A Definitive Guide To Build High Quality Links in 2020
John Michael Jayme
7 May, 2019
Over the years, the value of backlinks in ranking websites has diminished significantly to the point that a lot of people have already hesitated to use it.
If you are still using black-hat tactics in your strategies, then you should know by now that this will only create more problems than solutions. But does it mean that you should stop using link building strategies?
Google has viewed user-experience as the primary goal for ranking websites. And because of this, many SEO experts have focused less on building links. Instead, a lot of them focused more on their content and their website’s design.
“I think, only for search ranking, user experience just in terms of how the design is and so on… it matters but I wouldn’t say too much.
…as long as you know it’s good enough for most people, that’s fine.
For example, let’s take Page Speed. …if it loads under a second and if there are like five different websites that load under different speeds under a second, then I wouldn’t say… the fastest loading website has a bigger advantage… Because all websites are loading pretty fast so that then is not really a big ranking boost for that particular instance.
So in a similar way I wouldn’t put too much search ranking SEO related weight under… usability.
Definitely it’s very important but it only comes after the main things like ranking, people linking to you, and so on.”
Though there is no denying that link building isn’t as important as it was, backlinks remain very important in today’s search algorithm.
How to Determine if a Link is Good or Bad!
Before we even consider strategies and other tactics, let’s first talk about backlinks and how it was used by Google in ranking websites.
Backlinks are links that point towards your site. It is said to be a “vote of confidence” by one site to the other. In essence, it is a “yes” vote by one website towards your content.
Earning your backlink should be part of your SEO strategy. However, you have to understand that not all backlinks are the same. There are bad and good links. And just like the link that you receive from other websites, the links that you will be giving out to other sites will also differ in value.
If you will refer to the Google Webmaster guideline, there are some basic principles that you need to follow in order for a link to be considered a quality link.
It should be made for users and not for search engines
- Shouldn’t deceive users
- It avoids tricks that improve search engine rankings
- It should make your website valuable and engaging
It means that you will have to go away with some of the most notorious link building tactics that are still used in the industry today such as:
- Link schemes
- Pages with irrelevant keywords
- Affiliate programs that don’t add sufficient value
- Sneaky redirects
- Hidden text/links
What Makes a Quality Backlink?
By now, we can all agree that not all links are the same. There are those links that are far more valuable than others. And what you want is to first ensure that you get the best one that can help boost your ranking.
There are several factors that affect a link’s quality. Here are some of the things that can dictate the quality of your links.
There are several factors that you will have to consider when it comes to dealing with a link’s relevancy. For instance, you’d consider a “write for us” link to be less relevant than a link coming from a site that falls under the same industry as your website.
Also, you will have to consider local relevancy of your link. Over the last years, Google has prioritized local SEO. Given the number of users on their mobile devices checking possible businesses around the area, Google has also changed the way it looks at links that come from your area.
If you have a small business, Google would value a backlink that comes from a site that has the same local audience as your site. But keep in mind that this is rare.
2. Link Authority
Next, you also want to check the authority of the site where the link is coming from. The good news is that there are a lot of third-party metrics that you can go for if you wish to check the authority of a particular website. You can check Majestic and Open Site Explorer for this.
But of course, you still have to be very careful when it comes to looking at link authority as metrics for link building opportunities. There are instances when it can be manipulated. That is why you also want to check the website first. It is imperative to see for yourself the content that they offer and which websites actually link out to them.
3. Content that has high editorial standards
Original and highly informative content has been regarded as the most important factor that ranks websites today. Those websites that have high editorial content can be hard to get a link from. However, though it is a difficult task to get a backlink from those websites, it can provide a major boost once they start linking to your site.
The impression that it gives Google is that your website is the same caliber as these sites that have high-editorial standards.
4. Link comes from an indexed website
Lastly, you want the link to be coming from a website that is indexed by Google. If it doesn’t show up in Google’s search result, then there really is no point of getting a link from them.
Problems In Building Quality Links
The problem in building quality backlinks is that it can be quite time-consuming. In addition to this, building backlinks can be difficult for a number of reasons.
First, you will need to have the right content in order to get the right backlinks. And in reality, content is the most difficult online commodity that you can create. You will need to bank on high-quality content in a consistent manner in order for other websites to start linking to yours.
When it comes to content marketing, here are some strategies that you might find interesting.
Also, you have to make sure that your website is actually ready for link building. You will need to have a strong foundation first on your site in order to get the results that you want.
You will also have to consider the reality that people are the ones that should be linking to other people’s websites. And because of the human factor involved in link building, it makes the entire process difficult. It takes persistence in order to build the links that you need.
Another thing that makes link building difficult today is the fact that spammers made it difficult for honest link building work to be made without the fear of getting penalized or de-indexed by Google.
When Should You Start Building Quality Links?
For your website, it is important to have a strong foundation before you start building backlinks.
So when should you be building backlinks? Here are some of the things that you should first look into before you start building links.
1. Fix web issues that relate to user-experience
Before you even start doing backlinks, it is imperative that you first address web-related issues that relate to UX (user-experience).
Link building strategies won’t be as effective if you don’t address user-experience related concerns. Here are some issues that you should take a closer look at:
2. Developing a strong linkable asset
What is a linkable asset? Basically, it is a content that other users are more than willing to link to. The most common scenario is that it is a blog post that is filled with highly informative content.
As a rule of thumb, be sure that you are going to have a good number of linkable assets within your website before you even think of doing link building strategies. And it isn’t really surprising at this point given the fact that content remained king in the last years.
High-quality content not only makes it easier to attract links, but it is also scalable especially in the long run.
3. Finding the right keywords
And lastly, you shouldn’t be lazy when it comes to researching the right keywords that you will incorporate in your content. You can make use of relevant tools online such as Ahrefs and SEMRush. From here, you can make a more purposeful content and integrate the keywords that you’ve discovered.
You may also want to dig deeper into the keyword strategies used by your successful competitors. Here, you will figure out what they are actually doing when it comes to their keywords of choice.
But of course, don’t just over-rely on your keyword research strategies. You need to make sure that it flows well with your content.
Strategies to Build High Quality Links!
Building your links means hard work. It means that you will have to work for it for the next months or even years. And also, keep in mind that the moment Google notices irregularities in the number of links that point to your site, it might do more harm than good.
Here are some of the most effective strategies on how you can build links.
1. Create high-quality content
Though easier said than done, it is imperative that you make the best content on your website. By now, you understand that high-quality content and a high-quality link goes hand in hand. It is imperative that you do your research and do the necessary content optimization to attract the right audience.
Blogging plays an important role in getting links to your website. This is the reason why sites that have their own blogs are more likely to get indexed by Google than those that don’t.
But how exactly do you get noticed? There are a lot of other websites out there doing the same as you? There are approximately 3.5 million other blogs written every day.
- Getting a Guest Blogger
There are a lot of strategies that you can go for including getting the help of industry leaders. Getting leaders to write for your site can be easier than what most people think. You can start by writing them an email and inquire about the best set up that could make them write for you. But take note that some would require compensation.
There are many benefits to this type of setup. First, you have an actual expert that is writing for your site. It means that you can have high-quality content that people actually read and link to. Next, you can make use of his or her audience to build a reputation for your website. And also, you can exchange links with each other’s website as well.
- Writing a cornerstone post
A cornerstone post is a topic that you are familiar with. This is usually the first post that can get initial traction on your website. So what exactly is a cornerstone article? It should be the most important content on your website.
For instance, if you are running an SEO website, then you might want to make a cornerstone article that talks about the SEO strategies in great detail. Typically, cornerstone contents are long and detailed. It can also give you the opportunity to link out to other websites.
Numbers are important especially today. Statistics and studies can be used to point to a particular trend. The good thing about infographics is that it readily provides users with all the information that pertains to a particular topic.
And unlike written content that is filled with texts, infographics are highly visual. If you don’t have experience using photo editing software, you can make use of online tools such as Canva.com. It has a drag-and-drop option that allows you to manipulate how you want your infographic to look.
- Mix the type of content that you create
There are different types of content that you can create. Among the most common types of content that you can go for includes Ultimate Guides, How-To Articles, and List articles. All of these contents are known to get shares and even used by other websites as their reference.
If you want to make a long article, you can also explore writing case studies. Not only does it show your audience how much you know your niche and your industry, but it can also be a link magnet.
- Don’t forget to update your links and even your content
The older your site gets, the more content that you will need to fix. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t just leave and forget about the old posts that you’ve made. You want to make sure that you also check the links. There are some instances when you need to fix broken links. Or, you may even have to edit old content.
- Make use of video content
Your Youtube channel can also be a great way to build solid content and get high quality link for your website. You can make use of the description not only to promote products that you are selling but to also make use of the opportunity to build links towards your website.
2. Link to your own website internally
A good way to jump-start your website becoming visible is to link to other pages within your website. This is where your blog can come in handy. It allows you to link to different parts of your website.
You can also make use of different blogs to connect with each other. Over time, as you get more internal links on your website, it becomes easier for Google to crawl your page. But as a rule of thumb, you want to build links towards the most important part of your website.
3. Implement a social media strategy
Social media is also a great way to build links that point towards your website. The most popular social media platforms include Facebook and Twitter. However, you should also take a closer look at Reddit. In fact, a lot of content that goes viral first makes it on Reddit.
Though it isn’t something new, it is still underutilized by a number of websites out there. Google has been taking a closer look at social media signals mainly because it offers them an insight into what people talk about.
What you should do is build your own social media presence. You want to combine both organic and paid social media marketing strategies.
You can also go after social media influencers. First, you have to find tools that can help monitor your website’s social media influencers within your niche. Check these tools.
What these tools can do is to give you a list of key influencers within your industry. You can make use of this list in order to know who to go for as your guest blogger. A strong social media presence means that having your link shared by these influencers can actually generate traffic and even be shared more by your niche.
4. Build a personal brand
Another strategy that can be used in order to get more links pointing towards your site is to make your own brand as a market leader.
What do Jeff Bullas and Neil Patel have in common? They both made a name as leaders in the online marketing industry. Their opinions matter. Also, every other marketer today looks up to what they are saying. But being on the same level as industry leaders is a challenge. In fact, it is easier said than done.
So how does one make a personal brand? You will need to do the following in order to become a leader in your industry:
- Create a LinkedIn Profile
- Create tons of superb content
- Have a recognizable voice
- Reach out to a good number of audience
- Have the right connections
First, you want to make sure that you have a LinkedIn profile that your audience can check. And not only that, you should optimize your LinkedIn profile. It helps build a reputation within your industry.
Second, you will need to have content that stands out. Unlike other mediocre websites, you will have to be on the top of your industry in terms of quality of your work. Your benchmark should be the quality of content delivered by industry leaders.
Next, you will have to set your voice apart from the rest of the other industry leaders out there. Should you sound too formal or should you sound more casual? Find the right one that fits your personality more. This will make writing to become more fluid.
Once you have the content and voice, you need to make sure that you are going to reach out to the right people. Building a brand means that you will need to have your official social media presence. Typically, it is Facebook and Twitter. In some instances, there are some industry leaders that are active on specific subreddits.
Lastly, you need the right connections. You can build a community using social media platforms. Also, you can get acquainted with popular media outlets that can get your name out there.
Keep in mind that having your own brand can take a lot of time. If you think that building an audience is already hard, how much more if you want to be viewed as a market leader in the industry?
If done successfully, a personal branding is a sustainable way to generate links to your website. Also, you can even make some money from guest blogging opportunities.
Google has changed how it looks at link building. Though link building is no longer as important as it was ten years ago, link building is still an important strategy to get your website to rank.
Google made it possible to root out the bad link building practices that have resulted in bad search results in the past. It only means that more than ever, it is a must for every web owner to know how to build links the right way.
To sum everything up, you will have to do the following in order to get the best results.
First, you will need to write high-quality content.
In today’s SEO, content reigns supreme. And true enough, high-quality content can attract links from different websites. It is true that without any content to show to your audience, there really isn’t anything to market on your website.
Second, not all links are the same.
Not all links that point towards your website can do wonders for your website. You want to make sure that you check the domain authority of the website you want to work with. Also, relevancy matters.
Third, think of scalability of your link building strategy.
You want to make sure that you are going to make the link building strategy scalable. It is important that you can generate links over the years. And this means that you should never be complacent. You want to make sure that you update your content if you have to and even fix the broken links.
Also, if you can build a personal brand that makes you a standout choice in your industry, then this can make link building easier as well.
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