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Top 3 Link Building Strategies To Get Backlinks

In this article on Search-pilot, we’ll talk about three link building strategies to get backlinks.

Before we get started, it’s important to set the expectations right for this post and talk about the difference between a strategy and a tactic.

Strategies are higher level in the sense that it outlines the scope of a plans. Whereas tactics are more micro and often focused around smaller steps.

So the strategy sets you in the right direction and the tactics kind of define how you get there and we’ll get into a few link building tactics later.

3 strategies to get backlinks

Alright, so when it comes to link building, there are three main strategies to get backlinks. You can create them, buy them, or earn them.

Let’s talk about what each method looks like, their level of difficulty and effectiveness.

1. The first method is to create backlinks.

Creating backlinks means to manually add links on one domain back to yours. This can be done by adding your website to directories, leaving comments on blog posts, or adding your website’s URL to your social media profile.

 Anyone can do this with minimal effort. So like almost all easy things in life, they’re generally not that effective from an SEO and ranking perspective.

2. Buy backlinks

buying backlinks is exactly as it sounds. You pay webmasters or authors a fee, and in return, they’ll link back to a page on your site.

this is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can potentially result in a penalty. That might be anything from losing ranking positions or even worse, getting your pages removed from Google’s search index.

 Also, buying links isn’t exactly cheap. the average cost of buying one is nearly $355.

In terms of level of ease, if you have the money, it’s super easy to do because it’s just a transaction.

 Now, in terms of the effectiveness, I would think that they’re highly effective until you get caught. And in my opinion, the risk isn’t worth the reward, especially if you want to build a business that’ll stand the test of time.

3. Earn backlinks.

The final way to get backlinks is to earn them. And there are three common ways you can do this.

  • The first and most common are links that are earned through email outreach.

This is when you email other website owners and editors and ask them to link to you.

  • Another way to earn backlinks is by becoming a source for an online publication or media outlet.

For example, if a journalist references you in an article, they’ll often link to you and/or your social media profiles.

  • the final way is to earn backlinks organically.

For example, if someone visits your page from a link on social media, organic search, word of mouth or wherever and decides to link to you, then that’s an earned link.

Now, even though 100%-organic links may sound like the best way to get them, I don’t want you to bank on that.

These kinds of links are typically less consistent unless you’re an extremely well-known brand With extremely well-crafted content and you’re already getting significant exposure.

It takes time to build a reputation that’s well-trusted and for those organic links to come in on a regular basis. And if you’re just hoping and waiting, you’ll likely fall behind because your competitors will actually be busy building links by reaching out to other website owners.

Generally speaking, the harder it is to obtain a link, the more valuable it’ll be. And for that reason, we’ll be focusing on streamlined tactics so that you can build a steady stream of backlinks to your page and get more traffic from SEO.

Now, not all links are created equal. Some will help propel your pages to the top of Google, while others can actually hurt your site.

So what makes a link actually good?

That’s what we’ll be talking about in the next part of this article, keep reading.

What makes backlinks good or bad?

Here we will talk about the attributes that make a backlink good or “high quality.” As I said earlier, not all backlinks are created equal.

For example, if you spammed forums with links to your site, those wouldn’t and shouldn’t hold more weight than a link from The New York Times.

Otherwise, backlinks would just be a game of quantity and Google’s search results would reward the biggest spammers. Fortunately, ranking on Google doesn’t work that way and quality backlinks are still a prominent ranking signal.

So with that said, let’s talk about the 5 attributes that make a backlink “good.”

Attributes of a good backlink

1. Relevance

The first attribute is relevance. Imagine this for a second. You’re going to visit Italy for the first time next month and you need recommendations for places worth going to.

Now, you have a friend that has lived in Greece for their entire life and obviously knows every nook and cranny.

You also have a friend in the US who hates traveling and has never been outside of the states. Who’s opinion would you hold higher? Obviously your Italian friend.

In the same way, links from a website about travel or Italy  would hold more weight than links from sites about technology or marketing because they’re more topically relevant and authoritative.

2. Authority

The next attribute of good quality links is authoritativeness. If you’re unfamiliar with “authority” in the context of backlinks, it basically represents the so-called “link power” a web page has. And this relates to how Google’s PageRank works.

As we discussed before, both the quantity and the quality of links matter. So the more quality links a page gets, the more PageRank it earns.

getting links from high-authority pages will likely have the greatest impact on your rankings.

while Google doesn’t provide PageRank or website authority scores, there are two metrics at Ahrefs that try to quantify it.

  1. Domain Rating; is website authority metric and it represents the overall strength of a website’s backlink profile. And
  2. URL rating; is page-level authority metric, which represents the overall strength of a page’s backlink profile.

 And you’ll find both of these metrics in Ahrefs free SEO tools, giving you insights on referring pages.

Now, we’ve covered two very important parts of good quality backlinks, but what we haven’t talked about yet is the actual link itself.

So let’s break down the anatomy of a hyperlink and talk about how the different parts relate to SEO.

The basic parts to a link that matter in SEO.

There are 3 basic parts to a link that matter in SEO.

  1. The destination URL
  2. Anchor text, and
  3. The “rel” attribute.

The destination URL is simply the URL the person will visit when the link is clicked.

3. Anchor text

The anchor text is the clickable word, phrase, or image attached to the link.

Google uses anchor texts to better understand what a page is about and what terms it should rank for.

But building lots of links with keyword-rich anchors is an example of a link scheme, and may result in a Google penalty as it looks unnatural.

 For example, if you had a post on the best tennis balls and had a hundred links pointing to it where the anchor texts were all “best golf balls,” then it would look quite unnatural.

People often use anchors such as the company’s brand name, the title of the page, the URL, or phrases like “click here.”

 With most earned links, you have very little or no control over the anchor text, so over-optimization isn’t something you really need to worry about.

4. Rel attribute

Some links contain a “rel” attribute, which is intended to tell crawlers about the relationship between the linking page and the linked page.

And the three “rel” values that you should know about when it comes to link building are

  1. Nofollow
  2. UGC, and
  3. Sponsored.

Historically, nofollow links told Google that the linking page would rather not associate themselves with the linked page. And for that reason, Google didn’t transfer “authority” through those links.

But then Google added a couple other “rel” values: UGC, which stands for user-generated content, and sponsored, which signifies an ethical paid link.

Google also announced that going forward, they would look at these link attributes as “hints,” meaning, they may pass value through them at their discretion.

Now, if a link doesn’t have any of these “rel” values, then it would be called a “followed” link. Meaning, the link can pass PageRank and help boost your rankings.

Seeing as this is still relatively new, I will recommend focusing on building “followed” links, although that’s only partially within your control.

Now, it’s important to note that nofollow and UGC links aren’t bad.

 It’s just that followed links are proven to pass authority.

5. Link placement

One final thing I want to talk about is link placement.

Prominent links are more likely to be clicked, and it’s believed that Google takes this into account when determining how much authority a link transfers.

For instance, an editorial link is more likely to be clicked than a link in the footer. So, all else being equal, the former would be better than the latter.

Conclusion

Strategies are higher level in the sense that it outlines the scope of a plans. Whereas tactics are more micro and often focused around smaller steps.

So the strategy sets you in the right direction, three main strategies to get backlinks;

  1. You can create them
  2. Buy them, or
  3. Earn them.

Not all links are created equal. Some will help propel your pages to the top of Google, while others can actually hurt your site.

 An ideal link would come from a relevant and authoritative page where the link is “followed.” It would have a descriptive anchor, and be placed contextually within editorial content. But the truth is, a lot of this is out of your control.

What is in your control is how you spend your time building links. By using the 5 attributes of a good link we discussed earlier, can help qualify prospects, or people that are worth contacting, you’ll spend your time building links that will actually move the needle.

 Now, the easiest way for a beginner to start building links is to use tried and tested tactics. And we’ll be covering a few of them in our subsequent posts.

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