SEO | October 21, 2014
How to Get quality Links to Your Website
Have you been hung out-to-dry by your old SEO agency? Perhaps you should have checked the colour of their hat earlier. But enough about what-ifs, what can you do now to get quality backlinks to your website, now you’ve got rid of the spam?
What is Link Building?
Link building is the process of acquiring backlinks from other websites to one’s own website. It is an important aspect of SEO and can help to improve a website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).
It is important to note that link building should be done ethically and naturally. Search engines like Google penalise websites that engage in manipulative link building practices such as buying links or participating in link schemes. Therefore, it is important to focus on creating high-quality content that naturally attracts backlinks from other websites.
Why is Link Building Important?
Backlinks are important for several reasons:
- Improved search engine rankings: Search engines like Google use backlinks to determine the relevance and authority of a website. The more high-quality backlinks a website has, the higher it will rank in search results.
- Increased organic traffic: When a website ranks higher in search results, it is more likely to attract organic traffic from search engine users. This can lead to more leads, sales, and conversions for businesses.
- Improved domain authority: Backlinks help to establish a website’s authority and credibility within its industry or niche. Websites with high domain authority are more likely to attract quality backlinks, which can further increase their authority.
- Brand exposure: Backlinks from other websites can drive referral traffic to a website, exposing it to a new audience and potentially increasing brand awareness.
Quality links are an important part of a site’s SEO, as they are a major influence on how Google will rank your site in search results. Google’s website states:
‘Relevancy is determined by over 200 factors, one of which is the PageRank for a given page. PageRank is the measure of the importance of a page based on the incoming links from other pages. In simple terms, each link to a page on your site from another site adds to your site’s PageRank. Not all links are equal: Google works hard to improve the user experience by identifying spam links and other practices that negatively impact search results. The best types of links are those that are given based on the quality of your content.’
In the end, backlinks are a key component of SEO and play an important role in increasing a website’s visibility, authority, and traffic.
So links are important, but how do you recognise quality links, and how do you find them?
How to Build Backlinks
Digital PR and Outreach
Digital PR, or digital public relations, is the practice of using digital channels and strategies to build and maintain relationships with various stakeholders, including customers, influencers, and media outlets. It involves leveraging online media and communication channels to promote and protect a brand’s reputation, and to drive traffic and engagement to its website.
Digital PR is good for SEO for several reasons:
- Link building: Digital PR can help to generate high-quality backlinks to a website from authoritative media outlets, influencers, and bloggers. These backlinks can improve a website’s domain authority and search engine rankings.
- Brand exposure: Digital PR can help to increase a brand’s online visibility and reach through media coverage, influencer mentions, and social media engagement. This can lead to increased organic traffic to a website and improved brand recognition.
- Content creation: Digital PR often involves creating and promoting high-quality content, such as press releases, infographics, and videos. This content can attract backlinks, social shares, and engagement, which can help to improve a website’s search engine rankings.
- Reputation management: Digital PR can help to protect a brand’s reputation online by monitoring and responding to online mentions and reviews, and by promoting positive news and content.
Overall, digital PR is a valuable strategy for improving a website’s SEO by generating high-quality backlinks, increasing brand exposure, creating engaging content, and managing a brand’s online reputation.
Guest blog outreach is an effective way of building great backlinks to your website. If you create compelling content and market it in the right way, other people will want to reference and link to it, or even host a post from you.
White hat SEO experts will tell you that it’s not about the number of links you have, but the relevancy and value of them. SEOs will look at the PageRank and domain authority of a site before approaching it, and will always aim for links from sites that are more authoritative than their own.
If you are thinking of reaching out to other sites in your industry (that aren’t competitors) make sure that your emails are professional, yet catch their attention. And be aware they may automatically go to their spam folder.
An offer of a guest blog should be a win-win situation, the host site will want to get something out of it too. So, pitch an idea that will benefit their readers, perhaps a ‘how to guide’ or a review of a product. Think about what questions their readers may be asking, and answer them. It is much easier to pitch a post if you have a unique and useful idea.
If the post is of great quality, they may even share it on their social media platforms and tag your company in the tweet. It’s free marketing at its best.
Another way to entice sites to link to yours is the offer of free samples in exchange for a review or feedback. Bloggers love this kind of thing, after all everyone loves a freebie don’t they?
“So how do you find these sites?” you may ask.
Google search – It may sound simple, but take a look at which sites rank for your target keywords, and which of these have blogs. All big businesses were small start-ups once upon a time, and many are therefore likely to accept a post and offer you a link.
Google search strings come in handy with this method. Put your “keywords” in speech marks to find an exact word or phrase, or use “guest blog” to find advertised opportunities.
Look at competitors’ backlinks – Okay, so this is slightly naughty, but by looking at your competitors’ backlinks you can easily find which of the more authoritative sites accept guest posts (without having to send a request and get rejected by others first).
Search for your target keywords and enter the highest ranking competitors into Majestic SEO. You can then export with Microsoft Excel, strip back the URLs to their root domain, remove duplicates and log potential website contacts for future use.
If you don’t have access to Majestic SEO, a simple alternative is to use the search string link: to see what pages link to a competitor’s homepage URL.
Content distribution networks – When you get to the bottom of a story on popular news sites you may see some suggested articles to read. Have you ever wondered who puts these there? Well, it’s content distribution networks like Taboola.
These networks will work with you to recommend your editorial content to high-traffic sites. Relevant stories are advertised on posts with the aim of increased traffic to your site and higher engagement. And of course, there is the reader’s benefit of finding useful and interesting content with ease.
Content distribution networks effectively do the outreach process for you, saving you time and money.
Other – Here’s Google’s view on guest blogging and how to do it right…
Does your company hold a lot of events, raise a lot of money for charity or perhaps you are award winning? Well tell people about it! Press releases sent to news sites can be a great way of building links, and are a handy way of controlling content. A link from BBC news or similar can do wonders for SEO.
Press releases can be an effective tool to gain backlinks for your website. Here’s how to use them to your SEO advantage:
- Identify newsworthy events or announcements: Start by identifying events or announcements that are newsworthy and relevant to your industry. This can include product launches, company milestones, new partnerships, or industry insights.
- Write a press release: Once you have identified your newsworthy event or announcement, write a press release that summarizes the news and provides relevant details. Make sure to include a quote from a company spokesperson and any supporting data or statistics.
- Distribute your press release: Distribute your press release to relevant media outlets, including industry-specific publications, local newspapers, and online news websites. You can also use a press release distribution service to reach a wider audience.
- Follow up with journalists: After you have distributed your press release, follow up with journalists to ensure that they have received the release and to answer any questions they may have.
- Monitor backlinks: Finally, monitor your backlinks to see which media outlets have included links back to your website. You can use tools like Google Analytics or SEMrush to track your backlinks and measure the impact of your press release.
Remember that press releases should be newsworthy and provide value to journalists and their readers. By following these steps, you can use press releases to gain backlinks and increase your website’s visibility in search engine results pages.
For visual people, infographics are much more appealing than a block of text, and they blend SEO and social media seamlessly. The visual appeal of an infographic will add variety to a blog, and therefore as a stand-out piece it is more likely to get shared.
As an added bonus you can build in links and include an embed code, so anyone sharing your infographic on their site will automatically link back to your own.
Infographics can be an effective tool to gain backlinks for your website. Here are some steps to use infographics to gain backlinks:
- Identify a relevant topic: Start by identifying a topic that is relevant to your industry and that you can present visually. This can include data trends, industry statistics, or step-by-step guides.
- Create your infographic: Once you have identified your topic, create an infographic that presents the information in a visually appealing way. Use colors, images, and data visualisation techniques to make your infographic easy to read and share.
- Embed your infographic on your website: Embed your infographic on your website and make it easy for others to share by providing an embed code.
- Promote your infographic: Promote your infographic through social media, email outreach, and targeted outreach to bloggers and journalists in your industry. Make sure to emphasise the value of the information presented in your infographic and why it is relevant to their audience.
Become a Sponsor
An easy way to get a link from a quality and high ranking source is to sponsor a charity or conference. They are likely to want to thank their sponsors on their website, and therefore you will gain a link in return. You will also have your brand on all of their material, gaining you extra exposure.
Sponsorships can be a great way to gain backlinks for your website. Here is how you can use this to help build your link profile:
- Identify relevant sponsorships: Start by identifying relevant sponsorships that align with your brand and target audience. This can include sponsoring events, conferences, podcasts, or websites related to your industry.
- Negotiate sponsorship packages: Once you have identified relevant sponsorships, negotiate sponsorship packages that include a link back to your website. You can offer to sponsor a specific event or to be a regular sponsor of a website or podcast.
- Leverage social media: Promote your sponsorship on social media and tag the event or website to increase visibility. You can also use relevant hashtags to reach a wider audience.
- Follow up with sponsors: After your sponsorship is complete, follow up with sponsors to thank them for the opportunity and to request a backlink to your website. You can also offer to provide a testimonial or case study to showcase the value of your sponsorship.
Link Building Techniques to Avoid
With good there must come the bad, and there are a number of link building techniques that should be avoided. Some are black hat, some are outdated, and others are simply ineffective.
We would recommend avoiding the following:
• Link farms – Link farms are groups of websites that exist solely to generate and exchange backlinks with other websites in order to manipulate search engine rankings. These websites are typically low-quality and often feature irrelevant or spammy content.
Link farms can be harmful to SEO, as search engines like Google consider them to be a form of link spam and penalise websites that engage in this practice. Links from link farms are seen as low-quality and manipulative
• Site wide links and blogrolls – Blogrolls are a list of links to other blogs or websites that are displayed on a blog or website. Blogrolls are typically located in the sidebar or footer of a blog and can be organised by categories or displayed as a simple list. The impact of blogrolls on SEO is often limited, as search engines like Google consider them to be less valuable than contextual links within the content of a webpage.
• Directories or any other type of link network – Link networks are a group of websites that are owned or controlled by the same entity or person, and are used to generate backlinks and manipulate search engine rankings. Link networks can be either private or public, and typically consist of low-quality websites with little or no original content. Link networks are considered a form of black hat SEO and can be harmful to a website’s SEO and reputation. Search engines like Google consider link networks to be manipulative and against their guidelines
• Paid links of any kind – Paid backlinks are links that are purchased by website owners or SEO practitioners from other websites or individuals in exchange for payment. Paid backlinks are considered a form of black hat SEO and can be harmful to a website’s SEO and reputation.
• Widgets – Widget backlinks are backlinks that are generated by widgets, which are small applications or tools that can be embedded into a website. Widget backlinks are typically generated when a website owner embeds a widget on their website that includes a link back to the widget creator’s website.
Widget backlinks can be both good and bad for SEO, depending on the quality of the widget and the context in which the backlink is generated. In general, widget backlinks can be problematic
• Forum signatures – Forum signature links are links that appear at the bottom of forum posts or comments made by users on online discussion forums. These links often include a user’s name, a brief description, and a link to their website. using forum signature links solely for SEO purposes can be seen as manipulative and may violate forum guidelines. It is best to participate in forums genuinely and contribute valuable insights and information to the community, while also including a relevant and high-quality signature link to your website.
Now you are more in-the-know when it comes to link building will you be attempting your own SEO? If you feel a little daunted by it, or simply don’t have the time, talk to our Cardiff SEO agency to find out more