If you are interested in SEO and Backlink building , you are aware that getting quality backlinks is essential for good SEO .
Google recently confirmed that backlinks are the # 1 ranking factor in 2019, with great content. No wonder link building is one of the main SEO strategies to improve the positioning and traffic volume of a website!
By definition, a backlink is an inbound link from any other website or blog.
However, not all backlinks are of equal quality. Forget the saying: “The more the better!” It doesn’t work for links, at least as long as “more” means you buy or get links without checking if they are of low quality or risky.
Because what you need to know is that Google has strict rules when it comes to creating links. Certain inbound links can be considered as a violation of its instructions to webmasters , and as a manipulation of its search algorithm.
So when developing a backlink building strategy, you should be careful. While a quality backlink can increase the SEO of a website, bad incoming links can, on the contrary, penalize it.
Fortunately, there are still many ways to securely create quality backlinks. Everything is a question of relevance and focus on the user.
4 Types of backlinks in link building strategy
The so-called “natural” editorial links
These backlinks are given by sites and web pages that spontaneously link to your content or your business. Obtaining them does not require any specific SEO action, apart from creating quality content and the ability to give them some visibility.
The paid guest post backlinks
These backlinks are obtained by purchasing a link, by contacting influencers and journalists or by submitting the site to web directories. The creation of these inbound links can consist as much of posting a guest article on another site, as convincing a professor that your content is worthy of interest for a publication.
Non-editorial links known as “self-created”
These backlinks are obtained through the hundreds of thousands of websites that offer their visitors the possibility of creating links via signatures of guest books, forum posts, blog comments or user profiles. These links offer the lowest value, but can overall have a positive impact on SEO if they are created in a relevant way. Typically, search engines penalize websites that aggressively pursue these backlinks because they view them as spam. They should, therefore, be incorporated into a link building SEO strategy with caution.
You can buy backlinks, it’s easy but the impact of them on your SEO pretty much depends on how you understand what high quality backlinks are. If you buy only high quality backlinks then it’s safe. Otherwise, it may have negative effects on your ranking.
Mistake to avoid while building backlinks
We have met some SEOs that struggle with bad SEO results, and the reasons mostly because they are to urge to do backlinks then they took the risk of doing mass backlinks without understanding Google’s algorithm.
The right way to build backlinks in 2020
1. Create quality backlinks from legitimate sources
Links from sources specializing in a subject matter more to your SEO than links from general or off-topic sites. For example, if you sell dog accessories on your website, a 30 million Friends Foundation backlink will have more weight than an inbound link from a site specializing in sneakers.
To check the legitimacy of a given page on specific search terms, you can simply search for certain keywords and phrases targeted by this page (in particular those of the title tag and the title). If you try for example to classify yourself on the terms “dog trainer”, favor pages which are already classified above.
To find legitimate sites on which to gain relevant links, you can also use a tool like Similar Site Search . Just type in the URL of your website to get a list of sites covering topics related to your field of activity.
2. Create quality backlinks from trusted and authoritative sources
The Internet contains huge amounts of spam, and spammy links often go both ways. A website that links to spam is probably spam, and in turn has many spam sites pointing to it.
In order to remove this irrelevant content from their results, search engines use a TrustRank to measure the level of trust of web pages. It is therefore advisable to choose carefully the sites to which you link and to gain links only from domains of which you are sure of the reliability.
Universities, government websites and not-for-profit organizations are examples of high confidence areas.
With a free tool like MozBar , you can also examine the domain authority (a score of 0 to 100 – a score close to 100 being better than a score close to 0) of the sites that you consider for your acquisition strategy of link.
3. Target sources relevant to your audience
Links that send high volumes of traffic tend not only to provide a better signal to the search engines, but also to send targeted and valuable visitors to your website.
4. Favor pages containing no (or few) backlinks
The value of a link is diluted by the presence of other links on a web page. It is therefore better to link to a page containing few links, than to be linked to a page with many links.
5. Examine competitors’ backlinks
Using tools like Mozilla’s Open Site Explorer , you will get information on the backlinks of a highly ranked website on specific keywords. You can then target these sites for your own link building campaigns.
6. Disavow spam links
To avoid being penalized, the link disavowal file is a great way to preventively warn Google of ignoring poor quality incoming links.
To locate these links, you can use a tool like Majestic SEO or Ahrefs . They will allow you to monitor the appearance of new backlinks and you will just have to react quickly in case of unwanted incoming links.
7. Exchange quality links
As long as your reciprocal backlinks cover the same subject and make sense from the user’s point of view, exchanging links should not penalize your website.
8. Create links in relevant directories
There are many online directories that provide no real value to Internet users and Google has excluded them from its search results. But not all web directories are bad. Some specialize in a field of activity, and their audience is particularly qualified.
The best directories are the ones that provide useful information to your potential customers. Take TripAdvisor or Yelp, for example: they are essential for local businesses that serve consumers in a specific service area. Therefore, creating links in niche directories and directories relevant to your industry can be beneficial for your SEO.
In most cases, also prefer paid web directories which have the merit of seriously examining each submission and only adding legitimate sites.
9. Leave useful comments on blogs and forums
Just make a list of the best blogs and forums in your niche, then post high quality comments there with a link pointing to your website in the dedicated field.
If you actively participate in discussions on forums or blogs relevant to your business, and if your messages bring real contextual value to the exchanges, your SEO referencing should feel the beneficial effects.
10. Use various anchor texts
If dozens of links point to a page with the right keywords, the probability that that page ranks well on the targeted terms in the anchor text is high. However, when you get links, take care to vary the anchor tags on different websites. Filling the anchor text with commercial keywords is far from natural and will surely get you in trouble.
To make the backlink look natural, you need to use your brand name with other keyword variations. For example, if your site is imob.com, a real estate training site, you can use these different anchor text variants to generate backlinks: imob real estate training or imob real estate agents.
You can also modify the anchor text using URLs with your target keywords: http://imob.com real estate, http://imob.com real estate training, real estate training on www.imob.com.
11. Gain additional links over time
Commonly called “Fresh Rank”, the measure of the “freshness” of links constantly judges the popularity and relevance of backlinks.
12. Share on social networks
Although search engines treat socially shared links differently from other types of links, they notice and take them into account.
How important are they to them? Impossible to say. But, undeniably, the importance of social networks is growing and they most likely affect the SEO of web pages, in addition to giving them visibility and increasing their popularity.
If your content is original, interesting, well structured and worthy of sharing, there is no doubt that you will be able to reach new customers and get new inbound links.
13. Convert mentions into backlinks
Has anyone created content about your business, brand or products without inserting a link to your website? Do not hesitate to contact the author to convert this mention into a backlink!
But how do you find these mentions? You have the choice. Thanks to tools like Link Research Tools , BuzzSumo or mention.com , you will be able to spot everything that is said about your company and receive an alert as soon as a user writes something about you.
14. Create quality content
A good netlinking strategy is based on creating quality, relevant, useful and well-structured content to obtain natural backlinks. Even Google engineers recommend it! This approach requires a little patience, but is often the most profitable.
The most effective is to start and feed a blog that is both informative and entertaining. Blogs have the unique ability to consistently contribute to refreshing content, taking part in conversations and, of course, earning you links from other blogs and websites.
But beware ! If you are launching your blog, you should update it as often as possible, creating quality articles on a regular basis. Focus on your industry and the needs of your target audience.
Over time, by posting articles regularly, you will find that your blog will gain authority. Users will naturally quote, recommend, share, link and tweet your publications.
Sometimes a single article can get many quality backlinks to your site. The main thing is to make it interesting. For that, do not hesitate to add graphics, quotes, figures and practical advice.
15. Write unique and useful guest articles
If you write quality content, you will necessarily find a site or blog that will agree to publish it. It’s a win-win: the website owner gets a free post, while you earn a backlink.
Before you get started with guest blogging, just make sure the site or blog is relevant to your topic, and that the article isn’t just about touting your business. Google has tightened its quality rules for guest articles , and a bad article on optimized could have the opposite effect than expected and penalize you.
But if you follow Google’s best practices for guest posts, posting unique content to sites other than your own will expand your brand reach and will most likely drive additional traffic to your website.
16. Offer its content as a resource to journalists and bloggers
Editors around the world are looking for resources and information to create interesting content for their readers. Where it gets interesting for your backlinking SEO strategy is that you can perfectly offer your content and expertise as resources. Of course, this strategy is only valid if your articles are relevant.
To connect to writers, you can use HARO (short for Help a Reporter Out), a website that sends you three daily lists of topics on which journalists and bloggers are looking to create content. To target a community of more focused writers in France, use the responsesource.fr site instead.
All you have to do is find the requests that are relevant to your area of expertise or to the recent content you have created to maximize your chances of being cited or of obtaining a backlink!
17. Involvement in question and answer websites
In Quora, Yahoo! Questions Answers, or on social networks, you can find questions relevant to your business. By answering it, you will not only be useful, but you will also position yourself as an expert. And, who knows, maybe you will be able to link to your product or an article you have written on the subject?
By taking the time to research, you can even get an overview of the questions that your target audience is asking and exploit them as ideas for future articles of your blog!
18. Use influence marketing
To get quality and authoritative backlinks, you can offer bloggers to test your products for free. Ideally, don’t openly ask for a review or link in return … you were violating Google’s webmaster guidelines! Let them decide if your product deserves a mention or a test article.
If your blog already has good visibility, you can also offer influencers to devote an article or an interview to them. The trick is that most bloggers place a link to the articles presenting them on their page. This way you can get good exposure.
In summary, in 2020, above all, you need to create quality content to gain backlinks. Certainly, creating inbound links requires creativity, time and, often, a budget. But your efforts will be rewarded by the beneficial effects on your SEO referencing!