You might have come across the saying that link building is dead. However, the truth is that it is not. Link building is not only alive, but also kicking. However, it has transformed over the years. This means that outdated tips and practices for link building are not going to work anymore.
If you are interested in taking advantage of the most effective link building tips and strategies that are currently working, you need to make sure you are keeping up with all the rules laid out by the leading search engines like Google and Bing.
Studies report that links still remain the biggest influencers of search engine optimization (SEO). Getting more high-quality backlinks is still one of the main ways to ensure your website ranks top in search engine results pages (SERPs).
What Are Backlinks?
Even today, many businesses still do not have the correct idea and concepts of what a backlink is exactly. Apart from that, they also do not know how to gain backlinks the right way, and all that puts their SEO in a precarious position.
Backlinks are basically links that are placed on a web page pointing to your external website(s). This is why they are also referred to as external links or outbound links. They are incoming links from other (external) website to your website or web page.
Your aim should be having many high quality and relevant links. You should not attempt to get links from anywhere and everywhere, though.
When you are thinking of impressing Google and getting a high rank in SERPs, two important things that you have to focus on with your links are relevance and quality.
Why Are Backlinks Important?
Earlier, the internet was not as sophisticated as it is today, and that is why search engines generally ranked all the websites based only on content, that is content topic and keywords as they related to search querries. However, search engines do not operate like this anymore.
With the PageRank algorithm, Google search engine distinguished itself and became more powerful in comparison to other search engines because Google began to prioritize both content as well as the websites linking to the content. This was a game-changer and other search engines soon followed suite to use this model too.
Now, effective SEO does not merely revolve around content keywords and quantity of content, but also on quality of backlinks pointing to your content.
PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The PageRank model has gone through many updates since inception. However, it can be confidently be said that the significance of backlinks has not decreased.
The underlying assumption in PageRank is that more important or relevant websites will ultimately receive more links from other websites than less important ones. So, the more quality links you get, the better. It’s almost synonymous to a “vote” from other people for your website.
But building backlinks in the wrong way can harm your website rather than help it rank in SEARPs, because Google penalizes websites that try to manipulate PageRank and game its system.
Harmful Link Building Tactics You Need to Avoid
If you are following certain harmful or "bad" link practices and link schemes as your link building strategy, it is expected that you are going to get penalized sooner or later. Below is a list of some of the harmful backlinks that you need to avoid immediately.
- Irrelevant links: You need to stay away from irrelevant links at all costs if you want to avoid getting penalized.
- No public network: Purchasing backlink from public networks is easy and that is exactly what should be avoided. These links are not only unethical, but Google never favors them.
- Do not place backlinks in the sidebar or footer: When you are placing backlinks in the footer or sidebar, they look like paid links. Also, Google does not consider this to be a genuine intention.
To make sure that you stay on the safe side and remain ahead of accepted link building practices, be sure to read and adhere to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, including avoiding any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.
Best Link Building Tips & Strategies to Get High Quality Links
Here're more link building tips and strategies on safe ways you can use to build good quality links that help your website rank highly on SEARPs.
1. Build relationships
With an increase in influencer marketing and social networking, it is important to build your relationships. If the business has to survive and grow, you have to start building relationships with the right people. And, if you want high quality backlinks, you have to start investing in healthy relationships with those producing link-worthy content.
Most Black hat SEO professionals who use SEO tactics that are against search engine guidelines will not focus on this tip to build relationships with quality content producers particularly because they are looking for shortcuts and don’t really care for quality. However, anyone who has a good relationship with other high-quality content producers swear by this tip.
If you have good relationships, you will not have to request for links because you are going to attract them. However, this is going to happen only when you are publishing content that delivers great value. The first step towards building a relationship is finding amazing people who are ready to connect with your business.
To do that, you can:
- Follow them on Twitter on LinkedIn.
- Like their posts.
- Comment on their Facebook status and blog posts.
- Reply to the comments.
- Ask questions to them.
2. Create research content
When you are thinking about link building, you can never forget about highly researched content. Highly researched content and relevant posts based on studies are different from regular content because they deliver high value and provide detailed credible information to readers.
Most of successful blogs spend a lot of time creating content that is thoroughly researched and backed by studies. This makes the content very credible and as such it attracts tones of backlinks. Well researched content cannot be ignored by popular and quality websites.
Your strategy should be to create high value content that highlights your business’ expertise. You should aim to show readers that everything you say in your content is real and trustworthy. Therefore, supporting the content with factual data is mandatory.
However, avoid exaggerating anything or becoming too technical with your wording when citing studies. Instead, write your content in such a manner that your readers can easily follow even complex concepts and quickly understand what you are trying to say. That way they’ll connect with you better, share your posts, and link to the content you are creating.
3. Use case studies
Using case studies can guarantee that you are going to attract the best quality backlinks. This in turn is going to help you both in terms of SEO as well as business revenue.
When you leverage case studies well for link building, the technique is not likely to fail, especially if you're doing it in a manner that is highly relevant to your audience. So, publish more case studies on your website to draw more backlinks.
Contact your business partners, clients, or even customers and enquire whether they are willing to help you put together a relevant case study that can shed more light on a given topic or subject and draw more eyeballs online.
Case studies have been proven repeatedly – even today – to attract a lot of attention and earn natural backlinks because they are usually very insightful. They show people what kind of methods you used to achieve something, what challenges you faced, and what you gained from all of it. All is great value to readers.
Because search engines no longer just rank content with an abundance of keywords (they value quality content that delivers great value more), case studies are essential for your SEO efforts.
4. Create list-based articles
You should also not overlook the power that list-based articles or listicles have when it comes to attracting natural backlinks. No wonder, listicles are everywhere these days and they work perfectly to get more comments, social shares, and most importantly, backlinks.
Creating high quality articles presented wholly or partly in the form of a list is another effective link building strategy, which is oftentimes underrated. Listicles can in fact sometimes generate more backlinks than even other popular types of content formats, like videos and infographics.
The reason listicles are popular online is because they require minimal effort to read. Everyone is busy these days and online readers in particular have very short attention spans. Content that is too long can immediately turn off readers. Listicles are short and sweet—exactly what works well on the internet.
However, whenever you are creating your listicles, it is your responsibility to make sure that you are delivering value and not just writing vague and hard to understand lists. Also, make sure you number each listicle item. Use a prime number in the listicle title whenever possible. Odd numbers in listicles tend to work like a charm online. Bigger lists also tend to work better online.
No matter what you are doing to increase the value of your business, link building is something that you cannot avoid. Make sure that you are following only the latest and most effective techniques and strategies so that you are successful in your link building.