In the ever-changing landscape of SEO, one thing remains consistent: the need to increase the number of high-quality backlinks to your website. Backlinks — hyperlinks pointing from one website to another — have a direct correlation to search rankings, so the more you earn from other trustworthy sites, the more Google will reward your company’s website.
It’s more than just the number of backlinks, however. What you really want is a wide variety of high-quality sites linking back to yours, and the higher domain authority they have, the better it is for your SEO.
To help you earn high-quality links from high-quality sites without having to beg for link shares, follow these four tips.
For the past few years, the art of link building has basically been reduced to emailing companies and publications to ask if they’re willing to share a link of yours without providing any context. It’s awkward, annoying, and just doesn’t feel that ethical. A better approach is to create a well-crafted pitch to editors that shows you’re worthy of consideration for a featured article or guest blog spot, keeping the following top of mind:
This might sound like a no-brainer, but the reality is that certain types of content are much more effective at generating links than others.
Visual content, in general, is some of the best content you can share, and infographics, in particular, attract people like moths to a flame. According to The Persuasive Properties of Color, researchers discovered that color visuals increased a person’s willingness to read by 80%!
People love being able to scan an infographic in just a minute or two to pick up several important facts or tidbits they didn’t know before. Better yet, infographics are so attractive because they help readers visualize data, making it much easier to comprehend quickly.
Not only will other sites share a well-thought-out infographic on their site and/or social media and link back to you, but they can also share facts from your infographic and link back to you for source credit.
People want to know what the experts and “influencers” have to say, so this type of content generates a ton of interest and shares. Consider adding callout text to your article with a quote from an expert and hyperlink it back to their website. This will help some of the main points stand out, while also positioning your company alongside the expert’s thoughts through a backlink.
If you interview an industry expert for an article, that person is also likely to link to the interview on his or her own site and social channels. If they see that you even mentioned or complimented them in one of your articles, they might also share the link on their own channels, which can send quality traffic to your website.
Interactive content not only makes the page more interesting for users, it increases time spent on that page, which can boost your SEO because it signals Google that searchers found what they were looking for. Videos, quizzes, assessments, slideshares, interactive PDFs, and more have the potential of sharing backlinks because they’re engaging and different than the norm. Plus, 90% of people say they'd like to see more interactive content, according to the Demand Gen Report.
Visitors can come back to evergreen content time after time, as it’s always useful. Yet, including relevant, timely information keeps the content regularly updated so it’s never out of date. Take for example MOZ’s page about Google Algorithm Change History. This particular page has over 44,000 backlinks from 3,500 domains because it’s regularly updated and a topic that users keep coming back to for current information:
Producing infographics and interactive content, mentioning industry influencers, and updating evergreen content are some effective ways to earn backlinks, but any piece that is well-thought-out and offers a new approach to solving pain points for your audience can do the same. Remember: content quality is a prerequisite to backlink quantity.
This tip is an often overlooked but simple way to attain backlinks. Find a few relevant industry sites with high domain authority and see if you notice any broken links. Then, contact that site and offer a relevant link to your own content as a replacement. There are even free tools available, like Dead Link Checker, that will scan a website for broken links and highlight which links can be replaced. This simple tactic could be a major win-win for both websites’ SEO!
This fourth and final tip is similar to #3 in that you just need the right tools and to search a bit. Find sites that your competitors get links from that you do not. These sites are the most likely to accept pitches and add links to your content since they’re relevant to the audience. Tools like SEMrush can help you get it done!
This approach can also find industry-related directory sites that may let you add links to your website free or for a small listing fee. While these links are usually no-follow links (not passing SEO credit), they can be useful if your target personas are likely to be on these sites.
A lot of marketers today focus on on-page SEO tactics, but backlinking and other off-page SEO factors are equally important to your lead gen success. Use the tips above to help increase the quality and quantity of backlinks to your site, and download our SEO Survival Guide for more tips on maximizing your search ranking to ensure your company is found by your best prospects.
Topics: Search Engine Optimization