Google uses hundreds of ranking factors to pick up relevant pages in response to user queries on link building. And links remain the strongest quality signal to search engines, outweighing most other ranking factors.
However, with Google's updates and link spams, link building has become a "skating on thin ice" practice, unless... you know the rules to follow.
Unless you're building links for a new website, you must first analyse the backlink profile of the site. Then look closely at link profiles of your high-ranking competitors – this will reveal the practices that work best for them. You will need a backlink checker app at this stage.
There's many directions to go:
There may be web pages that mention your company, but don’t link to your website. Contact the webmasters and ask them to add links to the posts.
Similarly, look for mentions of your competitors. Websites that mention them may mention you.
Product or service reviews
It’s likely there are blog posts written about things related to your business. Reviewing them is a win-win — the blogger gets an idea for a new post, and you get the exposure, additional traffic, and quality links.
Bloggers often publish comparison reviews. A comparison that could include your business can be a potential link.
An outdated review of a product or service that is similar to yours can also be a great place for a backlink, as the post author may be willing to update the copy with a description of your product and a link to your site.
Google only recommends that guest posts only be published on relevant websites. Avoid guest blogging networks or websites created purely for posting articles. Here are the common qualities you can recognise these by:
- A free design template;
- Articles and posts not centred around any particular topic;
- No signs of comments or social shares;
- No authour biographies;
- No contact details.
Press release distribution
There are dozens of press-release syndication services (eg. PRweb, PR Newswire) that let you to submit your copy. This technique allows you to get lots of links quickly. However, use this with caution; its mass usage is against Google's guidelines.
However, if you want to get real press coverage, you'll need to approach journalists directly.
Find potential link partners
Now it's time to search for potential backlinks. Since a manual search could take days, use apps like LinkAssistant to automate the process. However, I suggest you use a SEO specialist to show you how to use it. Remember, to regularly check your inbox and quickly respond to partners' emails — and get ready to see your links (and rankings) grow.
10 Quality Guidelines for Link Building
- Do not acquire links of the same type too quickly.
Although no one can tell you how many links per month is too many, ensure you take it slow with a few links per anchor text — and watch the rankings response.
- Minimise the number of easy-to-get links.
Try to keep the number of links from blog and forum comments, link directories, bookmarking websites, etc. as low as possible.
- Avoid link placements within spots not intended for editorial links.
Such spots include a page's header, footer, sidebar, and navigation elements.
- Double-check the backlink page's accessibility to search engines.
The linking page should not be restricted in robots.txt or by noindex/nofollow.
- Ensure the backlink page is indexed and cached.
If a page has not been cached in over 3 months, this may indicate that search engines do not consider it important.
- Don't engage in guest blogging or article marketing unless you know what you're doing.
Do not obtain links from guest posts, article directories etc. if you're not 100% sure about their quality.
- The backlink page and website must be related to your niche.
A website about aquarium fish is not a good spot for the review of a steel fabricator.
- Check if the backlink page or the domain ranks in top 100.
If the page doesn't rank in top 100 for keywords listed in its title tag, chances are search engines do not think very highly of it.
- Pay attention to the social media metrics.
If the domain has no likes or shares, it may indicate that it has low traffic and little value.
- Do multi-level link building.
Promote the page that stores your content and backlinks. Syndicate it through social media or include links to it in other publications.
As you gain more links and more traffic, keep monitoring your backlinks. Here are tips on monitoring your link-building campaign and its effect on your ranks:
- Ensure your Google Webmaster Tools account is well set up. Check it now and again for manual actions or abnormal growth of backlinks.
- Monitor organic traffic via Google Analytics. Watch for any unusual growth or decrease.
- Track keyword rankings regularly and watch how they respond to new links. A sharp drop may indicate a search engine penalty — then, you'll need to look at your links and eliminate potentially dangerous ones.
Most importantly, remember to create valuable content, as links tend to build themselves for quality content. Create posts that offer answers and solutions. Don't forget to syndicate through social media, making it easy for visitors to discuss and share your content in social networks.
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