate tags are used for links
Tech note on link rel tag attributes:
nofollow: The nofollow rel tag is a HTML attribute used to identify links that should not be followed or indexed by search engines
sponsored: The sponsored rel tag is used to identify links that are paid for.
ucg: The ucg (user-generated content) link attribute tells search engines that the links included on the page are editorial links, as opposed to paid or commercial links.
This helps to ensure that the links included on the page are given more weight by the search engines when ranking pages.
Link Building Should Avoid Purchased Links.
Purchased links can negatively impact your link building initiatives.
For one, they are a violation of Google’s terms, they are considered toxic links.
While using purchased links for link building might be enticing to some, it’s simply not worth the potential fall-out.
Ignoring Broken Link Building.
Not acting on the opportunity to help someone fix an issue, and get a link in return, should similarly be avoided.
To recap… Broken link building is the process of finding damaged links and replacing them with links to your own content.
A terrific way to improve the overall quality of a website, as well as increase the number of links to your own content – And yes, this takes a lot of work at times.
Use Your Link Building Strategies to Capture Good Links.
The plainest answer to the question “What’s a good link?”, that I could possibly give is something like…
A good link is a backlink that is editorially given, relevant to the topic at hand, and has a good backlink profile.
In my opinion, there are 5 things you need to look at when determining a good link:
- Authority scores.
- Link relevance.
- Link anchor text.
- Link position.
The authority score of a website is one factor that Google uses to determine the value of a backlink.
A high authority score means that the website is trusted by Google and therefore, the links from that website are also considered more valuable.
The key here is to try and get links from blogs, etc. where the score is greater than 50.
Your link building work should evaluate how relevant the link is to your content piece.
Ensuring that links are relevant to each content post you create, will, in the long term, ensure that your link building strategies are getting you the right links (and moving in the right direction).
The trustworthiness of a link is determined by a number of factors, but to make things easier I do (in a sense), what I think larger businesses, like Google do, that is to evaluate the landscape of the site I’m looking to get a backlink from.
And I also gauge the “feel” of the site – Is it well laid out, is it spammy, is there a lot of positive and productive action… Things like that.
Link Anchor Text.
Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink. When you click on the anchor text, you are taken to the page that is linked to.
The importance of anchor text lies in its ability to influence search engine rank (because Google reads that text too).
Additionally, it’s important for visitors as well, because they’ll also get an indicator of the content at the other end of that link.
Importantly, I look for wording that is natural.
Backlinks to your site need to be easily seen, so it’s important they be as close to the top of a post as possible (as long as the discussion around that link is relevant).
While sites like Google will pick up these backlinks, it’s just as important that visitors see them too.
For readers, there’s reduced value when the link is buried in some other part of the page.
Develop and Launch a Link Building Strategy.
Creating a link building strategy is important because it allows you to focus your efforts on obtaining links from high-quality sources.
This, in turn, can help improve your website’s authority and relevance in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Additionally, developing a link building strategy can also help you better track your progress and identify which tactics are most effective for you.
It’s important to keep your link building strategy updated (it’s a “living” document) as the search engine algorithms change and as new tactics become available.
Additionally, keeping your strategy updated will help ensure that you’re getting the most value from your efforts.
The following are common effective elements you should add to your link building strategies (or update them).
Keep a Record of Your Backlink Acquisitions.
Plainly put… If you don’t know the number of backlinks (and from where), then you won’t know when to build more, which sites need link reclamation, etc.
Reclaiming links: This is the process by which you can remove links from websites that are no longer pointing to your content (or no longer exist).
This process can be done manually or using a link reclamation tool.
To manually reclaim links, you’ll need to first find the links that are pointing to your content.
You can do this by using a tool like Screaming Frog or Google Search Console.
Once you’ve found the links, you’ll need to reach out to the webmasters of the websites and ask them to update the link to point to your content.
If you’re using a link reclamation tool, the tool will automatically find the links that are pointing to your content and reach out to the webmasters on your behalf.
When you get a backlink, it’s not always going to remain live. You can have 100 today, and only 75 next week.
What’s up with this?
Websites linking to you can remove the link at any time, for any reason (usually you’re not notified). So you need to have a record (for regular follow up).
There are automated tools that can check backlinks for you:
- Moz Open Site Explorer.
- Open Link Profiler.
- …and others.
Measuring Link Building Strategies Success.
One of the main reasons it’s important to measure the success of your link building strategy is so you can determine whether or not your efforts are paying off.
This way, you can make changes (or continue with what’s working) as needed.
There are a few different ways you can measure the success of your link building strategy.
One way is to look at your website’s search rankings.
If your website’s rankings have improved since you began your link building strategies, then you’re likely seeing positive results.
Another way to measure the success of your link building strategy is to look at the number of links your website has acquired.
If you see an increase in the number of links over time, then it’s likely that your strategy is working well.
Additionally, another way to measure the success of your link building is to look at the quality of the links you’ve acquired.
If most of your links are from high-quality websites, then it’s likely that your strategy is having a positive impact on your website’s SEO.
Having said this, what are some actual “numbers” (so to speak), that you can use?
There are 5 things I look at, and they are pretty standard:
- Referring domains (unique).
- Follow vs. no follow links.
- Relevance (how well the link matches the content subject).
- Bad / Toxic links.
- Authority scores.
Multiple links from multiple domain is best here! This is what to look (and aim) for. One website granting you a lot of backlinks… Is still one website only!
Whereas multiple websites each with a link or two is a far greater vote of confidence going to your website.
Follow vs. nofollow links.
In terms of SEO, follow links are best, common sense… They are telling search bots to visit (follow) the backlink to your website. So you’ll want more follow than nofollow.
Backlinks from blogs that don’t publish content that’s relevant (complements the content on your post) are not very valuable.
That’s like getting a backlink from a post about car repair to your post about buying wedding dresses…
Those types of links may no sense, so don’t pass much link juice back to you.
On the other hand…
If you have a website that sells shoes, and you get a link from a website that talks about shoe styles, then the link is considered to be relevant.
Bad / Toxic Links.
These are links you want to get rid of.
Usually, sites like Google will detect them, and understand that those links have no value.
Sometimes you might find the need to purposely disavow such links if the website at the other end won’t.
Both Google and Bing provide those disavow options:
Use tools (as mentioned earlier) to find out the authority score of the linking site.
This is important because high quality sites with a DA higher than yours is what you want.
Getting a link from a lower DA scored site, won’t pass too much value back to you (less, if any, link juice).
What makes a good link SEO?
There is no one definitive answer to this question, as what may be considered a good link for one website may not be for another. However, there are a few general things you can look for to help you determine the quality of a link:
The relevance of the website where the link is located.
The authority of the website where the link is located.
The number of links on the website where the link is located.
The quality of the website where the link is located.
Does Link Building increase Domain Authority?
Yes, link building is one of the most effective ways to increase your domain authority (DA). The higher your DA, the more likely you are to rank high in SERPs.
What should you not do in link building?
Some of the things you should avoid when acquiring links include:
Sending too many requests for links in a short period of time.
Sending low-quality requests for links.
Engaging in link schemes, such as buying or selling links, or exchanging them with other blogs
Getting links from irrelevant websites.
Receiving links from websites with low authority scores.
Creating links that are artificial or spammy.
What are the 2 kinds of links important for SEO?
There are two kinds of links that are important for SEO: “follow” and “nofollow”. Follow links are ones where search bots will go to your website using that link (passing some authority on to your post), while nofollow links are ones where search bots won’t use the link (so no value is passed to you).
In this post we several things, such as:
- Measure the success of your link building by looking at your website’s rankings, the number of links your website has acquired, and the quality of the links you’ve acquired.
- Growing your brand, as well as seeing what works for your competitors and improving on that.
- Try to get multiple links from multiple domains, follow links over nofollow links whenever possible, and focus on getting links from websites with a high authority score.
- Finally, avoid bad/toxic links, as they can sometimes have the potential of a negative impact on your website’s SEO.
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