If you want to rise up Google search results, links and content are two of the most important factors to make it happen. The search engine giant admitted so with its Penguin algorithm update, which also punishes sites for keyword-stuffing and link schemes.
The main message is that if you’re spreading your site so it’s linked on as many websites as possible, even when there is no relevance or value, that’s a no-no. The same goes for adding a bunch of keywords to a page that make little sense and don’t create a solid user experience.
Google’s main focus is on rewarding sites that users genuinely engage with, sites whose content will provide the best experience to users who are searching related search terms. The emphasis is all about quality. Since links and content are still important, how much quality they deliver is what your business should focus on.
Here are some techniques to get more high-quality links for your site, through reputable backlinks that can help boost your search engine results.
1. Create Great Content
The first crucial step to getting your content linked on high-quality sites is to make sure it provides value. Moz offers advice for how to 10x your content, which essentially means, how to make it 10 times better than it originally was or how to make it 10 times better than a competitor’s offering on a similar subject. Tips include:
- Go deep on the topic
- Make the content highly unique
- Use research and expertise to support the post
Great content is not stuffed with keywords. High-quality sites won’t want to link to your content if you’re trying to game Google.
Great content is engaging, it’s well-researched and it provides value to the consumer. It’s better to create 10 amazing pieces of content a month than 3 blog posts a day that no one wants to read.
2. Use Tools to Identify High-Quality Sites
There are a variety of tools that can help you discover sites that are worth contacting about potentially sharing your content on their site. Moz’s Link Explorer and SEMrush are two that provide insights into how authoritative a site is viewed, based on metrics like the number of backlinks the site has, how much traffic a site gets and more. You can use these tools to prioritize target sites based on how much authority they have in your industry.
You can also use search engine optimization (SEO) tools to discover which websites are linking to your competitors. This insight can be a jumping-off point, so you can research those sites and see if there’s potential for them to link to yours, as well. For example, if you’re a florist in Denver, and you see that a reputable local lifestyle blogger has written about and linked to your competition, maybe they’d be interested in reviewing your business, too.
3. Build Relationships with Publishers
Once you’ve created a list of sites you want to pursue link-building relationships with, the best way to be successful is to apply in-person business skills online. This means:
- Write or call the publisher or influencer to introduce yourself. Tell them why you enjoy their content. Explain how their audience is similar to your customers. Offer insight into how long you’ve been following their content and give praise for their work.
- Show what’s in it for them. Provide details about your business, website and blog. Depending on what you want them to link to, provide an offer that is valuable to them. This may be the opportunity to try out your service or product for free, in hopes they’ll consider writing a blog about it. It may be an offer to link their website in a “business partners” section on your site, in hopes they’ll do the same on their site. You may have read a post of theirs that totally relates to your business, and you may offer more information about the subject or offer your time as an expert who can be interviewed next time they want to write about it.
- Never spam. Never email a publisher or influencer asking that they’ll link to a specific post. Publishers and influencers get turned off by this tactic and will write off your site as spam.
When you build a relationship by showing genuine interest in content and provide the other person something valuable, organic link-building can occur. The publisher or influencer may think of ways to support your business that makes the most sense to their followers. Next time they need an expert to link to or an example to provide to readers, your brand may be at the top of their minds.
4. Offer Guest Blogging Services
Another way to provide value to publishers and influencers is to offer your own content-creation services. Usually, if you are willing to create a blog or video for someone else’s site, at the very least, you’ll be able to link to your website in your author bio. In some cases, you’ll be able to link to your site directly in the post copy, if it’s relevant.
Guest blogging is one of the easiest ways you can gain more high-quality backlinks. The key is to identify high-quality, relevant sites and provide high-quality, relevant content. When the publisher or influencer’s audience engages with your content, you’ll be able to continue guest blogging and build up your reputation.
Get Better Links for Your Business
Content marketing and building a backlink strategy is an essential part of inbound marketing. Most businesses need help in order to do this effectively. Being able to research the best sites to target, build those relationships and create high-quality content takes time, strategy and knowledge.
If you need help getting high-quality links for your business, let us know. We offer free consultations and can help you.