Everyone in the SEO world knows now that a backlink strategy is crucial. Backlinks are power. And yes, SEO specialists release lists of link building strategies nearly every day. Still, it is hard to define whether a particular backlink recommendation will work for you until you try it.
This article does something a little different. In it, we will quickly outline a general approach to developing an effective SEO backlink strategy, which you can then use to contextualize those latest and greatest backlink recommendations you may find on the web. In this article, you will learn:
- What link building is and its importance to SEO
- How creating a unique, core strategy is more effective than using popular tactics
- How to get backlinks free and fast
Get ready for some practical SEO information!
Why Link Building Is Essential for Ranking
It is impossible to promote websites only through links. If you are just at the beginning of your SEO journey, you should not rely just on backlinks. Nevertheless, know that link building is necessary if you are going to make that leap to the top of search results — provided, of course, that the core technical optimization of your site has been handled properly.
The Logic of Search Ranking
If a resource gets backlinks, it may become popular with the audience and claim high search results. This simple principle defines the logic of search engine ranking but with a few nuances. For example, consider the optimal dynamic for building backlinks. Bursts of activity (i.e., backlinks appear frequently and in large quantities) can put search algorithms on alert. Much also depends on donors — i.e., the domains where links appear. The more trustworthy and relevant they are, the fewer potential risks there are for the recipient site.
How Google Evaluate Backlinks
The Google algorithm uses many factors to rank pages, including link scores. Here are the factors you should consider in your link building strategy.
Number of Links
This was the first factor adopted by Google and formed the basis of PageRank. The more links a site received, the more relevant it was considered. The number of links per page demonstrated its popularity on the web.
The more people who say good things about you, the more recognition you have in the community. Google thinks roughly the same way. For the search engine, a site shows higher authority when it gets links from several distinct domains. Thus, link diversity is also included in the evaluation.
Google can also understand the context around a link to assess whether it is actually relevant. Consider that:
- Google understands that links from sites within the same niche as the target site are more valuable because they are more likely to be relevant to the site’s audience.
- It evaluates words that appear around a link, called matches. They help the search engine determine the page’s topic and whether the mention makes sense in the overall context.
- Google evaluates other references that are nearby. If they are also links to quality sites, the page becomes more relevant and conveys more results.
- The position of a link also matters. Suppose it is part of the main content on the page. Then there is a good chance that it was inserted with editorial intent. It leads to more value, especially at the beginning of the text.
Anchor text is hyperlinked text on a page that acts as a brief description of what the user will find when they click on the link. Usually, it is a keyword. Therefore, Google uses this factor to index pages. Using an exact keyword match in anchor text backlinks is one way to build authority for the term in question.
Trustworthy sites are those that help create a safer and more relevant internet experience for the user. Thus, the closer you are to reliable sites, the more reliable you seem to Google. To assess reliability, the search algorithm considers factors such as:
- Domain age
- Use of security certificates
- The originality of content and other elements
Link Recruitment Rate
To fight fraudulent link building, Google has beefed up its algorithm. One resource for measuring this is how fast your site earns mentions. As mentioned above, acquiring lots of links quickly in bursts can be a red flag.
How to Generate Backlinks Using Popular Tactics
When creating your own unique backlink strategy, you should analyze what popular tactics suit you. In addition, it is important to consider their effect based on the factors discussed above. You don’t necessarily have to use the newest approaches. If you’re starting your SEO journey, it’s better to consider those that are time-tested.
- One standard method of building backlinks is to get paid links. We are not talking about a large purchase of low-quality references but about delegating link building to masters in the field. Not everyone can afford to have an SEO department, which is where an outside agency can help.
- Collaboration with the media. Be available to journalists and respond when they send a request for information from you.
- Keep track of broken links in your niche. If you identify a broken link, you can contact the site’s webmaster and ask them to replace the broken one with a page on your site. Also, track unlinked mentions of your brand and links to your site that have stopped working and connect with administrators to repair them.
- Prepare material for another company’s blog. This is called guest posting. Depending on what terms you negotiate with the webmaster, this can be a way to generate backlinks for free or via purchase or trade.
- Leave backlinks to your site on forums in response to questions or requests from potential customers.
Each of these tactics is a way of building natural backlinks. By combining them in different proportions, you can define your own unique backlink strategy.
Parting Advice for Your Backlink Strategy
Start building your backlink strategy by analyzing your competitors. In other words, you should first look at how many and what kind of references your opponents’ sites have. And then do at least as good (rather, better) and take the top spots in search results yourself. You can quickly find out what domains link to a site by using Ahrefs, Semrush or other SEO tools. Also, start a blog: it will be much easier to choose which page to link to other sites.