Gone are the days where keyword stuffing, buying links and high-quantity of compromised content boost your page and website ranking. Those are all called black hat SEO now. These techniques not only bring your brand a bad reputation but also degrade your ranks. Thanks to Google algorithm updates that value only the quality and trusted websites. Websites that play within the guidelines of Google are likely to gain much more positive results in terms of rankings, domain authority and traffic. Especially, when it comes to inbound links also known as backlinks. It is because link building is the most important Google ranking factor again which is why it is an effective SEO strategy. A website with a good number of high-quality backlinks along with good content falls in the top 3 search results.
Is it because of link building?
Dump the URLs of web pages or websites that appear in top results in any of the backlink checker tools to watch out the fact. You will see a ton of backlinks pointing to them.
And yes it is their link building strategies that pushed their ranks to the top. So, if you want to boost your rankings and improve your business by drawing more leads then you must build links to your site. Don’t worry! This article teaches you what is link building in SEO and how to do link building to improve your rankings and traffic as well. On-page SEO, bulky content, cannot alone foster your site growth. You need links pointing to your site to make it more visible to search engines to crawl and rank. But do you think it is easy to earn links that contribute to the website growth? No? You’re right! No website or blog can suddenly appear in top from nowhere even if it is perfectly optimized. It takes time and the rank rises eventually with time. Moreover, SEO is not a one-time task nor even the link-building. It takes lots of time, effort and patience to build healthy links, and it is all worthy.
So as said, in this article, you will learn how to do link building that adds real value to your site according to search engines. But before that, let’s read what is link building in SEO and best link building practices to achieve your business goals. Shall we?
What is link building in SEO?
The process of building inbound links or backlinks to your site to increase traffic to it is known as link building in SEO. There are multiple ways you can build those links such as from websites, blogs, videos, images, infographics, comments, shares etc.
These backlinks are simply considered as votes according to search engines to rank your site on the search engine results. So, the higher the number of links, the better? Absolutely, NO. It is all about the quality of links, not the quantity.
For instance, having over 1000s of links from lower DA sites and poor-quality sites adds zero value to your site, instead, it even creates a negative impact. It is because backlinks allow search engines to pass the page rank or Domain Authority value from other websites to your site. The downside here is if they are spammy websites, then you too will have to accept the same spam badge by Google. Reason – they pass bad link juice to your site which Google can’t ignore.
So, the higher the quality, the better. And you will see a tremendous increase in your ranking if you do the link building properly.
So, here comes the point of how to find higher authority domains and how to earn links from them. The process goes quite smoothly until you have found the higher authority domain and the real tough job starts from there onwards. But relax! This guide smoothens your link building process as maximum as possible. Keep reading…
Now you know what is link building in SEO. Let’s see why it is still an important SEO strategy in 2020.
Why link building is still an important strategy in 2020?
Most people still mistake that link building is dead and they no longer need to focus on building links. Hence they spend their time on on-page SEO and content creation. But you know what? Backlinks are not dead nor at least sick. In fact, they are not going to lose their importance anytime in the future. Moreover, they are the most healthy ways to boost your website rank. Still not convinced? Here are the reasons why link building is still and forever an important SEO strategy.
Reason #1: Google algorithms keep changing regularly and the importance of link building is soaring with each update. Now it has become a primary ranking factor. As the search engine beast, Google considers this as a major factor, so should you. And moreover, it is almost impossible to find a website without links.
Reason #2: That being said SEO is not a one-time task, it’s an ongoing and ever-lasting task. One cannot say “I’m done with building links to the website” as there are still many high authority sites you didn’t reach to improve your ranks even better.
Reason #3: Your competitors are not taking any rest. They are building links tirelessly to outrank and drive all the traffic. So, in order to guard your rank and push yourself to the top, you too need to build links with outstanding strategies.
After all, link building provides beyond algorithmic advantages and serves with other benefits such as:
- Backlinks help users or readers to access extra useful information
- Drives referral traffic to your site
- Establishes a healthy network (relationship) within the industry
- Links express that the website is trustworthy
- Passes value to isolated or ignored pages
- Acts as a road map for both search engines and researchers
- And finally, a sound number of links on your website means you are getting popular
However, most SEOs consider link building as purely an SEO strategy to earn more links. But if you do link building concentrating only on gaining links, then you will no longer survive in the competition. It is important to have multiple long-term goals as discussed above in order to enjoy the true essence of your link building strategies. People advancing with changing updates can only survive in the industry as it is important to know the rules before the game begins, right?
Point to remember: Build links from relevant and high-authority sites or blogs. Do not overlook the relevancy when approaching for backlinks.
What according to Google is link building?
Till now, we have discussed what is link building in SEO and why it is important to your website. But did you know what exactly is link building according to Google? Well, it is highly important to know why link building is the primary ranking factor to plan your strategies.
As said it is an important factor to determine the ranking of a webpage, more precisely which webpage to rank for which keywords. As links pass trust from referring sites, they help in growing your site authority or page authority which is why you see an uplift in your rankings gradually.
Therefore, a good number of quality links are responsible for a better rank. And a better ranking contributes to maximum visibility, huge traffic, brand identity and a good number of leads.
But as said, earning quality links, links from high authority sites is not that simple. This is why people take the easiest way called black hat SEO techniques. Until April 2013, until Google announced the Penguin algorithm it all went nice. After this algorithm has hit, websites with unnatural links and link schemes got penalized with reduced organic traffic. Later when Penguin 4.0 is announced and made as a core algorithm in September 2016 the guidelines have become even more strict as Penguin started devaluing spammy links at more granular levels.
The other important thing you should know and remember is that all links are not the same in SEO. A link building guide is incomplete without discussing do-follow and no-follow links. Along with no-follow, do-follow links, there are good and bad incoming links. And it is important to learn the difference between them.
No-follow links: No follow links are that do not count any value or pass any favor in terms of Page Rank or authority from referral site.
rel=”nofollow” is the HTML tag that makes the link zero worthy, simply it says search engines to not consider this link as the referral site doesn’t want to pass link juice to the target page.
Do-follow links: Unlike nofollow links, these pass trust, power and link juice to the target pages. Dofollow links are highly beneficial especially when these are from reputable sites.
Good links: Good links are that come from trusted sites in a natural way.
Example: Guest posting, Blogpost comments etc.
Google loves good links and loves the websites and blogs that use good links. Overall, you can improve your rankings with a good number of good links.
Bad links: Links that come from spammy, toxic and untrusted sites or links that come in an unnatural way. These don’t do you any good instead, they harm you as bad links are considered as a negative ranking factor.
Example: Excessive Link exchange, buying links, web directories submissions etc.
Hope you’ve understood the risk of unethical link building and the importance of natural link building. So, without further ado, let’s start looking into effective link building strategies to make your website stand out among your peers.
Advanced link building tactics
So, here we are, into the most important part of this link building guide. Let’s start delving into 7 amazing advanced link building strategies and find how to do link building in a more effective and less painful way.
Fix broken links
So, let’s start our link building process with a baby step, fixing the broken links. Here you can try fixing three types of broken links.
- Your incoming links that are dead
- Your competitor’s broken backlinks
- Outbound links of higher authority sites
But before you give a shot to fix them, there is an important task for you to do. That is finding the broken pages, however, this doesn’t take much time. Thanks to broken links checker tools and SEO tools that made the job easier. You can easily check the broken links and dead pages with tools such as broken link checker, Sitechecker, SEMrush, Xenu’s Link Sleuth, Dead Link Checker etc. Some of these are available as extensions while some of them are full-fledged SEO tools.
Tip: Myvu recommends using either the free broken link checker tools or premium and effective full-fledged SEO tools that help you in every step such as SEMrush.
- Tools like SEMrush help you find your broken links with Backlink Analytics.
- Help you find your competitors broken links and the URLs that are pointing to them with Backlink Gap.
Find broken links
Now that we have learned how to find broken links, now let’s find the sites that you want links from. Well, this isn’t any tough either. All you need to do is a simple Google search.
Go to Google search bar and type Keyword inurl:links
For instance, you are planning to build links for your blog related to fitness, then type fitness inurl:links.
Thus you will save time by obtaining webpages about fitness directly.
Now, use tools like Screaming Frog Spider to find all the broken links.
Create an excel sheet to have all the data (URLs, domain names etc.)
Next, using email scraping tools or manually by visiting the websites, obtain contact information (email address) of the editors of particular blogs.
Now, you have found your broken links, competitor’s broken links and their referral domains using the SEO tool. And have found the email address of blog editors. Here comes the prime task. You need to pitch them via email and request to replace those broken ones with your target links. This simply is called email outreach. Seems stressful? But you need to do this and get better in this. Because you can’t earn backlinks unless you don’t reach somebody and tell them about you. Wondering how to reach them and impress (as not all editors will respond positively, you also need to be aware that your emails might be ignored too)? Well, you can do nothing but keep trying and improving your email pitching skills.
Tip: Reach out to your friends through emails regularly as a rehearsal for email outreach.
Simple, friendly yet polite emails with a sprinkle of creativity are likely to get positive responses. So, this tip works.
As discussed above, email outreach is the best, in fact, the only best way to build a good number of backlinks from top blogs or websites. This way you will not only build links but also healthy relationships within your industry. Moreover, you will not just get connected with 10 or 100 other bloggers through email outreach campaigns but millions of people, if done correctly.
Note: Unlike the email marketing campaigns, your goal here should be to build healthy relationships with top bloggers in your niche, not achieve a higher email open rate.
As email outreach is the most effective way to build quality backlinks and multiply your organic traffic, you should not miss on learning and implementing the right ways. So, here are do’s and dont’s of email outreach.
- Write a simple, unique and impressive subject line
- Address them by their first name
- Be polite and friendly
- Introduce yourself
- Appreciate their work
- Get into the point quickly
- Provide your work through links
- Make your pitch simple, short and sweet
- Do follow up
- Avoid sending bulk emails at once
- Don’t kill their time
- Don’t sound like as you pitch for sales
- Never forget to ask them what you want
- Finally, don’t make your email look spammy
So, in order to succeed in your email outreach campaign follow bloggers and stay in touch with them by exchanging ideas that would help both you and them.
Apply Skyscraper technique
No matter if you are a well-known blogger or a new-born blogger with a zero following, trying out the skyscraper technique is what brings you more followers and amazing backlinks. Wondering what this technique means?
It’s a powerful tactic developed by the SEO genius, Brian Dean from Backlinko. The technique consists of 3 steps
- Discover popular content with worthy links
- Beat the content in all aspects
- Reach the referral domain editors for backlinks
Simply put, you need to find link-worthy content (top content with a good number of links) and create more powerful content with more length, more useful data, and good design.
If you have found a post “10 tips to make your email marketing campaign successful” popular and link worthy.
Improvise it by increasing the length of content, adding extra tips with more detail, add more links, and make it look visually appealing with the latest images, screenshots or videos.
Then reach the domain owners who linked to the same content asking to link to your post (tell them you have really worthy and updated content).
You can use Ahrefs or SEMrush to find popular titles (using broad keywords), SERPs and the referral domains.
As you are improvising the popular content that has a good number of high-quality backlinks already and approaching the editors who linked to similar content already, the chance of success rate is high.
Brian Dean acquired an 11% success rate for his first experiment, which is actually transcendent as they are all cold emails. And the best part is that anyone can gain it if done perfectly.
Tip: When you are improving the existing content, discover what are the downsides of the content you are improvising. So, you can develop content that is helpful for readers by filling the content gap.
Infographic is an easy yet effective strategy
Visuals pass the information quite straight away and are easy to remember and eye-appealing as well. In fact, this is why infographics have created a storm in the SEO strategies.
According to research, infographics are a powerful way to earning backlinks, huge traffic and social shares. You might have noticed a good number of shares happen to images and infographics rather than articles. So, try this technique with beautiful and informative infographics to see a high number of backlinks pointing to your site.
So, how to do it?
Simple, here are 4 simple steps.
- Find titles that are trending but with outdated content.
- Create an infographic with useful data and unique design.
- Reach out to bloggers that are publishing the same content.
- Offer them your infographics for which you will get a link in return. Also, offer them a short content for free explaining the infographics and include a link in the middle of the content. This is also called as Guestographics.
Or you can simply, offer the infographics and ask for social shares or simply a mention through which you get a lot of organic traffic.
Guest posting is not dead
You need to build a healthy relationship with top bloggers who serve readers with quality articles. This not only acts as a first step in the process of building backlinks but also a process of winning good friends in the industry. So, how do you do it?
- Email outreach (well, you can’t skip this). Excel in pitching the emails, after all, that’s what you can do.
- With an impressive subject line and short content in the email tell them who you are and ask them to publish your guest post politely.
- Don’t hesitate to follow up with them. If not a positive response at least ask them for feedback.
- Be proactive and mention other bloggers in your posts and email them the same. So, that they may do the same on their posts.
All you have to do is to do it right and you will see your backlinks skyrocketing, thereby increasing your traffic and search engine rankings.
Analyze your competitor’s links
Apart from the above link building practices, you also need to watch out your competitors. Competitor analysis plays a key role in SEO. Make a list of competitors and observe what are the common backlinks they have. Try for the same using the skyscraper technique and you are going to gain a good number of incoming links. Also, notice your competitors’ new backlinks and their referral domains. Thus you can know the trending topics and titles if you miss out on any. SEO tools such as SEMRush, Ahrefs etc. serve you better with competitor analysis and deep insights.
Serve your niche
The other effective way to build powerful links and boost your website ranking is to imprint your mark in the industry. Meaning you need to serve your niche by creating a high-authority website. No matter if you are a new blog or site or an unpopular website, there are ways to serve your industry and build your mark. Let’s look into them.
- Write high-quality, understandable, deeply-researched content on your blog or website.
- Help readers and other bloggers (researchers) with facts and statistics related to your niche.
- Interview experts in your niche and write a useful blog with amazing tips that help your readers. You can also ask those experts to list your interview link in their blog and social channels. Hence you will receive a huge crowd to your site.
As link building is an ever-lasting and ongoing Providing worthy, useful and meaningful content will turn fans of your niche into your followers. Thus you will see a lot of traffic to your site in no time.
Key Practices for link building
Hope the above advanced link building strategies explained you how to do link building effectively in 2020 and beyond. In order to add more value to your link building tactics, follow the below tips.
Append worthy content
As already mentioned, quality links and content are the main Google ranking factors. So, put your effort, and time to create a high-quality content that impresses both readers and search engines. Also, focus on your titles and headlines that draw the attention of users to click and visit your page.
Sort internal links
Though search engines do not consider internal links for ranking the websites and web pages. Make sure you sort your internal links properly, meaning the links on a webpage should be natural and useful for your readers.
Social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are more than networking sites, they have become space for marketing. So, utilize those channels and share your posts, engage your audiences to your content. Thus you build audiences for your content. If your posts have really useful content then you can see a huge number of shares and viewers to your blog.
Mention your peers
Frequently mention your peers in your content and comment on their blog posts to build a positive relationship. Thus you can stay in touch with other bloggers in your niche. Let them know that you appreciate their work and email them whenever you mention them in your posts.
Improve your email outreach strategies
As said in order to build links to your website, you will have to do email outreach. There is no way you can escape. So, try improving your email pitching strategies to experience more positive responses.
Mistakes to avoid while link building
Do not use over-optimized anchor texts
Make sure all the links pointing to your site are not the same or overly optimized. Over-optimized anchor texts are black hat techniques in Google’s point of view. So, ask your referring domain editors to give different texts while pointing to your site.
Do not thrive for quantity
There are sites that offer backlinks for money and there are sites that link back to your site if you link to their sites. In order to increase the number of backlinks, do not fall under these traps. Because these tactics will gain you nothing but Google penalties. So, always prefer quality over quantity.
Do not abandon secondary pages
Most people focus on fetching backlinks to only their home pages and abandon the other pages on their site. According to Moz, the backlinks from higher authority sites pass more value to unpopular web pages than popular ones. Also, page authority is equally important as domain authority. So, next time you try to fetch a backlink, point it to your secondary pages such as categories pages or contact us pages.
The only reason why link building has gained popularity is that its an important Google ranking factor. This is where most people miss out on the other crucial end called value to readers. Yes, link building not just helps you boost domain or page authority, rank or organic traffic or crawl your site but also help users to access related and useful content. So, if you are building links just for the sake of building, then you gain nothing. Instead, try to provide great value to users and search engines will love you. Hope this link building guide taught you how to do link building and foster the number of quality backlinks to your site. Refer back to this guide whenever you feel you are stuck at any stage of your link building process.