the ultimate guide to backlinking

The Ultimate Guide to Link Building – 7 Things You Need to Know

the ultimate guide to backlinking

Anyone who is anyone knows that link building is an important skill to have in your toolkit when doing SEO for your customers.

Link building is not just doing one thing but it’s rather a few different skills that come together. These include mastering your content, sales, coding, understanding the human psychology, and marketing. This ensures that you stand out when trying to get other people to link to your site.

No matter what anyone says the bottom line is that if you want to get more people on your site, and link building is the most important part of your process.

I have broken this guide up into 7 parts for you.

link building 2

Let’s get started.

 

1. The fundamentals of link building

Let’s take a step back in time and recall the days before Google dominated the internet. The likes of Yahoo, Alta Vista, and Ask Jeeves ruled the search engine lands. Basically, they ranked websites based purely on the contents of a webpage.

 

Enter Google!

 

Google totally changed the search engine game with the PageRank Algorithm. The process basically looked at the number of people that had linked to your page. That algorithm was 20 years ago, and even till now, it’s by far the best way to determine the quality of the webpage. Google has maintained link building as the go-to ranking signal.

A lot has changed in 20 years and Google has moved onto Penguin (explained later). The shift has been from quantity to the quality of the links.

So what is a good link, and how do I make that happen?

 

2. Finding high-quality links

 

So firstly, let me break it down as simply as I can, on what makes a high-quality link and what makes the link bad.

Authority of the page

When trying to build a link to the page, you need to consider whether it has a high authority in PageRank? Because if it does, then this is going to directly impact your rankings in a positive way. As a matter of fact, Brian from Backlinko conducted testing and found that the authority of the page matters more than other indicators.

Remember that links from high authority pages pass on more authority to you, which is known as PageRank.

The thing to remember is that Google doesn’t share your PageRank information publicly. This is because it’s part of the foundation of the famous Google algorithm.

 

Authority of the site

So now onto determining the sitewide authority.

Think of it this way. If you were linked by smh.com.au and say… a not so well known blogger. The Sydney Morning Herald link is going to have a much bigger impact overall.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably already onto your emails drafting your pitch to smh.com.au! Remember outreach is hard but it’s always well worth the effort.

A great metric to use is the one by MOZ known as Domain Authority. This is a metric widely used in the industry and is what I fall back to on the platform I prefer using, SE Ranking.

 

Site Relevancy

 

Ok, so we have covered the authority side of things, but that’s not all.

Relevancy of the site that you have a link with matters a whole lot as well! Let’s take an example of a website we’re doing SEO for. Their main focus is blogging about Law in Australia.

While doing my outreach I find a blogger who’s willing to link with us. The only thing is, his blog is about how awesome the Sriracha sauce is. Will that still work?

Sorry to say, but no! Even if it carries a high authority number. How do we know this? Well again one of my favourite bloggers interviewed an ex-employee from Google and they mentioned that getting links from high authority is valuable but relevancy will matter to the theme of your site in PageRank.

 

The positioning of the link

The position of where the link is on a site is super critical as well. Remember hiding links in the footers etc are never worth as much as links that are in the centre of the content.

 

Editorially placed link?

Whenever placing a link always stop and ask yourself, was the link editorially placed? Meaning, did someone place the link cause they think your site is awesome? If you answered yes, then good!

If the link is placed from a generated profile and dropped into a site? Then it’s definitely not an editorial link. Remember creating links that aren’t editorially placed can be considered 2 things. The first they’re not natural links and second they can be considered a violation of Google guidelines.

 

Linking the anchor text

So this is really simple and is when part of the text is a clickable link. Something to note is that Google uses anchored text as a ranking signal.

When Google scans the texts it sees the anchored text and reads it as a link. Like anything SEO related, abusing anchored text may be considered spammy. Remember to link your co-citations for the words and phrases that are near the link.

Google uses co-citations. The reason is that the text around your link also tells Google what the page is about.

 

What the hell are Nofollow and Dofollow!?

So when I first started off, I couldn’t work out what Nofollow and Dofollow were. Basically, all I understood was that Dofollow was really good.

Basically, Nofollow is when the link tells Google not to count this as an endorsement. Now as it’s SEO related, you want to get as many Dofollow links whenever possible, but always size up the links quality!

 

3. Marketing your content

So good quality content helps you build fantastic backlinks. But remember, putting your content with just text, isn’t going to get the results you want. The key is that certain types of content work best for developing links. The four most common types, and the ones I try and use are:

Visual Assets

Try and use items like images, diagrams, infographics and charts to add visual appeal. Remember that people reading your content will find it much easier to read your content and connect with it if it is visually appealing.

There is a really good example in which Brian from Backlinko published an infographic related to SEO and anatomy of an optimised page and it got shared 2500 times.

So in short visuals help… A LOT.

 

List Posts

So, to be honest, I really hate listed posts, but hey… they help and people really love them. From a psychological perspective, they’re not only digestible but provide small snippets of information to the reader making it an easy read.

There is an analysis that BuzzSumo conducted with a million articles and they found listed posts generated the most amount of backlinks than any other type of content out there. That includes videos and infographics.

Research and Data

Write content that’s actually useful to people. Insights from studies and your own research will always rank better. Using statistical analysis and data will lead to highly linkable content. Using this type of content will make it highly likeable and links will add up fast.

Provide In-depth guides

Providing resources that cover specific topics in depth for the reader all in one place is particularly important. Not only does it mean that people will spend more time on your site, but it really helps you become the front of mind choice for the specific topics.  

4. Outreach

I always say that outreach is the hardest part of link building for white hat SEO. Honestly, it’s one of the best methods, especially using email outreach. The most difficult part is really getting it out from the spam folder and into the hands of the blogger.

Who is most likely to link with me?

Try and find people that are most likely to want to link with you. Start firstly by researching your keywords in Google.

Pick up all the URLs of say, the first 5 results of the keyword searches. Then run link analysis. I usually use the tools provided in SE Ranking… You can also use Ahrefs.

Now that you’ve have worked out what their authority scores are, start finding the email addresses. Something really important is please please please… don’t use the sites contact form as it will probably end up somewhere in a black hole never to be found. I discovered hunter.io a few months ago and it’s made the process a whole lot easier.

Ok now you have the email address, it’s time to send them a personalised email. When you’re sending hundreds of emails in the outreach process, you want to standardise the wording to make it as easy as possible. The trick is to make it a script without looking like one.

link biulding 3

 

5. The shiny black hat

So this is an odd topic. You would think I would stay far far away from this topic. But I need to tell you about this so you know first what links will go against Google Webmaster Guidelines and what you should avoid altogether when building links.

At the end of the day, it’s all up to you how you do your SEO, but I would really recommend that you stay away from cheap tricks of black hat SEO. The risk really does outway the short-lived reward.

 

Google Penguin

Google Penguin is a penalty based on the Google algorithm that will target spammy link building techniques or super shady blog comments.

The reality is that no one outside of Google knows how they use the algorithm to pick up and target the sites for manual penalties.

 

6. Strategies for developing links

Firstly look at the “resource page” link building. A resource page is a page that carries links out to awesome content on a specific topic.

The reason for the existence of these pages is basically for linking out. So, they make for a perfect opportunity for link building targets.

First, jump into Google and type in your keyword + inurl: links. Examples below:

link building 4

 

Ok, now you have found some pages. Drop the URL into SE Ranking (or whatever you use) and weigh up the sites. Ask yourself, is this site worth my effort?

Find the best content you have for that site and make sure it’s relatable. Lastly, test out your outreach script and remember that the key is to use a script but not make it sound like one, rather it should sound personalised.

 

Hunting broken links

LinkMiner is going to be your best friend here. It’s a Google Chrome browser plugin and can help you very quickly identify broken links on a site.

Use the exact same steps as you did for resource pages and gather a list of broken links using LinkMiner. Start drafting your script for broken links and pitch your content and link for your site as the replacement.

 

7. Advance level link building

Unattributed links

Remember when someone writes about you or your brand they don’t always link back to you! The best method is to send a gentle email to the writers and ask them to link back to your site whenever you’re mentioned.

9/10 times it works! But you do get the odd person who won’t reply. BuzzSumo is an awesome tool to find these mentions. This also goes for images as well. A simple reverse search can help you build links for images without attribution.

Time your emails! This is a tip I got from Backlinko and the tip makes total sense. Timing your emails for outreach to the recipients afternoon will probably mean they have fewer emails in their inbox. Now there are lots of scheduling tools out there. I say try and find a free one, but there is also an app called Boomerang you can use.

Visualise your content

Going back to the previous section about using infographics and visuals… it’s much more likely for a person to read your content and want to share, and link to it if it is visually appealing. This is considered an advanced activity as it’s very hard to execute by yourself. Usually, you need a team of designers to produce something worthwhile… but this is what makes it easier to digest the information.

 

easy and effective backlinking

Easy and Effective Backlinking Guide

easy and effective backlinking

Some may say that the cores of successful SEO campaigns are compelling content, eye-catching visuals, and an optimised website. This is all true as true can be, however, many SEO marketers tend to forget one other important SEO factor: Backlinking.

What is backlinking? Do you really need to do it for every piece of content you publish? What are the benefits? How do I get started with Backlinking? We will answer all these questions for you and make everything simple!

Let’s begin.

What Are Backlinks?

Backlinks happen when an external website decides that your website is cool enough to link their content to yours. This can be in the form of using your website’s content as a reference or using something you said as a part of their content.

Search engines factor in backlinks to rank your website in the SERPs. Basically, they count backlinks as votes for your website thus affecting your brand’s authority on the web.
Screen Shot 2018-08-04 at 11.34.48 am

When other websites backlink to yours, it tells the audience and the search engine that your content is credible, valuable, and oozing with quality. Just think of it this way, you wouldn’t backlink to a website that looks bad or produces low-quality content, right?

Building backlinks is a very long and time-consuming process – but it’s all worth it. The more backlinks you have, the higher your content ranks on the SERPs. In fact, a recent study shows that links are still Google #1 ranking factor.

 

How to Build Quality Backlinks

The thing is, not all backlinks are good for your website’s health. You might think that the more backlinks you have, the better off you are. Sadly, that isn’t the case. Google, like every other search engine, also factors in the quality of the website that chooses to link back to you. If the website that backlinks to yours is of low quality, produces blackhat content, or has a bad record with the search engine, chances are that your rankings will be hurt instead of boosted.

According to one of today’s best SEO magicians, A single quality backlink can be more powerful than 10,000 low-quality backlinks.”  

What Backlinko said is very true and every SEO marketer who wants to achieve great results should live by these words.

So, how do you build quality backlinks?

The first step to building the backlinks you need is to know what quality backlinks look like in the first place. Here’s a checklist for you.
checklist

Quality backlinks are definitely hard to get especially because websites with high domain ratings are already well-established. These brands are probably busy with other things to notice your content. Which is exactly why you have to care about the kind of content you produce. If your content is beyond amazing, even the biggest brands can take notice and find your content worthy to backlink to.

 

Content Turned Into Backlinks

The best way to earn quality backlinks to your website is to dish out remarkable content. This is the only way. Nothing less than amazing content will be noticed by the authoritative websites you are targeting, so make quality content your priority from the onset.

Let’s say that you are already dedicated to producing quality content. Your website, is in fact, full of it. What do you do next?

Link Roundups

What are link roundups and how do I get them to work for me?

First of all, link roundups are blog posts that collect quality content about a certain niche and link out to them once published. These blogs usually publish content on a weekly or monthly basis.

You’ve probably encountered link roundups before! While researching for content references, or while looking for guides to hone your digital marketing techniques. Fortunately, now you know that these link roundups aren’t just used as a collective resource on a certain niche. Now, you know that it is also your best friend in earning quality backlinks.
Your goal with link roundups is to get these blogs to include your content on their weekly or monthly posts. This is a great way to market your content and earn backlinks while you’re at it.

Here’s a quick tip.

You have to reach out to these link roundup blogs!

Of course, before reaching out, you have to know which link roundup sites are related to your niche. You can try searching for these queries to find them:

building links 2

Once you find the websites related to your topic, it’s time to reach out to them via email. If you’re lucky, they might even share your content on their social pages.

It looks like a lot of hard work, we know. But it’s definitely worth it.

Find Broken Links

Surely you’ve come across a few links that lead you to an error 404 page. Typically, you’ll just ignore it and find another resource to use, right? Wrong!

As an SEO marketer, broken links should be a cause for celebration! Why? Because this gives you a window to have your content replace the one that used to be on the broken link.

Big websites that link to other websites are probably too busy to regularly check for broken links in their content. This is where you come in. Once you find a broken link, you can let them know via email and pitch your content to be used in its place.

To find broken links on websites, you can use Chrome’s extension “Check My Links.” This handy extension will find broken links on a website and highlight them in red.

So, what you want to do is find authoritative websites related to your niche, find broken links in it, and check if you have content with the potential to replace it.

Once you do, you can let the website owner know. Be as friendly as friendly could be at this point! Inform them about the broken links and smoothly hint that you have a website and that you would be more than happy if they choose to link to your content instead.

 

Link Building with Infographics

Everyone loves infographics! These graphics contain valuable information turned in to a concise and straight-to-the-point image. I for one, prefer to look at an infographic that is easy on the eyes instead of reading a massive paragraph that ultimately says the same thing as the infographic.

Now, how can infographics help with your backlinking strategy in 2018?

Well, think of it this way. If someone already has a brief, yet the detailed representation of valuable data, wouldn’t you want to use that for your own content instead of writing a paragraph or two about it?

If you dish out beautiful and meaningful infographics, other websites in the same niche can and will use your graphics on their blog posts and backlink to you!

This is a great example of how you can make your content work for you. Which is exactly why we will keep telling you. Care about your content!

Backlinking Strategies That Work

Reclaiming Your Links

The internet is huge. Plain and simple. If you don’t keep track of your content, no one else will. That’s the reality of how things are today. There will always be websites or posts that fail to backlink to you when they use your content. It is possible that they simply forgot to do so. Now, it is your responsibility to give them a friendly reminder to do the right thing and backlink to you.

What you need to look out for are mentions of your content or brand that don’t link out to you.

mentions

The author did well to mention SEO Pundit, however, they weren’t able to add your link.

This isn’t something to be mad about. All you have to do is send the author an email, reminding them that they forgot to add the link to your content.

Be friendly when using this strategy. If you establish a relationship with the website’s owner, you might be able to regularly link to each other and help each other with traffic and shares. Always keep an eye out for opportunities to collaborate.

Here’s a friendly tip:

Mention.com is a handy tool that you can use to get notified whenever a post mentions your brand. From here, you can check if they linked to your website after mentioning you.

Earning Backlinks

It’s one thing to build backlinks, and another thing to earn backlinks. These two are very different, but both produce helpful results for your brand.

Earning backlinks means, you deserve it! According to GotchSEO, you must become obsessed with pleasing your audience.

 

Please Your Audience

Remember, search engines were created with the user in mind. There wouldn’t be any need for it if users didn’t ask questions or if they don’t search for content or information.

With that in mind, always create your content with the intent of pleasing and delivering what your users need and want.

SEO marketers often obsess over gaining Google’s favour. That means hitting every factor in Google’s algorithm, sometimes, even at the expense of content quality.

Some websites posts content with spammy keywords, hoping that they can gain Google’s favour. However, Google does not like this one bit. Why? Because users will frown upon content that doesn’t make sense. If you squeeze in keywords for the sake of just having that keyword in the paragraph and ignore the fact that it just sounds wrong – you’re going to have a bad time, and so will your readers.

 

Do it for the User, not the Search Engine

When planning what topics to create content for, SEO markers tend to search for what keywords are often searched for by users. Topics with a low search rate are often listed as invaluable and most content creators will decide against creating content for the search query.

That’s just wrong.

If you think you can create content that will help the 10 people that search for a certain query per month. Go for it! The purpose is to help people, not to have every piece of content rank first in Google.

It is true that search engines rely on algorithms to rank your content. But search volume shouldn’t be the only factor you consider. Treat SEO like a human being, not a robot. Think of the people who you can help with your content. It doesn’t matter if there are thousands of them, or just 3 or 5. In time, someone will find your content useful. Some other brand will discover your content and link back to you because you are one of a few who produced content for that topic.

In SEO, if you prioritise the user. You can never go wrong.