Quality backlinks are vital to an effective SEO campaign. But with so many ways to source, earn and build those links, how do you know which strategy is the most effective for your website?
Our handy guide will give you an overview of 3 common backlink building strategies.
Need a recap? Check out Backlinks For Beginners here.
You can also watch our video guide here:
Firstly, we recommend that you use premium SEO software such as Ahrefs or SEMrush to conduct Competitor Analysis. Specialist software allows you to input your competitor’s URL and see a comprehensive list of every backlink pointing to their site.
We can then collate this data, go through each backlink, and ask ourselves the following questions:
- Do you want a backlink from this website?
- What is that website’s Domain Rating (DR)? A link from a high DR will help pass some of that website’s authority to yours. However, a low quality, spammy site with a low DR could negatively affect your own rankings.
- Is this site relevant to what you do as a business? Is it in the same city, industry or niche? Look for a key link between that site and yours. For example, a link from a cupcake factory in Japan that points to our SEO Leeds page is likely to do our rankings more harm than good.
This is a quick and effective way to build a strong foundation of quality backlinks to your site.
The Skyscraper Technique is where you take a look at the quality of the existing content around the keyword you are looking to rank for. If you think you can better that content and add a new, valuable insight, you’ve potentially identified a great opportunity to create new content.
Once your shiny new content is published, you can reach out to the people linking to the top ten results and let them know you’ve just published a page with valuable or updated content.
You can then ask whether that website can link to your content instead. It’s a win win; you earn a backlink and the site can provide the latest, credible content to their users.
You’re going 1 step above competitor content to earn your backlink, hence why the method is known as ‘skyscraper’. The people that were once linking to your competitors are now much more likely to link to you.
Again, you will need access to premium SEO software for this strategy. Broken Link Building is where we identify where websites are linking to your competitors, but that link is broken.
There can be several reasons for a broken link:
- Your competitor may have changed this URL in the past
- The page no longer exists
- The page is a redirect
- Broken links are much more prevalent after big website changes or edits
This presents a great opportunity to reach out to the linking website to make them aware that they are linking to a broken page. From there, you can suggest that the page links to your content instead (providing it’s relevant and will still add value to their users).
So, we know how important backlinks are to the effectiveness of your SEO campaign. However, it’s also important to consider that not all backlinks are equal. Quality over quantity always wins. As backlinks are an important ranking signal to Google, it’s really important to remember this.
Here’s a quick rundown on how to sort your list of links into the ones worth spending your time on.
There is direct correlation between the number of quality backlinks pointing to a website and the higher the site’s Domain Rating (DR).
A backlink from a website with a high Domain Rating packs a punch. Ideally, the referring site’s DR should be higher than yours to help increase your own website’s rating. We recommend that you avoid links from websites with a low DR as they have little authority and are more likely to be of a lower quality.
The content on the referring domain’s site should fit with your industry, niche or topic. There must be a clear link between the two sites for Google to be confident in raising your site’s rankings. Remember, the aim of Google is to rank the most relevant, high quality content on the first page of Google so lots of irrelevant links are likely to water down your SEO efforts.
When you’re carrying out a backlink building campaign, it is useful to consider which type of link you are sourcing.
- A do-follow link is a link that passes on authority from the referring site to yours. This is why a relevant, do-follow link from a website with a high Domain Rating is much more valuable than hundreds of low quality, spammy links.
- A no-follow link doesn’t pass on any web authority, however Google has recently stated that it can act as an indicator of quality and/or relevance.
It is important to gain a natural mix of no-follow and do-follow links.