Backlinks are among the ranking factors that help your website appear higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). Also called incoming or inbound links, backlinks come from another website and point to your site.
Search engines consider backlinks as a sign of credibility and authority. The other sites trust your content enough to reference it, votes of confidence that search engines consider when ranking your website.
Earning quality backlinks takes time and work. It mainly entails creating original and helpful content that makes your business a credible thought leader. Nonetheless, it is a valuable investment considering the many benefits backlinks deliver.
Backlinks are essential for digital marketers. You want your business website to stand out and drive more organic traffic. Such success rate requires better ranking and visibility, hence the emphasis on search engine optimization (SEO), an aspect that backlinks help achieve.
A natural and diverse backlink portfolio should be among the priorities as you optimize your website. Here is a glance at why marketers must build a rich backlink portfolio.
Five Reasons to Invest in Link Building
SEO’s primary objective is to improve your website’s ranking. Backlinks could be the only thing that needs to be added to your SEO ranking efforts. The more quality backlinks you get, the better the rank since search engines consider your website a trustworthy source of information.
Backlinks have, for decades, remained an essential ranking factor. The link juice passed to your website helps improve the ranking, which marketers leverage to reach and acquire more organic traffic.
Drive Referral Traffic
When a user visits your website from the backlinks, search engine algorithms mark them as referral traffic. Referral traffic is a ranking factor since it shows the authority and relevance of the domain.
Improve Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is among the most valuable assets a business can acquire. The understanding enhances user trust since they quickly recognize and associate with your brand.
Backlinks help reach more people and organically get them to your website. Since the user is directed to your site by trustworthy sources, they’ll easily trust your brand. This helps improve brand awareness and reputation and amass a significant loyal following.
Backlinks shouldn’t be one-way “traffic.” Your backlink portfolio delivers best when it encourages collaborations. This means it is a chance to develop relationships with industry experts who link back to your website, and you do the same.
Expanding your business relationships opens up more opportunities. You reach more users who wouldn’t be readily accessible in your network, especially considering the diverse niches you may not have targeted.
Speed up Crawling and Indexing
Your content may take time before crawling and indexing, especially for newer sites. Backlinks help speed up the process, especially when they re-crawl your pages following the found backlink. Quality backlinks make it easier for search crawlers to discover and index your content, enhancing visibility.
The Bad and Good Link-building Practices
Building backlinks sets your website up for long-term success. Nonetheless, not all backlinks are equal. Some provide better link juice to elevate your SEO strategy, while others could be behind your dwindling ranking. The process takes the right strategy, considerable commitment, and continuous evaluation.
Many marketers are discouraged by the time and effort it takes to build a high-quality backlink profile. Some even resort to “hacks” to speed up the process, which could hurt your long-term SEO success.
You could make notable progress with options like a backlink generator, only to be punished by search engines. If search engines see the back-linking measure as a way to manipulate them, you are in trouble. Some of the lousy backlink practices you should steer clear of in your link-building campaign include:
Bad Link-Building Measures
- Buying backlinks: Search engines consider backlinks as votes, and buying them isn’t just unethical. It is a violation that could sink your ranking.
- Spamming: External links should provide value for a better user experience. It could be spamming if your links are placed just about anywhere, regardless of the context, or over-optimized to fit in. It is seen as an attempt to manipulate the search engines and boost your rankings, which could do the opposite.
- Overdoing it: You’ve developed healthy relationships with various parties and agreed to link to each other’s site. Great, just don’t be carried away; you don’t have to put links even where they aren’t providing value. It is in quality rather than quantity.
Now you have an idea of what to avoid. So what are the best practices to adopt to get backlinks –for free?
10 Good Link-building Practices
Create Amazing Content
Valuable content is the best weapon in your quest to build a high-quality backlink portfolio and all other SEO aspects. You’ll easily attract natural backlinks since the unique, informative, and engaging content appeals to many who will likely link to it as a resource.
Content creation tends to be challenging, but keep it in your mind. You can leverage content creation professionals for consistent quality across the board. ContentGo professionals help you keep the content fresh and helpful, which attracts more collaboration opportunities.
In the modern social-media-driven world, it helps if your content is also sharable. Social media shares let you tap into an extensive network, especially noting how easy it is to go viral.
Quality content is, in itself, a ranking factor. It also helps build credibility and establish your website as an authority. Such a website makes it easy to win natural backlinks since you won’t struggle to navigate the next practice.
Ask for Backlinks
Every marketer wants to be featured in prominent publications like Forbes or the New York Times. Such sites deliver significant link juice, but even with great content, pitching there could go better for many businesses. You may also need more time to prepare for such a huge step.
Do you know a friend who writes a blog? That’s a great starting point; they will likely be receptive to your request. Nonetheless, keep in mind that not all sites deliver notable juice. It would help if you had relevant links and must vet the site to ensure it is authoritative and won’t result in spammy links.
As mentioned earlier, quality content is at the heart of asking for backlinks. The target site or blog owners need something in return, meaning a blank request won’t do the trick. That’s where the high-quality content comes in, showcasing what the target site will earn.
You’ll easily appeal to your target links by providing them with worthy content to link back. Relevant content helps enrich their site, much like a reference. The trick is ensuring the content resonates with the target site’s audience.
It doesn’t mean you can only ask for backlinks from sites in your industry and niche. The trick is to provide value and capture a diverse audience. For example, you can use a “money-saving hacks when catering for an event” post to pitch and ask for a backlink from a finance blog. Catering and finance aren’t in the same niche, but they intertwine and can help you and the target site provide more value to users.
I am asking for backlink work. Nonetheless, the best approach is to focus on building relationships. Healthy relationships with site owners, influencers, and blog owners help secure more link-building opportunities, long-term partnerships, and collaborations.
You have a lot to leverage in your relationship-building endeavors. You can start with a solid social media presence and actively engage others in your industry. You can also leave helpful online comments that foster engagements and provide value on other blogs.
Actively participating in forums and discussions also works well. You only have to find relevant social groups and communities in your industry and join the conversation. People will notice you, visit your site, and even share your content.
Building relationships can help establish yourself as a credible source of information and industry leader and win backlinks. It is a win-win that can supercharge your SEO strategy.
Guest posting is the simplest way to earn backlinks. It is difficult, considering that not all guest posts offer notable link juice. Moreover, you have to create content that may already be overwhelming enough.
You may be tempted to create content hurriedly, but that is unlikely to get past through blog editors. If it does, you will realize little since low-quality content doesn’t provide value that sets your brand as an authority.
The trick; pick high-quality links and invest in top-class blog posts. Blogs with good domain authority rank better on search engines. They also have a massive following, which your guest posts reach. The quality content drives the traffic to your website, making guest posting a valuable addition to your backlink strategies.
Almost every business today is listed in at least one directory, mainly Google My Business. You may give it little thought beyond local SEO, but directories are great link-building resources.
Yahoo Local, Yelp, and Google My Business are popular picks, but the list is long. Only list your business in some directories you can find, though. Some guides offer little link juice or capture more eyeballs.
You must diligently choose the directories to ensure you pick high-quality links. The simplest way is to focus the search within the relevant categories in your business. From there, narrow down the directories per their domain authority and traffic.
High-traffic directories expose your business to an extensive user base. The authoritativeness also delivers better link juice, helping improve your search engine ranking.
Testimonials are a go-to for modern consumers before making an online transaction. They give users the information needed to know if a brand is reputable.
Writing testimonials may sound counter-intuitive; you are promoting another business. Here is how it helps: you write a testimonial, and the company has to mention your business and provide a link. That’s an excellent inbound link since you only pick authoritative websites for the testimonials.
The testimonial helps consumers find a product from a reputable business. Whether or not they check your business, you’ll win since the quality backlink delivers notable link juice to help your website rank better.
Target Broken Backlinks
Who likes 404 pages? They are frustrating, which can skyrocket a website’s bounce rate. You can use this to your advantage to improve your backlink portfolio.
You can use the many online tools to find broken links. Pick a few target external links and find broken links relevant to your content and industry. Then reach out to the site owner/manager and offer to replace the broken link with a link to your relevant content.
Provided you pitch the idea with a high-quality original article, even the most authoritative sites will happily oblige. It’s a win-win situation because you fix an issue that could be affecting their SEO and, in return, get high-quality backlinks.
Social Media Backlinks
Social media platforms are a marketers’ goldmine. Top platforms attract millions of daily active users, the traffic you can tap into to improve visibility.
While notable social media links like comments tend to be no-follow, the platforms are still great link-building resources beyond social signals. You can use social media to connect with bloggers and influencers, which opens more backlink opportunities. You can also include backlinks to your site on most social media posts.
When optimizing your social media profiles, remember to add a link to your website. The link on your bio can drive more organic traffic to your site, especially if well-thought. You could promote a new product, promotions, or landing page.
Social media provides limitless link-building strategies. The only trick is to ensure you don’t go overboard. Stick to quality and engaging content that delivers natural backlinks. If you lose focus, you can quickly appear spammy and lose considerable followers, adversely affecting your SEO quests.
Create or Participate in Roundups
Expert roundups are a great resource for marketers and users alike. Marketers create valuable content from experts’ opinions, while users find unique content which fulfills their search query intentions. This makes expert roundups an excellent source of organic backlinks.
When you create the roundup, you build relationships with the experts by mentioning them and including their bios in your post. They will likely say your business and include links in their posts, delivering high-quality backlinks.
When you participate in roundups, you enjoy access to an extensive audience your business may not have targeted in the first place. The incoming link in the post generates quality referral traffic.
Content syndication means republishing your content on a different site. Medium is among the most famous content syndication sites. You can share an entire article or content to the third-party site and earn a backlink.
Content syndication helps improve your exposure and generate more leads. Nonetheless, you must be careful to avoid duplicate content issues. The simplest way is to use the rel=canonical attribute function. This tells the search engines which content copies are essential, ensuring the ranking power is credited to your primary page.
There are many backlink strategies, each best suited for specific purposes. The best part is that you can leverage the strategies simultaneously. Simple steps can help you accumulate high-quality backlinks over time, which is more productive than turning to black hat link building.
Search engines see a site with many backlinks as a valuable resource. Nonetheless, as you’ve learned, not all links deliver the juice needed to improve your search ranking. Spammy links could do your site more harm.
Relevant backlinks can elevate your SEO strategies. Major search engines consider powerful backlinks a valuable ranking factor, a reason SEO experts invest heavily in building links. This mainly revolves around content creation.
Regardless of the strategy you intend to explore, you’ll need high-quality original content. This is the main hiccup for many businesses, which tempts them to buy backlinks. The black hat link building seems cheap, considering the speed and fewer resources needed. In the long run, it is expensive.
Once search engines notice the spammy links, your domain rating will drop. The punishment beats the logic of turning to the “shortcut,” more so considering how long it’ll take to repair the damage.
While consistently creating quality content is challenging, it is no reason to risk being punished by search engines. You can always turn to professionals for top-notch content ideal for diverse backlink strategies.
ContentGo lets you leverage intelligent technologies to create engaging content continuously. The professionals ensure you use content that fulfills search query intentions and that search engines value. Such content gives you the power to develop an authoritative website and easily land more link-building strategies. Register today and let ContentGo supercharge your link-building strategies with high-quality content.