You might have heard from a friend or read that backlinks can increase traffic to your website and improve your SEO.
What ever it may be its peaked your interested.
So much so you are thinking “how can I built some sort of backlink plan” for my business.
One of the major reasons backlinks can be a little challenging to acquire is that you need to know the site that is linking back to you or vice versa.
This could be through mutual interest, they using a resource from your site and are required to link back to you.
So how many backlinks do you need to appear in the first position in Google?
the result is enough to make most throw their hands up in the air or give up.
But won’t that take a long time?… years to get that many backlinks?
The bad news is yes. It’s not stopping you from getting started and building towards that amount though.
Achieving that number can be broken down into a manageable amount.
Your website doesn’t need to go viral and you don’t need fame to acquire backlinks.
There are tactics to build backlinks that require no “status” or fame whatsoever.
I’m going to show you 11 different ways of building backlinks when you’re just starting out.
Before we dive in lets take a breather and discuss why high quality vs low-quality links are vital for you website.
Why high-quality backlinks help your website
Lets first discuss Black hat vs White hat.
Black Hat SEO agencies have tempting offers for a low cost and it is appealing for newcomers.
However, there is an explanation to why marketers call them “black hat.”
Darth Vader termed it best when he said “come to the dark side”.
because thats what it is… the dark side of SEO
Let me explain what black hat SEO tactics are.
They are low quality domain authority sites such as new born ones that are still in Googles “sandbox stage” 0-6 months old or sites that are “spammy” or completely inactive used by these black hat agencies.
The issue here is that links from these low quality sites can negatively affect your rankings instead of improving them like those black hats misinformed you.
Black hat SEO methods are similar to misleading the search engines into ranking your website content higher than it deserves and thats why it receives a bad rap from the good guys who did it the right way (White Hat).
If and when the search engines find out that a site has done this they will find every way possible to serve out punishment to make sure you website stays off the ranked page listings.
Thats not so good for your website or your business either.
This is where White hat SEO comes into play to save the day and make sure your staying on the good side of the search engine algorithms and rules.
White hate SEO builds backlinks and rankings for your content with sites that have a high trust rating, have been around a long time, are active, and hold domain authority.
Below is a chart showing the top three factors Google perceives as most important when they are scoring your website to display in search results.
Strength of external links, authority of your domain and external link anchor text hold 46% of Googles ranking factors.
Lets keep that in mind moving forward.
Point is, that quick and dirty methods achieve bad results, its in your best interest to build quality backlinks over time from high quality sites with have authority, are active, and not filled with spam.
Good things take time and so does domain authority, if you do the time you eliminate the risk of ruining your website rankings down the line and you dodge the bullet that is Googles black hat enforcement brigade.
This has lead us to 11 ways you can build high-quality backlinks to start your own White hate SEO strategy and plan to succeed.
- Build Ultimate Guides
- Give Interviews
- Become a source for bloggers and reports
- Create an infographic
- Use Content formats proven to generate links and shares
- Write testimonials
- Comment on other relevant blog posts
- Create a study to gather unique data
- Write competitive content
- Synchronize social signals
- Competitor link detective work
1. Build Ultimate Guides
Ultimate guides carry some serious weight when it comes to creating high quality backlinks.
You might have searched for “strategies” or “how to guides” on how to learn a solution you were seeking.
Why do Ultimate Guides work so well?
They contain A LOT of content usually around 5-6 thousand words and cover every aspect of one topic.
SEO ranking studies have shown that long form content performs higher than short articles on Google:
Also, your guide is going to be the number one most valuable piece of content for that topic, people will link to it whenever they write about your guides topic in their blog posts.
This builds high quality links from far and wide as your ultimate guide becomes the go to resource for many people seeking all the information in one place.
When you consider this, its similar to taking a course online. All the information is there in one place, thats why its so valuable to people.
2. Give Interviews
Every niche has websites that will interview experts for their thoughts and opinions and any nuggets of wisdom they can provide.
If your not known yet, you can reach out to interview sites and pitch to them why you are the authority in the niche, and why they should spend their time to interview you.
Interview based niche sites are always on the hunt for quality content, so you have a decent chance of getting accepted.
If your accepted by the interview site or publication, take this opportunity to link out to your website alongside your answers for the interview.
This will create a high quality backlink to your site.
News sites and publications hold high domain authority which makes them a great option.
3. Become a Source for Bloggers and Reporters (HARO)
Amazing quality links are only built from amazing sources.
This quality of link coming from authority blogs and news sites will be a helping hand in getting your website to number one in Google.
Its as white hat as they come and its a free service called Help a Reporter Out (HARO).
HARO is your go to resource for public relations.
It connects journalists and bloggers to people who need quality links (you).
Just to be clear this strategy is quite involved and will take some work, its not always easy.
Its one of the best ways to build high quality backlinks though and you reap the rewards to a large scale effort like this.
To sign up:
First register as a source
Next step is to choose a free or paid plan
After signing up, keep a close watch for requests that you can be a contributor for.
Finally, send the journalist a pitch that is to the point, short, and valuable.
This post came up to interview successful podcasters.
If podcasting is your speciality you can send them a pitch.
If your accepted they will give you a link back to your website and mentions within their articles that provide exposure to your website and your brand!
4. Create an infographic
Infographics are loved by everyone who sees value in being shown a concept explain visually, they simplify complex topics and make information easily digestible.
That means internet marketers love to share them as well, with their clients, on their websites, blogs and news outlets.
If you create your own custom infographic for your website, and someone shares it on their website, they have to link back to your site, in turn giving you a high quality backlink.
Venngage is the tool I use to create info graphics. There is a free option and paid option depending on what icons you use.
All infographics you have seen in this post so far have been made with Venngage.
It really is a valuable tool for making high quality content.
Here are examples of infographics you can create with Venngage. In addition to infographics, you can do social media banners, posters, reports there is a lot of custom templates to choose from.
Other blog spaces and authority sites would value infographics you have created as well.
Reaching out to them is a good way to share your infographic and earn a quality backlink in the process.
5. Use content formats proven to generate links and shares
BuzzSumo recently did a study of 1 million blog posts and articles:
They were looking for data on content, shares and links how many sites had from a random set of websites and what types of content performed the best in these areas.
A study of this size yielded some interesting data on those three topics.
So what kind of key information did they find exactly?
A whopping 75% of 100,000 posts had ZERO external links.
There was some good that came out of that terrible statistic though.
They found out what kind of content format was getting links, shares and interaction at a high level.
The following types they found generated the most backlinks were:
If we were to make a pretty obvious judgement on this data it would be that focusing on the following types of
content would return the highest number of backlinks:
- “Why Posts”
- List Posts
- “How To” Posts
These formats give you 5 quality forms of content to start writing for that will return high quality backlinks.
Its encouraging when you know what will yield the best results, you just have to take action on creating content that drives the most engagement.
The list above it a great place to start. If you want to delve into making videos they showed in the study to be effective as well.
The study also concluded that long form content from 1000 to 3000 words on average, gets higher shares and links.
Just remember to make your content amazing, one of a kind, and interesting to benefit the people your writing for.
6. write testimonials
Now is a good time to write down a list of contacts you know, that have a website in your niche.
Most of you will know at least a few contacts who would really love to get a review written by you about their service or website, and how it has benefitted you in some capacity.
Its simple to get started; just make a list and start sending emails.
I’ve created a template for you below if you’re not sure on how to approach this.
I haven’t spoken with you in a while and hope all is going really great with sandysais.com.
I wanted to ask you about writing a testimonial for your site because I’m really blown away with the quality work you do.
Your writing inspires and educates at the same time. I’d be happy to publish on the site if you would prefer – just shoot me a message and I’ll send something over for you to review.
It would be my honour to share the value and benefit I’ve received from you with the rest of your audience 🙂
Will Lawson, Founder of passive income seeker
Testimonials have a number of qualities that make the high value in the world of white hate SEO links.
- You can customize the link within the anchor text (sensibly of course) just make them aware when sending over the testimonial. Even more efficiently you could send the exact HTML code that will embed the right link back to your website, so all your friend has to do is a simple copy + paste.
- Testimonials, usually are site wide meaning on every page, if they aren’t they are normally displayed on high value pages such as homepages which is usually a difficult to acquire space when it comes to posting a backlink.
- They are a genuine representation of the relationship you have created and enjoyed with your contact, this kind of content is what the search engines value most.
- The benefits are equal for both parties in this transaction so everyone is happy with the outcome.
- There is no awkward pitch you have to give like a normal link request and the approval rate on this kind of testimonial link request is a lot higher as you can imagine!
As with any method don’t abuse it and try and target thousands of site owners for this purpose as you will land yourself in hot water. Play it smart.
7. comment on other relevant blog posts
When commenting on blog posts for other websites in your niche, take some of this advice on your approach.
Your comment doesn’t need to be extravagant.
You can compliment the author and add a little insight to the topic at hand, and there you go, a quality relationship building step with the site author.
Take these steps often enough and you are using the right recipe for backlink building with the site owner.
Another direction to take is to craft your comment so that you warrant a response from the author.
This is great because you start a conversation which helps build a solid relationship, and gives you the opportunity to add your own commentary to the discussion.
A bit of flattery never hurt either, it’s a great way to break the ice so to speak, when commenting on a new post,
after all who doesn’t love a bit of flattery?
8. Create a study to gather unique data
Unique data is a valuable resource to you as a website owner and what better way to retrieve it than creating a survey?
If you have unique data that you can’t find elsewhere, it’s valuable to you because other people will want to link to that unique data to reference were they found it from.
You might be thinking it sounds like a lot of work to run a survey!
How would you go about running one?
Google Forms is a great solution.
To begin creating your own survey form start by Clicking the “Go to Google Forms” button.
You will next arrive this screen
Click the plus sign with the text “Blank” underneath.
Give your form a title and description.
You can also add multiple choice questions, as many as you need to get different kinds of data.
After completing your questions that you want to ask your audience.
Locate the Send button at the top right corner of the screen that says, “Send”.
This pop up screen will appear afterwards
If you click the button that looks like a link, this page will show
Now all you need to start gathering answers and unique data is to copy the link and send it to your email list, social followers or start a thread on a forum and gather that sweet sweet data.
This is a simple effective way to create an original study, gather unique data and form a resource to encourage backlinks from other niche sites to link back to.
Remember that you’re the only one with the unique data which is what makes it in demand for other bloggers/writers who will need to give you credit for your work if they wish to reference it.
9. Write competitive content
What do I mean by competitive content?
Content that is superior to what is currently holding the top ranks in search engine results for the keywords your targeting for your article or blog post.
If the content on your site isn’t of value and easy to reference… no-one will link to you.
If a websites content is lacking interest or is too wordy it doesn’t help the SEO and no other sites will care to link to it either.
For an effective backlinking strategy one of the main drivers is creating amazing content that serves your audience.
You need to make your content the highest quality and make it provide huge value within your niche.
To do that you need to know the quality/quantity and value of what your competitors are writing.
Here is a simple way to analyze what level of content you’re going to be up against:
Type the topic of your target keyword into Google
Next, look at only the organic search results. Ignore the paid Ads and open each result in a new tab for analysis.
Heres one of the articles I clicked on, for example.
Now we need to analyse its contents and see what information we can gather to come up with a plan to offer our own content that will be more valuable, more words, nicer to look at (more images) and will serve our intended audience in the best way possible.
start by asking:
- What word count is this article?
- what is the title tag and meta description?
- What is the featured image?
- how many images does the blog post have?
- What is the title?
Then use these figures as a bar to set. But make sure you raise it. Not just a by a mediocre amount… A LOT!
- Have a higher word count on your blog post since this helps with SEO. (remember the buzzsumo study? long form content is linked to more)
- Write a Title that really stops people in their tracks and grabs their full attention
- Make your feature image POP! make it interesting/relevant and spark curiosity
- Include more images than your competition, this helps with SEO as an added benefit
In essence you are taking the best result of your competitor and outdoing them in every which way possible.
Producing amazing content that is more valuable and interesting than your competition will always be a winning plan that you will be wise to add to your checklist for building high-quality backlinks.
Once you have finished your article don’t just post it to your site, use other authority sites as well.
Use this list as a starting point:
Sharing your post on these different sites will give your contents “reach” (more eyes on your content) and boost the probability/opportunity for more backlinks to be created.
When you put in the effort to make your content the best of its kind, other websites are more likely to link to it. This is what we want!
10. Synchronise social signals
Want to get all kinds of crazy serious about your backlinks?
Synchronising your social signals aka laser beams is a must.
What is a social signal signals you might ask?
Well its a message your site gives to search engines on how active and updated your website is.
The more activity on your website the higher your rankings.
You get these social signals beaming by linked your content with most if not all of the platforms in the above infographic.
This might seem like a lot of effort to be active and keep each platform up to date.
The more sites you engage with and share your content the better outcome for your content.
If you cant find the time to keep up with all of the above platforms. Just stick to one or two and post regularly.
Don’t take on too many at once build up slowly so its manageable.
Keep this process as a task on your backlink building checklist.
Hootsuit conducted a week long study and found a high correlation between higher ranks and social engagement on websites.
Heres some of the data from the study showing Social Engagements effect on Google Rankings:
As you can see improvements are inked with social engagement. This is where the confirmation is clear that sharing your content on these other platforms is a no brainer.
Ensure that people can see you social profiles information is the same as your website. This will ensure fluency with your website and helping search engines recognise it’s you.
This means making sure that your business name, address, details about what service you provide are all accurate with what details are on your website.
To start with, an achievable target is to post at least once a day on the platforms you’ve decided to use.
This strategy works well and is a good foundation to building quality backlinks for businesses/bloggers and entrepreneurs who want to build awareness for their content and hard work
Keeping a watchful eye on what you competitors are up to and where their backlinks are coming from can be a powerful way to gather more and more high-quality backlink opportunities.
Here are some steps to begin your case work:
Step 1: Find Your Competition
If you don’t already know who you main competitors are in your niche. Nows the time to find out.
Collect the top 10 sites that rank organically for your keyword or keywords on Google.
Step 2: Check their Backlinks
I give you… The Hoth.
Simply head to “The Hoth” and use this great free backlink research tool by entering:
Now Click “View Backlinks Report”
This screen will now pop up
Enter your email address
Click the capture to ensure “The Hoth” knows your not a robot
Click on “Continue to the Backlinks Checker Tool
Now you receive your backlinks competitor report
Make a note of what backlinks your competitors have and what opportunities there are to create backlinks through those same channels.
As you can see above this competitor has a backlink from “Blogger” a well known blogging platform.
Now its your duty to decide if the backlinks come from authority sites or are low quality as mentioned previously.
Step 3: Check how trustworthy your competitors backlinks are using “Majestic”
An interesting metric to add to your analysis of backlinks is Trust Flow.
It measures the perceived quality of a website and was designed to determine the quality of links pointed to a site.
Its scale ranges from 0 to 100.
The higher the number the better.
This can be analysed by Majestic
lets use our competitors website as an example.
This site has a rating of 15 which is low.
If your backlinks are coming from websites with high Trust Flow (not our competitors website, as we saw)
your SEO rankings will improve.
Use this when analysing your competitors backlinks as an added filter and advantage
Step 4: Implement your plan to create backlinks using competitor analysis
We can see that the competitor has used Blogger to create a blog post that links back to their website URL.
Blogger is a trusted site with authority and if we weren’t sure about this we could always check using Majestic again.
We can now setup a simple account with Blogger and write a post linking back to our content to build a high-quality backlink from a trusted site.
Use this method to go through all 10 search results of your competitors and your off to the races.
This method is powerful and is worth adding to your checklist to build better backlinks.
You want to build high-quality backlinks.
To be seen by the masses.
You want to know how to build high quality back links to be seen by the masses.
How can you do that when your just starting out?
Here are the 11 ways: build ultimate guides, give interviews, become a source for bloggers and reporters, create an infographic, use content formats proven to generate links and shares, write testimonials, comment on other relevant blog posts, create a study to gather unique data, write competitive content, synchronise social signals, and do competitor link detective work.
All those methods involve building good relationships with readers, providing real value which in turn leads to high quality backlinks.
So what strategy did you find most effective when trying to reach the masses?