When it comes to websites, links are essential. But not just the links on your site, even more important, are the links on other websites that link to yours. These backlinks tell the search engines, like Google and Bing, that your content is valid and people are interested in it. It also will provide you with more traffic.
You have two avenues to take when it comes to getting rank-boosting links: to hire a link building agency, go it alone, and learn the ins and outs of links and their importance.
Types of Links
Backlinks are more complicated than just having someone link back to your site. There are three things to consider when it comes to backlinks and where you should look to have them placed.
Ranking vs. Non-Ranking
Depending on who hosts the link, it could be considered a NoFollow link, or a DoFollow link. You want the DoFollow ones, as they provide value and will count towards your SEO ranking.
You can get DoFollow links by teaming up with someone in your niche and doing a guest post for them. By doing this, they will introduce you and provide your link on their site. There are multiple ways to get a DoFollow link; this is only one way to go about it.
NoFollow links are of no value as there is no control over them, and they aren’t verified. Pinterest is an excellent example of NoFollow links. Pinterest is a great marketing source and has the potential to get you a lot of traffic, so even though the linking won’t help your SEO ranking, it still has plenty of benefits.
Another factor that weighs heavily with rank boosting is what sites host the links connected to your website. For example, if you have done a challenging, unique magic trick and it’s picked up by CNN, that will give more validity to their link than if some unknown Acme Magic blog posted it.
In most cases, the above scenario would ring true, but there are exceptions. If the CNN link only had 16 people click on it, but the Acme Magic blog had 320 clicks, then the niche blog would give more validity due to the number of clicks.
If all things are equal with trusted sources, and they’re coming from a DoFollow link, there’s still another factor to take into consideration when wanting rank-boosting links, and that is where on the host site the link is posted.
Contextual links, ones that are a part of the body of the post itself, carry more weight than if a link is part of a header or footer, or along the side, located in a sidebar. From our guest post example, it would be beneficial to have your link as part of the text body instead of a separate link.
If you aren’t sure where they are going to show up, work you link into your blog post so that you are guaranteed to get a DoFollow contextual link.
Strategies for Getting Rank-Boosting Links
There are different strategies for getting rank-boosting links, and this by no means is an exhaustive list, but they are proven to work. You can start by trying out one or go all in and give them all a try to see which works best for you.
Connect with Website Owners
Just like in our example above, you can connect with site owners to see if you can do a guest post on their website. But, that is only one way in which contacting site owners can help. Another way is to search websites in your niche that review sites or list sites as a resource.
Sites like this that have the most valuable ones are ones in which the application must be reviewed and approved. Don’t get discouraged if your content isn’t accepted right away. Try several sites, and after you gain more traffic and have more related content posts, try reapplying to the ones who didn’t list you in the beginning.
Online readers love infographics. Maybe it reminds them of younger, stressfree years when they were kids reading picture books. Chances are it probably has more to do with saving time and understanding information better.
Many people are visual, so it will be easier to grasp the information if there are graphics of some sort to back up the writing. Though having infographics can rank your site better, as it would with video content, there are a lot of people without these types of media on their pages.
If you can create infographics, then that’s perfect! If not, you can always hire an infographic designer to help you out. You’ll want to ensure that your infographics are of high quality and offer value in the information provided.
Create a post around these infographics and then reach out to content creators who are writing about the content covered in your infographics and see if you can have a mutually beneficial arrangement. You offer to post their post on your site, link back to them, and add your infographic to their original blog post, linking back to you.
Reaching out to authorities, in the niche in which your site is about, and requesting interviews with them is a great way to get rank-boosting links. Interview articles receive high-traffic to them as readers love to get a person-depth look at how they think.
When doing an interview post adding contextual links to brands, and other authoritative and trusted sites, will also help you with the Google algorithm. Once your piece is complete, send it to the interviewee, and there is a high chance that they will share it with their audience.
Podcasts are another great way to implement this strategy. Perhaps there is a site, or podcast, that you want to be a part of, and you can be the one interviewed, getting the opportunity to talk about your site and what makes it stand out.
Create Quality Content
Anything you create should be high quality, but putting the time into creating quality content posts for your site can bring you lots of useful links. Ensure your content is newsworthy and current for this strategy to bring you the best results.
The more appealing your post, the more often it will be shared on social media, and you will receive more engagement via comments. Engagement in your content goes a long way with the rankings on Google. Social media links that receive a lot of clicks will also help to boost your SEO ranking.
Bonus Strategy - Your Competitors
Another great strategy is to scope out your competitors and see what they are using and what works for them. Look at the content they are creating, their engagement on specific posts, where their traffic is coming from, etc.
Knowing what’s working for others in your field will help you understand what you should be trying. Just because you are looking at what your competitor is doing, does not mean that you should copy them, just that you can get ideas and then create your original content based on that.
You will get a feel for what sites are more apt to provide quality links to boost your rankings. Understanding the sites with better returns can help prioritize the places to reach out to first as you’re more likely to get a favorable response.
You can also find out what’s working for them in regards to social media. If you see that they have several thousand shares on LinkedIn, but maybe only 100 on Twitter, you’ll know that you should put your effort into LinkedIn, as they are more likely to be your target audience than Twitter is.
Understanding links, and the value they add, is an integral part of having a website. Not all links are created equal, and even the rules of value can change in some circumstances. This knowledge will help you enact strategies that will help you with your SEO.
Implementing these strategies will take up a bit of time, and that could be time that you don’t have or don’t want to spend on these types of tasks. Many people hire content marketers to help them with this so that they can free up time to work on the services and product side of their business.
One thing to remember that gets lost in all this information is that you want to send people to your site to improve your bottom line. Whether you are selling products or services, if people are actively checking out your site from reputable sources, they can become leads. The more leads you have, the better chance you have of turning them into customers or clients.