Link building is an important part of SEO today. In short, links to a website help build authority with search engines. A lot has changed since search engines began over 20 years ago. Since the introduction of backlinks as a ranking factor, the volume of backlinks has become less effective in favor of backlinks from quality and relevant websites.
Creating Link-worthy Content
In order to create quality backlinks to your website, you must be able to convince other sites to link to yours. The first step in doing this is by developing high-quality content that will provide value to both users and other blogs and websites.
The more useful, informative, and relevant to what a user is searching for, or what another blogger is writing about, the more chance your content will have of being shared or linked to.
Backlinks can be earned in many ways, including thought leadership and influencers. If you can position yourself as an expert in your field, people will, in time, link to your content.
If you can write well-researched articles and have them shared on social media, you are halfway there. The more social shares and presence in search engines you have, the more change your articles will have at being found as being used as a quality reference.
Link Building through Blogger Outreach
A commonly used, and more proactive method to building backlinks is through blogger outreach. Blogger outreach is exactly as it sounds; contacting bloggers or influences in your niche, and asking them to link to your content.
This may sound simple enough, but for a site owner to provide a valuable link to your website, you must have something valuable to offer. To ensure you stand the best chances of getting your proposal accepted, spend some time and familiarise yourself with the blogger’s website and articles. In particular, look for articles that would benefit from a link to your article, perhaps as a more in-depth insight into what the blogger has written about.
Studies, facts, and figures from unique studies are usually more effective than a general article on the topic. These are useful for readers and can add extra value to an article that can’t be found elsewhere.
It’s always worth crafting a pitch-style email, demonstrating how you found their article, what you have written that could be useful, and how you think it will help further increase the quality of their article.
Qualifying of Backlink Sources
Backlinks vary hugely in quality, and while we have mentioned that sites relevant to your industry or niche are more effective than many links, it’s also worth looking at the authority of the website you are looking for a link from.
How do we measure the authority of linking websites? Officially, Google has no measure of overall domain strength it uses to measure backlink profile strength. However, there are some metrics devised by third-party tools that help us to find an approximation of a website’s strength and authority with search engines.
The most popular is the DA (domain authority) metric, created by MOZ. This uses their backlink index to create an overall domain authority score for a website. An alternative is Ahrefs, which uses their DR (domain rating) metric in much the same way. Remember, this is just a rough guide to use when approaching website owners for the purposes of blogger outreach, but useful to qualify websites and save your own time.
Using professional Link Building Services
Developing a link-building strategy can be extremely time-consuming and the success rate of acquiring backlinks can be quite low. For this reason, many websites and businesses choose to use a professional link building service. While many can seem costly, it’s important to remember that these services and agencies often have priority access to high quality blogging sites, which have been acquired over a number of years. Therefore, getting backlink placements in quality articles on high authority websites can prove more cost-effective in the end.
Whatever approach you choose for acquiring backlinks for your website, it’s important to remember that quality over quantity is the approach to take. While many site owners still choose to buy low-quality links in bulk, these will have little or no effect when it comes to increasing your website authority.