According to the example in Google’s definition: the more backlinks you have pointing back to your site, the more popular it will be.
The best way to earn backlinks is to deserve them. This was true in 2005 when Google changed the game, and it will remain true throughout 2018 and beyond.
The Secret Sauce to Build High Quality Backlinks
Gaining backlinks is as vital to your success as publishing worthwhile content is, but one flows from the other and not the other way around.
As with any investment, you get out what you put in. We seek not necessarily to have “more” but to have “the best of” in our own lives, and we should have a similar approach with our strategy for acquiring backlinks.
If we want the highest quality backlinks, we need to invest our time, money, and efforts into creating quality content that is then honored with a quality method for promoting that content.
And as in all realms of life, the harder it is to do, the more it tends to pay off in the end.
The essence of Smart inbound Optimization involves building a network of high-quality backlinks to the site you are promoting, not only powerfully driving SEO with an inbound marketing strategy.
To implement link-building-SEO, start with a technically optimized site. A good SEO inbound links campaign begins at home, finding and correcting any areas with room for improvement in website optimization on a technical level, and implementing the findings of a regular SEO audit as the site expands and continues being developed.
Quality, Not Quantity
Link building is a crucial, but often mishandled off-site SEO tactic. We can start concentrating on quality over quantity, not just of your content, but of your backlinks too.
The best and surest way to rise the ranks of your targeted keywords is the tried and true tradition of creating quality content combined with courting the finest spots to be linked from in order to gain the authority for your own site that you need to rank at the top of the SERPs.
Backlinks are hyperlinks that link to another website (outbound links) and for your purposes, back to your website.
The challenges of SEO remain the same of any project scope, namely cost, time, and quality. If you’re not spending at least as much of your resources to promote your content as you are spending to create it, you’re likely doing yourself a disservice.
With so much content being generated every day, you’ll have to make magnificent maneuvers in the marketing realm with your own content.
How Links Affect Ranking
The traffic you attract is determinate your overall exposure forward.
As tracking tools supply increasingly valued measurements of a user’s activity on your website, from how they find your site and how how they interact with it, to how the visitor leaves your site are all taken into account.
Traffic that does not result in leads still has a story to tell, about what information they viewed while on the site and what they may have come across that led them astray.
Qualifying Traffic (leads)
Remember that SEO is a means to an end and not the goal in itself. The leader in SEO tools Moz says that 85% of the trial users of its software come through organic search, social media and referrals, and that 85% of their revenue come from subscriptions.
Based on this, a high percentage of their overall business model depends on attracting the right kind of visitors as opposed to merely focusing on overall volume. Qualified traffic means qualified leads and an effective lead generation strategy, that makes it much easier to guide prospects towards conversion.
Being #1 in your industry no longer means being #1 in sales.
Long-tail keywords are increasingly relevant as we broaden our understanding of buyer personas and the importance of targeting searchers at different phases in their buying process.
Appropriate inbound links allow you to build a strong online reputation. Reputation is everything, and search engine algorithms are evolving to basically be measurers of online reputation for a given website.
What Affects the Quality of Backlinks?
The best backlinks are not easily acquired. Paying for links can prove short term benefit, but the risk equated with buying backlinks doesn’t prove to have a long term success ratio. What you have to do is start reaching out personally to other content curators on the Internet, and acquire through merit the high-value editorial links.
Domain Authority / Page Authority / Linking Page Authority
Page authority and domain authority are 100-point-scale metrics introduced by Moz that measure how well content is expected to rank on search engines. While Page Authority is a prediction of how well a single page will rank, Domain Authority is an indicator of rank-ability of content in general from a given domain. The MozRank is a ten-point-scale “link popularity score.” Having a backlink to a page on your site from a page with a high MozRank is what you’re after. Page Authority goes into factoring the MozRank of backlinks from a given page.
Diversity of IPs Origin
Google is wise to identify the virtual neighborhood in which a network of links resides. If it is seen that all of your inbound links reside on websites from identical IP addresses, you’re less likely to be ranked well for the targeted keyword and in general.
TrustRank is a metric determined by the minimum degrees of separation of a given site from a select set of trusted websites that are known to have distinguished editorial standards. These websites generally rest on well established domains that have existed for a substantial amount of time and are trusted worldwide as reliable sources of information.
Backlinks from Reputable Sources (.edu, .gov, .org)
Diversification should be an ongoing theme in your link building portfolio. Reaching out personally through an email or via social media is a way of obtaining backlinks from websites hosted on TLDs (Top-Level Domains) such as .edu, .gov, and .org.
The TLD itself isn’t so valuable as it is that websites hosted on more exclusive TLDs tend to exist with a purpose and are linked to as resources more universally than websites on more common Top Level Domains. Being linked to from one of these highly prominent websites is a high indicator of the authority, merit and reputation of your own.
Content Quality Links
The quality of the content you are linked to has a direct impact on the value of any link coming from it. Higher quality content tends to garner quality backlinks in its own right, so the higher the reputation of your referring link, the better position it puts you in figuratively and on the search engine result pages.
A homepage covered in outbound links is a red flag for Google’s increasingly savvy algorithm logic. In addition to considering how many outbound links you should include on every page of your website versus perhaps only the homepage, you’ll want to pay attention to where in the document your links are located. The best backlinks appear closer to the top of the page. Web designers love to include a small library of links in a website’s footer but the real value is in finding productive ways to include them nearer to the header.
Google is known to look at the editorial nature of a website, identifying whether the content presented must pass through a single human editor, presumably the owner of a given website, or if it is more likely automatically generated or user-added content. Any quality backlinks service will do more for you than simply add your site to a list of other sites; They will find quality content to infuse organically your backlink with a product-placement finesse familiar to major motion pictures.
Comments and Freshness of a Page
Outbound links for commenters can entice more responses which adds value to the freshness of your content. Google loves to promote active and dynamic pages over static or stagnant pages, as they take updates as a metric of relevance or usefulness to the user.
Rules of Backlink Strategies
- Don't buy backlinks
- Don't use reciprocal links
- Don't use automated backlinks
- Do use anchor text
- Do pay attention to link position
- Do focus on relevance
How to Build/Gain Backlinks
Search for niche-relevant directories and add your site to as many of them as there are. Directories that have an editorial standard will have more influence on raising your ranking, so focus on those initially.
Article Submission / Guest Blogs
Quality over quantity applies to the content marketing material you use for your backlinks SEO. Submitting articles to niche websites and article directories will only take you so far if you aren’t writing content that isn’t thin and flimsy, or spun from a previously written article.
Buzzfeed, Crunchbase, Mashable...
You know the Internet loves lists. Get a list published and you’ve given fodder for bloggers all over to discuss and link to. If you’re dumbstruck for ideas, try browsing existing lists related to your industry for inspiration.
Local Listings (Yext, Moz local)
Local listings are more important than ever in solidifying credibility with the newest algorithmic fluctuations moving forward.
Press Releases (PR web)
A well-written press release can garner hundreds of backlinks from reputable news outlets across the web.
Business Reviews (Google, Yelp, Facebook, BBB…)
The dofollow backlinks from business directories weigh heavily in Google’s latest algorithmic updates.
Content Promotion (social media)
Social metrics continue to be strong. Facebook backlinks are the next most significant metric followed by Instagram and Twitter, even evaluating the strength of the profile doing the backlinking.
Whether the backlinks that occur from activity in forums are nofollow or dofollow, you want to have a balance of these in your backlink portfolio anyhow. The major oversight inbound marketers have to overcome is the usefulness of nofollow links. Their devaluation creates a new metric by which organic spread of backlinking can be evaluated. In addition to being an indicator that there may be more than one SEO keywords research company building your backlink portfolio, never neglect the potential to pull through viable traffic from referral links. The main reason backlinks exist is to manually follow them.
Social bookmarking is another example of valuable backlinking. When a link to your site is included in a manually curated list of social bookmarks, it indicates a high degree of relevance or usefulness.
Create Free Tools
Developing a free tool is a useful way to naturally attract backlinks. You can link to the homepage of your own pursuit from this valuable resource, and you’ve built your own valuable backlink.
Being the curator of a trove of valuable content allows you the opportunity to reach out to others via the traffic you send them. Well curated content attracts backlinks, as you are providing a valuable service and building a level of authority by organizing a directory of relevant links.
An expert roundup is a phenomenal way to get your name out there if you have something original to contribute. A more approachable method is to create an expert roundup on a subject and promote it on your own property. Curating the views of various experts in a field have on a subject is akin to the rapidly spreading method of building “skyscraper content” where you take the best of what’s already out there and improve upon it with your own spin.
Case studies attract the right kind of attention because you’re sharing an opportunity to learn with others who are interested in your field, giving you backlinks with the highly prized double-whammy of relevance + usefulness.
The world of woodworking has a saying...
“Measure twice and cut once.”
And although it isn’t actually applicable, the sentiment rings true. Make sure you’re effectively implementing your marketing analytics strategy and making the most of your metrics with these analytical utilities:
HubSpot's Link Tool can help your business create an effective link building strategy. Research, monitor, and analyze your website's authority according to backlinks with this helpful driver. You have the ability to review your data visually against your competitors and can improve your strategy by targeting industry sites with high authority.
Google Analytics TrackBacks notification tool allows you to optimize your blog or website content according to how the community receives and uses your published information. It is also helpful in determining what types of blogs are most successful, what topics are popular, and could even get you noticed by a competing blog master (who may even send some TrackBacks/links your way).
Google Search Console
NSEO or Negative SEO can be an excruciatingly painful way to watch your web rankings suffer. Google's rebranded Search Console can help you closely monitor backlinks to your website and question suspicious links that may flood in. Whether an NSEO assault results in a manual penalty or a hit, avoid wasting time and money by manually reviewing your incoming links.
One of the industry's leading SEO services company, their MozBar toolbar – with over 380,000 installs - supplies instant metrics while viewing any page or SERP. They also offer a backlinks checker and an array of other tools to help you with your website optimization. Use their toolbar to research backlinks, find link-building opportunities, and discover potentially damaging links with Open Site Explorer.
Don’t rush but don’t delay. Building high quality backlinks is not for the faint of heart. So get to work, carefully assess where, what and when. There are no shortcuts.
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*Note: Featured image is the property of Marvel Entertainment LLC