7 Proven Tips and Tricks to Get Quality Backlinks for Your SEO Efforts
Whenever a third party site links to one of the pages, it’s a backlink. They remain one of the most important Google ranking factors but the fact is, link building is also about leveraging trust and popularity and one does have to be smart enough to make sense to link with good quality sites only. A high-quality backlink is the only link that works in the long run, and has known to work considerably for several businesses worldwide.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) became popular after the advent of Google’s search engine, that rested its ranking methodology on high-quality link-building and several other strategies. A recent Moz survey revealed that 37% of business owners spend $10,000 - $50,000 on a monthly basis on external link building.
If a business is spending that amount, they should have clear and precise information on link-building that is trusted by Google’s search algorithm. Faulty information can be as problematic for businesses as doing nothing in this regard. Also, the focus has to be both on quality and quantity of links to make a sizeable impact on the site’s ranking on search engines.
High-quality backlinks that refer to a website lead to higher searches rankings, since it sends positive signals to major search engine crawlers, revealing that the linked website is highly valuable and useful. All of these factors boost the website’s search rankings, enhance the credibility of the website, and drive relevant website traffic, in turn, impacting business operations positively.
Types of Backlinks:
Nofollow: An HTML attribute value that instructs search engine bots to not influence target’s ranking in its index. It helps reduce the effectiveness of search engine spam, thereby boosting search engine result quality.
Example: <a href=”http://www.google.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Google</a>
Dofollow: Dofollow links permits search engines to follow them and link to the website thus ensuring a backlink. These links help search engines as well as its users to follow the targeted link to any website or page.
Example: <a href=”http://www.google.com/”>Google</a>
Top tips to get quality backlinks for your blog/website:
Check out these 7 tips in order to derive quality backlinks for your site with a proper strategy and plan in place:
1. Public Relations:
Writing original articles isn’t the only approach to introduce a company’s name and content into major publications. You can strategize with a traditional, PR-style approach to get handy news coverage for your firm. HARO, for instance, is like Tinder for public relations.
HARO is a service that is designed to aid writers to find good sources of quotes and research. Indicate your areas of expertise related to your company’s industry and you can reply to the lists of specific requirements from journalists. Answer their questions if you are qualified to do so, or refer them a quote from an expert in the company related to the topic.
You can even mention your own qualifications and get them interested by giving important info on the topic. They will include your name and credentials along with your quote in the final article — with a reference link to your company’s site citing as a source.
2. Skyscraper Content:
“Skyscraping” refers to the process of scouring content in your industry that’s successful, then creating and compiling something better.This technique is used with help from popular posts identifying opportunities for smart skyscraping using Ahrefs’ Site Explorer tool. Enter a domain and then and select Site Explorer section for Best by Links. The most linked-to pages on the domain will be found then.
Once you scroll through this report, you can check out relevant topics to your industry. You can even research for your competitor’s site, and check out ways in which one could produce something more relevant and better in quality. New content can be churned out in a topic that your intended audience is already interested in and quite open to what others have to say.
3. Link Reclamation:
Every once and a while some writers mention your company in a blog post but without attaching a link to the site. These Unlinked Brand Mentions are quite easy to be converted into backlinks. This is because the writer of the post had already mentioned and recommended your company which implies they liked something about it. A friendly email about it can earn you a backlink in the post to your website easily.
4. Broken Link Building:
Many sites rely on thousands of links and relevant sources for statistics, important facts, and other information. But when one has to rely on sources that get moved to other pages or get deleted, those links break that affect user experience negatively. Leverage this opportunity by searching for broken links, then providing alternative site pages to boost the site itself.
Use Ahrefs’ Broken Link Checker to search for broken backlinks
Enter site domain to derive links
View the Broken Links report
Check for links that link to pages that no longer exist
Check the context of these links, and then link them to resources that already exist on your site
If the pages do not exist in the same context, create a new page on the topic
5. Resource Pages of High Authority:
Resource pages are link builder’s dream since they link efficiently to other sites. But deriving links from high-quality resource pages is a huge ask sometimes. Find resource pages that are also named “helpful resources”, “further reading”, “additional resources” and other keywords. Secondly, you need to reach out for a link.
You can check out for outdated links so that you can already link them directly to your content. Let the owners of resource pages know about the broken links since they carry the weight of 2-5x the conversion rate compared to new links. Personalize your outreach emails based on the links.
6. Search for Competitors’ Backlinks and Use them:
Identify link targets for your site with relevant competitor research, exploring pages that are linking to competitor websites.
Use the Ahrefs’ Link Intersect tool to search for linked sites to multiple competitor sites.
Enter some competitors’ domains, and check the linked sites. Any sites that are mentioned in this list are main link targets for the site.
Be sure of competitors and commence on searching for new target keywords. Check the top ten ranked sites on the keywords, then drop the URLs into the tool.
It is in your best interest to earn links from the same sites.
7. Guest Posts:
Guest posting is a tried-and-tested strategy for earning relevant links. It involves reaching out to different blogs and site owners with free content distribution.
Include a link to your site within the contributed content body, or within the byline. For some guest contributions, even the author gets a brief bio space that is reserved at the end of the post for links. The author’s job title links to the company site and the link is good enough to enhance the site ranking since the postings are usually done from reputable content sites within the industry.
But the editors of the site are aware of the backlinks hence even if the content is freely contributed, they will only include the link if the content itself is high in quality. As a content creator, one has to devote ample time to come up with useful ideas for research and write that are relevant to the site audience, at least worthy enough to merit a link back to your site.
Identify sites that are good enough and reputed enough to contribute content.
Check out publications within your industry and well-known distribution sites as a start.
Pitch the content to traditional editorial sites locally.
Uncover opportunities with efficient competitor research, identifying sites on which the competitors have been publishing their content
Check out these sites using the useful to Ahrefs Content Explorer. The “author” operator helps users to search for well-known figures in the same domain.
Benefits of Having a Quality Backlinks:
1. Builds Brand Authority: With proper backlinks from popular websites, every business reaps the advantage of proper SEO that establishes the brand authority. Google gets a good indication on the quality of a site with the help of quality backlinks it is linked to, while consumers understand that these links are indicative of the quality of the brand and its expertise in the domain.
So, while high-quality links from popular websites will benefit SEO efforts, one can even attract consumers to the brand by proper association. Always elevate a company as an information source within the industry, so that professionals rely on you for advice, with other websites linking to the content you churn out, establishing natural backlinks, much preferred Google and other search engines.
2. Domain & Page Authority:
Google determines the rank of a page based on a given query considering the quantity and quality of all kinds of inbound links to the page. This aspect of quality is termed as page authority, that is a subjective measure of inbound links with respect of its quality and quantity to a page.
Domain authority, on the other hand, measures the entire website in terms of its inbound links. A higher domain authority of a website helps in its presence to any relevant search query. The number and quality of sources and links determine the domain authority of the site. Hence efforts should be concentrated on elevating the quality of your link building campaign thus ensuring higher chances of site pages to rank high enough in organic search results.
3. Referral Traffic:
Website traffic does not only originate from Google or search engines. Referral traffic also makes up a high percentage of web traffic, that implies people click on links embedded within content to be redirected to specific pages, seldom found on search results.
High-quality links that generate huge traffic aid in SEO efforts while driving targeted traffic to the website all the time. A single link within a popular website can lead the web traffic to your website for a long time too while keeping it highly targeted to the relevant audience. Businesses invest in paid search consistently. Some have high CPCs, so every referral brings them high-quality traffic without much cost associated with it.
4. Indicators of Trust and Credibility:
When a site features on a high-profile publication, you automatically acquire bragging rights in the industry. Many brands publicize their achievement and even rely on the popular logos of the publications to acquire a sort of credibility and respect for their brand. The publishing approval works as a web badge as a testimony to your expertise in the domain. These badges establish your brand as authoritative and credible, with a strong conversion rate too.
5. Create New Relationship:
When someone reads and praises good content, they check out the backlink that links to the source or the original writer’s page. They are keen to know about the source and learn more about the credentials, expertise, and experience of the writer.
You can forge a relationship with the individual getting them to join the newsletter or get them to do some proactive action on your website. They can also connect you’re your web pages, social media profiles or handles that would have more stuff, a blog or images that are of interest to them. A simple link can establish a relationship between a company and consumer without SEO playing a role in it.
Use of backlinks for SEO and non-SEO marketing efforts has been in vogue since years. But not many businesses are able to leverage the practice to impact their bottom line convincingly. It is essential to choose a veteran digital marketing provider or a search engine optimization consulting company to leverage high-quality backlinks to derive better website traffic, good response from clients, enhance their credibility in the industry, and establish the company itself as a thought leader among contemporaries.
Link-building is an art and a science too since marketers need to put tireless efforts in ensuring good quality content being linked to reputable sites consistently. With better brand authority, domain authority, high-quality backlinks from reputed sites, and by forging new relationships with clients worldwide, businesses can make sense of their online identity and drive their business forward, without any problem whatsoever!
Search Marketing: Get Found
Search marketing refers to the paid and organic activities, including SEO, that helps boost your websites search engine ranking, drive visitors and generate leads. In short, it helps your agency get found online when people are searching for related services and information.
Agencies have the ability to reach and influence audiences directly at the exact moment they are searching online. In essence, they are granting you permission to market to them, but you have to be there and provide value.
There are no shortcuts in search marketing. Although traditional SEO tactics, such as on-page optimization, are still essential, concentrate your efforts on generating inbound links, traffic, and leads through remarkable content and social media participation.
Social Media: Monitor, Participate, and Publish
Social media is about listening, learning, building relationships, and bringing value to the communities relevant to your agency. It is a channel for engagement and sharing, not selling. You must make a commitment to connect with your audiences—clients, prospects, peers, media, bloggers, and partners—in more authentic and personal ways.
When defining your social media strategy, consider the agency brand and your teams personal brands. You want them to complement each other, without becoming redundant.
For example, if you have a 10-person agency, and every time a new agency blog post is published all 10 employees share the same tweet at the same time, then you are missing an opportunity to effectively spread your content. It would be more effective to mix up the tweets with varying messages and publish them at different times throughout the day.
Your social media strategy should take all major social networks into account—Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube—as well as niche communities that are relevant to your agency.
Thought Leadership through LinkedIn
A great way to establish your agency experts as thought leaders is to create and manage a LinkedIn Group that enables you to share helpful information and engage members in discussions on topics of interest. Here are a few pointers to get started.
1. Understand group dynamics Prior to diving in and creating a group, join a few groups that interest you, and actively participate in the conversations. Through this experience, you will gain insight into how people interact within a group that can be drawn on later to stimulate conversations and manages users in your own.
.Do your homework The key to creating a LinkedIn Group is to find a unique position that is not already dominated by one or more powerful groups. To do this, you must first have a full understanding of existing groups in your industry and topics discussed.
3. Select a topic Combine your research of existing groups with your buyer personas’ interests and needs to determine the most effective topic for your group. Remember, it is essential that the group be centered on community and education, and not be used to blatantly promote your services or employees.
4. Create your group Following are best practices for building your group:
Select a title and description that clearly explains what the group is about and is attractive to target audiences.
Use a logo or image that is visually appealing to garner attention and so that members will add the badge to their profile page, thus exposing the group to their networks.
Choose your level of access based on the group's objectives.
5.Prepopulate with content Set up a welcome message within your group to help new members understand what they have joined and how they can contribute. In addition, add some interesting questions and discussion topics into the forums to drive initial participation.
Before actively promoting the group, encourage those within your network to join and participate in these conversations. This will guarantee that new users do not land on an inactive discussion.
Content Marketing: Fresh, Relevant, and Linkworthy
Content marketing enables you to differentiate your agency while driving acquisition (leads) and retention (loyalty). It requires that you understand your audiences and continuously publish compelling, multimedia content.
Ask yourself: Who are my buyer personas? What are their needs and pain points? What value can my agency bring to the community? What problems can I solve? What can I publish that is relevant and link-worthy? Your core brand messages, vision, and values should be reflected in everything you publish, so start by looking in the mirror.
Content marketing is one element of an integrated marketing strategy. It feeds off the strength of your brand, website, search marketing, and social media strategies. Your success depends on the strength of your content team. You need business-savvy writers and an editor to guide planning and production and keep the team on track.
The Agency Blog Editor
Keeping your agency blog regularly updated with quality, buyer-persona-driven content can be a major factor in your blog's success. However, this can be challenging with busy schedules and client responsibilities.
Having multiple contributing bloggers is one solution; however, this comes with a downside of watered-down responsibility. With multiple authors, each individual blogger can more easily become complacent and expect others to take more responsibility for regularly writing and publishing new posts.
You can combat this apathy by appointing an agency blog editor. Much like the editor of a traditional media outlet, a blog editor is simply the person in charge of a blog's content. It is his or her job to ensure that blog articles are posted on a regular basis, consistent with company messaging and that all authors are pulling their weight with regular contributions.
Here are a few of the blog editor's most important responsibilities:
Maintain the editorial calendar.
Keep the team on track.
Proof all content prior to publishing.
Ensure consistency of style, format, tone, and messaging.
Producing great business content requires a unique blend of capabilities. Your team (whether internal or outsourced) must be able to deliver content that is strategic, brand-centric, buyer-persona focused, optimized for search engines, technically sound, creative, and results driven.
When building your content marketing strategy, it is important to know what your prospects and clients want to achieve, and then generate content that meets their goals. You can help them:
Build confidence in their buying decisions.
Achieve peace of mind that they are choosing the right agency.
Increase efficiency and productivity.
Differentiate their businesses.
Understand how your audiences consume information, and then choose the tools that speak to them. Blog posts, e-mail newsletters, and video seem to be the obvious choices for many agencies, but consider the potential of press releases, original reports, case studies, white papers, ebooks, content curation, webinars, streaming video, photos, social network status updates, and podcasts.
Create quarterly editorial calendars that outline what content you plan to publish, including topics, authors, and deadlines. Also, consider developing abstracts to ensure each content piece is on message, relevant to your buyer personas, and connected to business goals.
Sample Blog Post Abstract
Topic How to handle negative comments about your brand online. Audience/Buyer Persona Executives and brand managers who are nervous about social networking because of the loss of brand control.
Abstract This blog post will provide actionable tips for brand managers on how to react to negative comments online—whether on review sites, personal blogs, social networks, or in response to company postings.
Public Relations: Relationships and Communications
Relationships and communications remain the foundation of PR, but they are being fostered through social networks, websites, self-published content— blogs, status updates, videos, case studies, ebooks—mobile apps, and the media (mainstream and social).
Public relations reaches and influences every audience that is relevant to your agency, and goes far beyond traditional media relations and publicity.
Public relations is the final, and essential piece to a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy. It is not about making your agency seem more remarkable than it truly is, counting clips, and generating impressions. Rather, it is about listening to your audiences, sharing your unique story, creating connections, gaining influence, and building loyalty in measurable and meaningful ways.
Use your content marketing to propel PR efforts. For example, consider the following:
Pitch original content to reporters and bloggers:
Include content in personalized pitches to reporters and bloggers. Use it as a means to showcase thought leadership and experience in a particular subject.
Sync your internal content editorial calendars with those of your target publications, many of which are published online. Plan ahead and write a blog post, ebook, or another related content piece on an upcoming topic, and then use that information to fuel your pitch.
Pursue guest articles and posts: Many publications and blogs welcome contributions from outside writers. Using your content for article submissions and guest blogging can help expand its reach to new audiences outside of your existing network.
Support speaking submissions: Securing speaking engagements is another area in which content can help. When building your speaking strategy and submitting applications, use content to showcase your credibility and value.
Create news: During times when your agency does not have anything interesting or exciting going on, use content to create news. Send surveys, take polls, or review analytics data and other valuable information to create self-published research reports, ebooks, or whitepapers.
Budgets: Time and Money Investment
Inbound marketing pays for production and participation and gives underdogs and innovators the ability to grow faster and smarter by outthinking, not outspending, the competition. The beauty for agencies when budgeting and building strategy is that much of the work can be done in-house or potentially bartered through agency partners. Thus, the greatest investment is often time, rather than money.
Agencies that understand inbound marketing will be able to prioritize activities with the greatest ROI potential. Assess the competencies of your staff in the core areas of brand marketing, website development, search marketing, social media, content marketing, and PR. Then, determine the time availability of internal resources contribute to an inbound marketing campaign.
Consider licensing fees and subscription costs for inbound marketing software and tools, such as press-release wire services, CRM, e-mail marketing, SEO, lead nurturing, and monitoring, and then define realistic investments of the time and money your agency is able to commit.
You will also want to consider the following budget factors when prioritizing activities and allocating resources:
The strength of your current agency website and the need for design and optimization.
Outsourcing of content creation, including copywriting and design of case studies, ebooks, blog posts, and white papers.
Reliance on paid advertising for short-term lead generation and sales.
Brand awareness in target markets.
The aggressiveness of growth goals.
Stage of the business lifecycle.
Inbound marketing competency levels and time availability of your team to contribute.
The strength of competition.
Commitment to vision and innovation.
Track Activities and Milestones
Although inbound marketing is all about the new rules of marketing, traditional project-management principles still apply. However, software innovations and mobile applications have made it more efficient than ever to manage to-do lists and track milestones.
Although your agency's campaign timeline will vary based on objectives, strategies, personnel, and budgets, it is essential to have a solid project management system to keep your team on target.
Consider an online project management solution that enables you to edit and review campaign activities and timelines anywhere with an Internet connection, including mobile phones.
Measure and Evolve: Use Analytics to Adapt
Focus on meaningful metrics, monitored and evaluated in real time, that enable your agency to constantly adapt and evolve. As a result, you will experience increased efficiency, improved ROI, more leads, and higher levels of loyalty.
Start with the basics to ensure you have access to the data that will drive your decision-making and strategies:
Install website analytics to enable real-time tracking of traffic, referrers, pageviews, and keywords.
Build unique landing pages that enable you to track views and conversion rates for content downloads, event registrations, contact requests, and other calls to action. Adjust your campaign strategies based on conversion rates.
Track marketing events and milestones, and monitor how they correlate to spikes in website traffic, inbound links, leads, and sales. Assign a team member to monitor website analytics and social-media activity daily. Review and update your campaign strategy monthly.
Does Inbound Marketing Really Work for Agencies?
I had my first conversation with Dan Tyre (@dantyre) of HubSpot in September 2007, shortly after Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah founded the upstart software company. Tyre talked to me at length about search rankings, blogging, lead intelligence, website grades, inbound links, and content.
I have to admit that most of it were new to a marketing guy who had spent his career focused on PR, strategy, branding, and communications. However, despite my uncertainty, I saw a tremendous opportunity to evolve our agency and our industry.
It took two more calls with Tyre before we signed on with HubSpot, plus another 10 months, and countless conversations with Halligan, Shah, Tyre, and Peter Caputa (@pc4media), before we fully committed and began our transformation into an inbound marketing agency.
We have worked with dozens of clients to build inbound marketing campaigns. Regardless of the industry—financial, insurance, technology, retail, professional services, software, sports, consumer products, and real estate—we have seen consistent success for organizations committed to inbound marketing.
Although we cannot share their analytics, I believe so strongly in the value of inbound marketing, and its importance to marketing agencies, that I figured what better way to prove it than to share our own results. So, starting in April 2008, when we fully activated inbound marketing for our own agency development, here is what has happened:
Our website grade (via Website Grader) has gone from 57 to 98. A website grade of 98/100 means that, of the more than 3.5 million websites previously evaluated, its algorithm calculated that our site scores higher than 98 percent of them in terms of its marketing effectiveness. The algorithm uses a proprietary blend of more than 50 variables, including search engine data, website structure, approximate traffic, and site performance.
We have seen dramatic increases in website traffic, driven almost exclusively by content marketing, search marketing, and social media participation. Our average visits have gone from less than 1,000 to more than 8,000 per month.
Our blog has seen an increase in subscribers of more than 1,400 percent.
Inbound links have gone from less than 100 to more than 12,000, whereas indexed pages improved from less than 100 to more than 900.
More importantly, our revenue growth has consistently outpaced industry norms, with the vast majority of our growth coming from inbound leads originating from our website, social networks, and referrals. In short, inbound marketing works.
The social web and inbound marketing have leveled the playing field. Do not be afraid to completely evolve what you have spent years building. Listen to the markets, adapt to demand, and move where others are not willing or able to go.