Laying the Groundwork for Backlinking Strategies
Are you looking for ways to boost your search engine rankings? Strategic, quality backlinking is a promising way to improve your brand’s performance in search results. But how does it work?
Simplistically, you enhance your reputation by association. The more backlinks you have from high-ranking domain authorities on Google, for instance, the more you’re recognized as a reputable, reliable source. When looking for topics relevant in your industry, people will find you more frequently in organic searches.
Before you can dive into the best backlinking approaches, you need to ensure your content is up to par by implementing the most up-to-date SEO practices. Tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner, Moz, SEMrush, and Wordstream can help you determine the most frequently searched terms in your industry, giving you a catalog of topics for content creation. Don’t forget to also ensure your website is mobile-friendly, fast, and secured with an SSL certificate and on-going monitoring. All of these contribute to your overall SEO rankings as well!
Once you’ve optimized the content and functionality of your site, you’re ready to dive into backlinking strategies.
5 Effective Backlinking Strategies
All effective backlinking strategies ultimately point to establishing yourself as a thought leader in your respective industry. That’s why blogging is such a popular tool right now. It’s a blank canvas to show off your organization’s expertise without being a sales-driven advertisement.
Rather, it feeds leads down the funnel by providing them with valuable, free information. To become a resource that others will want to reference, you need to have useful, easy-to-digest content that is formatted and linked with SEO in mind available for your audience.
We’ve compiled 5 backlinking tactics to get you started.
1.) Create High-Quality, Shareable Content
To achieve backlinks from reputable sources with high domain authority, you must have a baseline of quality content for them to reference. We mentioned blogs, but there are other approaches than the traditional, long-form paragraph essay that can boost the value of your content. Consider these alternative formats and mediums when creating relevant, useful content:
- Listicle Posts
- “Why” Posts (explain industry standards, common terms/misconceptions)
- “How to” Posts (explain strategies, frequently asked questions)
- Listicle Posts
Once you’ve cultivated a catalog of sought-after content, reach out to the high authority publishers you reference in your blogs, rich content, and videos to see if they will give you a mention on their social media pages or link on their website. This isn’t a time to be pushy or spammy. And it’s against Google linking policy to have any type of monetary or goods exchange. The value should be in the content itself, helping both parties boost their reputation.
2.) Publish Industry-Relevant Guides
Beyond blogs, there is a place for long-form rich content, and it tends to perform better in Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). If you create an all-inclusive guide on an industry topic that is sought-after but isn’t already oversaturated, you can become the go-to resource for a specific topic. When that happens, people will link to you often as a reputable source. The key is providing information on a needed topic in your industry and ensuring that information is high quality and comprehensive. When you do that and share it widely, backlinks will happen organically.
3.) Reference High Domain Authority Sites When Possible
It’s common practice to include internal links throughout your blogs and website, providing leads with the information they need to continue down the sales funnel. But when you’re implementing backlinking strategies, you need to include links to external high domain authority sites. Remember, you’re trying to boost your reputation by association, so when you include a valuable backlink in a blog, guide, video, infographic, etc., you increase your chances of a higher search engine ranking.
4.) Check for Outdated and Broken Links
The web is filled with outdated and broken links. You probably come across at least one every single day. Fixing broken links and avoiding outdated links increases your overall search engine ranking. You probably know this to be true of links on your own website, but have you considered where you may have a broken or outdated link on an external site?
Both Moz and SEMrush have a backlink checker that locates all mentions of your organization across the web, allowing you to address links that no longer work properly.
Remember to check for broken and outdated links when:
- Your organization changes names
- You move to a different URL
- You stop, add, or change a service offering
- You stop updating a resource
- Your organization changes names
When you locate a broken or outdated link on another website, reach out to the source and offer a correct, updated link. It’s best to start this initiative by reaching out to sources with the highest domain authority first and work your way down so you can address the links that will most likely achieve the most clicks first.
Another backlinking strategy is to find broken or outdated links to guides or rich content that can be replaced with a link to your newly created guide or rich content piece. Once again, you can reach out to the source, highlight the outdated or broken link, and offer your new content as a valuable alternative.
5.) Generate Customer Highlights and Case Studies
An easy way to achieve backlinks is to highlight your customers. Show off the work you did for a client in a visually stunning and informative case study. You can then ask them if they’ll share it on their own platforms. Most likely, they’ll be so pleased with the recognition, they’ll happily link to your content.
Avoid Backlinking Schemes
A word of caution: Backlinking isn’t a pay-to-play system like advertising. To generate backlinks ethically, you must do the work by building useful, shareable content, rather than defaulting to buying backlinks. Google has compiled a thorough list on what qualifies as a link scheme, and those caught participating in such activities will be penalized in search rankings.
Keep Improving Your SEO
SEO work is never complete. While backlinking is a long-term strategy, consistency and intent is key to improve SERP ranks. Content optimization through backlinking can directly impact and improve key metrics like domain authority, page authority, citation flow, and trust flow, when backlinks to relevant, authoritative sites are maintained.
The rules for keyword optimization are always changing, so it’s imperative to keep adapting to stay at the forefront of digital marketing. Prioritizing SEO, high value content, and backlinking strategies will never be in vain in your quest for higher domain authority rankings.