Most people blame the failure of their SEO campaigns for the use of the wrong keywords. But content is but a fraction of the total digital marketing journey.
On the technical side, you need to make sure that your website speed is up to the standard, optimized for mobile, new strategies, and keep up with the Google algorithm update.
But there’s another method that is often overlooked: link building.
In ranking your site, Google will not only look at the content but also the quality of your links.
Although there are more than 200 signals that Google factors into when ranking websites, it is a safe bet that links and web content are the two most important factors.
Nothing speaks about market dominance more when your name becomes synonymous with search. For instance, when people want to look for something or fact-check a piece of information, they are always told to “Google it!”
According to statistics, more than 9 in 10 people use Google as their default search platform. Meanwhile, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, and Yandex RU are fighting over scraps.
On average, Google gets more than 40,000 searches per second or about 3.5 billion unique queries every day.
The objective of SEO is to get your website to the top of the rankings in the search engine results page.
As you can see from the graph above, the top five websites are getting more than 75% of the total traffic for the specific keyword search. You cannot achieve that through content or website design alone.
This is where link building comes in.
What is Link Building
Building links is a strategy that will help establish your credibility and build your brand.
Google’s algorithm works to provide the most relevant and accurate results to the searcher. To do that, it needs to trace who is linking to your content and how authoritative those websites are.
For instance, if people are looking for a good burger, and four food websites–with no connection to each other–are all recommending your joint, Google will sit up and take notice.
Link building has two approaches:
- External — It is when your website is linked to another credible site and vice versa.
- Internal — It happens when you link to a particular page within your website. When this occurs, Google will take that as a signal that the content has a particular value.
The more credible the websites link back to you, the better your traffic is going to be.
How to Get Backlinks to Your Website
For years, digital marketers got away with automating links to generate hundreds of pings each day.
But Google’s algorithm update nipped that practice in the bud.
Now, you have to do the grind. While buying backlinks may work for a while, it is not a practice that would sustain your digital marketing journey for a long time.
Here are a few strategies on how to get quality links to your website:
Establish your expertise — People are always claiming that they are the best at what they do. But nobody is willing to back it up. But how do you build your credibility and reputation? You can guest-post on credible websites. Make sure to target sites with a Domain Authority larger than your own. Do not focus on websites within your industry niche.
Nurture a relationship — If your objective is link building, you can be sure that you share the same goal with the website you are guest-writing for. That is the reason why you do not spread yourself thin by writing for every website that will have you. Make the time to write again and again on the same site, so that you would be able to build a relationship with them. Nobody wants to be used, and if websites realize what you are doing, they would either delete your posts or blacklist you.
HARO — Haro stands for Help a Reporter Out, and it is one of the quickest ways to establish your credibility. The website is a repository of information and first-hand resource that is used by journalists for their reports. Imagine if you are quoted in a prestigious news site like CNN or The Washington Post and readers will realize, “This guy knows what he’s talking about?” What do you think that will do to your reputation?
Invest in infographics — People love infographics because they can glean the crucial info and stats at a glance. The topic is cut into digestible pieces, wrapped in a great package. You can back or refute an assertion with the visual representation of data. You can make an infographic out of a popular or trending topic. But make sure that your stats are factual because it could backfire, especially if you have no idea what you are talking about.
Scour for broken links — Google will penalize your website for broken links. And nobody wants that. So, what you do is look for websites that changed their URL, changed names, or have shut down. Again, focus only on sites that are considered an authority in their field. Next is to find the websites that are still linking to the outdated resource. To do this, you can download Check My Links, which is a Google plugin. After that, you need to contact those websites and inform them about the broken link. You can then suggest a similar topic, which links to your website. Although you cannot get 100% of them to link back, there is a high likelihood that they will click on your link to check out your content. If they see anything of value, they will gladly exchange links.
You might ask yourself, “How to find websites that accept guest posts?”
There are two ways to do this. First is you monitor what your competitors are doing (make sure to choose only those that rank higher than you). With a backlink tool, you can see which websites they are listed as a contributor and go from there. Another way is to use Google and write your keywords on the search box + a variation of the following phrases: “write for us,” “guest post,” “submit an article,” and the like. It should give you quite a few options.
Those are some of the strategies on how to build links to your website. Again, nobody said that it is easy. But if you follow the correct path, you would be able to E-A-T, which stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. E-A-T is Google’s distinct formula to rate websites.