Links are the currency of the web. Links makes the internet a network of interconnected pages.
Search engines, in particular, regard links to a website as one of the most important factors when deciding to rank a particular website.
There are several ways to build links to your website, but before we get into that, let’s consider the core benefits of links:
i). Links serve as a vote of confidence:
Moz noted in their Beginner’s SEO guide that links to a page can lead to a higher ranking in the search engines because they are a vote of confidence. This tells search engine spiders to reward pages with high-quality links, and not necessarily the quantity of those links.
All things being equal, the more high-quality links a page has, the greater its credibility and its potentials to rank above the competitors’, according to a research by Ahrefs, AccuRanker, and Matthew Barby:
Of course, the domain authority (DA) and page authority (PA) are also important algorithm ranking factors, but links are the foundation.
ii). Inbound links help augment your content:
You might have poured out your heart to create a compelling article on your website. Well, most times, no one is going to care until you get the word out.
When you build quality and relevant links to this valuable content, you increase its potential to reach more people, not only in the search but on social media, online communities, blogs, and so on.
Because inbound links will come from platforms where there are hundreds of thousands of active participants and customers. So backlinks helps to augment the content on your website.
iii). Links can bring traffic to your website:
This is obvious, isn’t it. Imagine how many visitors I’ll see on my website if I of get a link from Forbes.com or any high-traffic website?
So beyond the link juice that impacts your search rankings, you also get instant traffic which can stay consistent if put systems in place for link building.
When you publish a guest post on a relevant website, you will get relevant links as well as traffic to your website. That said, it can be seen that the reason why most website owners complain about not generating enough traffic is because they’re not building the right links. Think about it.
iv). Links tell search spiders which pages are important on your website:
Imagine a website like FastCompany.com that has hundreds of thousands of pages. How do search engine crawlers know which pages to serve search users?
Well, you guessed right. Here’s an example:
If there are 5 pages on the website that addresses the same topic on “Leadership Quotes”, which of these pages do you think should rank in Google when searchers enter that keyword?
On the surface, you could pick the page that you like. But search engines, especially the current one that’s powered by RankBrain will likely choose the one with high-quality links and user engagement.
You can build traction to some of your pages if you get more links to them. It’s that simple.
No way is this list exhaustive, but now you know the core benefits of links that goes to your website.
Now, let’s quickly address a few important concepts that will help you see better results in your SEO efforts — with respect to link building.
i). Sending link Juice to lower ranked pages: Make no mistakes about it. The end goal of link building isn’t to rank #1 in the search engines per se but to drive conversions, increase sales, and grow your revenue.
However, before you can achieve these ultimate goals, you need to improve the organic visibility of your pages. And not just any page — but “pages” that would improve your bottom line. You want to send link juice to improve the performance of lower ranked pages.
Note: Link juice is a generic term used by SEO experts (both beginners, intermediates, and gurus) to refer to the value of equity transferred or passed from one domain or page to another domain or page. This can happen from one page to another page of the same domain, or from another domain.
Here’s how links from the homepage are passed to the internal pages:
In the above illustration, note that Page 1, Page 2, and Page 3 are getting the link juice from the homepage. Why? Because the homepage links to these pages individually.
Here’s how link juice is being passed from external pages to another domain (your website).
Remember that this link “value” is passed through the backlinks. No wonder backlinks are important in the search engine ranking factors.
Search engine crawlers follow the link from where you got it all the way to your website. These links act as votes by other websites; a proof that your website or page is truly valuable and deserves to rank higher in the SERPs where searchers can easily find it.
In 2015, AT&T discovered that some of their products pages aren’t showing up in the top organic listings. They simply improved the page “structure” then pointed some trusted and relevant links from other telecommunications company website to the pages. Their rankings improved dramatically within 60 days.
ii). Link neighborhoods: This is equally an important factor to consider when building links to your website. On one hand, link neighborhoods are the environment or websites where you’re getting links from.
On the flip side, link neighborhood also takes into consideration the pages you’re linking out to. This matters so much as the link itself.
You don’t need anyone to tell you that linking to or from a porn, gambling, or via*gra website is a sure way to get penalized. These are bad link neighborhoods that could get you into trouble. Bear that in mind!
With that being said, I’m sure you’re damn ready to build some high-quality links to your website and its pages. Here are proven strategies that still works:
a). Link Roundups: I listed this link building technique as the first because it’s damn easy to implement. You don’t need to create any new content or devise a method of manipulating the blog owner to link to you.
There are blog owners who curate the best posts related to any subject: weight loss, marketing, website designs, small business, finance, and the list goes on and on.
The majority of these bloggers call this curation “link roundups” as blog roundups, best of, news and roundups, weekly link roundup, Friday link roundup, and similar names.
It all boils down to one simple concept: A blog owner takes some time to find the best content or posts related to, say “marketing” and just links to them. These blog owners like to give; they delight in helping fellow blog owners to promote their best content on the web.
Excited already? Here’s how you can get high-quality relevant links from link roundups. Instead of waiting for a blog owner to discover your best post and link to it, you want to recommend your post to them. It’s simple and effective.
First, not all blog owners publish link roundups. Hence, you need to be sure that the person will be interested when you recommend a post.
So, quickly head over to Google, and use any of these search operators. Assuming you’re in the marketing niche and wants to find marketing blogs that curate posts as link roundups:
blog link roundup + marketing
marketing link roundup
Blog roundup + marketing
weekly link roundup + marketing
Friday link roundup + marketing
roundup post example + marketing
link roundup post + marketing
Note: Replace “marketing” with your topic if that’s not what your website or post is about.
A quick search with the first search query brings up these results:
Clicking on the first result redirects us to the link roundup page.
The underlined headings are external links that redirect to other people’s posts. This is an indication that if you have a useful post related to SEO and/or online marketing, you can earn a link from this same page.
All you have to do is send this simple email:
Subject: My Post will add value to your Link Roundup
Hi [first name]
My name is [your full name], founder of [your website].
I have just published helpful posts on the [put the topic], which I know your audience will benefit from. I added lots of case studies, made it actionable, and easy to read.
I discovered you mentioned similar posts in your roundup post. See if my post is valuable enough to be included (I’m sure it is).
BTW: here’s the link to my post [paste your post URL].
Thank you for the great work you do. And for helping other
Hardworking blog owners to promote their best posts.
[Your first name]
Note: Be polite on your pitch. Don’t try to push it or sound desperate to get the links. See how I recommended the link. At the end of the day, it’s all a number game. The more blog owners you reach out to, the more chances you will have to earn relevant and trusted links.
b). Give Testimonials: We all love testimonials and how well our products and services have impacted customers. Both small and big companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get positive feedback from customers because it acts as a form of social proof.
So how do you get a link with testimonials? Well, give testimonials. I’m sure you have and still use products and services that you love — the ones that have helped you achieve your set goals and objectives.
It’s time to be creative and earn links in the process.
Consider writing a more detailed testimonial or success story, send it to the company and give them permission to publish it on their testimonial page or homepage.
The company will be excited because they are strategizing on how to get testimonials manually from customers — but you’re doing it willingly.
Interestingly, no one will trust testimonials or reviews without a real photo or website link. So the company will most assuredly add your website as a proof that you’re a real person; and that the testimonial isn’t faked.
More importantly, you can get links from high-quality websites with a high domain authority and page authority. For example, founder of FlippedWebsite.com sends a testimonial to the company that he uses their product. They link to him from their homepage with a DA89 and PA76.
c). Reclaim your links: I’ve used this link building strategy over and over again because it works like magic. Do you know that if you have a product or company that people trust online, that people are already mentioning you in their content?
Unfortunately, most of these mentions do not result in a link.
To get your link added, simply connect with the blog owner. Thank them for mentioning your brand/product, and ask them to link to it. They already trust you in the first place that’s why they mentioned it — although, they might not have linked to it.
You can use mention.net to easily find websites articles where your name or brand is mentioned. For example, we find no link mention for ‘Peter Drucker’ in this post that appeared on HelpScout.
Next, contact the blog owner and get the link. You can use this script:
Hey [First Name],
I just wanted to use this medium to say “thanks” for mentioning [Your Brand] in your informative article a few days ago.
I’m really grateful!
I’m reaching out today to ask if you would be kind enough to add a link back to our site. I know you’re busy, but this step will help people to easily find us while reading your article.
Either way, thanks for the mention and keep up the great work!
[Your First Name]
This method of getting links might look simple, but it’s powerful and works all the time. And you don’t have to write fresh content at all. In most cases, you’ll usually get a link to your homepage, and not to your posts. And it’s fine!
d). Create and sponsor a scholarship: Not all links are created equal. In the SEO environment, there are two link types that are difficult to get:
- .edu links
- .gov links
Why? Because these websites don’t just link to any websites. They are strict and if you get a single link from Harvard University, you could rank #1 for a highly competitive keyword.
Unfortunately, most of these educational websites and governmental organizations do not accept blog writers, guest authors, or content writers. So how do you get links from them?
Create and promote a scholarship. You guessed right, educational bodies can’t resist it because that’s what they are known for.
Chris Dreyer used this scholarship method to send over 80 .edu links to his client’s website.
The first step is really to create a scholarship page on your domain. Give all the details, the prize, the conditions, and tell students how to apply.
Here’s a sample scholarship program to guide you.
Once your scholarship page is ready, find universities and other educational bodies that promote and link out to scholarship programs.
It’s simple. Go to Google and enter this search operator:
- Inurl:.edu “scholarships”
You might want to check other pages on Google that are not ranking highly. The more trusted the university is, the better your results will be. Next, send a simple email to the university and inform them about your scholarship program:
We have a new scholarship opportunity for [School] students.
Our scholarship is called “[Name]“, and it’s designed to help [Brief Description].
Here is a brief list of our requirements:
[List Of Requirements]
It would be an honor if you’d be kind enough to include our award to your scholarship page [Scholarship Page URL].
Of course, we’re open to any questions you may have about the scholarship.
e). Sponsor industry events: As a business, you can look for conferences in your industry and consider sponsoring them both for Offline PR purposes as well as SEO if they have a page on their website.
For example, if you a fitness coach and you want to get some high-quality links to your website, you can head over to Google and search with any of these search operators:
- Fitness conference + sponsorships
- Fitness event “sponsor”
- Sponsorship opportunity + fitness conference
Here’s the result I got when I used the first operator:
If you look at the WordCamp Sponsor’s page, you’ll notice that the brand’s logo used on the pages are clickable and contains do-follow link attributes. Which means they pass link value to the sponsor’s website.
If you sponsor this conference, your own company logo or trademark will be added to on the page and people can click on it to visit your website.
f). Resource links: It’s no secret that backlinks from trusted websites like .edu and .gov websites send a strong link juice that boosts organic rankings in record time.
Aside from creating a scholarship program and giving awards to students, which would cost anywhere between $1,000 – $10,000, you can use resource link techniques for free and still get the high-quality links that you want.
Most universities and governmental websites have a resources page (usually detailed) where to link out to other students, countries, agencies, academic bodies, and even insightful studies. Here’s an example of a small business resources page from University of Cincinnati, College of Law:
Assuming you have a website related to “small business” you could get a link from this university website. Of course, your resource must be valuable, well-researched, and appeals to the audience.
To find more resources on these educational and governmental websites, use these search strings in Google:
- Site:.gov “your keyword”
- site:.edu “your keyword” + “resources”
- site:.gov: “your keyword” + inurl:links
- site:.edu: “your keyword” + “other sites”
Note that resource links aren’t limited to .edu and .gov websites. You can find resources pages on other trusted websites. For example, searching with the string: site:.com “weight loss” + inurl:links” in Google shows this results:
These websites have resources pages already. So reaching out and asking them to add your relevant post, research work, or cause could result in a high-quality link. Again, it’s a number game. Brian Dean estimated that you will get a 5 – 10% conversion rate.
Imagine getting a 10% conversion rate (that’s links 10 .edu & .gov links) from 100 universities and governmental bodies that you reach out to. This is a huge because these links are powerful and Google will push your rankings to the first page. Definitely!
g). Broken links: I have talked about broken link building technique, and how powerful it can be. Website owners are also recording immense success from it. After all, it’s all about helping other website owners to find links that are not working on their posts and pages, and recommending your own link as a replacement.
In your research, you’re interested in 404 pages; dead links that no longer redirects to the appropriate page.
How do you find pages and broken links? Simply head over to Google and search with any of these strings (assuming you’re in the food niche):
- “food” + “resource page”
- “food” + “resources”
- “food” + “recommended sites”
- “food” + “links”
Continuing our search with the second search operator, here are the resources pages I found related to “food”.
When I visited one of the resources pages for “food” I found this:
If you have a helpful resource related to food or local food, you can email the blog owner and ask for a link. Sadly, begging for links doesn’t always work.
Alternatively, you could find a broken link on the resources page, then email the website owner to let them know that some of the websites they are linking to is dead — and are redirecting to a 404 page.
Here’s how to find broken links on any page. Install the Check My Links Chrome Extension.
Once activated, the tool will scour the entire page to find broken links and highlight them in red to make them easy for you. Here are broken links on the Dorfman Plumbing website.
A quick email is all you need to send. Trust me, the website owner will appreciate it. You can use this script:
I discovered your resources page today, and among the lists of great resources, were some broken links.
Here’s a few of them:
You already know that broken links are dead, and your users hate such links. My website, [Your Website] is regularly updated with high-quality content related to [the topic of the resources page.
If you have 30 seconds, you can check it out. And if you find it helpful, feel free to post a link to it on your resources page.
Either way, I hope this helps and keep up the good work
From a personal experience, getting links isn’t that difficult except you don’t know how to go about it. If you sound desperate in your pitch emails, then you’ll fail. Send emails with the mindset and attitude of someone who wants to help other website owners.
h). Producing and distributing infographics: Infographics are popular these days. Chances are, you have seen at least one in the last few days. Every other week, we receive emails from marketers who want to feature their infographic on our blog in exchange for a dofollow backlink.
You too can do the same thing. Start by designing an infographic. If you don’t have the time or skill, you can hire a proficient infographic designer from Dribbble or 99Designs.
A good infographic design can cost between $100 – $2,000 if you hire someone. However, you can use infographics templates from Venngage, Piktochart, Canva, among many to design a professional infographic.
Once the infographic is ready, pitch relevant bloggers and website owners for an opportunity to publish your infographic. Of course, they will link back to your website if they do.
Better yet, provide an introductory post of about 300 words. This will appear above the fold, before the infographic. That way, Google can index the text on the page and rank your infographic’s pages in its organic listings.
Producing in-depth guides, conducting an experiment and documenting your results are viable means of building backlinks too. Or you could compile and organize statistics from other websites in your market. A good example is HubSpot’s Marketing Statistics (which is constantly being updated).
Because websites owners are looking for comprehensive resources to reference in their posts, and they can use your statistics/data to back up their points. All of this will result in trusted backlinks to your web pages.
i). Record podcasts: Still underutilized but a viable way to build high quality links to your website. Podcasts are popular and
In addition to these link building techniques, make sure you submit your website to appropriate directories, submit it to feedback platforms, online discussion boards, and above all, crown your link building efforts with guest blogging. Guest blogging takes time but it’s worth it.
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