Backlinks have a big impact on search engine rankings, according to 58% of SEO experts surveyed on uSERP Backlink Status in 2021 report.
However, many content marketers find link building is a challenging task. If you fall into that category or are just looking for a fresh take on legit link building tactics, I’ve got you covered.
Table of Contents
3 types of links
First, let’s look at the three types of legitimate links:
- Backlinks : An external website that links back to a content asset (e.g. blog post, infographic) or your general website.
- Internal links: A page on your website includes a link to another page on your website. ( Internal Links not as valuable as external links, but they help Google understand structure your site, which can be helpful for SEO. They are also important for -site interactions and reducing bounce rates.)
- External links: A page on your website that includes a link to a related third-party website. (In the nascent years of backlinks, relevancy didn’t matter, but now it does.) Your external links count as backlinks to third-party sites.
Follow vs Unfollow
Not all links are created equal. Just as internal and external links work differently, tracking and untracking links connect to external content but are very different in what they do for your SEO. Exposure Ninja sublimely breaks down the difference:
- Tracking links are legitimate external links or internal to your site – exactly what you want in your backlinking efforts.
- Do not follow links are applied on the back end with the code, rel=”nofollow”. You can see it in the affiliate URL. That little piece of code tells search engines not to follow the link – which means the linked page won’t receive any direct benefit from the link.
Why does a site use a no-follow link? Exposure Ninja explains several reasons:
- Unreliable Content: Most do not track links are designed to protect the publishing site. For example, it’s common practice on sites where the comments section allows users to post links because those links may connect to spam or abusive content that the site doesn’t support.
- Links that do not need to be crawled: When Google crawls (indexes) your site, it evaluates the following links. If your site includes links to pages that have nothing to do with search (think password protected sections), you don’t want Google to waste your limited time crawling it. trust those sites. It is important to include no tracking.
- Paid Links: Google and other affiliate search engines have gone a long way to ensure that SEO is not a pay-to-play game. Therefore, if a site is paid to include a link, that link will be classified as do not follow. (I go into more detail next.)
Know the difference between paid strategies
Paying for links can be a shady SEO technique. This can also be a good way to earn quality links while creating awareness and expanding your brand’s visibility. How do you know the difference?
Let’s consider three options. Think of them like traffic lights – red/stop (direct purchase), yellow/caution (service link) and green/go (SEO agency).
No. 1 reason to never buy direct backlinks? If Google determines it’s a paid link, it will penalize your site’s ranking. Those backlinks will have almost no credibility in the eyes of the search engines.
Beware of service providers and sites that offer (and guarantee) cheap links. How many sites these “link farms” send your links to, most of them are irrelevant. Not sure if it’s a link farm? If you’re wondering why a link is relevant on a web page, chances are Google is, too. Cheap and fast can be tempting, but it’s not worth the risk.
Plenty of third-party linking services can handle your backlinking needs. However, their legitimacy is disputed. Many are rumored to be personal blogging networks (PBNs) – companies that pay a group of bloggers to include your link on their site, whether the link is related to their content or not. are not.
As experts at Guest Posts states, “(E) if 1% of (these links) come from legitimate sites, the rest 99% are PBN links that do nothing but hurt your results. friend. ” Carried away? Examine any affiliate service carefully and ask plenty of questions about their tactics and the results you can expect.
SEO agencies will perform all of the functions that the affiliate service promises, but legitimate companies add to that part of the strategy. They analyze your site, work with you to target and identify the types of links needed to increase your overall Google rankings. They can also work with or let you create content to gain those backlinks.
An SEO agency will not sell you a certain number of links. They focus more on building your brand’s presence as a whole using a variety of respected techniques and key performance indicators to achieve success.
All agents are not created equal. If you are considering using an SEO agency, they should be able to explain exactly how they will gain the links you need. Then you can judge if they are Legal link or not -construction engineering . If they say anything about using their “contact database,” be on the lookout and ask for an explanation. Some less careful agencies will claim to create their own backlinks but offer your product to one of the affiliate services mentioned above.
How to earn quality links
Now that you understand the different types of links and the paid options to get them, it’s time to think about what content and websites will get you quality backlinks. The best backlinks come from relevant, reputable publications and websites.
Here are some factors to earn those links from the SEO experts at my agency, 10 x number :
Create quality content
One of the biggest mistakes we see clients make is outdated link building. They focus on links rather than linked content. Your content must be meaningful and valuable to drive views, impressions, engagement, and most importantly, conversions because your business is nothing without serving your customers. me. To do this, you should first:
- Define your target audience and outline that they are interested in (and are looking for.)
- Do market research. Look at your industry. What are common words? Key word what where do you want your site to appear in the search results?
- Research competitor content: Find the space. What topics can you discover that they don’t already have? If you have access to an SEO tool like Semrush or Ahrefs , now is the time to use it. Check their site’s backlink profile and uptime to help optimize your site.
With this new information, focus on building a mix of relevant ideas and content types to maximize distribution potential .
Write guest posts
Guest Posting is a tried and true tactic for legit link building. The trick is to create and deliver really valuable content to third-party blogs. Keep yours request or pitch for a short and snappy guest blog post – the person on the other end of the email should know what you want to write – and how it will resonate with their audience – within seconds.
This step also helps you build relationships with other sites and expand your professional network.
Note: Not all websites, especially mainstream media publishers, include backlinks. If backlinks are your main reason for blogging, read through the contributor guidelines and publishing specs to see if backlinks are allowed before you reach out.
Create unique case studies
Facts and statistics are great content to earn legitimate backlinks – hard data Make your content stand out. Telling fact-focused case studies can be as good as gold when it comes to sharing and linking.
The best case studies outline the triumph of a project, product or customer with hard facts and data. You know that your product has improved customer efficiency, but by what percentage? How many new products did they sell because of your input? These are the things that will make your content stand out.
Infographics and other graphic visualization are also great ways to gain backlinks. They are likely to attract more interest from the audience because people process the surrounding image 60,000 faster times the written text.
The real beauty of an infographic is its shareability. Publish it once to your blog, then share it on social media and invite other sites to publish it (with a link to the original.) You can even add links in infographics to other pages on your site.
Start the chain
Legitimate link building can be one of the hardest parts of SEO. It requires you to know the types of links, the investment opportunities (good and bad), and most importantly, the content that will shine in the eyes of searchers (and Google.) But doing that SEO will pay off for you. some of the highest returns – if you play your links right.
Please Note: All tools included in our blog posts are recommended by the author, not the CMI editorial team. No single post can provide all the relevant tools in the space. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or the company you’ve used).
Cover photo by Joseph Kalinowski / Content Marketing Institute