There are 2 ways links can point to your domain. One is called internal linking, and another comes from external sources. These links from external sources and point to your website are often called backlinks.
Internal and backlinks are crucial for your SEO success and overall organic growth and user engagements.
Effective linking will help your human visitors and search engine crawlers find and understand your website content. If you use various SEO link-building strategies, it will improve your site visibility on all search engines. It will also help you rank in search engine results, which will help you generate more traffic organically.
- Link Building for SEO – Why Bother?
- 1 – Setting SEO Link Building Goals
- 2 – Publish a Lot of High-Quality Content
- 3 – Engaging vs. Forgettable Content
- 4 – Writing Guest Posts for Other Sites
- 5 – Relationship Building Is the Key
- 6 – Invest in Your Partnerships and Connections
- 7 – Look For Non-linked Mentions of Your Brand
- 8 – Get Competitive to Build SEO Links
- 9 – Don’t Use Cheap Methods of Gaining Links
- A Final Consideration About SEO Link Building
Link Building for SEO – Why Bother?
Generally, internal links are the links you have created on your website, which will mostly point to another page or blog post within the same domain. Backlinks are links pointing to your domain but created by other website owners.
Backlinks are one of the vital signals for a successful solid SEO campaign. For example, another blogger loved your content and decided to link it from their website. This will help this blogger’s users click on it and visit your website. Because that blogger and his website are essentially saying that your content is excellent and worthwhile so go and check it out.
Because of this, I encourage you to make your content high quality so it will be more link-worthy, and others will be happy to link back to your domain.
Search engines will look at the quality of the content on your pages when deciding how high your pages should rank. Search engine crawlers will also determine the content based on the keyword for the search queries.
Apart from the quality of the content and other Core Web Vitals signals, Google’s search engine algorithm will always look at the websites linked to your domain. And it will also check the quality of those links and linking sites when they consider your website into their search result page.
This is why you should bother with a quality SEO backlink strategy.
Google’s search engine algorithm is constantly evolving. Based on those updates, Google’s approach to internal and backlinks has also changed.
Let me give you an example quickly to understand the changes in the backlink and the weight on the eyes of Google. One of the standard practices in the past was submitting your website to niche site directories for backlinks. Unfortunately, everybody started misusing this, so Google stopped valuing those links from free and paid website directory services.
That’s okay; you don’t need to worry. Such a Black Hat SEO strategy might be outdated now. But there are plenty of white hat SEO tips and tricks that you can use and build high-quality backlinks for your website.
In the next section, I will go over some of the best link-building strategies you can implement and gain some exposure for your SEO campaign.
1 – Setting SEO Link Building Goals
If you can’t determine your SEO goals, chances are, you will feel difficult to achieve them. It would be best to think about what you want to get out of your link-building campaign.
SEO is not a race; it is a marathon. SEO is not something that you can do in a day. So you need to set your goals for a long-term benefit, and it must be realistic; otherwise, you will not achieve them.
So your SEO link building goal must be:
“Get more backlinks to your website”; this shouldn’t be your goal because it is too general, and it won’t help you much to achieve your goals within a specific time frame.
I will give you a specific example to help you design specific SEO smart link-building goals. You could set a plan to “get 5 backlinks from DA 45+ domains by April month”. You see, this is an attainable, specific goal with a clear time frame.
So if you start working on achieving this goal, you could target the end goal effectively.
Understanding your aim will help you to create the right campaign strategy. So you can make decisions that honor your target. Do not aim for anything you can’t achieve because SEO and link building is very competitive.
It would be best if you also thought about how link-building campaigns relate to the goal of your business. I mean, both of those goals should be connected and synced.
And of course, let me give you a quick tip that you should not forget. Please note your current domain rating and other metrics like keyword difficulties and rank for target keywords when planning your link-building campaign. This will help you effectively track and see the progress and improve the rank.
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2 – Publish a Lot of High-Quality Content
You will always need to create high-quality content that will encourage others to give you links from their website. Content quality should be your priority before you start building your backlinks. Otherwise, it will be impossible to get quality links from other websites to your website, improving the link juice of your domain.
So when you are going to create new content, you always focus on the quality. And you need to update your older content to have more value and make the blog post up to date with the latest information around that post.
Usually, it is impossible to predict or guarantee what type of content will get backlinks quickly. But some content types are more likely to give you quality backlinks, and they are:
- Reports or Case Studies
- How-to Guides
- Image Galleries and Videos
- White Papers
- Data Visualizations
The critical element is that the user or the content consumer shouldn’t find it challenging to use your content and make it to their advantage.
For example, if you create a data visualization, it should be easy to understand. An infographic should be colorful, easy to read, and interpret on any device. If you are writing a how-to guide, it should be broken up into multiple sections and individual steps so the user can quickly solve their problems.
You see quality matters.
3 – Engaging vs. Forgettable Content
Do you know the difference between excellent content and content that’s easy to ignore? If your content is unique and engaging, it will do some magic. Because such content has some characteristics that engage your readers in a couple of ways:
- Introduce something new or communicate in a new way
- Have a pleasing appearance
- Identify the location-specific requirements
- Give a timely response to a request
- Evoke an emotion strong enough to make the reader angry or happy
Regularly updating your existing blog posts and another type of content is also an excellent practice for SEO link-building efforts. If you keep updating old content, it will gain more backlinks instead of becoming an outdated resource. And suppose you have a great piece of content that is performing exceptionally well. In that case, you will need to consider repurposing it for another platform.
That means imagine you have a fantastic blog post attracting more traffic and more backlinks. Then I suggest you turn that blog post into a YouTube video, a series of Instagram stories, a Twitter thread, or a Q&A session on Reddit. If you have a great featured image on your blog post, you can make it worthwhile to drive more traffic and engagement from Pinterest.
All of this newly repurposed content will give you unique, high-quality backlinks that you wouldn’t have gained otherwise.
4 – Writing Guest Posts for Other Sites
Guest blogging is an effective method of providing content to another website within your niche. However, you will need to make sure that you are not ghostwriting, then only this will work for you as a backlink strategy. You should include a link to your website at the end of your article or within it.
When you are writing as a guest author, you need to focus on the quality of the website where you are going to publish this article. Of course, I don’t need to remind you to keep the content quality high because that will affect your reputation as an author.
Your guest blogs should be good enough to bring more traffic to the website you choose to publish. Other websites in your same niche will invite you as their guest blogger, which will give you more credibility.
If the quality of the content is not good enough, it will backlash you, hurting your ranking instead of helping it.
Popular newsletter platforms such as Revue and Substack will also help you generate more backlinks. These newsletters are not just meant to be inside their subscribers’ inboxes. They will also have a publicly accessible version of those emails on their website. So getting a backlink from these newsletter websites will be worth your efforts.
Contacting these websites and asking them to post a guest blog will get you favorable results. Since these services are based on email delivery, you can quickly identify how to contact them and send a quick email message about a potential partnership.
5 – Relationship Building Is the Key
Suppose you have contacted website owners to promote something you recently published. It could be anything like an informative article, case study, or a beautiful infographic. Then you can hopefully get a backlink out of it.
However, you must focus on your long-term relationship and nurture this ongoing relationship to achieve your long-term goals. No matter whether they accepted your partnership request and you got a backlink from them or not.
There is a chance that the website may keep an eye on what you are doing in the future. They may talk about your business with others and ask you for an interview, and sometimes they will request you to write a blog post for them. So at times, you may not get your desired result immediately. But in that case, I suggest you look for long-term relationships and business opportunities.
Your relationship building shouldn’t be limited to professionals in your niche. You need to interact and engage with your audience as well. This strategy won’t work overnight.
But I recommend you start introducing yourself via email, connecting with the people on social media channels, and leaving a genuine comment on content that other people produced. There is a very high chance that those people in your network will eventually start linking to your content if you stay in touch.
You will have established a relationship with these people over time. They may now respect and appreciate your content and contributions.
You see when building a relationship, everything matters. Each step you take and the content you produce must help your niche and consumers. Then your contributions will start giving you honor and eventually growing your business.
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6 – Invest in Your Partnerships and Connections
Your regular partners and loyal customers who love your brand and service may present an excellent opportunity to build links. Maybe you can try sending a brand ambassador badge or something like a graphic icon to them and ask them to use those assets on their website and give a link back to your website.
If you write a sincere testimonial about their products and services on their website, there is a better chance to acquire a link back from them. You can publish a more in-depth review of their services and products on your website. Or you can contact them for a potential guest post opportunity on their website.
You see, link building is more often a 2-way contribution. You can’t just get so many backlinks from other reputed websites if you refuse to give a link from your website to their website.
You provide them with a link, and they will provide you with a link back to your website. You both will benefit from this, and you both can grow. After all, relationships are meant to help each other, aren’t they?
7 – Look For Non-linked Mentions of Your Brand
Many websites may have mentioned you and your service on their website. But they won’t give you a link to your website; they will just write about you. Popular websites like BuzzSumo will help you identify such domains that mention you without giving you a link. You can also use free services like Google Alerts to track such mentions.
When you find a mention not yet hyperlinked, you can reach out to the website owner and request a link back to your website. Unfortunately, suppose the comment is not positive or not relevant to your site and services. In that case, I suggest you contact them and request them to remove the mention.
If you find a negative link to your website that you don’t wish to see, you can use a free link disavow tool from Google. This will help you increase the positive and negative link ratio, which will essentially be the same as building a new link.
8 – Get Competitive to Build SEO Links
You have many ways to check out what your competitors are doing and get the upper hand in the competition. I have listed a couple of options to help you.
1 – Ask for including your domain in the link roundup post. Many articles collect and list similar services that help their readers who are looking to explore a topic. You can find them by using “[keyword] + link roundup” on Google search and then connecting with the article’s author.
2 – Look at the websites that link to your competitors’ domains for similar content you publish. You can specifically look at the target keyword the same as yours. You can use popular SEO tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs to identify high-performing pages of your competitors for backlink acquisition opportunities.
3 – While searching, did you find an outdated article about the same topic you cover on your competitor’s website? You can then use a backlink checker tool to find the websites linking to your competitor’s outdated page. Contact those website owners and request them to consider using your much more up-to-date and relevant post instead of your competitor’s obsolete post. Most website owners will gladly accept your request because your information is updated.
4 – Similar to my above tip, you can find pages with 404 errors. If you found any 404 pages, contact the linking website owner to see if they will replace the broken link with a backlink to your site. You can find these broken links using popular SEO tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs.
While you look for broken links on your competitor’s domain, I suggest you clean up your own links. Because if you have a broken link on your domain, your competitors will take advantage of that the same way you are trying.
In other words, the more healthy, active links your website has, the more content you can offer others to link back to you.
9 – Don’t Use Cheap Methods of Gaining Links
When I say cheap, I mean cheap in value, not in cost. Some link-building methods are still expensive, even if they are considered a Black Hat SEO scheme. Links bought from spammers are of little use, so please avoid paying for links.
You can pay for advertising, but that’s not the same as purchasing backlinks from shady marketing places and forums. Paying for advertisements has many additional benefits besides getting backlinks to your website.
Google has built a sophisticated infrastructure to identify various SEO techniques, including those related to links. So Google can easily differentiate between a paid ad and a link-building scheme. So I repeat, never try to buy backlinks from unknown services.
Heads up: I write for my existing and potential clients, and I don’t write to satisfy search engines giants like Google. So, the next section will likely break the known rules of the SEO landscape.
Generally, it is not wise to buy links from marketplaces, Fiverr freelancers, or a forum that sells Black Hat strategies. Having a backlink from reputed domains will surely increase your domain authority. Your search engine optimization will benefit from it.
But what will you do if you are just getting started?
If your website has no backlinks whatsoever, it will not have the authority and weight to compete at all.
So I recommend you buy backlinks from people you know or any other trustable sites. And you need to check the quality of those domains that will link to your website. Ensure you are not getting any spam links when you make the payment. That’s it. Go and buy links and save yourself from drowning in the Search Engine Result Page.
This is your domain and your business. You make the rules.
Please note that you should not buy backlinks in large quantities and not try large-scale link exchange. As I said, it is acceptable to exchange hyperlinks with a trusted business partner or individual. However, if you are going with many links, search engine crawlers can detect that quickly.
So if you’re going to have a sudden influx of links from your website and to your website, it will be a severe concern to search engines like Google. So please do not give Google and other search engines any chance to flag you and your domain. Once you have got on the blocklist, I don’t think there will be an easy way to escape from that.
Your link-building strategy and overall SEO efforts should be genuine and kind.
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A Final Consideration About SEO Link Building
When working on link building for SEO, you must be patient; and it is essential. Even a solid SEO link-building campaign with a clear objective and time frame will take time to show you your desired result.
The competitive nature of your niche and the keyword difficulty of your target keyword will heavily influence the time it takes to see results.
Many elements influence your ranking time and overall ranks, apart from the backlinks you acquire. How actively your competitors build links, and the types of links you are focusing on will also influence the time to achieve the results.
Your domain authority score and age will be another significant factor in your successful link-building campaigns.
Generally, building links for SEO will improve your traffic. Still, it is not the only important factor in running a successful website. You will have to keep creating quality and stellar content. You will always need to provide reliable and friendly customer support. You must be active on various social media channels.
Link building is just only a part of an overall SEO campaign. An effective SEO is only part of running a successful website and a business.
Let us know your best tip for SEO link building in the comment section below so we all can learn from each other and grow together.
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