SEO has been one of the best ways to get free traffic to your website since the 90s. Inevitably, after all the on-page SEO has been set up, after all the keyword research has been done, one task remains: building a quality backlink portfolio.
Backlinks are considered the “currency” of SEO, in a sense. Google rates websites that have more links pointing to it as more authoritative, which leads Google to consider it for a higher ranking on a specific keyword. The original SEO strategies revolved around looking for sites, such as directories, that allow you to place your website’s link on it.
Over time, though, this strategy has become less useful. The famous Penguin and Panda updates several years back made certain types of backlinks useless. Irrelevant backlinks have now become useless to your SEO, and may indicate that your site is not as authoritative as others.
Nowadays, Google rewards excellent original content and quality backlinks. We’ve written about content writing elsewhere on our blog, but what about quality links? How do you build good backlinks from websites with high domain authority?
Tips On How To Build Links
Be willing to reach out to people.
Link building is no longer about using a service that places links all over the Internet for you. From 2010 onwards, link building has been about relationship building.
However, people have been doing cold approach link building for a long time, and many blog owners have become suspect of any request to place a guest post or ask for links. When you reach out to people, you need to have a good pitch which gives the blog owner a reason to link to you. (And no, do not offer payment. Buying links is a no-no in Google’s book.)
An excellent pitch needs to include reasons why your content is excellent and what your content can do for their business. There’s no reason to have a guest make a post if the content isn’t going to be of good quality, and a website doesn’t need content that isn’t better than the stuff they already have! They’ll read your content, look at your pitch, and judge whether or not you should be linked to.
Use “sneaky” white-hat tactics.
White-hat refers to tactics that do not break Google’s rules. Tactics that do are considered black-hat. Examples of black-hat tactics include link spamming, spoofing, and fake private blog networks (PBNs).
However, there are white-hat tactics that are both effective and a little sneaky. Here are two of them.
You’re not actually “stealing” anything. Instead, you’re convincing a website owner to replace a link they already have with a link to your website. To do this, you need to convince them that your content is better than the content they’re already linking to. Use Ahref’s Content Explorer to help find websites related to your niche.
Broken Link Building
To find broken links, you want to use a tool like Check My Links. Check a website that posts content in your niche. See what links they have that are broken, and ask them to replace the broken link with a piece of your content.
This strategy is a good one because people are much more likely to say yes. They’re more likely to say yes because broken links are nothing but bad for a website, and content that’s updated recently can improve SEO ranking.
Make yourself known with thought leadership.
Thought leadership allows you to make yourself into an authority by being willing to speak on a subject that you have domain experience in. Being a thought leader can lead to websites linking to your content.
One way to do this is to leverage HARO (Help a Reporter Out). By signing up for HARO, you will receive requests from journalists looking for experts to provide input on a subject. Some of these websites are willing to provide a link to your own blog or website, as a way of proving your credibility as an expert.
For another example, let’s say you became a guest on a podcast. You can ask that podcast to put a link to your website on their site, as well as wherever they host their podcast. (Note: most of those other links will be nofollow; however, you’re doing this for traffic at the end of the day!)
All in all, by making yourself known, you’re not only improving your website’s authority, but your brand’s authority as a whole. Investing the time to make appearances in videos, podcasts, and news pieces will improve your overall authority.